Finding a Life Mate: The Character Traits Worth Looking For #18

28 07 2011

This is the eighteenth 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.

18. How does this person view finances and is he/she a good steward of personal wealth?  What are this person’s financial values?  Does he/she pay bills on time?  Has this person incurred debt, and if so, what kind of debt is it (e.g., college loans, mortgage or car payments, credit card or consumer debt)?  Does this person value saving and giving?  What is his/her view of credit card usage?   ((Deuteronomy 8:17, 18; Proverbs 11:24, 25, 28; 13:22; 22:1,4,7)

When my wife and I take a couple through premarital and postmarital they must complete a budget sheet that looks at twelve months worth of income and expenses.  Over the course of a year, we get a much more complete picture of our finances and our financial values.  Can you guess what the outcome is?  Most couples are spending more than they take in before they say “I do.”  While our government can seem to do that, we cannot.  What we’re really talking about is financial values…do we share the same values when it comes to saving, spending and earning?  If I look at your credit card statement or bank account, I would be able to tell what you value financially.  Have you discussed this with the person you are in a relationship with?  So many of life’s marital disagreements end up being about money. 

In the beginning of our marriage, we had financial struggles.  As I saw it, Mary was a “spender” and I was a “saver.”  Of course in my mind, a saver was the better of the two, but I was wrong.  Mary was a giver and I needed to receive and embrace her value of giving.  I was concerned for our future and desired more financial security.  Mary also needed to take steps to adapt to my value so that the differences actually formed a stronger family financial value.  Consequently today, one of our strengths is our financial agreement.

We’ll continue the discussion on finances in the next blog entry…





Finding a Life Mate: The Character Traits Worth Looking For #17

18 07 2011

This is the seventeenth 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.

17. Does this person handle conflict well?  What is his/her method of handling conflict in life?  Can this person deal with conflict in a healthy manner and effectively work through differences?  Does this person avoid it, ignore it or internalize his/her feelings?  Does he/she get angry and sulk, get loud and verbally abusive or respond physically?  Does this person seek humility or self-justification?  (Proverbs 11:2; 15:1; 22:24; 29:11, 22)

I Corinthians 13: 5 tells us that love is not easily angered and does not keep record of wrongs.  Do you ever find yourself tempted to keep a mental note of those who hurt you?  In NASCAR auto racing they call it “pay backs.”  In other words, you wreck me, be assured sometime when the right opportunity surfaces, I will wreck you.  Social scientists tell us that the number one determining factor of whether or not a marriage will make it is the ability of the couple to properly deal with conflict.  Did you get that?  It is not connected to whether or not you have conflict or how much conflict, but what is your ability to actually work through the conflict.  Two questions to consider: How did your family deal with conflict?  How do you tend to handle conflict? 

Historically, the family I was raised in pretended that the conflict did not happen and we would continue through our day not dealing with it and consequently never find any solution to the issue.  If you can maturely work through a conflict to the point of a satisfactory resolve, you are ahead of the game.  Arguing with ongoing heated words over the “problem” as you see it, will keep you from maturely arriving at a solution.  The next time you find yourself in a conflict, try steering the disagreement toward a solution sooner.  You’ll be amazed at the difference.





Finding a Life Mate: The Character Traits Worth Looking For #16

11 07 2011

This is the sixteenth 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.

16. How do you observe his/her personal relationships?  What is the nature of this person’s relationships with parents, siblings, friends, bosses at work or teachers at school, neighbors, co-workers and former significant others?  Does this person walk in freedom from past hurts or wounds from peers or authority figures?  Does he/she tend to blame others for relational issues, or does he/she take ownership of personal shortcomings?  Does this person acknowledge and apologize when he/she is wrong?  (Matthew 6: 14; Colossians 3: 12-13; I Timothy 2: 1-2)

Somewhere I read about this fellow who took on a new job and was asked by his new boss about the atmosphere of his former employment.  The man replied, “It was terrible, the people were difficult and the bosses were impossible. ”  Then he added, “I sure hope it’s different here.”  His new manager quickly retorted, “It won’t be.”  He was coming with the wrong attitude and he’ll most likely leave with the wrong attitude.  Maturity means that we take responsibility.  Life hurts and stings are simply not everyone else’s fault.  If someone you love rarely takes responsibility for their shortcomings, believe me, eventually you’ll be their target.  I once knew a man like this who could not keep a job.  Oh, he was a hard worker and all, but he could not take orders from anyone.  This type of person ends up being able to only work for themselves, being their own boss.

Relationships are the most important thing in life.  While we do not choose our parents, our siblings and some others, it is our choice in how hard we work at humbling ourselves in order to get along with them.  Someone wisely said, “Do you want to be right or do you want to be in relationship?”  There are times in life when both are not an option.  Walk humbly before your God and one another.  Show lots of grace, because it’s grace you’ll need for yourself one day.  Meditate on the above noted scripture, stop blaming others, look in the mirror and resolve to take the necessary steps of change toward humility.








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