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A Good and Perfect Gift

When it comes to choosing the right spouse, you might think you know the type of person you want to marry, but God knows what type of person will fit you the best.

He made you, and He knows you better than you know yourself. He knows your strengths and weaknesses, and so He knows the type of person that will not only compliment you, but you will compliment them.  

If you will follow God’s advice and the leading of the Holy Spirit when you’re dating, He’ll hook you up with someone who will surpass your expectations in every area. So guys, don’t be afraid and think that following God’s will concerning your future spouse means you’re going to have to be with someone you think is homely and someone you can’t stand to be with.  

Ephesians 3:20 (AMPC) says God’s plans for you are “superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think.” If that’s the case, then you should probably let God help you choose the right person to spend your life with. He loves you and wants you to enjoy your life. He’ll bring someone across your path that will not only compliment you and be a help and a strength to you, but also someone that you’ll be attracted to, enjoy being with, and who you’ll want to spend the rest of your life with! God’s just that good!  

The Take Away:

Start believing God and confessing His Word regarding your future spouse and marriage. Start speaking this: “Father, You’ve said in Your Word that he that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor of the Lord. You also said that every good and perfect gift comes from You, and that You won’t withhold any good thing from those that walk uprightly. So, Father, I thank You that You’ve got a really good wife picked out for me. She’ll be above and beyond what I could have picked out for myself. And on the flip side, I’ll be someone that she thinks is above and beyond what she could have picked out for herself.” 

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Haste Makes Mistakes

When they’re young, a lot of guys have a tendency to get in a hurry and get married. 

Their hormones have kicked into high gear. They see someone they’re attracted to and immediately fall in love or think they’re in love. But before jumping into a lifelong commitment, some great advice to follow is Proverbs 19:2 (NLT), “Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.” 

Guys, if you want God’s best, then you might want to see what God’s Word has to say about what to look for in a wife before making an impulsive decision to commit your life to someone “till death do us part.” The fear of the Lord, or in other words, respecting and listening to what God has to say, is the beginning of wisdom, and it will bring length of days, riches, and honor (Proverbs 3:13, 16).  

So, if you want God’s best when it comes to who you should marry, you need to seek Him first, and go to His Word to get some direction. In the end, you’ll be glad you did!

The Take Away:

Take time to go to the Word of God and find out what it says about husbands, wives, marriage, and family. Start believing God and confessing His Word regarding your future spouse and marriage. Pray this: “Father, I thank You for the amazing wife You have for me. I pray that You lead, guide, and direct my steps and hers so that our paths cross. I thank you for the patience to wait and not get in a hurry and make a mistake. I hear Your voice I’m led by Your Spirit, and I’m confident that Your perfect will is going to be done in my life.”

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Willing to Change

Another characteristic you might want to consider in a potential spouse is their willingness and ability to change, especially when it comes to bad habits or even small quirks that seem to just annoy you. 

My wife and I used to joke and say, “A spouse is somebody anointed by the Holy Ghost to reveal character flaws in your life. It’s part of their job.” And, there is some truth to that. Our spouse can see things that we don’t and help us knock off rough edges and fine-tune areas that need some tweaking. If done in the right manner, it will be a blessing because couples can help each other grow and become better individuals. 

However, many people aren’t open to change. They have the attitude, This is who I am, so take me or leave me. I’m not going to change for you or anyone else. If you really love me, you’ll just accept me for who I am. But Proverbs 27:17 (KJV) says, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” 

A person who truly loves you will want to help you be the best “you” that you can be. It might not seem like it when they give you constructive criticism but love always seeks the best interests of others. So, if you trust them and know that they love you, you’ll understand that they’re not trying to hurt you; they’re trying to help you. Even God says the reason He corrects you is because He loves you and wants you to grow (ref. Hebrews 12:6 NLT).  

One of the best things you could have in life is someone who’ll be honest enough to tell you, “You know I love you and don’t want to hurt you, but there are some habits that are annoying. You really ought to think about changing this, especially if we’re going to spend a lifetime together.”  

The Take Away:

Are both you and the person you’re dating able to point out annoying habits and have a constructive conversation about those areas? Are you both willing to make adjustments and change as needed? However, make sure you’re not nitpicking and making mountains out of molehills. 

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Is He Sensitive to My Problems?

