One of the things that distinguish successful relationships from unsuccessful relationships is the enviable ability of partners to set non-negotiable standards. There is a difference between having standards and having non-negotiable standards in a relationship. No doubt, having standards is good, but having non-negotiable standards is not only better but essential for the relationship to progress.
The importance of having non-negotiable standards are vital, they are not only crucial for our day to day relationship life, but they are also essential to the development and success of our relationship in the long run. Some people might ask what differentiates standards from non-negotiable standards. It is important to note that every relationship has one standard or another, but not every relationship has non-negotiable standards.
Non-negotiable standards are standards that you would not negotiate. You stick to them no matter what. These standards follow your core values and principles, and they are essential in determining not only what you will and will not accept from others, but also what you will and will not accept from yourself as well.
When it comes to non-negotiable standards, we are usually confronted with choosing between them and our preferred standards. The non-negotiable standard is sometimes challenging to follow. We get drawn between them and what is typically an alternative to them-preference. Unlike non-negotiable standards, preferences are easy to follow and come at no cost in the short run. In the long term, however, they adversely affect our core value and effectively lower our standards. Take, for example, if your non-negotiable standard in a relationship is studying the word of God every day, a preference might be to catch the latest episode of favorite a television series on Netflix. You might decide to watch the series, but in the long run, your non-negotiable standard of studying the word of God would eventually slip into mere standards.
As a Christian, when it comes to relationships, certain things are considered acceptable standards for us. These are the things that should form our non-negotiable standards, and we must not compromise. As believers, God’s standards must be our standards at all times, and God’s words are clear when it comes to non-negotiable standards in our lives.
It is important to note that different relationships could have different non-negotiable standards. This means that what is a non-negotiable standard in a relationship might not be a non-negotiable standard in another. As Christians, however, there is a general rule when it comes to determining and setting our non-negotiable standards. To establish or determine what your non-negotiable standards should be, you need first to identify what the Lord says about it. Then you have to identify the things that are important to you. These things are the things that make up your core values. It could be going to church, having a work out session, sticking to a particular type of diet, and so on. These are the things that you feel strongly about. If your relationship with God is paramount to you, then studying the word of God might be a non-negotiable standard for you.
One of God’s non-negotiable standards when it comes to relationships can be found in the book of II Corinthians 6:14. It says: ‘Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship does righteousness have with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?’ This talks about a non-negotiable standard of choosing only those who are brethren in faith as life partners. For no reason should we be found selecting a life partner whose beliefs contradict our faith! It is non-negotiable—the only people we are permitted to be with, as lifelong partners are believers.
Another of God’s non-acceptable standards for relationships is found in the book of Joshua 1:8, and it says: ‘This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then, you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.’ This tells us how vital studying the word of God is. As partners in the Christian faith, we must seek the kingdom of God at all times, and one of the ways we can do this is by meditating and studying the word of God as God himself instructed. This is a non-negotiable standard that will not only enhance our relationship with God but will also open the doors of prosperity and success to us in life if we stick to it.
The book of John 2:15 says: ‘Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father, but the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.’ God wants us to love him and the things of his kingdom and do his wills at all times. Therefore, loving God is a non-negotiable standard for us as believers. There are several other non-negotiable standards for believers as laid down by God. As we follow God’s non-negotiable standard in Joshua 1:8, we would realize more of these standards and how essential they are, not only to our relationships with God but to our success as individuals in life.