There's been no shortage of articles running through the maze of Twitter and Facebook on the character traits to look for in a spouse. It's only natural that the steady stream of marital infidelities is putting fear in hearts enough to stir a desperation that would find comfort in a checklist.
I'm not saying these articles don't have value, but please believe me when I tell you that the very best thing you can do is simply concentrate on being an intentional pursuer of Christ who walks in the Spirit. Anything else puts you in the position of being needy enough to minimize behavior that would otherwise give you reason to reconsider. Anything else puts you in the position of being hungry enough to excuse behavior that would otherwise give you reason to retreat.
It's not about looking for perfection. It's about loving the God of Light enough to trust that He is your greatest hope for having sinful darkness exposed, both in your own life and in the life of another.
When you make the pursuit of Christ your highest ambition, the response to exposed sin becomes far more important to you than the absence of sin. You won't look for perfection, because you will understand how far short we all fall. On the other hand, you will take holiness seriously enough not to excuse sin. The fruit of the Spirit will be your passion, and no amount of good looks or sex appeal will successfully compete with the attraction you have in your heart for love, joy, peace, patience, humility, kindness and gentleness.
It doesn't take rocket science to know whether or not you're in a relationship with someone who is making Christ their highest pursuit. Though not impossible, it's very difficult for someone to feign that pursuit with any consistency. If knowing Christ and His resurrection power is your passion, you won't settle for marrying someone if it's not their passion. You will understand when friendship material is not marriage material, when the fabric of the relationship isn't woven tightly enough to support the weight of marital intimacy. And you won't make the deadly mistake of believing you can strengthen the fabric of that relationship with your own effort and your own affection.
Don't allow fear of marriage and its potential for pain to fill your heart. The Lord promises us safety, and it's His sovereign choosing to allow that safety to unfold in His perfect way that aligns with His perfect judgment. This isn't about securing any guarantee that you won't experience deep heartache in your marriage. This is about standing on the guarantee of safety that is found in the Lord.
1. Pursue Christ.
2. Walk in the Spirit.
This. Carry this checklist in your heart.