When we talk about relationships, we often talk about all of the things we do wrong and all of the mistakes we make.  Let’s discuss moving forward with relationships that have a good foundation and can grow into what we would like for them to be.

Finding Good Ground

We want to have not only good relationships, but exceptional, long-lasting, anointed relationships!  If that’s what you expect, you want to find someone who has a foundation based in values you similar to yours. It’s not a matter of judging, it’s a matter of choosing the right person to be with you at the right time in both of your lives. No one is perfect, but you have to make a decision about what kind of person you want to be with. Ladies, if you are looking for a man who has leadership characteristics, don’t pick the guy who follows the crowd and in the process conforms to values which you don’t believe in. You have to have someone who has a set of standards which work for you. Look at his set of standards as his foundation. For example, I was raised as someone who was courteous to women. On those rare occasions when I meet a woman who doesn’t appreciate my courtesy (and yes, sometimes this occurs), I’m really at a loss.  I have a mindset ingrained in me how to treat a woman.  If she’s all about disrespecting herself and not appreciating the way I treat her, it’s a major problem for me. Those situations-I can’t even call them relationships-didn’t last very long at all. It didn’t take long for me to realize this is not currently good ground to sow the seeds of a relationship.  It was like planting seeds in concrete…it doesn’t work.  Find good ground to work with.

Maintain, Maintain, Maintain!

Once you find some good soil and you get this sapling off the ground, you have to show some love. You need to water it, cover it when the frost comes, put a string around it and stand it up if it needs some support…all of that and then some!  Relationships, much like growing plants, need maintaining.  I write in my book how we can’t allow relationships to go on autopilot.  I find even in 2013, people still begin to take one another for granted.  Ladies, you can’t take your man for granted.  Show him you care on days that are not holidays.  Show him you love him, when sometimes you really don’t even like him.  What I mean by that is, if we are in committed relationships, there are going to be bumps, potholes…maybe a sinkhole or two along the way, but if you are committed, you’re all-in. Come hell or high-water, you’re still down and he needs to know it, even on the bad days.  

Let me offer that maintenance is not always done through tangible or material means. Maintaining is helping your man to stand strong in the Spirit when serious adversity hits. Maintaining growth in a relationship is constantly revisiting your financial mindset, career pathways, family needs and vision for your future together.  It’s not easy, but maintenance doesn’t happen on its ownIf you work to maintain your relationships, you will find more successful relationships. You will also find the other person will reveal if they are willing to maintain the relationship along with you, which will brighten your path on whether to move forward, or just keep it moving!

The Harvest

The entire cultivation process is all for naught without the harvest.  Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.”  Healthy relationships should become healthy marriages. Dating for an indefinite period of time with no purpose is not healthy or productive.  You have to make the conscious decision to date with a plan and a purpose. We control our lives and relationships, our relationships do not control us.  I know more than one couple of people who have dated for 10 years or more and that’s as far as the relationship went. Does it really take 10 years to find out he’s Mr. Wrong?!?  Absolutely not! Although you are putting in the work to maintain the relationship, make sure you are clear with your significant other you plan to harvest (together) the fruits of your labor.  

If you can work through these building blocks of strong relationships, you will greatly increase your chances of having a fulfilling relationship.