Soulmate | Top 20 Things To Look For!
by Wyatt Fisher, Psy.D. and Michelle Graham
No one has ever said that dating should get more difficult. In fact, the one thing everyone wants to find is a way to make it easier. Check out our list of the top 20 things to look for in a Christian soulmate. It dives deep into the sorts of things that make us into the people we are today. While you read through the points below, remember that some of them will be immediately apparent, but others may take weeks or months to learn. Some items will be deal breakers for you, and others may not worry you at all. Try using it as a weighted scale instead of a checklist. Also, don’t forget to get God involved in your decisions. He may use the things on this list to help you turn away from a bad situation, or he may just use it to help you be aware of what you could be getting yourself into. Since His second coming probably won’t be to tell us who we should marry, we need to rely on the wealth of information we have here on Earth, plus a solid amount of prayer and discernment. That’s why each item on this list should come paired with a talk with God and trusted others. Once you decide how important these 20 items are to you, put your thoughts into action when courting your special someone.
Many people claim the title of Christian without actually believing anything related to Jesus. Does your date have faith in God, themselves, or just plain hard work. When it comes to things like love and marriage, being with someone who shares the same faith is essential. 2 Corinthians 6:14 is all about teaming up with a person who places their trust in God just as you do. Just like the verse says, light and darkness have a very hard time coexisting, and one of them will always take over the other. God’s will for us is the teaming up of two hearts filled with light.
2- Spiritual growth
Make sure that the person you date makes a real effort to spend regular time studying the Bible and building a relationship with Christ. The growth that comes from this not only benefits them, it will benefit you. Joshua 1:8 tells us not to just read the Bible, but to meditate on it. It’s the only way to know that you’re walking the right path and growing in your relationship with Jesus. When we spend time meditating on the Word, we understand God better and when you date someone who makes that a priority you are teaming up with someone who has the same values as yourself.
3- A home church
Life gets busy and sometimes it can be hard to make it to church, but it’s important to make the effort. Being involved in a Bible study, helping shovel snow or joining the prayer team are all things that show commitment to the things that God loves. Someone who doesn’t neglect regular church meetings lives right up to Hebrews 10:25 – a life set up for encouraging other believers on a regular basis. If you can find someone who is integrated in their church, you’ll find that they probably will want to continue that practice with you.
4- Acts of service
Being active in church is closely linked to being active in ministry, but ministry can mean more than hanging out with kids while their parents are in the auditorium. Serving people – all people – shows that a person wants to do good, like in Galatians 6:10. It’s wonderful to reach out to the family of faith, but the main point is exercising gifts for the good of anyone within reach. Not everyone was made to be a volunteer every day of the week, but keep an eye out for someone who enjoys giving of their talents and you’ll find that you’ve found a diamond in the rough.
5- Honorable tastes
Faith in action can look like a lot of different things, but without the good thoughts to back up actions, it can feel like hypocrisy. Find someone who enjoys media that line up with the things God loves. A person’s favorite movies, music, and books all tell you a lot about how much they value things that come from God. If they say they are Christian, they should live their lives striving towards God honoring choices.
6- Sexual purity
The world may tell us this doesn’t matter, but God does care about it. The Bible speaks a lot on this subject, such as in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5. God wants us to be holy and honorable, not caught up in lust like those who don’t know God. Or consider 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, where sexual immorality isn’t just spitting in the face of God; it’s hurting your own body and treating it with dishonor. The truth is, the Bible is very clear about not having sex outside of marriage, and men and women who uphold this truth care more about what God thinks than what the world thinks.
7- Healing from sexual sins
Healing is one of the only things that can keep past mistakes, wounds, and old habits from stabbing you in the back. We should all seek grace and mercy for the darker sides of our past. Look for dates who have already addressed previous sexual indulgences. Refreshment and healing can only take place after a time of repentance (Acts 3:19), but if that time hasn’t already occurred, you may want to exercise caution. Things such as addiction to pornography or multiple partners don’t always stay in the past, and dealing with those hurts before beginning a new relationship is definitely recommended.
8- Healing from sexual trauma
Sexual trauma and abuse can have harrowing consequences if left unaddressed and unhealed. Choosing to date someone who hasn’t addressed these things can create many challenges. Unhealed sexual trauma can change how people connect with one another, and it can even ruin a healthy, marriage-supported sexual relationship. The best thing to do is to get professional help and healing from God. Check out Psalms 103: God can heal all areas. That means everything from mistakes we’ve made to bad things that happened to us are all up for erasure. Past sexual trauma that has not been dealt with needs to be carefully and seriously addressed.
9- Openness about sexual temptation
Sin loves secrecy, and being open about things that are tempting you can help slam the door on temptation. Men and women should be comfortable with setting physical boundaries and communicating about when something is leading them in the wrong direction – use Galatians 6:1 as an example and help one another strive for rightness. Downfalls can be anything from the movies you watch together, the clothes you wear, or being around certain other people. We humans can get into a lot of trouble if we don’t pay attention to where our minds are going, so look for someone who can openly tell you when sexual temptation is knocking. The more open someone is about their sexual temptations, the more likely they'll strive towards sexual faithfulness in their future marriage with you.
