• ”Oh, they’ll change and become more patient.”
  • ”It can’t really be bad to be jealous, can it?”
  • ”He seems so insecure at times, but my love for him will overcome that.”
  • ”She sometimes overreacts to my suggestions, but she means well.”

If negative characteristics are deeply seated in your spouse-to-be, you may be in for very difficult times.

If we’re wise, we will diminish the “love is blind” syndrome by comparing our potential spouse’s behavior to the characteristics of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Take each characteristic of love named in that passage and rate your future spouse on a scale of one to ten, with one being negative and ten being positive. Be aware: Assessments like these are difficult when struck with the love bug. You will need to think clearly, so pray beforehand, asking God to help you be honest and fair.

1 Corinthians Love Test

Love is patient

Love is kind

Love does not envy

Love does not boast

Love is not proud

Love is not rude

Love is not self-seeking

Love is not easily angered

Love keeps no record of wrongs

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth

Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres

Love never fails

If you rated your beloved a whopping 120 points, grab that person and run! If he or she scored between 84 and 119, you’ve got a great person. If your potential spouse’s score falls between 60 and 83, talk these weaknesses over with someone you trust – you could be heading into some struggles. If you rated your sweetheart 59 or below, you could be dealing with a very immature future spouse. Putting your relationship on hold so that you both can grow in maturity and wisdom would be a good idea.

If a single area is 5 or less, consider that this weakness will not improve by getting married, and it may even grow worse since we all are on our best behavior while courting.

This is not intended to be a scientific test; rather, it is a general indication of whether the love-is-blind syndrome is clouding your perceptions of your potential spouse. You can also use this test to reveal some areas you might want to work on before you tie the knot.

God desires the very best for you. Consider getting wise counsel in order to discuss these issues before you marry. Engaged people should be honest about the weaknesses they see in their potential spouses. The heartache of a broken engagement will pale in comparison to the agony of an unhappy or failed marriage. God will strengthen you to do the right thing as you seek him.

Every year in the United States, about half of all marriages end in divorce. That’s a staggering number that might be diminished if men and women more carefully chose their marriage partner.

 Excerpted from What's in the Bible for Couples © 2007 by Kathy Collard Miller, D. Larry Miller, and Larry Richards, Ph.D.  Used by permission of Bethany House Publishers.  Excerpt may not be reproduced without prior written consent.