I write a lot about healthy relationships. I've done plenty of posts offering principles for a strong marriage or keys to coaching your kids on how to enter romantic relationships with wisdom. It's what I do.
I'm also a big Star Wars fan. Given the fact that The Force Awakens (episode 7 for those who aren't paying attention) opens this week, I couldn't help but mine the Star Wars canon for some valuable relationship advice. After some thoughtful consideration, I was pleasantly surprised at how these characters and events from "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" can give us insights into our most important relationships.
For no particular reason, I've chosen to put these bits of wisdom in an order that generally reflects the timeline of when we encountered the characters and events. Whether you are married or hoping to coach your kids, I'm sure these truths will absolutely revolutionize your life. Or not.
Romantic Relationships Begun During Times of Stress are Doomed to Fail
One day you're in a dead end job as a moisture farmer on a desert planet. The next day your home is destroyed, your relatives are murdered and you're caught up in a plot to destroy the Galactic Empire. THIS IS NOT A GOOD TIME TO ENTER A RELATIONSHIP. Even if the girl is a imprisoned princess who has a fiery heart and who looks surprisingly awesome with her hair in ridiculous buns on either side of her head. She might give you a passionate kiss before swinging across an oddly positioned crevasse on a giant space station, but you shouldn't trust your feelings (no matter what Obi Wan might say). This relationship is going nowhere. Which leads me to our next relationship principle...
Don't Flirt With Your Sister
Before you start flirting with the only eligible female within twelve parsecs, make sure you first confirm that she is not, in fact, your twin sister. And whatever you do, don't kiss her to make another guy jealous. Ewww.
On Rare Occasions, Arrogance is More Attractive Than Humility
This is for the young men out there. When you are trying to pursue a romantic relationship with that special lady who you think is "the one," tenderhearted humility is always the right tone to take. It will almost always attract the girl more effectively than cockiness or swagger. But there is one exception. If your courtship hits a rough spot and an evil galactic dictator is about to freeze you in carbon before a bounty hunter takes you to your eventual death, all bets are off. In your last few moments of consciousness, if your girl declares, "I love you," then a perfectly appropriate response is, "I know." Chicks dig that.
There is Someone for Everyone
If you have had little success in dating relationships and are wondering if there might be someone out there for you, don't lose hope. There was that brief scene in Episode One when the podrace was about to start. The vile and disgusting Jabba The Hutt steps up to the mic...and there in the background we catch a glimpse of Mrs. The Hutt. Again...Ewww. If Jabba can find a mate, then anyone can.
But Some People Are Single For A Reason
Maybe you're an 850 year-old sage from a new age religious order who has big ears and an annoying tendency to speak with technically accurate but annoying grammar. You'll likely be single for life. Maybe you're a seven and a half foot tall dude who speaks in grunts and who has a significant back hair problem. While certainly lovable, you are forever stuck in the friend zone. Maybe your parents named you Jar Jar. Know this: everybody hates you. You are destined to die alone.
Look for Red Flags in Your Dating Relationships
Parents must coach their daughters to look for warning signs in the early stages of a romantic relationship. While a girl might be "in love," her significant other might have some character flaws that will negatively affect their relationship long-term. If your daughter's boyfriend shows any of these signs, you should coach her to move on:
He is at least 7 years younger than her and was absolutely annoying as a child. He grows into a handsome young man but still has the personality of a rotten turnip. His role model is a crusty old man with an eye on the absolute domination of the known galaxy. And if your daughter's boyfriend ever suggests that murdering a bunch of young trainees in his religious order is a good thing, she should take that as a warning sign that the he is not the marrying type. Better to end it now than to have to deal with his dysfunctional tendencies later.
A Final Word
Hopefully, these principles will help you to build healthy relationships in your marriage and family. As Yoda might say: "Timeless, they are."
Since one portion of our work at INFO for Families is devoted to discovering God's design for sexual health in marriage, I will offer one final piece of relationship advice to all the wives out there. If are you're looking for "a new hope" to bring some spice back into your marriage, buy one of those Princess Leia costumes from the Jabba the Hutt scene in Return of the Jedi. You can't go wrong.