My dear fellow Proverbs 31 women in Progress,
I know it’s been a long time I haven’t posted anything on the blog; but I had a lot of work at my daytime job and I took a week off to relax and rest.
Anyway, today, I will talk about the criteria to assess before you get married. Hopefully, this will be useful, especially if you are currently dating or if you seriously envisage to get married in the next years.
When you date a man or when you are engaged, you are usually in a little bowl full of love and you don’t necessarily think of problems you may have. You smile at each other, you are deeply in love…until the day when some years later, you are stuck in a marriage which doesn’t work and say:
Why did I get married to this person???
Although you should get married because you love your man, love shouldn’t be taken into account when you choose your future husband. Yes, I know, it’s shocking. I was also shocked when I discovered this.
But here is the truth, plain and simple: love shouldn’t be taken into account when you choose your future husband; even if love is and will be the foundation of your marriage.
Let’s examine some examples from the Bible which confirms this statement:
- In Genesis 24, Abraham asks his servant Eliezer to get a wife for his son Isaac. However, Abraham explicitly orders his servant not to take his son with him. He didn’t want his son to be trapped by his romantic feelings and be fooled so that he would choose the wrong partner. In the same manner, what did Eliezer ask? He asks for a woman who would give him water – he looked for a generous heart, not necessarily a beautiful woman. We all know that physical beauty awakens romantic feelings in a man, but it’s not everything.
- In 1 Samuel 25, David marries Abigail because he is a strong and virtuous future King who is seduced by Abigail’s wisdom, tact and diplomacy (although she was also beautiful).
As we can see, character was the main criteria that was examined by these two men to marry a partner. We will do the same and examine the criteria to carefully assess in a potential husband.
Before I examine these criteria, please keep in mind that they are very broad and general and it’s done on purpose. There are individual situations where my criteria don’t necessarily fit.
These criteria are:
- common goals and values
- the way he treats people
- sense of responsibilities
- your acceptance of his personality
Common goals and values
Before you get married, you should carefully pay attention to his goals and values; and if they match yours. His goals and values will help you to determine his level of maturity and if he is serious about yor relationship. Here are examples of things you should have in common:
- Do you have similar philosophical/moral/religious values? If you have different religious/moral backgrounds, you should discuss about it right away. Sometimes, your partner won’t understand why you say things or why you behave a certain way. You must not hide who you are and shouldn’t hesitate to stand up for your values if he despises them.
- Does he agree to start a family? How many children do you plan to have together? Do you have the same vision on the way they should be raised? When you have the same vision about this topic, you will avoid confusion in your future home. Also, if he wants to start a family, it is a sign that he is a mature and responsible man who is ready to fulfill his manly Biblical role
- Do you have the same hobbies? As I mention in an earlier post on basic needs of men, having the same recreational activities can contribute to strengthen your couple
- Do you have the same vision of money management? Money is a hot topic and can be a cause of divorce in a couple. If you don’t have the same financial vision/goals, start fixing it before it’s too late. Even worldly couples know that having the same vision on money will give you rest and can make you become closer to each other. I read somewhere on the Internet that before they got married, Beyonce and Jay-Z already had financial projects together and invested together. Robert and Kim Kiyosaki gather at the beginning of each year and plan their financial future together. We can get inspired from these examples.
To sum up, birds of a feather flock together!
You must be able to communicate with each other like the grown up people that you are. Of course, you will argue on things – every marriage has its lot of arguments and hot discussions.
However, you must never lack respect for each other when you communicate. No derogatory words. No insults. You must be able to discuss quietly and make concessions because sometimes, both of you will be right.
If a man is unable to show self-control when he talks to you and start threatening you or worse, hit you, leave immediately before it’s too late and stop seeing the man. He will continue when you get married and you’ll find it difficult to quit.
The way he treats people
Please, my sisters, I urge you to pay attention to the way your man treats other people, when he doesn’t need to be nice. Is he considerate? Does he despise people?
A specific attention should be put on the way he treats the women of his family – his mother, his aunts, his sisters, his female cousins. I believe that it can be a strong clue on the way he will treat you when you get married.
Generally, a man who loves, respects and cares for the women of his family will certainly treat you the same way.
His sense of responsibilities
You must assess here if the man you are dating is ready to take over his Biblical role as a godly man: being a provider, a leader in the home, a father, and a protector of your family. It includes of course that he should have a steady job or intend to get one.
And don’t get me wrong: I am not saying that he should necessarily be a Head of something in a renowned multinational company. But he must demonstrate that he is a fine and honest man who can use his god-given skills to earn a living.
He must also demonstrate that he has a potential that you will help him to develop.
I remember that a pastor met a young couple who wanted to get married. He then asked the young man if he had a job. The young man answered no; but answered that his girlfriend did have a job and that they would live on her income at the beginning.
The pastor then asked him how he couldn’t be ashamed to be entertained by his future wife and told him to leave and get back when he got a job.
Ladies, if a man is not ready to be responsible and to assume his role as a provider, don’t waste your time and leave him right away. This kind of man has a name: a gigolo!
Your acceptance of his personality
In Fascinating Womanhood (I made a review of this book in a previous post), Helen Andelin underlines the fact that a woman should accept her husband at face value, i.e. just the way he is. We shouldn’t try to change them. Nobody is perfect, except Christ.
Why do I talk about it? Because if you get married hoping that you will change a serious flaw that you noticed and that you aren’t prepared to live with, you will fail. The only things you will bring to your marriage are endless problems and eventually, a divorce.
I have a cousin who married her ex-husband, knowing that he was lazy and not ambitious, while she is a dynamic and very strong-willed woman. Her mother even told her that her husband wasn’t the perfect match for her. She told him to marry another man who was courting her instead.
But she didn’t listen to her mother. She hoped that she would manage to change him and that being influenced by her, her husband would wake up and be as dynamic as she is. But she failed.
After a 10-year marriage, they finally divorced. She raises her son alone and has financial difficulties; she borrows money from almost everybody. She is broken and disgusted because her marriage didn’t work, despite the ultimatums she gave her husband everyday.
And guess what happened with the man her mother wanted her to marry? He has become a high-profile civil servant!
Therefore, if you notice that your mate has serious flaws that you are not ready to bear, move on!
Do you agree with these 5 criteria? Please feel free to share your point of view!
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