Before You Pick Your Mate…

My very good friend (and a super cool pastor at EWC), Will Doss, asked a very good question last night.

He said, “What is one trait you would tell your son or daughter to look for in a spouse?”

I answered with a broad “someone with a heart after God.”  I just tend to believe that when we have a heart after Christ, everything else follows as it is supposed to. 

My dad condensed it to “someone who is both faithful and loyal.”  In other words, someone who does exactly what he or she says he or she is going to do.

Each of us individually should bring glory to Christ.  I think a good question to answer when entering into a marriage is “Will we bring more glory to Christ together than we will apart?”

What would you (or did you) tell your son or daughter?  What is one trait you would encourage someone to look for in a spouse?

13 Comments

Filed under Marriage, parenting

13 responses to “Before You Pick Your Mate…

  1. hope hammond

    the first thing that came to mind was integrity, but i loved the answer, a heart after GOD. that my kids would have that kind of heart and desire for GOD has always been my prayer for them. i would ask nothing less for their future spouses.

  2. Great blog Dusty! I think committment is important to understand, so, for them to “count the cost” first, before committing to a marriage, making vows.

  3. Dianne Herbert

    I am not sure; those things that I instilled in my children were generally adhered to, but the people 2 of them married did a 180 and it all went out the window. The one that seemed to ignore all that had been taught him is very happy and content with his spouse. I know that God is in control and even our errors are turned into something that will bring God glory. I have to remember no matter how much advice I might have given in respect to a potential mate, my children had their own choices to make and the consequences of those choices whether good or bad, were their’s to live. I don’t mean for this to sound like a bummer, but every parent must face the fact that in their age of accountability, our children will make decisions for themselves. While we hope they reference teachings from childhood, there will be temptations to try something different. Therein lies the opportunity for character to form. We know that it is very painful to watch your children develop character; but develop it they must. Our aim was to prepare them for the onslaught of the enemies’ deceptions; some of them just have to experience it. That results in mighty warriors for the Kingdom. So take heart…continue to teach, to guide, to influence. Also remember, your children still have those battles to win by themselves, drawing on Almighty God as their source.

  4. My girls….have someone love you like I love your mother. To Bo, make sure she walks upright and brushes and floss daily and has a sense of humor! Marriage is based on principles not personality. Many of us made good choices in mates but it can end in ruin with poor management. Unto much is given, much is required. I saw a young maried couple this weekend and I saw in them love being nutured in a fun kind of way. They keep that up, good stuff ahead. Love ya durstee!

  5. I believe that children learn most of what they believe from watching how their parents respond to each other. We are to model the love of God and love for others to our children. Integrity, respect, commitment, love, character, etc. are things they need to look for in their own family and the family they might marry into. We don’t just marry that one person, but we also marry into another family.

  6. Brenda

    Faithful, loyal, and integrity along with good communication skills!

  7. 1 thing to look for is nearly useless. Having a “heart after God” is on of those answers we used to call BS on in seminary. For us that stood for “Being Spiritual” but the connotation was the same. It’s a fluffy feel good answer if you can’t get specific about the meaning – and no using more spiritual jargon on the definition. God is GREAT! But he won’t backhand your spouse back to sanity when she’s screwing around with a friend, co-worker or your own pastor. At least not on a way he may recognize in time to make a difference.

    Find someone you love, trust, and respect – without reservation.
    then make sure your parents and mentors feel the same.
    Then spend a year going to a professional marriage relationship counselor to work out the issues you never knew you had.

    then work out a really good pre-nuptual. It’s uncomfortble, but doing it now while every one is “in love” is just good financial / family planning.

  8. Make sure they love GOD – they work hard – they make you laugh :)

  9. Dusty Takle

    Great stuff, everyone!

    Dianne, you hit the nail on the head with “continue to teach, to guide, to influence.” And, of course, pray :-) We are each responsible for the choices we make. But, those things my parents imparted to me went to my very core. I’m very grateful for that. And, their input meant a lot to me then and still does.

    Aaron, I agree that we should look for more than just one thing in a potential partner. The point was to get people to just share one thing that stands out in his or her mind to create a collective list.

    For me, and for many others I’m connected with, “a heart after God” isn’t just fluff. It’s an active pursuit after our Creator and wanting to live a life really makes a positive difference.

    Also, God will not force another to do right – or “backhand” them into sanity. We all make choices that make our marriages good – or downright destroy them. Marriage is just about finding the right partner. It’s about BEING the right partner. And, that’s a daily choice.

    I absolutely agree that we should seek counsel with people we trust. As for the pre-nup, I think it’s a personal decision. Not a pre-requisite.

    Jennifer, the “make you laugh” part is a definite quality I appreciate!

  10. jason b

    I fell in love with my esposa because of her appreciation for God’s forgiveness and mercy that I didn’t have. Its funny because she didn’t have the same church upbringing that I did but that makes us appreciate each other more because we know God did it and we just didn’t marry the person we felt fit our preconceived “mold”. I tell my girls, God will confirm it in your heart and in ours and it may not be the person that you think it is….. sometimes we like the idea of marrying someone but it may not be the right person. Guys, don’t prop your feet up thinking you have a good marriage. make all the other women jealous of your wife!!

  11. “Guys, don’t prop your feet up thinking you have a good marriage. make all the other women jealous of your wife!!”

    love that !!!!!!!

  12. They’re getting married one day?

    Uh, I don’t think so.

  13. Des

    Empathy and grace.

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