SECTION TWO Winning in Relationships
Chapter 7 Choosing a Mate (Part 2)
How to choose the right mate (Part 2)….
CHOOSING A MATE GOD’S WAY VERSUS THE WORLD’S WAY
Myriad TV shows and advertisements target singles with the subliminal message that it is okay to do whatever you want with whomever you want to do it. I want to encourage all singles to change their thinking and begin to believe God has a plan that is greater than any plan the world or society has to offer (Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 3:20).
Marriage was created by God and is part of His plan for those who desire to enter this covenant relationship. Unfortunately, many people remain single because they make unwise choices when it comes to choosing a mate.
The following are some major questions I would like for singles to keep in mind:
Is He or She Responsible with Money?
Are you about to marry a shop aholic? Is your potential spouse an emotional spender? In other words, whenever upset, does this person go out and spend money on clothes, shoes, or other things? Does he or she spend large amounts of money on things and try to keep it from you? How your future spouse treats money now is a clear indication of how your husband or wife will spend money after you are married.
Is Your Future Spouse a Good Example for Children?
One day you are probably going to have children with this person. Is he or she the example you want your children to follow?
What Issues Do You Agree or Disagree On?
Be sure to make this one of the topics of conversation while you are dating. Get the issues resolved during the dating stage. You do not want these issues to creep up and cause problems after you are married.
Is There Self-Control over His or Her Sex Drive?
If the person you are considering marrying does not have control over his or her sex drive while you are dating, chances are there will be no control once you are married, which could possibly lead to extramarital affairs.
Does Your Prospective Mate Respect You?
Are your opinions respected? Men, are you dating someone who wants to make all the decisions and doesn’t respect your opinions at all? Is this person controlling and very needy, and unwilling to listen to anything you have to say? Ladies, do you have a man who will not even open the door for you, but he will open the door for others? Are you dating a man who will not pay attention to your opinions or feelings?
If your potential mate doesn’t respect you before you are married, he or she most likely won’t respect you after you are married.
Are You Consulted in Decision Making?
Do not marry someone who will not consult you before making important decisions. If you do, once you are married, your mate will feel entitled to make major decisions such as purchasing a car, taking a trip, or making plans without first discussing them with you.
Is There a Mutual Submission Between the Two of You?
The Bible says in Ephesians 5:21 to submit ourselves—one to the other—in the fear of the Lord. That means a husband must submit himself to his wife, by obeying what God tells him to do as a husband, and a wife must submit herself to her husband, by obeying what God tells her. Marriage is about mutual submission.
Is He or She Truly Open to Your Input?
Are you in a relationship with someone who really does not want to hear what you have to say? You do not want to spend your life with a partner who makes you feel dumb or treats you as if you have nothing to contribute.
How Does Your Prospective Mate Treat Other People?
Have you seen this person interact with others? How does he or she act around other people? It is easy to pretend when the two of you are out alone, but you must observe your date’s treatment of others. How does he or she act in a group setting or with family and friends? How does he or she treat your family and friends?
Do You Know What He or She Struggles with in His or Her Personal Life?
You must date long enough to find out what this person struggles with, even if you have to ask. Don’t be afraid to put it out there. This is so important because you do not want to end up in a marriage with someone who is struggling with something that you were not aware of. For instance, suppose he or she has issues with pornography, homosexuality, or drug addiction. These are things you need to know long before you say “I do.”
Can You Live with Your Prospective Mate’s Current Faults?
He or she may not handle money very well. Can you live with that? Or perhaps the individual has been deceitful. Can you live with that? Maybe your potential spouse has an eating disorder. Can you live with that problem? Whatever the issue is, you need to have open and honest communication about it before getting married.
Is This Person Giving?
If the person you want to marry is interested only in receiving, and rarely (if ever) in giving, that will be a problem. This behavior indicates selfishness. In a marriage, you need someone to encourage you, lift you up, and give to you unselfishly. You want someone who looks for ways to give to you and bless you.
Do the Two of You Communicate Effectively?
Open communication is essential to a successful marriage. As a couple, do you effectively communicate your feelings and ideas? Do you know how to tell each other what you need in the relationship and how you feel about the relationship?
Is Your Prospective Mate Your Best Friend?
Friendship is the foundation of a good marriage. Friends will lay down their lives for friends. Have you chosen someone who will lay down his or her life for you? In other words, does your potential mate sacrifice self-interests or plans for you? If you marry someone who is not willing to make these sacrifices, you may end up with someone who is undependable and inaccessible.
If You or Your Potential Mate Is Divorced, Do You Both Know Why the Divorce Took Place?
To begin the healing process after a divorce, ask God to forgive you for your part in the divorce and ask your former spouse for forgiveness as well. This allows healing to take place and a fresh start to begin. Then, ask yourself, Am I looking for someone to come and rescue me and take care of me, or am I looking for someone I can give to? Have I really changed—spiritually, emotionally, and morally? These are also important questions you should answer before you accept a marriage proposal. This will assist you in making a wise choice the second time around.
As a pastor and a former therapist, one of the things that has really amazed me through the years is that different people come with the same problems, but they have different perspectives about their problems because their perspectives are based on a different set of criteria. And they’re all making decisions based on that set criteria.
As Christians, we must establish the Word of God as the basis for every decision we make in our lives. When we understand and live this reality, we end up in a good place because we’re making wise decisions.