I have several friends who are single and a lot of our conversations revolve about whom to date and what to look in a wife . While I have made a lot of mistakes over my lifetime, and I mean a lot, I got one of the most important decisions right: I married well. Outside my re-generational faith experience as I accepted Christianity and made peace with Christ’s death on the cross for me, my marriage to Gwen was the most important decision to date. It has impacted every single area of my life in ways I could not have imagined before we were married. So to my single friends who are looking or dating, here are some thoughts I processed before I asked Gwen to marry me.
Does she truly love God? “Christian dating” means more than going out with someone you picked up at church. People pay lip service to their faith in order to “get the date.” Yep, even girls do that. I don’t care if you met her at the singles’ group, or as member of the praise team. Professing to be a Christian is easy. If you have a set of core values and beliefs, make sure you’re on the same page before getting emotionally involved. If you don’t settle the faith question early, your marriage will be disastrous. Gwen’s faith in God and trust in His Word have meant more to me than anything else.
Does she have strong morals? “Well, she’s a lot of fun, but sometimes she gets a little crazy.” “She’s just blowing some steam; she’ll mellow out.” That usually translates in a growing series of excuses for a lack of moral or ethical fortitude. You might find it amusing early in the relationship, but it will grow into a nightmare. Don’t underestimate the value of a strong moral compass. After 20 years of marriage, I know exactly what my wife would say and do in any moral conundrum: the right thing.
Is she gracious? One of the greatest tests of someone’s character is to watch how they treat those who have nothing to offer them. Watching Gwen treat a server, a clerk, or immigrant workers at our house with dignity and compassion has been a tremendous lesson for me. Anyone who dismiss or mistreats those around them, specially the disadvantaged, lacks grace. Get rid of her fast.
Does she believe in me? I’m not asking if she thinks you are good looking, fun or talented. Those are pre-requisite for your first date. The question goes deep into the heart of every man: can I draw strength from her when life gets tough? I remember telling Gwen I wanted to start The A Group nearly 10 years ago. I’ll never forget her answer: “I believe you can do whatever you set your mind to. I always have. I’m not afraid. I’ll help in any way I can.” That’s all I needed to hear.
Is she trustworthy? I know people who are always wondering what their mate is doing, or not doing, or how they’re spending their money. Money woes wreck more and more marriages everyday. If you can’t trust her with money or a credit card or to make good choices, you might want to reconsider. If you are worried about who she’s talking to or where she at times, you don’t trust her. The only thing I don’t trust Gwen to do is buy my clothes.
Does she make me a better man? I want to be with someone who encourages, challenges and loves me into being a better man. Who doesn’t? I broke up with a very attractive young lady because instead of bringing the best in me, she drew my dark side. You know what I’m talking about: your lazy, selfish, critical, materialistic tendencies that you need help to fight and not someone to fuel them. I know men whose wives demand more stuff, more bling, more and more from them constantly. I’m thankful that Gwen has helped me fight my materialistic tendencies buy helping me see what really matters in life.
What other question would you add to this list?