Have you ever found yourself backing away from a stranger in an elevator that did not appear clean and kept? Have you found yourself drawing closer to someone who smelled of lovely perfume, or someone with a magnetic personality? Something we don’t always keep in mind is that we are not islands and we affect those around us.
If we affect those around us we can assume that those around us affect us in return. When looking for a life’s mate, it’s important to look for someone with good character, but for more reasons than you might think. How your future spouse views and interacts with the world will affect you because you will have to live daily with the consequences (good or bad) of his/her actions; but, one byproduct of marriage is the rubbing and intermingling of two people. Marriage couples rub off on each other. It’s a fact.
A few years ago, when Eric and I were both working at Liberty University, a co-worker of mine went across campus to attend a meeting where Eric happened to be present. When this co-worker returned to our office, he said it was freaky how similar Eric’s facial expressions were to mine. Though I’m sure the facial expressions he was speaking of were Eric originals, the point is that I’d been around him so long that I literally made the same faces he did – and I wasn’t even aware of it!
When picking a mate, it’s important to not only look for someone who has traits you can enjoy, but to look for someone who has traits you’d like to have yourself! You won’t become exactly like your spouse, but your spouse’s traits will affect you – the two does become one! If you desire to be more generous, living with a generous person will inspire you. If you desire to be more confident, living with a confident person will help you to find confidence in yourself.
Those who knew me as a teenager probably remember someone who had a hard time saying no to people. I was the type of person who could be pushed into serving in numerous areas. I fancied myself as a nice person who liked being involved. However, after a little while of living this way, and a long while of feeling powerless to stand up for myself, I needed someone to show me how to let my yes be yes and my no be no. I certainly got that in my Eric! Eric normally pushes forward at a neck-breaking pace and so he needs my laid back tendencies to rub off on him for balance.
So, when you are looking at your boyfriend or girlfriend, notice their strengths and weaknesses. Does he or she have strengths that you need? Or, does he or she have character flaws you want to avoid adopting (e.g., rage, rude behavior, laziness, selfishness, etc.)?
A lot of consideration, prayer, and self reflection go into choosing a life’s mate. As you are looking, praying, and waiting, try to visualize your sweetheart rubbing off on you more with each passing year. Do you foresee a better version of yourself developing as you and he/she grow together? It’s something to consider!
What traits do you need for balance? What traits of yours can you give to another to help him or her?