8 Characteristics of Mr. or Ms. Right
- Julie Ferwerda Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2008 4 Apr
Do you ever wonder if the person you’re dating is God’s best choice of a mate for you but the answer isn’t clear?
Determining the person God wants you to spend the rest of your life with is a critical decision, one that requires putting put aside personal agendas and desires, in order to consider the most important thing: What is God trying to tell me about this relationship?
Below are some characteristics that I believe are consistent with the kind of person God would provide for you to spend your life with, assuming you are His best for someone else. It works both ways. God will not give you His best if you are not already His best for someone else. So make sure to measure yourself against these criteria as well.
Ask: Does this person seek out God willingly and eagerly on his or her own? When it comes to growing spiritually, does he/she read the Bible, pray, and go to church even without me? Does this person have a passion for God?
Remember: God’s best will have a growing relationship with Him that is genuine, fresh, and intimate in a way that is noticeably working out in their life consistently. In short, he/she won’t be able to leave God alone with or without you.
Ask: Does this person pray regularly? Does he/she easily pray with me or in front of others? Does he/she talk about personal prayer concerns and answered prayers?
Remember: A marriage without prayer is like a light bulb with no electricity. God’s best will be someone who is conversing with Him on a regular basis to obtain direction in life, intimacy with God, and to invest in the lives of others.
Ask: Is this person determined to wait until marriage to have sex? Do his/her actions match his/her words when he/she tells me he/she wants to be pure and honor God before marriage? Does this person work hard to avoid a physical relationship, avoiding the limits and demonstrating a commitment to honoring my purity above his/her own selfish interests?
Remember: I believe a great ‘barometer’ of a person’s walk with God is whether he/she tries to entice you into sexual sin or not. If he/she truly loves God and wants to be obediently set apart for Him, there won’t be any excuses, playing with fire, or compromises. This person will honor God above his/her own selfish desires, and because of that he/she will honor and love you enough to protect your body until marriage as well.
Ask: Does this person ask for help? Does he/she admit when he/she is wrong and say “I’m sorry”? Does he/she seek out godly counsel? Does he/she respect God-given authority in his/her life? Is he/she repentant and obedient in matters with God?
Remember: If a guy/gal is teachable with you and others, he/she will likely be teachable with God. There is no greater security in marriage (especially for women in the matter of submitting to their husbands) than trusting a mate who is teachable before God and seeking His will above his/her own. A man or woman who is living to please God is someone you can trust with important decisions. Also, someone who willingly gives permission to others to speak truth into his/her life is a very wise and teachable person.
Ask: Does this person tell you the truth even when it’s hard? Does he/she communicate openly about his/her feelings, struggles, past, and failures? Does this person take responsibility for his/her actions (own up) when he/she does something wrong or hurtful? Does he/she ever twist the truth or minimize to get out of trouble or make himself/herself look better?
Remember: Counting on your partner’s word in marriage is vital. In a dating relationship, there should be all the signs of honesty and openness. The person you are dating should be willing to open up and talk about the hard areas of his/her life, he/she shouldn’t try to hide or twist truth, and he/she should take responsibility when he/she does something wrong. He/she shouldn’t even be afraid to admit when he/she messes up.
Ask: Does this person place his/her hopes, expectations, and emotional needs primarily in God? During difficult times does he/she try to fill up holes with the emotional support of other people (especially me)? Does he/she seem generally at peace or does he/she struggle with restlessness, addictions, or bad habits (alcohol, food issues or eating disorders, porn, drugs including prescriptions, over-spending, T.V., computer, sports, etc.)?
Remember: The person you marry cannot depend on you to make them happy, or to be there for them all the time. Watch what he/she does with pain or boredom. Does he/she avoid it, stuff it, or deal with it? Is he/she afraid to be quiet and still? You should be able to see him/her go to God with his/her emotional needs and hurts. Placing too much hope in each other or turning to anything but God with pain and boredom will eventually doom a marriage because only God can fill those “black holes.” Only God can give true comfort, hope, and security.
Ask: Is this person stubbornly pursuing his/her plans and goals, or does he/she frequently offer up his/her life to God and His plans?
Remember: If the person you marry is living for himself or herself, you are not going to have the marriage God intended for you. Someone who is surrendered to God will open up doors for a great marriage adventure in God’s plan!
Ask: Does this person forgive and get over things easily? Does he/she treat people kindly who have hurt him/her in the past? Is there any area of bitterness or unforgiveness from his/her past that he/she has not dealt with that is frequently coming to the surface?
Remember: A person who can’t forgive likely hasn’t connected with God’s forgiveness toward him/her. This person will bring bitterness into your marriage which will affect you, too. People who are forgiving recognize that God is ultimately in control, which frees them up to let go of offenses and be at peace. This will work in your favor when you have marital conflict!
If, after reading over this list, you find that these traits are lacking in your own life, I encourage you to begin seeking to build these into your life. Getting into the Word and prayer daily, reading Christian help books, getting counseling if necessary, joining a Christian support group, and finding someone to encourage you or hold you accountable are all ways to get started on the path to change.
If you’re in a serious relationship where you and your significant other are both more often than not characterized by the above traits, and you still can’t determine God’s will for the future, try these steps.
- Ask for input and prayer from trusted godly advisors. These could be your pastor, parents, close friends, accountability partners, Bible study leaders, or a pre-marriage counselor.
- Pray and/or fast for answers. Setting an agreed upon time away from each other for prayer and/or fasting could be very helpful in giving you wisdom and discernment. For a great resource on fasting, read God’s Chosen Fast, by Arthur Wallis.
- Pay attention to your spirit. If you can’t say you have abiding peace about the relationship, pay attention. Peace (or lack thereof) can be one important way God is trying to tell you something.
- Wait. Perhaps God is not ready to reveal His plan for your relationship yet.
When Julie Ferwerda isn’t wrapped up in her heavenly dating life, she’s writing for Christian magazines and websites, keeping up with two teenage daughters, and enjoying life in central Wyoming with her husband, Steve. She is the author of the book for singles, The Perfect Fit: piecing together true love. For more info, go to www.julieferwerda.com.
**This article first published on April 24, 2008.