Never has this saying been true than this morning to me. As per my usual schedule, every weekday morning I turn the television on at five o’ clock to get a Word for the day ahead. Well, today I got some pre-marital advice which I feel compelled to share with you. This morning on e-tv they were showing a re-run of Pastor Andre’ Olivier’s* series on advice for single people looking to get married and what they should look out for in a potential spouse. To say this bird thoroughly enjoyed her worm would be an understatement ;-), as I dined on the breakfast of champions; the Word! Pastor Andre taught on the story of how Isaac and Rebekah were brought together (Genesis 24) and based on that story he gave these pointers to single people looking for a spouse:
Type of person to look for in a potential spouse:
- Someone who won’t change your Christian values – this should be obvious enough but it bears repetition. Time and time again a lot of Christians relax or bend their Christian morals in order to secure a partner, which is counterproductive. If having them means not being true to your Christian lifestyle, then they’re not worth having or keeping.
- Someone who has something to give, not just want things from you- in other words he/she must be a giver, not just a taker. This type of person can add something in your life and not take away from you.
- Someone you feel God has led you to – you must have consulted God first before your search began so that you can get the leading of the Holy Spirit in your search. (I also discuss this in great detail on the chapter on marriage in my eBook, Living Single Gloriously)
- Someone you find in the right place- in your quest for a wife/husband you must look in the right places- another obvious fact, but you would be surprised the places Christians frequent hoping to find their future spouse; clubs, bars, pubs and wild parties. What kind of Christian spouse would you find in these venues?
- Someone who is generous and not stingy- this is not only limited to finances but a person can be generous with their things, their time, their attention etc. As such, a stingy person can also be stingy in other areas of life which might be problematic in marriage.
- Someone who knows how to handle responsibility- no one wants to marry someone whom they’ll constantly have to remind of even the littlest of things; did you pay the rent, did you leave enough in the bank account for debit orders etc. They must show responsibility in all areas of their life.
- Someone who finishes what they start- one thing that Pastor Andre said on this point stood out for me; he said if your potential spouse is someone who never finish any work, project or task they start, they will be prone to not finish what he/she has started with you, the marriage!
- Someone who responds correctly to love- this type of person won’t abuse, take advantage of or take for granted the love that you give them. They will appreciate the role you play in their life.
- Someone who isn’t overtly tied to their parents- citing the scripture, a man shall leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife, Genesis 2:24, he says you have to leave in order to cleave! Too often, a cold, strained relationship with in-laws can ruin a marriage. Pastor Andre went so far as to say that if a potential spouse’s family dislikes you, it is better to leave the relationship because the animosity will be greatly increased after marriage.
- Someone as ready as you are for marriage- this is a no-brainer! When he said this I thought of the many women in general who desperately want to get married yet the men they’re in relationships with clearly state that they have no intention of getting married at all, or can’t see themselves getting married any time soon. Why waste your time then? In a Christian context, you should make sure that the person you’ve set your sights on is on the same page with you when it comes to wanting to get married, not someone who, when you propose marriage will want to wait for no apparent reason. I also discuss this in my book on the chapter on dating.
- Someone who is more than their looks- your primary focus should be on the character, disposition and substance of a person, not just their physical make-up. Human beings age you know, and if you were attracted to them because of their bodies what will happen when then they get old? Rather be attracted to the ageless beauty on the inside.
- Someone who can confirm and not confuse the will of God in your life- I believe that this is the most important point; after all, we are here on earth to fulfil God’s plans and purposes for our lives, so it follows that our spouses should assist us in the achievement of God’s will for our lives and not distract, deviate or worst still, confuse us when it comes to God’s will for our lives. I discussed this in greater detail in a previous post; The Quest for The One.
All in all, it was a very informative session and I look forward to the rest of the series. It is these types of lessons that help us make better informed decisions. As I was telling a couple of older Christian women yesterday, the church is missing critical teaching when it comes to equipping singles on how to go about approaching the marriage issue and all that it entails. I guess God heard my concern and provided just the teaching.
I would also urge brothers and sisters, that we become seekers of knowledge, instead of waiting for people or the church to just hand everything to us on a platter. If there is an area in your life that is of some concern, then read up on it; zoom in on scriptural teaching that deal with that matter and inform yourself. That is the way to go!