Jack wiped the bowl of cereal his two-year-old son spilled on the table. “Stop it!” he yelled, grabbing the small hand from splashing in the puddle of milk. “I don’t know if I can handle this.’”
His plans were never to be a single dad, juggling work, childcare, and diapers. What went wrong?
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In his own words: “I never saw it coming. She seemed the perfect gal for me. We had good times. And although we had issues, I was sure when we got married she would change. I even helped her get out of debt. But she was never happy. And when our son was born, I thought that would be the glue to keep us together. Was I ever wrong! She said motherhood wasn’t her thing. I guess the guy she moved in with offered her more than I did.”
Could Jack have prevented the disastrous ending of his marriage? Before walking down the aisle, Jack should’ve seen the red flags. But because he wore the blindfold of romance, the warnings faded into the marriage-will-make-it-all-better deception.
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Here are the five behaviors that can't be overlooked when choosing the marriage partner for life:
Behavior Number 1: She carries insecurity like an over-sized purse everywhere she goes.
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She’s intimidated by others, making unreasonable accusations, putting undeserved blame on others. Her character displays manipulative tendencies.
A woman who is secure in who she is—a daughter of the King—exudes understanding, maturity and conveys humble confidence. If she does not, say goodbye and wait patiently until God brings that jewel into you’re your life.
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” (Proverbs 31:10)
Behavior Number 2: She’s excessive in her concern about outer appearance.
Her fear is not of God, but her fear is failing to keep up with the latest fashion and cosmetic trends. She spends unreasonable amounts of money on her efforts to enhance her outer appearance. Though she may look hot, coldness will eventually wash over the relationship with her distorted order of priorities.
Look instead for inner beauty because, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:31)
Behavior Number 3: She wants you all to herself.
The support she offers you is conditional and superficial. She strives to create a distance between you and your family, friends, church commitments and all that’s important to you. You’re caught in a trap: Do you please her at the expense of leaving behind what she doesn’t approve of?
This dilemma causes disagreements that outnumber pleasant moments in her company. And to appear all is under control, you stuff the stress inside. And should you say “I do” at the altar, you’ll be wishing you didn’t.
The standard to measure the ideal wife is this: “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:11-12)
Behavior Number 4: Her tendencies are to view the negative of most situations.
Her outlook on life reveals a worrisome, complaining and quarrelling nature.
She says she loves you and has successfully snared you into feeling good about the unhealthy relationship. But feelings are fleeting and vanish, leaving behind grief, stress and regret.
The best way to avoid regret is to face the raw truth—a quarrelsome girlfriend turns into a quarrelsome wife. Each dispute should spark this reminder: “A foolish son is his father's ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.” (Proverbs 31:13)
Although God can, you cannot fix her weaknesses, or transform her behavior. Thus, there’s no time to waste, dump her gently and, look for the woman that you can say: “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” (Proverbs 31:25)
Behavior Number 5: She drags a heavy chain of past mistakes.
Her choices of yesterday brought consequences that are painful still. But her inability to make good decisions remains alive. She justifies her wrong choices. And when you challenge them, she becomes defensive. Should this relationship continue, the spiritual leader God meant you to be will be relegated to her demands, lack of wisdom and immature whims.
Can you say this of the gal you’re with? “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:26)
You shouldn’t be idle either, but diligent in asking for patience because, “It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows.” (Proverbs 20:25)
Vow instead to remain single until God has worked in you, pouring wisdom and carving out foolishness. And thus, preparing you to welcome the prudent wife He chose for you. Because…“Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.” (Proverbs 31:14)
She will indeed be a present from God. That companion will be the gift who will vow to love you, rich or poor, in sickness and in health. Then you can be sure she was the one who was handpicked by God. And though not perfect, she’ll be prudent, passionately in Love with God above all. And patiently accepting you, loving you just the way you are.
Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker and author with a passion to teach and coach you to thrive in relationships and reach personal and professional success. www.janetperezeckles.com
Publication date: August 30, 2016