What To Look For In A Mate

Date: December 11, 2020

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.  Genesis 2:24

“Keep your eyes open before marriage; half-shut afterwards,” advised Ben Franklin many years ago.  Keeping your eyes open before you are married is pretty good business. The fact is that most people don’t really know the person they meet at the marriage altar, and then after the honeymoon, wake up and say, “This is not the person I thought I was marrying.” Before you say, “Yes!” to marriage, ask yourself ten questions which can well help you determine if your relationship has what it takes to make a good marriage.  If you are married, working through these ten issues can make yours a much better marriage.

QUESTION #1:  Do we share a common faith in Jesus Christ?  Why is this important?  Your concept of God and your commitment to what the Bible says affects every part of your life: How you raise your children, what you do in business, even to how you celebrate your love together.  It was because God knew that two people committed to Jesus Christ can have a far deeper personal relationship that Paul wrote, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers” (II Cor. 6:14).

QUESTION #2:  What do we have in common?  Music?  Art? Sports? Interest?  Or misery?  Once the honeymoon passes, mutual interests become the glue that makes relationships stay alive.  This is not to suggest that romance should die, but it is to affirm that a marriage needs more glue than sex to make it work.  Two individuals who are attracted to each other because both are from unhappy homes or backgrounds seldom find happiness by marrying another unhappy person.

QUESTION #3:  Can I love this person as he/she is?  Or, put another way, “Must I remake this person into the person I want him or her to be?”  Part of this issue is asking if you would be comfortable waking up in the morning for the rest of your life, knowing that the first person you would see is the one whom you are thinking of marrying.  Thinking that marriage will change a person into a thoughtful, caring individual who is committed and loyal is foolish thinking.  A rule-of-thumb is “As now, so then, but more so.”  In other words, a person who is thoughtful now will only be more thoughtful after marriage, but a person who is always late to meet you will only be later after you are married.

QUESTION #4:  What attracts me to this person?  An inner beauty?  He’s handsome, or rich?  Or is there integrity within to which I am drawn?  Physical beauty eventually gives way to the ravages of time, but inner beauty grows with the passing years.

QUESTION #5:  Ask, “Does this person complement me and add to my life?  Or is it a one-way transaction?”

QUESTION #6:  Do we both share common views on commitment?  In other words, are we both committed to a marriage which will last “until death do us part”?  Without commitment, there is no hope for future happiness.

QUESTION #7:  Are our family backgrounds compatible?  Important?  You bet.  The bottom line is you don’t marry a person; you marry a family.  Take a lingering look before you say “Yes.”

QUESTION #8:  Am I willing to be treated as his or her parents treat each other?   We tend to replay in our marriages what we have grown up with, what we have seen first-hand at home.

QUESTION #9:  How does the person I am thinking of spending the rest of my life with respond to trouble and pressure?  Can it be faced?  Can he or she forgive?  Can we pray together, or is prayer strained and awkward?

QUESTION #10:  Do I really know this person?  Can we communicate and share our hearts, or is our relationship strictly physical?

A closing thought:  There are no guarantees for future happiness, but you can be reasonably sure that if you come up with “yes” answers to these ten tough questions, you will find the happiness you really want.

Resource reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13