Finding a Life Mate: The Character Traits Worth Looking For #15

29 06 2011

This is the fifteenth in a series of what traits to look for in a life mate.  While the following sets a high standard, one that perhaps few will initially reach, each area identified is an important character trait to look for and inquire about as you consider a lifelong marriage partner.

15. How does this person spend his/her free time?  Does this person understand and demonstrate a healthy balance between work and rest, or is he/she unable to detach from work and enjoy leisure and personal activities?  Does this person spend an excessive amount of time using and interacting with technology and social media (e.g., cell phone, internet, television, video games, Facebook)?  Is this person pursuing healthy and productive hobbies, activities and interests?  How do you spend your free time together?  (Matthew 13:1)

One of my favorite New Testament verses states, “That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.”  I simply love this verse because I crave what it says.  Our Lord, on earth with a three and one half-year window, took the necessary time to sit by the lake.  What was He doing?  That’s just it, He wasn’t “doing” He was being.  He took time out to rest, to reflect, to breath in the fresh air that surrounds the tranquil presence of water.  We live in a culture that is noisy and full of time-stealing stuff.  Can you, can this person you are interested in take the time to “sit by the lake” and enjoy each other along with His presence?  Work is a gift from God and so is rest.  How do you like to rest?  Does this special person allow you to just take a break, leave you alone and stop constantly calling or texting?  Can you honor them and do the same?  We are, at times, too accessible to one another.  Life is a balancing act in order to maintain our spiritual, physical and emotional health.

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Finding a Life Mate: The Character Traits Worth Looking For #14

22 06 2011

This is the fourteenth in a series of what traits to look for in a life mate.  While the following sets a high standard, one that perhaps few will initially reach, each area identified is an important character trait to look for and inquire about as you consider a lifelong marriage partner.

14. Is this person serving others?  Is there a personal or developing compassion for others, or is there too much attention devoted to self?  What do you observe to be his/her life balance of caring for others in contrast to personal priorities such as: work, rest, play, television, family, friends, your dating relationship, etc? (Romans 15:1-3; Philippians 2:3-8)

Jesus made it very clear that the greatest in His kingdom was also the most humble.  It takes a humble spirit to be willing to serve others.  It means denying yourself and that does not come naturally.  I have watched my wife serve others, my children and me for over 36 years.  If you look back over your life and think about those who served you, you’ll come to the realization of how they have literally impacted you for a life time.  To “see” the needs of others above our own needs requires a developing sense of compassion.  And that developing sense of compassion is provoked by a true, albeit rare, heart of selfless love.

As a leader, I watch others.  I take notice of those who run to get into line first vs. those who will insist that you go before them.  I look and listen for life balance in what they share with me.  If you’ll listen long enough, you will pick up patterns of speech and what they like to talk about the most.  If it centers around themselves, be forewarned, “selfish ambition” may still be their goal and that goal is insatiable.





Finding a Life Mate: The Character Traits Worth Looking For #13

20 06 2011

This is the thirteenth in a series of what traits to look for in a life mate.  While the following sets a high standard, one that perhaps few will initially reach, each area identified is an important character trait to look for and inquire about as you consider a lifelong marriage partner.

13. Can you identify the use of this person’s spiritual and natural gifts?  What gifts does this person have and is he/she faithfully using and sharing these gifts in service to God and others?  Is this person training others in these gifts and multiplying what God has given to him/her?  Does he/she recognize that these are God’s gifts not for one’s own profit, esteem or personal gain?  (Romans 11:29, 12:6; I Corinthians 12:4)

The scripture reveals that God gives gifts to everyone.   Believers and non-believers alike have been given gifts.  Have you ever had a gifted teacher in your life?  Have you ever heard a gifted musician?  As you consider this relationship, how do you see your gifts complimenting one another?  How have you already operated within your “gift mix?”  Mary and I are different in our gift mix and, while it has taken some time to discover, we now know our differing gifts actually are complimentary to one another.

Mary has a gift of giving and I have the gift of saving.  Before we saw how these two gifts actually help us as a couple, Mary thought I was too “tight” and I thought she was too much of a “spender.”  Discovering the balancing act, we now have a complimentary dance with our finances and God has blessed our unity and agreement.

