My husband and I agree that if we had lived in the same city when we were dating, we probably wouldn’t be married. At the time, I thought I wanted to find someone who liked volleyball, words, and music. Instead, I was introduced to someone who likes hunting, math, and wonders why anyone would sing when they could just talk. (Plus, in an especially fun twist, we cheer for rival football teams.)
I see now that I wanted someone like me personality-wise—which is a pretty bad idea, because two of me would be too much! That’s why, for us, being three times zones away from each other meant we didn’t focus as much on the superficial differences, which is good because, on the whole, I find that most spouses are opposite on unimportant things. You will find one introvert, one extrovert; one early bird (which is me, typing this at 5 A.M.) and one night owl; one person who loves being punctual and one for whom “on time” is not as rigidly defined.
What is more important when you’re searching for “The One” is to ask yourself this question:
Is this The One Who Will Help Me Live the Gospel?
When all those early-stage-of-love hormones flood your brain and all is right in the relationship world, it’s hard to even consider that at some point one of you will become ill, you’ll have to pay bills, and his or her quirks won’t always be endearing. Love and patience will get tested.
So will you look at the challenges as an opportunity to show The One (and the people around you) how God’s love works? After all, when we were still sinners, God sent Jesus for us. He didn’t wait until we treated him kindly or did nice things for others. He loved us first. Now he gives believers opportunities to love each other the same way—as Christ loved us and sacrificed himself for us.
And the marriage works best when the other person asks the same question. Want tips on what to look for in a spouse? Check out this Your Time of Grace video from Pastor Mike.
One caveat . . . Please do not think I’m advocating allowing yourself to be consistently mistreated or putting up with abuse. I’m talking about living out day-to-day forgiveness. There are times where you need to end a relationship. Talk to your pastor and ask for wise advice from Christian friends to help you.
Linda Buxa wasn’t completely honest with her husband before they got married. While dating, she baited her own hook and then helped clean the fish, pretending it didn’t gross her out. She doesn’t do that anymore. For a few more premarriage tips, check out http://www.timeofgrace.org/blog/PracticalQuestionsforMarriage.