When you love someone, you’ll be sensitive to their problems and try to be an encouragement to them and help them through their difficulties. That’s how love works.

However, sometimes insensitivity can be a problem simply because men and women think differently. For example, many times men seem to blow off what a woman is worrying about simply because men don’t think the same way women do. It’s not necessarily that they don’t care, but a lot of times it’s because they just don’t worry about the same things. So, they wonder, Why is she worrying about that? It’s really not a big deal.  

But if you want to grow in your relationship, you have to realize this: My job is to help meet the needs of this individualThis problem is a big deal to this person, so I just need to show some compassion and understanding. I need to figure out how I can encourage them, ease their stress, and help them through this difficulty.  

Those kinds of actions are what will help fine-tune and grow a marriage relationship.  

The Take Away:

Does the man you’re dating ignore or lightly esteem the difficulties you go through? Does he take time to really listen to the things that you’re dealing with and give you encouragement, or does he just expect you to deal with them on your own because he doesn’t want to be bothered with your problems? Discuss how you can become more sensitive and engaged in helping each other with individual problems that arise.  

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Be With Someone Who Makes Life Enjoyable

A great quote that you might be familiar with reads, “I love people who make me laugh. I honesty think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” (Audrey Hepburn) 

Ladies, if you’re going to spend your life with someone, make sure he’s someone you enjoy being with. Life can be depressing enough without being married to Mr. Depression or Mr. Worrywart. Yes, he needs to be a good provider, read his Bible, and be a spiritual leader, but you know, if you’re going to wake up next to this guy every morning, is he a fun person to be with? It’s good to be with someone who is a hard worker and responsible, but it’s also important to be able to enjoy life together.  

I believe God is a fun God. The Bible says that in His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11) and that He sits in the heavens and laughs (Psalm 2:4). So, He has a sense of humor and is happy! God is not a depressed, angry, irritable workaholic. Jesus dealt with all kinds of problems when He lived on this planet, and yet He said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30 KJV). So, as crazy, messed up, and chaotic as this world is, God is not walking around worried, burdened down, and carrying the weight of it on His shoulders. He’s happy, walking in joy, and full of laughter. 

The Bible says we’re to be imitators of God as dear children (Ephesians 5:1). So, that means you need to enjoy the life He’s given you. And if you’re going to do that, then the person you marry ought to be somebody who’s fun to be around and that you enjoy being with. 

The Take Away:

Make sure the person you choose to spend your life with is someone you love doing life with. Take a good look at the person you’re dating—do they make you laugh? What things do you have in common that you enjoy doing together just for fun? Life is more than working to pay bills and shouldering responsibilities. Those things are important, but God wants us to enjoy the life He’s given us and enjoy each other.  

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Treasured and Cherished

The Bible says, “The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD.” (Proverbs 18:22 NLT).

In Ephesians 5:28-29 (NIV) the Bible talks about husbands loving their wives as their own bodies. When you love your body, you feed it, nurture it, and take care of it. You don’t do things to hurt yourself or tear yourself down. Well, that’s how a husband needs to love his wife. He needs to treasure and cherish her. 

That means a husband is not going to shout at his wife, abuse her, talk harshly or unkindly to her, or make unreasonable demands. He won’t use force—physical or psychological—or use manipulation in order to get his own way.  

If a guy you’re dating shows any of those characteristics, it’s not a good sign. If he’s quick to yield to anger, then he has no self-control. Proverbs 14:17 (ESV) says, “A man of quick temper acts foolishly.” You don’t want to marry someone who is going to do something rash and act foolishly in a moment of anger. Think about it; if he’s yelling now during your dating relationship when there’s not much pressure, then what will happen if you get married and start having children, and there’s a whole lot of pressure to deal with? If he can’t control himself now, he will not be able to later.  

So ladies, when you’re looking for a husband, consider how the person you’re dating is treating you now. Actions can speak volumes, and the person you share your life with should act like you’re the most important person in his life next to the Lord. He should treat you like you’re valuable and communicate his appreciation.  

The Take Away:

Ladies, when you’re dating, here are a few qualities to look for in a potential spouse: faith, patience, kindness, joy, honorable to others, not self-seeking, not easily angered, trustworthy, protector.  

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Politeness and Good Manners Never Go Out of Style

One of the greatest irritations and complaints that we hear in our marriage seminars from the ladies is, “My husband won’t call me when he’s late. He doesn’t understand why that’s important to me.” 

