Single and Looking —  September 23, 2013

It was my freshman year in college and was looking for a girlfriend. I noticed a girl and decided to ask her out. She was better off than me, but that didn’t deter my efforts. I got her a gift after our first date. Jack in the Box had a promotion that gave away a teddy bear with the purchase of a value meal. When I showed up with the bear, her reception was less than enthusiastic. That girl and I are married today… To other people! She dropped me like a bag of potatoes!

Relationships are complicated. If you are single, here are nine characteristics you need to look for in your future mate.

1. Whoever you marry must have been in love Jesus before they met you. Genesis 2:7 Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person. In Genesis, we see that man had a relationship with God before he had a relationship with his spouse. This is good counsel. Some people all of a sudden get religion when they like someone. He/she must be spiritual before you and away from you.

2. Whoever you marry must have a good work ethic. Genesis 2:19 “So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man[c] to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.”  Here is another thing man had before he saw his wife. A job. The general rule is: “If he ain’t working, he ain’t worth it.” Bad grammar. Good counsel.

3. Whoever you marry must not be nursing any uncontrolled anger[1]. Proverbs 22:24 says, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person; do not associate with one easily angered” (NIV). Do you know why? Because uncontrolled anger reveals deep insecurity and low self-worth. That is why it is important to take your time. Uncontrolled anger usually does not manifest itself right away. You lose nothing by waiting. You can lose a lot by hurrying it up.

4. Whoever you marry must not be stuck in an addiction.[2] Proverbs 23:20 says, “Don’t associate with people who drink too much wine or stuff themselves with food” (TEV). Only two things are mentioned here, food and alcohol, but there are a thousand ways to get addicted. Whatever addiction they have, usually gets worse after marriage.

5. Whoever you marry must not be harboring bitterness.[3] Bitterness is like a poison — it eats you alive. Whatever you resent, you begin to resemble. To stop resenting; you’ve got to release it. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:15, “Guard against turning back from the grace of God. Let no one become like a bitter plant that grows up and causes many troubles with its poison” (GNT).  Holding bitterness does nothing to solve the issue. It’s like drinking poison and expecting the rat to die.

6. Whoever you marry must not be selfish. Why? Proverbs 28:25 says, “Selfishness only causes trouble.” It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others. (Andrew J. Holmes) At the root of every sinful act, every hurtful word, every inappropriate thought lies one common denominator: Selfishness.

7. Whoever you marry must not be greedy. Proverbs 15:27 says, “Greed brings grief to the whole family” (NLT). If you marry a greedy spouse, you will be in debt your entire life. Notice the conversations about material things. Notice how they refer to people better off or worse off. That will tell you a lot about their values.

8. Whoever you marry must not be possessive and jealous.  Job 5:2 “Surely resentment destroys the fool, and jealousy kills the simple.” One major red flag is a boyfriend/girlfriend that resents you spending time with your family, friends, and other endeavors that do not include them. While they are an important part of your life, they aren’t the ONLY part of your life.

9. Whoever you marry must tell the truth[4]. Proverbs 20:7 says this: “A righteous person lives on the basis of his integrity. Blessed are his children after he is gone” (GWT). Love is based on trust, and trust is based on truth. If you don’t tell me the truth, I can’t trust you. And if I can’t trust you, how can I love you?

Leonard Ravenhill gives one of the best counsels on dating and marriage, “God always gives his best to those who leave the choice to him.” Are you?

If you are interested in a short PowerPoint with these nine, email me @


[2] Ibid

[3] ibid

[4] ibid

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