Discover the gifts God has given you and how He has asked you to use them.  He desires to bring someone to you who will also embrace those gifts and offer a unified gift mix within your relationship.  Initially it may feel like an uncomplimentary difference, but remember, opposites attract for a reason.





Finding a Life Mate: The Character Traits Worth Looking For #12

14 06 2011

This is the twelfth in a series of what traits to look for in a life mate.  While the following sets a high standard, one that perhaps few will initially reach, each area identified is an important character trait to look for and inquire about as you consider a lifelong marriage partner.

12. Is this person walking in high moral character, purity and integrity (continued)?  Does this person exhibit any questionable behavior or tendencies toward lying, exaggerating or story telling?  Are there any unexplained or irrational behaviors that he/she or you excuse?  Is his/her character ever called into question?  Is this person forthright, open and honest with you even if it makes him/her look bad?  What does integrity mean to this person?  Does it mean more than looking good in the sight of others?  Does he/she hold a biblical view of purity and holiness and is their definition of purity holiness the same as yours?   (Galatians 1:10; Proverbs 10:9, 11:3, 12:22)

Integrity means telling the truth 100% of the time.  Jesus never lied and He desires us to follow His example of integrity.  I have a friend who at one time worked at a department store customer service counter and he said he caught people in lies all the time.  Every day our courts have persons take an oath to tell the truth and then speak falsely on the witness stand.  Truth telling is a value that will stand the test of time in a relationship.  When we do lie, we will soon discover that another lie will be needed to cover the first one.  The Lord detests lying lips, but delights in the truth.  (Proverbs 12:22)  Are you speaking the truth in your relationship and are you hearing the truth?

Money has a way of showing the depth of our character.  Treasures expose the heart of a man or woman.  Financial values are exposed in our giving, our sowing, in paying our bills, in our business affairs and transactions.  The scriptures are clear when it says that we will never be able to handle spiritual wealth if we cannot be faithful with a little worldly wealth.  Is this person honest in all of their financial dealings?  If they are bragging about getting away with something now, it will continue with increase.  Integrity must be deeper than simply gaining riches.  A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that poverty awaits him.  (Proverbs 28:22)

 





Finding a Life Mate: The Character Traits Worth Looking For #11

7 06 2011

This is the eleventh in a series of what traits to look for in a life mate.  While the following sets a high standard, one that perhaps few will initially reach, each area identified is an important character trait to look for and inquire about as you consider a lifelong marriage partner.

11. Is this person walking in high moral character, purity and integrity?  Does this person exhibit any questionable behavior or tendencies toward lying, exaggerating or story telling?  Are there any unexplained or irrational behaviors that he/she or you excuse?  Is his/her character ever called into question?  Is this person forthright, open and honest with you even if it makes him/her look bad?  What does integrity mean to this person?  Does it mean more than looking good in the sight of others?  Does he/she hold a biblical view of purity and holiness and is their definition of purity holiness the same as yours?   (Galatians 1:10; Proverbs 10:9, 11:3) 

Job had multiple problems in life, but perhaps none worse than his wife confronting him after severe loss with the question, “Are you still holding on to your integrity?”  Then, she gave him some awful advice, “Curse God and die!”  (Job 3: 9)  Nothing like support from the most important person on earth.  Character precedes anointing.  Integrity starts on the inside and works its way from the spirit of a man to the soul and then to the flesh.  Someone said that integrity is who you are when no one is looking.  If you know this person has issues with integrity and holiness now, marriage will not solve the problem, however; I do guarantee that it will increase the intensity of the problem.  You see, marriage has this strange ability to bring either the best or the worst out in us as the relationship matures to “iron sharpening iron.”  Immorality does not happen overnight, it happens with small compromises followed by small compromises.  We cannot afford thinking thoughts that are not God honoring thoughts because those thoughts are seeds to dishonoring actions.  High moral character, purity, holiness and integrity are attributes of our Lord and we must be in the process of becoming like Jesus, by the power of His Spirit living in us.  To be continued…








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