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Sam’s Unsubstantiated Thoughts on Love: What Makes a Relationship Last?

Okay, take out your pencils and paper. Today we are having a pop quiz.

Write down the first thing that pops into your head for the following questions (no thinking just write immediately):

1.) What is the purpose of your life?

(I don’t see your pencils moving…)

2.) Who are you in love with and why are you in love with them?

3.) If you are in a relationship with someone: What unifies you?


Sam’s Unsubstantiated Thoughts on Love: Making Love Last

Chapter #2 (Last week I took a look at why marriages fail. Chapter two has a much more positive focus. How do we make love last?)

Sorry about the quiz. Well I’m not actually sorry, because I think your instant responses to those questions will tell more about you as a person than almost any other questions can. Don’t believe me? Let’s dive into my unproven thoughts on what will make a relationship last.


Point #1:

A relationship will last if you either share a similar life purpose or you are ready to completely support or encourage the life purpose of the person you love.

1.) What is the purpose of your life?

BAM. There it is. Can you articulate what you’re doing here? It’s really okay if you can’t, you just have a little work to do. If you are struggling with this check out the classic book The Purpose Drive Life by Rick Warren. Here’s a link I just found to seven chapters of it to get you started while you wait for it to show up at the library.


I really believe that everyone should write a personal mission statement. It’s a little cheesy, but it is so easy to lose your purpose among the chaos of this world. Let it serve as a gentle reminder on your worst days. “Pursue the adventure of spreading the love of God through relationships, music and serving anyone in need.” That’s mine. It’s posted on my mirror. I hope someday it will be painted on the wall of my own house.

 If this is the reason you are living, you have to be with someone who is ready to be a part of that journey. The advice “find someone you can go on a journey with” was given to me last week and I think that is so beautiful. We are all on a walk trying to accomplish something. Choose someone who is willing to go there with you. And not 83% there or 91%, someone who is completely supportive. Don’t sacrifice your purpose, don’t sacrifice the reason God created you for hand-holding and cold feet.


Point #2:

A relationship will last if you are both in love and work on that love like crazy.

2.) Who are you in love with?

If you answered “no one” for number two consider yourself lucky and blessed. Yes, love can be so beautiful but it also can be just plain ridiculous. You know what I’m talking about. So for those of you reading this who aren’t in love – don’t go to a negative place. AND don’t let yourself be in love with someone to just be in love with someone. Life is short, start searching for someone amazing! I should also mention you have to be ready to be someone amazing for someone else. So if you have things you don’t like about yourself get movin’ kid. With or without a license you are steering this thing. Stop wasting time feeling sorry for yourself. Ask God to help change that thing about you and get to work. 🙂 (Sorry if that was too much tough love, you look nice today.)

If you are staring at a name for question number two, how do you feel about that? Maybe you just got butterflies on Red Bull in the pit of your stomach. Maybe you wanted to cry. Either is fine because today is just one day. Who knows how you will feel tomorrow. (hold that thought)

Regardless of your feelings about this person, who you are in love with speaks volumes about the crazy things going on inside of you that you can’t control. We don’t choose who we fall in love with but you can stop and think about WHY am I in love with this person. “Cuz that gurl is fiiiiiiiiine.” A legit reason. What else? What is it about that person makes you crazy? How long would your list be? What things would be in bold? Is this a list you would share with anyone who asked? Just be honest with yourself and with your feelings and go from there.

If you are in a relationship with this person what will make the love last? I’ve been hearing this quote a lot lately “staying in love is a choice.” I think that I agree. Relationships of any kind take work so I propose there has to be a healthy balance of butterflies and work ethic. You need to make effort to stay connected to that person no matter what. You have to know them inside and out and there can’t be things you are afraid to share. Obviously that would involve intense amounts of trust but once that trust is built and reinforced anything is possible. Refer back to that list of why you are in love with that person and keep adding to it always as you grow and change.


Point #3

A relationship will last if there is a shared unifying force.

3.) If you are in a relationship with someone: What unifies you?

What is at the center of your relationship? It can be anything – a shared interest, a shared dream, a shared activity. What is it that will keep you two together until death parts you? Find and use the force because the intense puppy love will probably fade. Maybe it’s music or comic books or cooking or Jesus or fencing. Bungee jumping or crime novels or foreign films or lawn flamingos. (Who doesn’t love a good lawn flamingo.)

The first thing on that list for me is Jesus. If you can both spend your life pursuing the struggle to be fully alive in God you will have the best shot at making any relationship last. If you can agree that God is first and your other half is second you are on the right track. If you keep inviting God into your relationship and stay focused I believe you can truly endure anything.


There is so much pressure to get married NOW. To be in love TODAY.  Trust God to bring that person into your life and meet him halfway by being ready to be an amazing person to be with. And if you find yourself in a relationship check in with the questions above. Ask them about their life purpose. This can be a pretty amazing conversation. Then see if they live out that purpose and support them in any way that you can. Love them and keep loving them. Make a conscious effort to continue to grow together and be present in each others lives, always. Finally, look for that unifying force.  As you continue together there will be probably be more and more unifying forces but hopefully God is always at the top of that list.

Keep fighting the good fight for an honest, God-Centered Relationship. Whether you are on a love high or you feel lke falling down on your broken hearted knees remember…

It’s a long walk through this world, but keep walking tall, you’re one day closer to being Home

About Sam

in love with all things Jesus, music, adventure, writing, teaching, laughter, running, friendship. Founder of recklesslyalive.com.

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  1. These posts seemed to be lining up with what I need to be reminded of on a given day. Love, love, love. God-centered relationships are the strongest I’ve seen, if what the couple believes about God matches. It’s so funny though, it took me reading this to realize one of the people I’m close to is not in a God-centered relationship. You’d think it would be given their background and how strongly they believe, but it’s really not a given.

    Great insight!

  2. Sam, I read your stuff the second you post it every time. And without fail, I am moved in some way every time. I hope so badly to be able to live the things you write about. Thank you.