Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What To Look For In A Mate

As a pastor's wife I have seen the results of poor marriages and divorces. I have seen the pain that is inflicted on everyone involved from husband and wife, to children and grandchildren and even on friends and relatives who are connected somehow with the troubled couple. As pastors we try to comfort and lead the ones involved to healing through Christ and that's great, but wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone chose wisely in the first place and followed the biblical guidelines which are clearly printed in the Word on how to treat each other? Yes, it would. 

When my children were nearing the dating age I encouraged all of them to have a mental list of what to look for in a mate and if the person they met and were interested in didn't measure up to the list they had created, then that person was obviously someone else's future mate and they shouldn't enter into a relationship with them. That might sound overly simplistic but I know that if we think about things before the opportunity comes up we are better prepared with it does.

We are wired to be attracted to certain things in a mate and if our mind is carnal, and not on the things of God, we can be attracted to the wrong things. A young man may be smitten with a young girl's beauty and overlook her mean disposition and make excuses for the character flaws he sees in her simply because she is so beautiful to look at. But beauty shouldn't be on your list of what to look for in a mate because beauty gets old eventually and looks change (Prov. 31:30) Neither should a young girl fall in love with a man simply because he says 'all the right things'. There may come a time when the pretty words aren't so pretty anymore and you find yourself with no self esteem and an empty marriage. Proverbs 7:21-23 clearly states the dangers of flattery: 
21 21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
    she seduced him with her smooth talk. 
22 All at once he followed her
    like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer stepping into a noose 
23     till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
    little knowing it will cost him his life.

Having said all this let me share with you the list that I encouraged our children to have in their heads so that their hearts wouldn't run away without thinking. (Other than #1 the list is in no particular order of importance.)

What to look for in a godly mate:
1. Someone who loves the Lord as their personal Saviour and loves Him with all their heart, mind and spirit. (Luke 10:27)
2. Someone who is compassionate. (Deut. 15:7,11)
3. Someone who is not selfish or conceited. (1 Cor. 13:5)
4. Someone who is kind to animals. (if a person isn't kind to God's creatures how can they ever be kind to you?) (Prov. 12:10)
5. Someone who is respectful and has manners.(James 2:8)
6. Someone who does NOT have a temper.(Prov. 29:11)
7. Someone who reads the Word of God on a regular basis.(Joshua 1:8)
8. Someone who has been a Christian for awhile, not someone who is attending church just to get a Christian wife/husband. (Psalm 71:17)
9. Someone who is patient.(1 Cor. 13:4)
10. Someone who is a hard worker.(Prov. 13:4)
11. Someone who is honest and has integrity. (Prov. 6:16-20)
12. Someone who is gentle.(Titus 3:2)
13. Someone who values purity and is willing to wait for marriage to be intimate. (Psalm 119:9, 1 Cor. 7:8-9)
14. Someone who has a sense of humor but who takes the things of the Lord seriously.(Prov. 17:22)
15. Someone who loves children. Someone who doesn't only want children because you do but who wants a family. (Psalm 127:3)
16. Someone who is not jealous. (Exodus 20:17)
17. Someone who is loyal. Someone who will stand by you even when no one else is. (1 Cor. 16:13-14)
18. Someone who has a regular prayer life of their own. (1 Thess. 5:17)
19. Someone who seeks to serve others instead of being served themselves. (Acts 20:35)
20. Someone who is not threatened by your close family but who wants to be a part of it. (Ruth 1:16-17)

You can add or subtract anything on the list to make it your own, but please make a list. Its too late to make a list once you've fallen in love. And if you do meet someone and are attracted to them make sure they line up with the Word of God. Don't fall into the trap of making excuses and telling yourself that character flaw you see in them is 'not that important'. Yes it is. God has standards and you should too otherwise Satan will make sure he brings some very unsuitable people into your life who will eventually lead you away from God. Guard your heart and keep it for the Lord. Trust Him to bring a godly mate into your life. Ending a dating relationship, because the person is not who you thought they were, hurts but it doesn't hurt as much as a divorce especially when children are involved. Prayerfully make a list and stick to it. God bless.

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