By Cally Logan, Crosswalk.com
The decision of whom to marry will be the second most important choice a person will ever make in his or her lifetime, the first being to follow Christ. That being considered, it is vital to ensure an intentional and well thought out path is made. Proverbs 31 shares how charm can be deceptive and beauty fleeting, so what subtle signs should be noticed and prized?
Here are 7 Signs of a Quality Spouse You Don't Want to Overlook:
1. Someone Who Is a Good listener
There is a difference between merely listening and truly hearing. Someone who does not simply listen but validates, acknowledges, and understands their partner is of exceptional value. Proverbs 18:13 wisely shares, “Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.” It not only gives respect to the other person, but it fosters the ability to grow together in understanding. Truly hearing someone leads to good communication.
Communication is the key to any good relationship. It is the foundational bedrock of not only getting to know a person but to cultivate and develop ties to one another. When conflicts arise the key to overcoming obstacles will not be who is right but communicating together to reach a resolution. Watching communication and listening skills early on will shed light on the future.
2. Someone Who Is Empathetic
Empathy occurs when someone not only sympathizes but puts themselves in the other’s shoes to understand how they may be feeling. Though this seems subtle and of inconsequence, it can play a vital role in a relationship. The desire of every human heart is to feel not only loved but understood and validated. Without sensing such things, it is easy for a person to feel insignificant and alone. Empathy is not solely taking on the other person’s feelings but standing beside them in times of strife. The Bible shares how a couple should be equally yoked, and to do so they must be aligned together. Empathy comes into use to do just that. It is not only a sign of caring but of support.
3. A Person Who Is Respected Among Peers
“Show me your friends, I’ll show you your future” has become a common idiom, yet it holds much truth. The community that one chooses to surround themselves with will have consequence on the growth of that person. If they are well respected among their peers, it is a good sign for how they interact on a long-term basis with others. Community often is how someone can interact within the body of Christ, and watching for someone who is intentional about the company they keep is important. Even if someone only keeps a small circle, quality over quantity is to be treasured.
4. Someone Who Is Wise with Money and Spending
King Solomon was the wisest king who ever lived, and the author of most of the Book of Proverbs. The Book of Proverbs speaks of the benefits and necessity of wisdom in order to have a successful life. Watching how money is used and spent is indicative of what is of importance in someone’s heart. This is not to say rent is what is valued most by someone if the majority of their spending is used for housing, but being mindful that money does not become an idol or something used inappropriately. It is easy to overlook how money is spent early on, but keeping a watchful eye that it is used with good discernment will then in turn yield a good harvest.
5. A Person Who Loves Family
A common phrase is, “How a man treats his mother is how he will treat his wife” and there is a good amount of accuracy in that. Your family is the closest group of people you have been around for the majority of your life typically, so seeing how a potential spouse treats and interacts with their family will be telling of how they will be as a spouse and parent. Being protective of family, being kind by aiding, and showing love to family is not only a sign of a good person but of someone who is seeking to live as Christ lived. A servant’s heart is a beautiful trait to obtain and can be seen often through serving those they are closest to.
6. Someone Who Motivates You, Your Cheerleader and Best Critic
A man or woman of quality will bring out the very best in you. They will encourage and allow you to be the best version of yourself in life. This means not only being your top cheerleader but also your best critic. Notice not the harshest critic but the best one. This means having someone who holds you accountable to the potential they see in you. Not merely letting you slide through life but encouraging you to be the best in your abilities, for they see a gem in you. Taking a look to see if a potential spouse brings out the best in you and encourages you, even in weaknesses, is vital. Ecclesiastes 4 shares, “Two are better than one, for if one falls, the other can help him up.” This means that even in the things we fail at or fall to, the other person is there to help build us back up. Not in a condemning way but out of love for your best interest.
7. A Person with an Intentional Pursuit of God
Above all else look for someone who shows signs of a well-nurtured and intentional passion for the Lord. C.S. Lewis wisely stated that, “When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now.” Jesus called for us to love God first and foremost and then to love each other. He also shared that it would be clear who His children were by their fruits. Compatibility and chemistry are wonderful to have, but it is nothing if the other person does not have a deeply rooted relationship with the Lord themselves.
This ushers forth a relationship in marriage where the Lord is the head of the husband and wife, and the closer they are to Him, the closer they will come together. Who you are as a single will have an impact on who you are married. Looking for signs of a well-developed relationship with God is most important when truly considering someone as a spouse.
Choosing a potential spouse requires a great deal of discernment and prayer in the Lord, but also, in vulnerably seeking, someone of great valor and character. Watching for the fruit they usher forth will highlight their best qualities. Above all else, recognizing that indeed we are all flawed humans who fall short of perfection is important. We all should be seekers of grace from God and each other. Recognizing subtle, yet, important qualities will help to aid such a decision.
Cally Logan is a writer and sixth grade English teacher from Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Regent University with a degree in English with High Honors. Currently, she is a writer for Polished ministries, and head of the Dear Sparrows Ministry site, and the podcast, "Dear Sparrows." In her free time, she enjoys leading a High School girls small group, cooking, and spending time in tree houses. Her latest book, "Dear Young Sparrow" is available everywhere or at DearSparrows.com.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/LittleBee80