The beginning of a relationship is extremely exciting (and for some of us slightly sweaty) as it is very important. The first few months lay the foundation for what the two of you are building together. There are many great ways to get to know her, but perhaps the best way is to ask her questions. You know the real important ones like: how do you take your coffee, which Friends character did you get after taking the BuzzFeed quiz, and if you could be any animal which would you be?
Eh . . .
Those are good conversation starters, but they are weak. It’s crucial we ask questions that lead us to a deeper understanding of who she is.
Sure, knowing she is most like Phoebe and takes her coffee with one cream is certainly valuable information, but this is surface level knowledge. You probably found most of this out by lurking her Facebook page or Twitter feed.
You know you did.
We should be asking questions that leap like faith and reach for something more than surface level answers. A question can strengthen your relationship, taking it to the next level; tearing down walls as she allows you learn more about who she truly is. One of the best questions you can ask is: How can I be praying for you?
How can I be praying for you? is more than a heartfelt question seeking an honest answer, but a sincere, unexpected invitation into something more.
How can I be praying for you? invites the relationship to become vulnerable.
We are comfortable sharing what our favorite TV show is, admitting we have a slight addiction to Netflix, and who our 5th grade crush was, but when it comes to sharing what is closest to our hearts we tend to quietly hold back. How can I be praying for you? doesn’t demand an answer, but respectfully asks to knock on the door of her heart; inviting her to become as vulnerable as she would like with you. It allows her to share her struggles or current concerns, letting her bring what she desires into your relationship.
How can I be praying for you? invites you and her into a deeper relationship.
Asking, how can I be praying for you? isn’t a more stealth way of learning her darkest secrets, but an honest interest in how she can be cared for. This question stretches out a humble hand, meets them where they are, and assures them they are not walking alone, but are stepping with a community.
How can I be praying for you? invites you and her to step to the foot of the cross together. The most fertile place a relationship can grow is not rooted in the American dream or in a secure retirement plan, but in the hope and love of Jesus. Here at the foot of His cross forgiveness is found and where restoration begins. Prayer, like struggle, isn’t something we have to do alone, but something we get to do together. And together we get to bring our dirt, our shame, our hopes, and our humble thankfulness to the One who taught us to pray and to the One who invites us into everlasting life.
How can I be praying for you? invites us to remember that there isn’t just two in the relationship, rather three.
Relationships face plenty of unexpected, unwelcomed moments of adversity which bring doubt; tempting us to re-think the entire relationship. Yet when a relationship is firmly rooted in the love of Christ it is strengthened. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” This isn’t to say adversity and doubt won’t creep in, because they will, but it is to say when your relationship consists of you, her, and Jesus, it will not be easily broken.
Yes, of course, there are many great questions we can ask while getting to know someone, but the difference between a good question and a great question can be measured in the answer and the conversation that follows. And when she responds to your question – listen.
Hear what she is saying and why it is she saying it. Receive her answer is with ears of non-judgmental acceptance and words of grace. Then as you grab her hands to pray, boldly speak as you together step to the feet of Jesus.