Here’s a little challenge - Spot the Creature...
....once you have had a good look, check out where the creatures are below...
See them in words
You can’t spot the right person for you if you don’t know who the right person is for you. So let’s fix this first and most fundamental problem and you do that with what I like to call “The List”.
Before you get started on that however, it needs to be said that as you consider the type of person you are looking for, do the hard thing - are you all of those things? You should be looking for a high quality individual but are you one yourself? Use what you have learned about yourself to check that. Always ask that question at the end of each of the points you will bring up. Its part of growing yourself which again, is one of your main jobs down here on earth.
If you don’t ask for anything in particular you’ll get anything in particular.
That is to say, whatever life throws at you and when it comes to a mate there are no returns.
So be specific - the more specific you are, the better you can prayerfully consider anyone you come across. This helps you see a person more clearly with your head before the blinkers come down and before the picture gets coloured by emotional ties in your heart.
Physical characteristics are important and are possibly the first and easiest ones to work out. But they will change - some for the better.
So do write them down but focus on other aspects too as the initial things which attract you to each other are not necessarily what will keep you together.
Remember how God checks people out as He states in 1 Samuel 16:7 "..Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
So include physical characteristics but don’t emphasise them. Instead, place more emphasis on the expressions of their heart which really reveal their character which at the end of the day is what bonds you to each other. Get that right and that's what will grow your relationship.
To see what's in their heart, see what comes out of it and it comes out as...
- Character, career, social and spiritual goals in life
- Attitudes and priorities to family, in-laws, church, money, sex, having kids, and division of home labour.
- How they: handle arguments, handle change.
- Their Hobbies/Interests
- Their ability to empathise, communicate and commit.
As in water the face is reflected as a face, so a person's heart reflects the person.
Some characteristics that will get you thinking about your preferences in a mate:
- Extrovert or Introvert?
- Funny or Serious?
- Emotionally expressive or Strong Silent Type?
- Leader or Supportive?
- Spontaneous or Planner?
- Intellectual or Emotional?
- Driven or Relaxed?
- Social Butterfly or Home Body?
- Wants to hang around you all the time or Needs personal space?
- Morning Person or Night Owl?
- Indoors or Outdoors Type?
- Active or Passive Parent?
- Financially Interested or Not?
So in addition to physical attraction, there also needs to be personal & life purpose attraction. Also bear in mind your strengths and weakness as this will help you identify someone who will be complimentary with them so that you are well balanced as a team in taking on life's challenges.
For example: if you aren't interested in watching the stock market and planning your finances, this may be a strength you need to put on the list for your potential partner.
Also, think of this in terms of where you are headed in life and how you will compliment them.
OR: If you're wanting someone spontaneous to balance your tightly planned life, you know you're going to have to loosen up some of your natural scheduling inclinations.
OR: if you're too unplanned in your life and are suffering from this, perhaps someone with more planning instincts is the way to go.
Compliment Not Conflict
BUT remember, if you seek someone who has the opposite of your natural style, make sure you maintain a healthy attitude when these differences inevitably grate with each other. Use the strength in the differences, don’t suffer the conflict in them.
Back to our foundation verse Mark 12:30-31 "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength;’ this is the first commandment.
And the second is like, namely this: ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Jesus didn’t just teach us about the dimensions that make us up. Importantly, He also taught us about the dimensions of love.
Romance, sexuality and attraction are great. They are without a shadow of a doubt, part of the glory of what marriage is. But, we must recognise that someone needs to be your friend before they can be your mate. So precisely visualise what it is about this person what will make you want to mentally, physically, emotionally, occupationally, socially and intellectually spend the rest of your life with them.
You see, God wants you to be attracted to your mate on all levels, not just at the level of the body, not just at the level of heart. The world wants you to be satisfied with such a shallow dip. Frankly, the world wants to rip you off. As thrilling as even such a shallow dip is, it utterly pales in comparison with the endless ocean of marriage which God has made each of you for.
So know yourself at the levels of your heart, soul, mind and strength and check your potential mate out on all those levels as God wants you to experience the fullness your relationship utterly and completely.
Now that you have this notion of a grand list of what your perfect mate will be, let’s inject some reality into it. Realise that there may not be a 100% candidate. That is not to say you need to lower your standards.
You may have been told that in the past - “You problem is that you’re too picky”. We trust you realise from what we have shared so far that we’re not saying that (in fact, we may have prompted you to lift your standards).
What’s we’re really saying is that someone who meets 80% of what you have written is worthy of your consideration, so give them and yourself a chance.
We're dealing with a person with a history and personality, not a robot. We merging two lives here, not two academic concepts. There has to be some give and take, otherwise what you're after is a dictatorship not a relationship.
The other 20%, if needed can come with time but you must ask yourself honestly, "Do you want your partner to truly love you or do you want your partner to follow a plan?" This is an important distinction.
We're dealing with a person, not a finished product and that's good. If the person before you knows and acknowledges they aren't perfect but also knows and pursues God, the one who can perfect them, you need to realise the amazing person you have before you.
Why's that? Because that my friends is even better than the greatest finished product you can imagine right now because they with God can surpass even your amazing expectations for that 20%.
So be picky but be picky about the right things.
And to help you with that, let’s Traffic Light your list
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (possibly. Whoever said it, it's true)