Everyday life consists of considerable amounts of thought-provoking, life-altering decisions and, if the truth were told, at times it can be downright exhausting. In fact, amongst the most complex decision you may face is the challenge of having to choose a mate, most notably the right mate.
Discerning the "right mate" is a genuine challenge that Christian singles are faced with and even after much prayer and consultation, you inevitably must be capable of discerning whether or not this person is in fact the right mate for you. Probing questions you should begin to ask yourself include, "What qualities are important to you? Do you share the same spiritual, moral, social, and economic values?" The answers to these questions must be determined before pursuing a relationship.
Here are five fundamental qualities to look for in a mate. These qualities are not exhaustive, but are fundamental attributes to reveal God's design for a mate and will assist you in the discovery process. These characteristics will seem extremely evident, but yet they are often overlooked. They are non-negotiable.
Committed – The core of the word committed means "binder" or "pledge;" therefore, a potential mate should be capable of living up to one. A committed person should demonstrate a lifestyle of fidelity in word and in deed. Simply stated, their words should be backed by their actions (Matthew 5:37). Take note of his or her commitment to God, in particular, during difficult times; and their ability to seek spiritual guidance. This should be of great importance to you. Discovering the response to this will expose this person's ability to remain committed to you should difficulties arise in the midst of your relationship.
Compatible – Compatibility isn't necessarily about having identical personalities, as differences can compliment each other. But it is more about the importance of establishing the essentials. Initially, do you share similar core values? In discovering your mate, a common thread should be your spiritual belief system. The bible states, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers?" (II Corinthians 6:14). Keep in mind that God's design would only promote unity and oneness with Him. Next, do you have similar lifestyles? Studies show that people from similar backgrounds are more likely to stay together; obviously, this is not always the case, but it serves as a launching pad for judgment. Finally, consider friends, finances, and social interests: is there a common balance in those areas? If you observe imbalance and your core values are challenged, it would be best if you reevaluate the relationship in order to prevent any misleading expectations.
Trustworthy – Honoring promises is high on my list of requirements in being a person of integrity. A trustworthy mate will seek to respect his words and live up to them (Numbers 30:2). If you've ever been stood up, then you understand where I'm coming from. No one likes to be forgotten or dumped upon. Frankly, it hurts! Granted, people do have a right to "change their minds," but if they routinely go back on their promises, you may want to evaluate the pattern. The foundation of any good, working relationship begins with trust. A mate who honors their words will prove to be a priceless asset to you as a future mate.
Faithful – A person who possesses this quality will demonstrate an allegiance towards God, you, and others. In any environment, whether private or social, this person's standards remain stable and consistent. If not, it is likely they will not remain faithful to you. This character quality is a necessity towards building a solid relationship and should not be optional, but mandatory.
Giving – This quality is not about giving material gifts, but about selfless behavior (John 3:16). The person who possesses this character quality will be centered on giving of himself and putting others first. This person will demonstrate sensitivity towards you and your needs, and the ability to meet those needs. Most notably, a giver will promote opportunities for your growth and support you in them. Their delight will be in watching you grow and to support your growth wholeheartedly.
In closing, there is one thought I would like to leave with you. God's plan is to bless you (Jeremiah. 29:11). His plan is to bless you with a mate that is capable of supporting His plans for your life. Choosing a mate of God's design will serve as a catalyst for you to reach your Divine Destiny in Christ Jesus. Many times people subconsciously search for personalities that are on their wavelength and sometimes it takes a while for people to realize they don't fit. If you can discern incompatibility early, it will save a lot of heartache. As George Eliot stated in his quote about friendship (and I have learned it to be true), "keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away."
As you are faced with the thought-provoking, life-altering decisions of life, keep your hand in God's hands and He will guide you into all truth (John 16:3).
© Lisa Townsend. Used With Permission.