Home > Uncategorized > A Fulfilling Life: The One You Marry

A Fulfilling Life: The One You Marry

(Note:  A couple of years ago, I spoke to a college & singles group at CrossRoads on the topic of choosing a future spouse.  I still have people comment on that message, so I thought I’d post it here.  But (and I can’t believe this part), I can’t find my notes.  I usually keep all my notes, but these have vanished into wherever.  So, here is my best recollection of that message.)

The person you choose to marry- the person you choose to spend your life with- will have a far greater affect on your happiness and fulfillment in this life than where you live, what you do, how much (or little) money you make, or how many children you do or don’t have.  Choosing a spouse is THE most important decision you will ever make (clear enough?).

You can have the greatest job, the best house, and the most money, but if your marriage is awful, you will likely be miserable.  Just think about that for a moment.  Think about the people you really know- the ones with good marriages and the ones with bad marriages.  Who is content and happy, and who isn’t?

Given the significance of this decision, how does one go about choosing that one special person (and we won’t get into how you get that person to choose you- that’s way too complicated)?  Of course, the initial attraction to that other person is looks (and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that).  Is he handsome?  Is she beautiful?   Something must initially attract you to that person.  But, what is it that is going to keep you with that person?  The beauty and handsomeness of that guy/girl will eventually fade (regardless of their fitness regime dedication).

I believe we should be looking for a person of “high-quality.”  But what defines, what characterizes, a person as one of “high-quality?”

In 1st Timothy, Paul is advising his younger protege, Timothy, on the traits to look for in potential leaders for the church.  In short, Paul is advising that Timothy find people of “high-quality.”  So, if this is the list of criteria for people of “high-quality,” can it be used to help one choose a spouse?  Let’s take a look at some of those traits Paul mentions.  Let’s see how they might apply when it comes to choosing a spouse.

“above reproach”-  Nothing like starting off with a hard one.  Above Reproach.  Beyond question.    An “above reproach” person doesn’t have others questioning their character, their motives, or their actions.  Can you say that about the person you’re dating?

“the husband of one wife”-  Let’s just say if the person you’re considering is married, look elsewhere.  Major warning sign.

“temperate,  self-controlled, and respectable”-  Is this person out of control?  Yeah, they might be a lot of fun to hang out with, but how does that outlandish behavior express itself when it comes to the fun stuff of life like paying the bills, doing the laundry, or picking up a prescription when you’re sick.

“hospitable”-  Does this person invite others to be a part of his/her life?  This isn’t a slam against introverts (I’m one and that would be slamming myself).  But are other people are part of his/her life in some way?  Is he/she able to relate to other people?

“able to teach”-  I can’t see how this applies (like I said, some do and some don’t).

“not given to drunkenness”-  If this person is an addict, keep looking.  You cannot save this person.  A person with an addiction brings a host of problems with them.  They may need you as a friend, but you don’t need them as a spouse.  Boundaries.  Now, once they’re clean, and have demonstrated they can and will remain clean for a significant period of time, then you might want to consider them.  But, if they’re in the throes of addiction, walk on.

“not violent but gentle”-  If they ever lay a hand on you in a moment of violence, look elsewhere.  They may beg, they may plead, they may say it won’t ever happen again, but it usually does.

“not quarrelsome”-  Let’s just say if you’re arguing now…. if you dread bringing up a subject because you know it’s going to lead to an argument, that’s not a good sign.

“not a lover of money”-  Greed.  Greed is never satisfied.  Greed wants what it wants.  Nothing gets in the way of greed.  Not even you.  So unless you want to be eating rice and beans while you pay off the debt incurred by the greed of your spouse, look elsewhere.

“manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect”-  In this day, there are many single people with kids.  How do his/her kids, who know this person better than anyone, who are around this person more than anyone, treat him/her?  It’s a huge tell.

“not a recent convert”-  For those in the faith community, give someone a chance to grow in their faith before committing to marriage.  You should want to make sure that their faith commitment is a lasting and sincere one, rather than one that is fleeting or driven by ulterior motives (maybe like finding a spouse or growing their business- it happens).

“a good reputation with outsiders”-  What do your friends really think of this guy/gal?  If you are constantly having to defend him/her to your friends, take a long look at this person.  There just might be something there.

These are just some ideas to help you find a person of “high-quality” to spend your life with.  Don’t despair, these people really do exist.  I should know, I was fortunate enough to find one.

I hope you find lasting happiness with a person of the highest quality.  It is better to wait for the right person rather than to rush into misery.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Amber Reed
    April 29, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    This is still my favorite message that you’ve ever given!

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