SECTION TWO Winning in Relationships
Chapter 7 Choosing a Mate (Part 1)
How to choose the right mate (Part 1)….
About two years ago, I started a teaching series on relationships.
One Sunday during the series, I asked all the single people in our congregation to stand. I was shocked to see that most of the congregation stood up! I thought to myself, Why are so many of them still single? Why aren’t more of these men and women making a connection? These questions prompted me to teach on the subject of choosing a mate.
Enjoy these helpful steps that will help you choose the right “special someone”.
During the dating process is the time to find out all the information you need to make an informed decision. Here are some important questions to ask and get answers to while you are dating.
Is This Person a Christian?
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). I would not advise you to marry someone whose beliefs or moral values go against what you believe as a Christian. You could be setting yourself up for a lot of strange things, and a yoke of bondage. Choose a Christian mate in order to facilitate true harmony in your relationship (2 Corinthians 6:15 AMP ). A woman once said to me, “Pastor, the Lord told me to marry my boyfriend. So I am getting ready to get married.” I said, “Praise the Lord.” The first question I asked her was, “Is he a Christian?” She said, “Well. . . .” I knew right then something was wrong. He was not a Christian, and yet she was saying the Lord told her to marry him. I asked, “Why would God say to do one thing in His written Word and then tell you to do something else in a spoken word?” I basically told her that she had missed God because apparently her thinking was not lining up with His Word. As I continued to talk to her, I found that she was more concerned about having sex than seeking God’s will; therefore she was willing to compromise her values as a Christian.
Please understand, it is not wise to compromise your values to keep someone. Do not be so desperate that you cannot make a wise decision. Always be willing to walk away if you are put in a position where you have to compromise your Christian beliefs.
What Kind of Christian Is Your Choice?
These days it is not enough to simply ask if someone is a Christian. The Bible says a tree is known by the fruit that it bears. What kind of fruit does this person produce? We as Christians should bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23).
Does the Person Have a Commitment to Love and Obey God?
What is this person’s personal history? How does this person acknowledge the Word in his or her personal life? Is he or she a committed Christian?
Are the Two of You Spiritually Compatible?
The Word is spiritual. Therefore, you cannot get an understanding of your spiritual compatibility without first having a good amount of fellowship and communication regarding the Word. Are you compatible where prayer is concerned? Do you both like to pray? Do you pray together? Do you both agree it is important to read the Bible daily and get an understanding of God’s Word? Do you both agree that it is important to meditate on the Word? Do you both agree that it is important to live by the Word?
Do You Agree on the Major Doctrines of the Bible?
It is important to know what the major doctrines of the Bible are so that you can discover if you share the same beliefs. Take time to discuss the doctrines of baptism, the Trinity, righteousness, and faith. These are great topics to discuss on your dates. Resist the urge to get romantic too soon while dating. Instead, engage in lengthy conversations regarding very important issues that will have a positive or negative effect on your relationship. Remember, the brother or sister needs to pass your checklist first!
Do You Agree on What Church You Will Attend?
If you have different beliefs or attend different churches, you will definitely need to discuss where you will attend church. This discussion should take place before the marriage, especially if you are planning to have children.
Do You Agree on How You Will Spend Your Time and Money?
This topic definitely needs to be discussed, especially if both of you have careers. Ask questions like: How do you spend your personal quality time? Do you spend all your time in front of the television? Are you spending your time shopping? Are you spending all of your time hanging out with the guys? You would also like to know how much time your potential spouse is willing to commit to spending with you. You have to have an understanding before the marriage that spending time together – making it a priority- is essential. Keep the romance throughout the marriage. You have to be willing to maintain throughout the marriage whatever it took to get your mate from the start. You should have the same financial goals. How important are saving and investing? Does this person spend money wisely or foolishly? Is this person a tither and a giver?
Can You Trust This Person?
Have you spent enough quality time with this person to intelligently answer this question? Trust is built over time. Be sure to really get to know each other and establish mutual respect and confidence.
Has This Person Given You Any Reason Not to Trust What He or She Has Said or Done?
Has this person said or done something that later did not agree with what he or she had said previously? For example, he or she says, “I’m not dating anyone other than you.” Then, when the two of you are in a restaurant, you bump into someone who says to your date, “I sure enjoyed last night.” That is a reason to check out right then and there! If someone has given a reason not to be trusted while you are dating, most likely there will be reasons for lack of trust when you’re married.
How Does He or She Handle Adversity?
Have you ever seen this person deal with adversity? Your date looks real cool, calm, and collected when you are out, but have you seen his or her behavior when the business deal did not work out favorably? How does this person respond when life doesn’t go as planned? What happens when hardship comes? Does this person get depressed or become suicidal? Does he or she get angry, fly off the handle, and lose control? Prior to committing your life to someone, you should have already observed how he or she operates in the midst of adversity.
Does This Person Trust God or Fall into Unbelief Regularly?
When adversity does show up, do you see him or her standing on the Word with a positive attitude, quoting the Word, believing God, and remaining motivated? Or do you see this individual depressed, speaking negatively, murmuring, and complaining? Notice what is going on in the midst of a situation. You should want a mate whose trust and confidence are in God and His Word, regardless of the circumstances.
Has This Person Ever Displayed Anger?
You do not need to walk down the aisle with anyone you have not seen angry. Don’t think for a moment your love interest does not get angry. Think about it. Haven’t you been angry before? We all get angry. Do you know the two people in the Bible who got angry the most? God and Jesus! The anger of the Lord was kindled many times. Jesus was in the temple and got angry at the money changers. He turned over tables and started whipping people. Be realistic about it. If God and Jesus got angry, do you think you will marry a man or woman who does not ever get angry? You need to know how this person expresses anger.
Have You Seen This Individual Angry with You?
What is this person like when angry with you? If your future husband or wife gets angry, loses control, and mentally or physically abuses you, that should be a big red flag.
Does This Person Resolve Conflict in a Biblical Way?
This is part of the previous question. When there was a conflict between the two of you, how was it handled? Was it handled in a biblical manner, by seeking wisdom from the Word? Were you in agreement on how it was handled? Was it resolved peacefully, or did the two of you simply ignore or fail to deal with it? The manner in which you handle conflict now is an indication as to how you will handle it in your marriage.
Does This Person Ask for Forgiveness?
I think it is terrible when couples have disagreements and one or both of them never ask for forgiveness or deal with the issues at all. Instead, they just choose to pick up and move on as if the incident never took place. How can a conflict be resolved when it is ignored? Consider whether this person acknowledges when he or she is wrong. Also, is he or she willing to forgive?
Ladies, Does He Have a Way to Provide for You?
The first time I asked my wife to marry me, she said no. I said, “I can’t believe you said no.” Taffi said, “Baby, we came to the park in your mama’s station wagon. You are living with your mama and working part time. You can’t take care of us yet, but when you get a good job and stability, my answer will definitely be yes.”
At first it was a hard pill for me to swallow, but I eventually understood where she was coming from. As a man, it is my responsibility to support my wife and household. Ladies, let a man be a man by allowing him to own up to his responsibilities. If he cannot financially support a household, he is not ready to be a husband. Love and support him enough to give him time to be a good provider and a stable head of the household.