As a Christian relationship coach and former matchmaker, I have first hand experience working with countless individuals who desire to attract an emotionally healthy relationship that eventually leads to a lasting, fulfilling marriage. Many people believe they are ready for this important, life changing event, but their hearts are not truly prepared for the love God intends, nor do they know the components and expectations of a godly marriage. For most people, it is not the inability to meet and attract those of the opposite sex; it's the lack of relationship readiness that leads to a repetition of learned patterns that are emotionally and spiritually unhealthy.
The key element in preparation for a godly marriage is to examine one's belief system, and the foundation that life is established upon. For example, a child growing up in an environment where he or she was ignored or neglected likely developed a core belief, "I am not worthwhile." Core beliefs become a summary of the most basic convictions of one's self-worth and expectation of how one will be treated by others. These foundational core truths draw relationships that prove one's mindsets as valid.
More from YourTango: Should You Walk Down The Aisle With 'Cold Feet'?
It is important not to just seek a quick fix and cover those emotional wounds, but rather take the steps toward lasting healing. Unfortunately, negative core beliefs tend to gain strength over time rather than weaken. Simply removing oneself from a detrimental environment does not eliminate programmed mindsets. I have worked with countless individuals to help them heal emotionally and attract lasting love — and can help you too.
Individuals generally fall into several primary categories when describing their formative years. Some say they had a great childhood and present a facade to others, denying the dysfunction of their living environment. The overwhelming driver is the conviction that if the truth were revealed, love and acceptance from others would be illusive.
Another primary group acknowledges the dysfunction, but believes distance and vowing to do the opposite of what was modeled will be enough to break the pattern and achieve a different result. When children are exposed to unhealthy behaviors, they initiate habits to protect themselves emotionally in relationships. That learned conduct does not fade with time, but carries into adulthood. You must give yourself time to build a new way of thinking. This process does require discipline, endurance, patience with yourself, and faith that God will show you how to change.
As a result of family environment circumstances, instinctively, one attracts incidents to prove and confirm the false core beliefs are true. Foundational mindsets shape and guide life direction, including relationship choices, poor boundary formation, communication skills, dysfunctional friendship choices, and even unwise career decisions — until action is taken to overcome those beliefs. Until the identification of the original source of emotional wounds is made, one's true self is hidden because the conditioning is rooted in changing the natural personality to adapt to the environment.
If the model you had of love from your parents or caregivers was dysfunctional, there's a tendency to be very uncertain about making long term commitments as you fear repeating the same pattern. Your parents' pattern does not need to be your destiny. The key to attracting emotionally healthy relationships involves releasing these falsehoods and changing foundational beliefs. Usually, human nature dictates that the other person in the relationship is the one with the "problem." Realization that the obstacle blocking love is oneself leads toward positive change, and a chance to attract an emotionally healthy and loving relationship. It's in reversing negative thought patterns that relationship expectations and patterns are redefined.
The revelation that one person, especially a spouse, cannot provide the healing, emotional desires and security that can only come from Jesus is a powerful milestone. The reality is the challenge of transformation, especially to conquer self-defeating behavior, it's not an easy path, as many core beliefs are so ingrained that resisting that change and sabotaging those efforts is not uncommon. That's why working in unison with spirituality as the foundation to build on so those bonds can be broken is so essential. Every individual can conquer unhealthy thought patterns and take control over the emotions.
The primary key to meeting a godly man or woman for a committed relationship is emotional readiness. Before attracting the right spouse can happen, the decision to love must be accepted mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It's easier to spend years chasing a dream than it is to take a step of faith and allow God to do His perfecting work.
The real secret to choosing the right spouse for a godly marriage is in your mind and heart. The power of words and thoughts regarding love will open corresponding doors. It's a personal decision whether those doors will lead to commitment and ultimately a loving, fulfilling marriage built on a solid, emotionally healthy foundation. Creating this positive outcome is a doable goal with emotional and spiritual preparation. Then the opportunity for that introduction can occur, and the next chapter of life can truly begin in the glory of God.
Nancy Pina is a highly recognized author, relationship coach and speaker. She is dedicated to helping individuals attract emotionally healthy relationships through her practical Christian-based advice. Visit her website for coaching options and recent books. Subscribe to her free report, Is He The Right One or schedule a free coaching session with Nancy.
More from YourTango: Is He Marriage Material? Are You? 10 Qualities To Review
More Dating Advice from YourTango: