Written by Anne L. Bicks, editor of Dana Bicks LLC
I have been so blessed to have found the right partner for life. It wasn’t until my sixties that the wisdom of God taught me what I should have seen when I was younger. Even so, when I was nineteen years old, I married for the first time. I was raised in a Lutheran church, so marriage was considered a very sacred event. Had I known then, what I know so well now, that matrimony would have never occurred. The only positive thing from that union was my three beautiful children. But, I realize that young people, widows, or divorcees are all capable of getting married (or remarried), for the wrong reasons. The golden rule is that if a marriage cannot be glorified in the Lord, then we are settling for Satan’s interference. Most people that are in and out of marriages consistently are not looking to God for their discernment of true love. They have also chosen to ignore the Christian traits of a perfect spouse.
So, I have decided to put together a list of essential characteristics that you should consider when determining if someone is the right one for you. I wish this checklist had existed for me, so if you or someone you know is considering marriage, please share and pray for your or their discernment.
CHRISTIAN TRAITS OF A LIFE PARTNER:
Does he/she love God more than you? This is critical, as in time, the way they serve Him will be reflected in the way they love and serve you. Remember, this trait will be passed on to your future generations.
Are they to kind to others? If you don’t see your future partner treat others with kindness and grace, in time he or she will be treating you the same way.
Do they treat their parents with honor and respect? How a person gets along with parents, brothers, and sisters will tell you volumes about their character.
A son who “mistreats his father and chases away his mother is a son who causes shame and brings reproach.”
A person who honors his father and mother enjoys the favor of the Lord.
Are they trustworthy and righteous? This indicates they will keep their word no matter what the cost. By the age of 30, a person’s character and values are formed so this trait should be seriously evaluated by young people under the age of 30.
Are they respected by others? Pay attention to any hesitations people may display when they speak about your possible partner. Do others say both negative and positive things about them? If so, take heed, for they may know something you do not about their personality.
Are they flirtatious? A person’s actions and looks speak volumes about respect for you and the opposite sex. It is NOT in their personality to flirt – it’s indicative of insecurities. Understand that insecurities cannot be “cured” by you or a marriage – it is a character flaw.
How does your potential partner dress? They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing clothing that flaunts personal assets. Sexy clothing should be reserved for the marriage partner.
Are they contentious or violent? If you notice a lot of unhappiness or anger in this person, then be warned this will definitely transfer into your relationship. Most partners in abusive relationships, report anger issues from the very beginning of their dating cycle.
Are they selfish or lazy? A selfish, lazy person will lack the desire or the means to fulfill certain spousal responsibilities. It is a snapshot of their maturity level. Remember, you can’t pay bills with promises of love.
Are they addicted to alcohol, drugs, food, sex, work, sports, or impulse buying? This indicates how they keep emotions and desires under control. Addictions are a symptom of a larger problem and much larger than your marriage could survive most times.
Are they a believer in the Lord and share the same religious beliefs? If you are religious and they are an atheist, this will form a constant discord in your family. Oil and water do not mix. Nothing should be more important to you or to the person you marry than your spiritual well-being. By ignoring this critical trait, you may be facing a lifetime of spiritual unrest in the marriage as well as a battle for the spiritual well-being of your children. In fact, the Bible warns of dating someone unevenly yoked with your religious beliefs.
What kind of close friends does your potential partner have? Friends can easily mislead and falsely persuade the best of partners.
Have they been open with you about their part in the failure of past relationships? Beware of the person that always blames others for a failed relationship. This indicates they are not honest to their own self, or God, of their personal downfalls. They can’t ask forgiveness from God without confronting their own part they played in past problems. How can they correct their mistakes and learn from a prior relationship without an admission of guilt? They can’t, and they will surely carry it through to your marriage!
Do you know the true priorities of your future partner’s life?
Have you continuously prayed for guidance in making the right choice of a life partner? As Christians, we must learn that we have to wait on the Lord. For a man or woman who has an aching heart and longs to get married, the wait can be very, very hard. Any delay you may encounter might be a message from God that it is for your good. God wants you to call on Him, walk close to Him, and wait on Him. Don’t lose patience and wander away from God in your attempt to find someone to marry. This is extremely dangerous and will usually end up disastrous!
No one is perfect, but the fundamental spiritual and character qualities should be there. Proverbs is very clear that we are to find a partner who has godly characteristics in our lives. Looking for a man or woman to keep us from being lonely, or just to fill our needs, or to be a parent to our children, should not be the only reasons for marrying someone.
God cannot fail, and therefore any marriage built on Him is guaranteed to succeed. Women or men who allow emotions of a possible love to dictate their lives will never be victorious Christians.
But, so they say, “Love is blind”. Just don’t let it be you!