The second thing you can do to drastically increase the likelihood of choosing a mate wisely is this: THINK THROUGH WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR.
When hiring an employee, you have to think through what you’re looking for in a potential hire. If you don’t, how will you identify good options and avoid bad ones? I always write out what I’m looking for in a potential hire. For example: I am looking for someone who is committed to Christ and our church, someone who is honest, trustworthy, positive, hardworking, energetic, focused, adaptable, gets along well with others, has a good attitude and is smart. By knowing what I’m looking for, it’s helped me avoid bad options and recognize good ones. Developing a clear mental image of your ideal spouse will help you do the same.
- What kind of PERSONALITY does your ideal person have? Shy or outgoing? Intense or laid-back? Funny or serious?
- What kind of APPEARANCE does your ideal person have? Tall or short? Heavy or thin? Blonde or brunette? Armani or Old Navy?
- What kind of AMBITION does your ideal person have? If she wants a big house, expensive cars and international trips and he wants to work just enough to pay the bills so he has lots of free time to play golf – this is going to cause problems in the marriage.
- What kind of CHARACTER does your ideal person have? Will you allow lying, cheating, stealing, drug use, alcohol abuse, irresponsible behavior?
- What are your ideal person’s views on PARENTING? Learn ahead of time if they want kids!!! If they want kids, do they want a big family or small family?
In Isaiah 44:19 God rebukes the nation of Israel saying, “No one stops to think…” They were about to make a poor decision that would have long lasting negative ramifications. God’s solution was to stop and think things through. This is what we need to do in regards to mate selection – stop and think. Take some time and think it through! Here’s some basic things to help get you started on your own list:
- I’m looking for someone with godly character
- Someone that’s easy to talk to
- Someone that’s fun to be around
- Someone I’m physically attracted to
Now the one thing to be careful about here is this: Don’t get too picky or too particular as you think through the mental image of your ideal spouse. If you get too picky, you’ll inadvertently eliminate the whole market! For example, some time back I was looking online for a house with a little more square footage for our ever growing family. I told realtor.com that I wanted this many square feet on this many acres, in this part of town, within this price range. I also want central air, gas heat, no pool, and it’s got to be a ranch). I entered all our criteria and then hit “search.” I couldn’t wait to see 20 or 30 potential dream homes! But guess how many homes matched my criteria? None! I was too particular and I ended up eliminating the entire housing market! Well that’s what happens with people trying to find a mate. Some get so picky and so particular they eliminate the entire market! Being too particular with your mental image is just as bad as having no mental image. So think it through, but don’t go crazy with the particulars!