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Encouraging Healthy Relationships

November 05, 2012
By Dean Wagenaar
Photo courtesy of

In the Toward Christian Adult Living (TCAL) class that Sunnyside Christian High School offers senior students, we examine relationships, especially why the popular culture, although constantly searching, cannot find and maintain lasting relationships. Although we have explored extremely helpful information with previous seniors at SCHS, this year I introduced another angle, a dimension shared by Chip Ingram in a series he presents on love and lasting relationships.

Mr. Ingram contrasts two views of approaching “romantic” relationships, and he identifies these as Hollywood’s prescription for lasting relationships as opposed to God’s prescription for lasting relationships. After establishing that almost all North Americans have been “disneyized” and “buy in” to either to a lesser or greater degree of Hollywood’s formula, he passionately explains the absolute opposing views of these two prescriptions.

According to Mr. Ingram-and I wholeheartedly agree-Hollywood’s focus includes these four steps:

  1. One has to find the absolutely “right” person, and he (or she) had better be on the hunt until he does.
  2. One “falls” in love through some magical, mystical way.
  3. One fixes his hopes and dreams of the present/future on that person-the new find is so special that he will alleviate all your problems.
  4. When failure occurs, repeat Steps One, Two, and Three to maintain this endless cycle.

I could certainly expand on each of these points to reinforce how anti-Biblical they are, but you get the point.

The contrast then presented by Mr. Ingram is instead to follow God’s plan for lasting relationships which
include these opposing four steps:

  1. Become the right person. Focus on developing Godly character and learning to live the fruit of the Spirit.
  2. Walk in love. Live out your obedience to Christ as you develop Godly character.
  3. Fix your hope on God and seek to please Him through any relationship.
  4. If failure occurs, repeat the previous three steps focusing on developing a Christ-like attitude.

Certainly, I could expand on numerous details for each of the previous points to reinforce their importance, and if you would enjoy learning more, please ask, and I will share more information on the ideas or the curriculum by Chip Ingram.


In Christ,
Dean Wagenaar