Three Qualities To Cultivate
by ChristianCrush Team
Far, far away, in a distant land called My Middle School Experience, I had a bubbly, happy teacher fresh from a summer wedding. Of course my class absolutely had to know how our teacher met her husband. The answer surprised us so much that to this day I can feel the shock in the room.
“I prayed over a list,” she said. A list? We gave one another skeptical glances. A list of what? “A list of all his character attributes, and physical qualities, and his quirks...just about everything.”
Our teacher had been single for a long time, and no great guys were showing up. She was mad at God and herself, and finally she stopped and asked herself why she wasn’t finding what she wanted. Wasn’t she trying hard enough? Turns out it wasn’t the trying that was the problem – it was her focus. Once she actually wrote down the qualities of the man she wanted to marry, everything seemed incredibly clear. She met her future husband a few years after The List began.
Over a decade later, finding love doesn’t seem to have changed much. Many of us still tend to strike out without being entirely sure what we are looking for. The goal of writing such a list is to keep your eyes on the prize. When you know the cornerstones of your dream spouse’s character, you’re not just looking for kind, generous, deep-thinking Fabio. You’re on a quest to find someone who makes you feel blessed, lucky, totally accepted, and completely ready to tackle anything life throws at you.
Little mental notes after bad dates or unhealthy relationships can be too easy to forget. Hindsight isn’t always 20/20; sometimes the mistake is so far away we can’t quite remember how we made it in the first place. That’s why creating a physical list can be so helpful for singles. Getting specific will really help you get down to the root of what is best for you. I imagined what kind of man will best soften my not-so-nice qualities, make me laugh, and encourage my better side, then I wrote down an outline of the character of that person.
As you write down what you’re looking for, here are three things that any spouse – male or female – should be:
Wisdom is one of the most highly valued character traits in the Bible. Any time you hear about a king or leader, God either calls them out for being wise in their own eyes or praises them for showing true wisdom. The book of Proverbs practically overflows with pearls of wisdom about wisdom, like these gems: “a person who speaks wisely gives the world something more valuable than money” (Prov. 20:15), and only the foolish say “Bah humbug” where it comes to wisdom from God (Prov. 1:7). The goal is to find someone who is wise as well as humble about it.
Saying that a person is righteous doesn’t carry the same connotations that it once did. Ask society and they’ll tell you it’s about being filled with Bible-thumping, religious hot air. The Bible, on the other hand, defines righteousness as a mix of doing and believing (1 Tim. 6:11, Romans 3:20-24). It means doing good things that work with God’s plans and trusting and believing God is who he says he is. A person who is truly righteous will never seem pompous or holier-than-thou, but they will also encourage everyone around them to chase after God. The righteous man or woman knows how to keep going when the going gets tough (Prov. 24:16), and that’s just the kind of guy or gal you want by your side in the tough times.
All over the Old Testament, you find stories of people of God visiting with great kings and leaders. They were revered and treated with respect. Sometimes they were Levites, but more often than not they were simply men (and women, such as Deborah) who listened closely to the word of God. These people had the ear of the Lord not because they were perfect, but because they talked to God every day. Like Prov. 15:29 says, “The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous.” Therefore, look for someone who actively pursues intimacy with Christ.
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What else do you feel every spouse needs?