Most men don’t think checking in with their wife is a big deal. They kind of blow it off with the response, “Well, dear Lord, I’m fine! If I wasn’t fine, you’d hear about it, so quit worrying. I don’t need to check in with you all the time.”  

But realize this, the woman you married became your helpmeet. She left her family name and took on your family name, and she’s entwined with you. She is one with you whether you realize it or not, so she is concerned about where you are.  

Even if you’ve been together for a while, you might think, Well, she should know me by now. Why do I need to constantly check in? But, guys, the sooner you understand and just accept that most women are really big on communication, the easier it will be to have a happy wife and a happy life. It may help you to accept this by realizing that God is big on communication as well. He says, “I know everything about you. I know what you need before you ask, but you still have to ask Me. I want to have a two-way conversation with you.”  

When it comes to any relationship, communication is important. And the simple courtesy of calling if you’re going to be late, or even just checking in once during the day, is a small price to pay to give peace and a sense of security to your wife and help grow your relationship. 


The Take Away:

Ladiesjust a few things to consider when dating: Is he on time for dates? Does he call if he’s running late? How courteous is he? Does he think about your feelings, and is he respectful of your time and schedule? If there are areas that really bother you, is he open to discussing them and being willing to change if need be? 

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Total Transparency—No Secrets

If you’re dating someone seriously, make sure there’s total transparency in your relationship before you marry them. Because if they hide things from you now, it’s probably not going to change after you get married.  

A saying that you’re probably familiar with is, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” And there are a lot of men who have that same philosophy when it comes to their work and live by the motto, “what happens at work, stays at work.” As a result, they end up leading two different lives. They have a home life with their wife and a completely separate work life that their wives are never a part of.  

However, when God created Eve, He created her to be Adam’s helpmeet. He created them to do life together—that means involvement, working together, and complete transparency in every area. 

In our men’s retreats, I would say, “Never, never lie to your wife.” First of all, you need to realize that it’s almost impossible to lie to her because women are very perceptive. If you lie to her, nine times out of ten, she’s going to know it. And secondly, you need to know that broken trust is one of the hardest areas to repair in any relationship, especially with the person you’re in covenant with to love and cherish and who is supposed to be the closest person to you, second only to Jesus.  

So, when you’re looking for a spouse, keep in mind that a key component to a successful marriage is complete transparency—no secrets.  

The Take Away:

Questions to ask when looking for a potential spouse: Does he communicate with me about what’s going on with his job? Does he want to include me and have me with him at work related social activities? Is he transparent and trustworthy? Are there areas where you feel he holds you at arm’s length and doesn’t want you to trespass onto “his territory”?  

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Does He Respectfully Consider My Input?

The Bible says, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31 KJV).

One is not greater than the other. Their roles and their strengths and weaknesses may be different, but one is not greater than the other; they’re equal. Yet, even though they’re equal, that doesn’t mean they’re created the same. God knew what He was doing, and He didn’t make men and women exactly alike. He did that on purpose so that they could help one another, and they could be stronger together as one.  

There are some men who believe that women are not equal and are subpar. Those guys tend to have a male chauvinistic attitude. They don’t want to listen to their wife’s suggestions or advice because it messes with their ego. They think, “I’m the head. I don’t need any input from you. I’ll make this decision, and no matter what, I’m right. You just need to submit and follow me.”  

Being in a lifelong relationship with someone like that will not be easy. If you offer suggestions or advice and he doesn’t want to listen and always ignores your input, then you might want to think twice about whether he’s the right marriage material for you. 

A person who understands leadership and what it means for the two of you to come together as one, will value your opinion, even if they disagree with it. They’ll give consideration to your suggestions and advice before making a final decision. 

The Take Away:

Ladies, make sure that the man you’re considering marrying is open to listening to your advice, input, suggestions, and even complaints without feeling threatened or resenting the fact that you shared them.  

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Friday Funny: That Escalated Quickly

Listen as Joe shares about early married life.

Couples looking to get married should always go to pre-marital counseling.
It’s best to find out as much as you can and be on the same page, before you marry.
There are always people who wait until AFTER they’re married, to discuss important topics.
Joe shares this hilarious story about how he was a little behind the curve in talking about some important issues!

Watch & Be Encouraged:

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