Not everyone is meant for everyone else; I suppose that is an obvious statement. But, we all hope to find someone attractive who will share our passions and make us laugh; but, before getting too attached to the man or woman of our dreams, we should make sure he or she possesses the fundamental character traits below.
Even if you find someone who sings like an angel, cooks like Julia Child, and has the makings of a world class millionaire athlete, none of these attributes matter if he or she is void of character.
Before making a lifetime love connection, ponder the statements below. Can you make these statements about the man or woman you are considering? Yes, it will probably take some time to discover who he or she truly is; so, I recommend holding on to your heart and not diving into an exclusive relationship until you know each other well enough to affirm the below.
- He or She is Honest. Have you caught him or her in lies? Have you witnessed him or her lying to others?
- He or She Treats You and Others with Respect. How does he or she address you? Does he or she call you names or treat you with disgust? Do you feel valued when you are with this person? Does he or she show respect to elders, peers, and children? Does he or she laugh and make fun of people behind their backs?
- He or She is Generous. Does it take a crowbar to open his or her wallet? If someone is in need, does this person show an interest in helping? Though it is not good to blindly throw money at any and every cause, it is important to be a giving person. Is he or she generous with time?
- He or She is Interested in Growing in Christ. If your sweetie is going to church with you, but showing no fruit of salvation (Galatians 5:22-23), he or she is not following Christ. Going to church and helping with a few ministries does not mean someone’s heart has been changed. The last move you want to make is yoking yourself to someone who is not following Christ as fervently as you are.
- He Would Fight to Defend You. She Would Defend You with Her Words. Does he have the guts to fight for you? If someone was threatening you, would he have the courage to defend you? If you were being slandered, could you trust this woman to stand up and speak on your behalf – even if it cost her popularity and safety? Does she have your back?
- He or She has Put Away Childish Ways. Games are fun when you’re a kid, but marriage is for adults. Children whine and complain to get their way. Children look out for number one. Children throw fits when they want something they cannot have. Children flippantly say, “You’re not my friend anymore!” Children don’t make good spouses nor are they meant to.
- He or She would be Willing to Let You Go if it was the Best Course of Action for You. This is a tough one. Is he or she more concerned about what is best for you than what is “best” for him or her? If God called you to the mission field, would he or she throw a fit and complain? Or, would he or she pray for you, trust God, and send you on your way? This is not to say that his or her initial reaction would be a happy one, but after a time of processing, would he or she be willing to let you go? And, would he or she be willing to move wherever God called you to go if you were to get married?
- He or She would Stay by Your Side if You Were Sick. This one is tough to imagine when you are young and healthy, but we never know what’s coming. Does this man or woman have the devotion and commitment to sit by your hospital bed if that day ever comes?
- He Protects your Heart. She Protects your Honor. Does he treat you with gentleness? Does he go out of his way to make sure he does not lead you into temptation (physical or otherwise)? Does he treat you like a lady? Does she treat you with respect and act like a lady? Does she lift you up with her words, in private and in public? Is she the kind of woman that would propel you or disgrace you?
- He or She Keeps Promises. Can you count on this person to do what he or she says will be done? Does he or she blow off responsibilities when something more interesting comes along? Does he or she cancel plans with you often? Do you feel safe with him or her? Do you trust his or her word?
As you get to know potential sweethearts, don’t just date them – notice their character traits. Spend time with them in a number of different situations so you can see how they act when they are not putting their best foot forward. “The cashier gave him too much change. What will he do?” “Someone asked her to do something she doesn’t want to do. How will she handle it?”
We strongly recommend marrying someone with similar passions, goals, and talents, but make sure your characters match as well! If you have everything else in common, but your characters don’t match, it will be a long, hard road indeed!
I’d rather have a trustworthy, gentle, godly man than a rich, popular, highly talented, and ungodly one!
Is the person you are interested in dating (or are currently dating) worthy of your heart and attention? Are you worthy of his or hers?