10- Sexually pure choices
People don’t always change as much as we’d like them to, no matter how many good examples they have to follow. Lean on Philippians 4:8 and find a date who makes choices that reflect sexually purity with what media they allow themselves to be exposed to. Someone who strives for sexual purity in their media consumption before marriage will most likely continue doing so after marriage.
11- Healing from past substance abuse
A background of substance addiction may not be a deal breaker to finding your soul mate, but it should certainly be addressed and healing begun. Past addiction can show up again in many ways later on in marriage. Unhealthy life patterns like substance abuse, if left unchecked, will only lead to hurt. Therefore, if someone has a past with substance abuse, ensure it’s been fully addressed through professional/divine help to minimize the chances of it becoming a part of your future together.
12- No current substance abuse
The world may say binge drinking and drugging are fine but only the Holy Spirit should influence us. Living under the influence of heavy substances often impacts every area of a person’s life and is indicative of the lifestyle the person will most likely have in the future. Too many people unthinkingly ruin their lives doing something they say will only happen once or is under their total control. Seek a mate who lives a purposefully pure life free of any substance abuse.
13- No romantic baggage
Carrying the emotional remains of one relationship into the next is a recipe for disaster. If your date dwells on an ex too much, pay attention. Broken hearts can fester if left unhealed, and bitterness from a previous relationship might not bode well for future ones. When that pain hasn’t been faced point-blank and healed, the future could be prepping for dysfunction and frustration with you.
14- Parental bonds
They say that the way a man treats his mother is how he’ll treat his girlfriend or wife. In general, a person’s relationship with their parents colors the connections they have with romantic partners. If there have been broken family relationships in the past that continue presently…be careful. Usually, the more an adult has a past filled with pain from their caregivers, the harder it may be for them to trust and connect with you too.
15- Warmer the better
The environment parents create for their children often has far reaching implications. If your date admires their parents and has a loving relationship with one or both of them, they will probably be able to transfer that to their relationship with you. Usually, the more loving and warm their home environment was, the more loving and warm they’ll be in their adult romantic relationships too.
Does your potential soul mate call home every week or only once a year? Are their siblings peas in a pod or ready to tear out throats? The way a person communicates with their family will mostly likely be how they talk to you. When you notice that your man is standoffish and secretive when his mom asks him about things, it’s possible that he’ll treat you the same way. The more open and communicative their family, the more likely they will be open and communicative with you.
17- Conflict resolution
Everyone deals with conflict differently, but we tend to model these styles directly after or against our parents. Constructive handling of conflict is often learned from example, so look for someone whose parents handle conflict effectively, such as calmly talking through arguments with gentleness and consideration. If the parents of your date operated through disagreements without deliberately hurting one another, it’s likely they passed that trait to their son or daughter. Again, the main idea is that what your mate was raised with, for good or for bad, will most likely be carried with them into their relationship with you so be wise about these dynamics and evaluate their benefit/risk.
Many people try to hide their faults and put a lot of energy into appearing perfect. Learning to be open about our brokenness is often a learned trait rather than an innate one. However, it’s one well worth learning because the more open we are about our shortcomings, the more likely we’ll take ownership for our part during conflicts, which is essential for healing and resolution. Therefore, look for someone who talks about their shortcomings and is comfortable discussing their weaknesses.
19- Good friends
Good people attract more good people, and the friends a person keeps will show you what kind of person they really are. Solid friendships built up over the years show that your date can commit to the give-and-take required by real relationships. A strong community like that is just a hint of the quality of relationship that awaits you, should you get married. Immature friends, on the other hand, may show that your guy or gal has some growing up to do. Also, if someone has little to no friends or a history of broken friendships, there’s a strong chance they’ll struggle in their connection with you as well.
Last but not least, look for similarities. This isn’t to say you need to be the same person in two different bodies, but know that couples with things in common tend to be the most compatible. Whether you share a love for modern art, action movies, or a really good joke, these common denominators give you a more solid foundation to stand upon. At the very least, find someone who believes in the same fundamental things you do, such as your faith, political views, financial habits, etc. On average, the more couples have in common, the more they stick together.
“Taking things slow” doesn’t just reference physical boundaries – taking time to understand and evaluate everything on this list can save you a world of heartache. When you slow down the dating or courting process, you give yourself and the other person time to actually think everything through. That means fewer rash decisions that lead to painful moments down the road. Also, since we live in a broken world and we are broken people, most of us wouldn’t receive a perfect 20/20 on this list. And, God is capable of healing the worst types of wounds and backgrounds. However, keep in mind that each of the 20 things above represents a risk factor – the fewer risk factors, the better your chances of developing a godly marriage with your soul mate. The trick isn’t waiting to find someone who is perfect on all accounts, it’s praying over every characteristic and asking for discernment while you date. A wise and informed choice is always the best choice. It can be so easy to be swept along in the waves of new love, only to realize too late that it was simply infatuation or lust. After you’ve looked the list over, pray about it and see if you can apply it to the person you’re currently dating. Does God want you to keep dating despite the risks, or are the risks a sign to stop? It’s nothing at all like the kind of dating the rest of the world supports, but the best things in life are often the things you wait and work for.
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What would you add or delete from this list and why?