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Choosing a Mate: A Guide For Today's Christian
A Guide to Finding a Mate In Modern Times
As this world rapidly changes right before our eyes there is little doubt that we are living in the prophetic "Time of the end". For all intents and purposes basically all the foretold events described by Jesus identifying that time have been or are currently being fulfilled. This would include the: "men marrying and women being given in marriage..." that he spoke of at Matthew 24:36-39.
Don't get me wrong, I am not denouncing marriage. In fact I'd like to discuss finding a mate during these times that we live in. In many cases, choosing a mate is essential as Paul pointed out at 1 Corinthians 7: 8,9 We are human, and as such the flesh as well as human nature tend to be weak. The world is full of temptation(s); after avoiding or escaping the lure of alcohol, drugs, greed etc, we still may succumb to the age-old enemy of our salvation: fornication, lust...sex. It's thrown at us from every angle openly, but often it's attacks are veiled and subtle. Thus Paul said it may be best for some to find a mate thus eliminating that avenue of failing in our endeavor to please God. Too, it may simply be a matter of emotional need. Actually, some may function better having a "life's partner". Some may thrive in the family setting.
So let's talk about it! How do we choose a mate in these times? Here are but a few of the things some people consider: how good they look , or their butt in a pair of jeans, , nice legs,chest, breasts, the type of car they drive, do they own property, their income, their teeth(are they white? Do they have any?). We worry how our friends will think of their looks or age, etc.
Notice that not a single one of the above things listed have anything to do with the following: Can they uplift your spirits or uplift you spiritually?, Do they believe in the two of you praying together? Are they dedicated to God, and actively serving him?, Are they dedicated to you and your happiness? Is seeing you smile one the most important things to them? Can they make you smile even on your worst day(s)? Do they love your children(that are not theirs) as they love you and can you tell? Do they incite you to think? Do they encourage you and inspire you to achieve your goals? Are their goals similar to yours? Are they willing to make concessions and/or compromises in order to assure the success of your relationship? Marinate on that for a minute and come on back...
Don't get me wrong I said! Everyone wants a handsome muscular man or a gorgeous "hot" woman; but God didn't make everyone like that. Hey, dimples, pretty legs and arms make my stomach tickle!(What? you thought I was immune!) In our time everything that is not geared to promote the pursuit of money, power or status, is geared to promote sex or sex appeal. Clothing is styled to accentuate, enhance, or display various body parts. Never before has there been so many products to "improve" one's appearance accompanied by a plethora of reasons to use them (they make me feel better about myself..) Whatever it is that appeals to the basest human attraction(s), someone is surely out there with it grandly on display; pulling at you.
When choosing a mate here are some profound issues to consider: How will you react when your mate no longer has the looks they had previously, or they lose their job? The house? Would you still be so strongly attracted? Do you have WELL-FOUNDED confidence, not in yourself, but in them, that they would stick with you if you lost any of the above? And if so, would they still remain just as loving, attentive and respectfull to you?
Choosing a mate based on superficial 'qualities' like most of the world does usually ends in heartache. If he/she is "fine", don't you think they know it? Don't kid yourself believing there's not someone else that sees it too. Too many times looks, money and sex appeal are the ONLY real interest a person has in another, and that never lasts. There's always going to be someone who has a little more of each than you. There's a lot of single parents reading this right now that know exactly what I mean having been rejected for another who caught your mate's eye.
Men, it may be that she's drop-dead gorgeous and has a body to die for, but how many of the qualities described at Proverbs 31:10-31 apply to her?
Ladies, He may be "all that" and have a large income etc; but is he spirit filled and spirit led? Does he have humility and a willingness to lead you and your family in a fine way as unto the lord?
What can a nice car and home or looks do for you when you face a serious spiritual dilemma? What purpose can they serve when what you need is to be held, or to have someone that genuinely wants to listen to you and to be there to see you through whatever it is you're going through? Those things can't be sensitive to you or your emotions to the point of knowing there are tears inside even though you may smile on the outside. They don't have the ability to reach inside your pain giving you the assured feeling that everything will be alright. One so-called "evangelist" and relationship 'guru' had the NERVE to say that if a man doesn't have a car, a job, and his own home then he's not suitable for a christian woman to consider as a mate. MANY christian women have lined-up to pour thousands of dollars into her ministry which often encourages the very things that chase very good men away! Well, her own husband publicly beat her so badly she was hospitalized and it made international headlines. Food for thought...
Truth Is...there's only one formula for choosing a mate that has any chance of success, especially in our time when divorce is more common than marriage and "shacking-up" even more so. The answer is to Trust God's guidance (Proverbs 3:5-7), and that requires much prayer(not one prayer and claiming it...mercy! Why do you think he said to "keep on asking..."!) Also look to the fruits of God's spirit and how many of them are present in the person you are considering. These "fruits" can be found at Galatians 5: 22,23: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness,goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.
Love-often called charity. Do they have a NATURAL love for other people? Do they care about others genuinely and is it evident in the way they interact with others?
Joy- is there joy in their life, manner, behavior(s) and how they see things. is there joy evident in their service to God?
Peace- are they peaceful or promote peaceful resolution of stressful or trying circumstances? Do they have a peaceful nature?
Long-Suffering- Are they patient with you and when it comes to understanding you or trying to get you to understand them? How about when what you think or feel is in contrast to what they do or want you to? Are they patient with your children or other people? Are they willing to work at making the relationship succeed when you just don't seem to do things to their satisfaction? Are they compassionate with others who don't live up to their expectations or are not as capable as they would like them to be?
Kindness- Do they have a gentle and humble nature?
Goodness- do they strive to do what's right at every opportunity even when it's not to their advantage to do so?
Faith- do they demonstrate a firm belief that God is in control of all things and have the assured belief that He will handle all things aright? Do they accept that God's way is the very best/ONLY way?
Self-control- Not only does this apply to matters of controlling one's anger; but also appetite, profanity, flirting,eating habits, spending, resisting drugs and alcohol, attitude and behavior toward people we don't particularly care for,arguing, grudges, selfish desires,wants, and actions.
Just think, you could be sitting in church eyeballing brother "so-fine" and across from you brother "Blessing" is sitting there with his missing two teeth, ill-fitting suit that was all he could afford with his $8.50 and hour job; all wrapped-up in listening to what is being said in order to be better able to apply it to his own self and life. A good man TRYING to happen...
Men, likewise, your eyes just can't stop being drawn to sister "M-m-m" and those pretty legs or "whatever", and sitting in the row in front of you is sister"Loves-God"; all 210lbs of her with either a bad perm or a worse weave(or she's 100lbs and flat-chested)wearing a long dress covering her knees. She has no "outstanding" features, and doesn't overdo the makeup and jewelry. But she's soaking-up God's word like a sponge and not afraid to do as He instructs, knowing He knows what's best. She is the total opposite of her original mother: EVE.
If God's spirit put it to you that brother "Blessing" or sister "Loves-God" was the best opportunity for you ...but the opportunity arose for you to date brother "So-Fine", or sister "M-m-m"; which would you choose?
Chew on that and blow a few bubbles while you wait for the next installment on this issue:
"Choosing a mate: Accepting and Respecting God's Gift to You..."