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RELEVANT’s Most Read Stories of 2016

RELEVANT’s Most Read Stories of 2016

In 2016, we at RELEVANT posted hundreds of articles on everything from current events to interviews with church leaders to listicles about relationships. We weighed in on controversies, pop culture events and Internet outrage.

Out of all those articles, here are the 10 that most resonated with readers, getting the most views and social media shares out of everything we posted this year:

No. 10: 8 Things Healthy Couples Don’t Do

A few habits to avoid to keep your relationship healthy.

Only 12-year-olds post negatively about their boyfriends or girlfriends on social media. It’s a catty way to get attention and vent, when the emotionally healthy response is to talk your grievances over with your spouse when the time is right.

Don’t fall into the trap of getting others on your side, on social media or otherwise, because healthy marriages only have one side.

No.09: The Prayer That Changed James Corden’s Life

The turning point for late-night TV’s most infectious personality.

We are living in a new golden age of late-night TV. But, ironically, one of its brightest stars is a name that up until last spring, almost no one in the U.S. had heard of.

Today, however, James Corden is becoming a full-fledged TV star, a viral video sensation and even has a role in the upcoming animated family comedy Trolls.

Raised in a devoutly Christian home, Corden grew up attending church in the U.K. But following a period of partying, loneliness and heartbreak seven years ago, his life changed after an evening of prayer with his parents, and a new perspective helped create one of TV’s most infectious personalities.

No.08: 7 Unbiblical Statements Christians Believe

Common misconceptions about what the Bible actually says.

However, there are many things that Jesus-following, Church-going, Bible-believing Christians believe that are completely unbiblical. How does this happen? Often, we’ll hear someone quote a statement that sounds nice to us, and we’ll begin repeating it as though it’s biblical truth without ever researching it in Scripture.

Several of these unbiblical statements have gained enough traction that many people believe they’re actually Bible verses. Not only are the statements unbiblical; some of them teach the opposite of what the Bible teaches.

No. 07: Marry Someone Who Loves God More Than They Love You

“Individual relationships with God must trump our other relationships.”

Somewhere in the formative and oh-so-tacky ’80s and ’90s, a message spread through Christian bookstores (R.I.P.), pulpits, youth groups, and all the nooks and crannies of God-fearing culture. This message was that casual dating is not good, women’s hearts must be guarded by men, and all romantic relationships better have marriage in mind—or the people in them are just using each other.

Yet while all these concepts have elements of wisdom embedded in them, they’ve been distorted just like so many good ideas before them (i.e. keeping the Sabbath). The truth is, we’re a people who, when left unchecked, go into Pharisee mode like it’s our job. And we’ve done this with Christian dating.

No. 06: 11 Mind-bending Christian Book Covers You Can’t Unsee

It’s time to update your reading list.

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. That may be true, but disregarding it entirely is equally as big of a mistake—especially when the cover has a dude rocking a windbreaker so fly that an Urban Outfitters employee would be jealous.

No. 05: God Has Already Revealed His Plan for Your Life

It doesn’t have to be as complicated as we tend to think.

When trying to discern God’s will for our lives, it is tempting to spend all our our time in prayer. God, what do you want me to do with my life? Should I take this job? Should I move to that city? Should I enroll at the school? Should I marry him? Should I break up with her?

The list of prayers could run on till eternity. But what if the key to discerning God’s will for your life was to stop praying so much about it?

No. 04: How Christians Ruin Dating

Maybe we all just need to chill out.

A few years ago, I had just started “talking” to a guy from church, and I told him we should keep things on the down low. I didn’t see the need for everyone to find out too early on.

No. 03: Infidelity Doesn’t Just Happen. It Starts with These Subtle Warnings

4 red flags to guard against.

Not all communication is verbal.

Similarly, as a married man or woman, though it takes time, you can train your eyes to avoid unnecessary eye contact with the opposite sex that may be on the prowl.

Many would argue that they can individually control the messages they are sending to the opposite sex.

Unfortunately, they are wrong.

No. 02: Why the Message of ‘Me Before You’ Is So Dangerous

And not romantic at all.

Me Before You isn’t romantic.

Although the first part of the movie sets up what might have been a decent film, Me Before You pulls the rug out from under its audience with a disgusting bait-and-switch—one that’s particularly callous and damaging toward disabled viewers.

No. 1: The Problem with Saying ‘All Lives Matter’

There’s a difference between “true” and “helpful.”

The context of “Black Lives Matter” is not that other lives don’t. The context of “Black Lives Matter” is that the value of black lives remains under assault in the United States.

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