Welcome back to this long overdue challenge!
I only have two verses in mind when it comes to my spiritual beliefs and my relationships. The first one is 1 Timothy 5:1-2, which is my guiding principle for cultivating godly relationships in general, and the second one is 2 Corinthians 6:14, which is my guiding principle for romantic relationships.
On godly relationships
Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. (1 Timothy 5:1:2)
When it comes to dealing with other people, I always try to follow this framework based on the verse above:
Older men – treat them with respect as with my father
Younger men – treat them as brothers, with absolute purity.
Older women – honor them like my own mother
Younger women – treat them as if they are my own sister.
My only problem with this framework is that the verse says nothing about how should I treat men of my own age range, and I’m really struggling in this area. I really don’t know how to relate with them so my natural tendency is to have nothing to do with them altogether. ?But then lately, God taught me that I should not reject friendships with the opposite sex altogether. With the right and pure motives and clear boundaries, being friends with guys, especially with my brothers in Christ, can be a beautiful thing as they can help me understand more the dynamics between men and women.
On romantic relationships
I’ve been taught early in my Christian life that when it comes to choosing a romantic partner, I only have one rule to consider, and that is:
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
This means he should be a Christian, and that is, he is fully committed and submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ. I know how hard it is to be romantically attracted to someone who doesn’t meet this standard but God was so gracious that He enabled me to uphold it. So now, having this standard makes it easier for me to identify who are those I can consider to have romantic business with. ☺