(catch the live stream replay of my teaching on this at https://www.periscope.tv/GetRealBeHealed/1gqGvbmmaRnGB)
For those of us who are serious about finding a purpose partner, i.e., not a playtime partner, a mean time partner or a placeholder partner (this is another blog post altogether!), these are the criteria that absolutely MUST be in place for in a person to be seriously considered as a potential spouse. Don’t make the mistake I did which was to allow my heart to engage (i.e., fall in love) with someone who was strong in one or two areas, but very weak in the other areas. Every area must have a degree of strength and sustainability for you to have a relationship that survives the long haul. In other words, a person will not be perfect, but you must see significant fruit over time in these areas if you want to have a God-honoring partnership that is one of purpose. So here goes!
He or she must be walking in a significant degree of healing from traumatic issues and relationships from past (ex-spouse/ex-girlfriend/boyfriend, childhood traumas, tragedies). They must have healthy boundaries with members of the opposite sex and they must cut off relationships with all ex’s and “friends with benefits” from the past. This means having undergone a significant amount of healing and processing which can only be seen over time. Evidence of healing would include the ability to not keep bringing up the past, referencing the past, actively talking to ex-wives (unless minor children involved), ex-girlfriends, lovers, somehow maintaining a connection (social media stalking, etc). If someone is really serious about you they will not still communicating platonically with members of the opposite sex that could be a potential problem for the new relationship. No matter how platonic a relationship is between a man and a woman, inevitably at some point 99.99999% of the time, one of the two will secretly or unwittingly “catch the feels”. Your potential partner should not behave as if they don’t have a significant other to think about. Also, when it comes to being healed from the past, don’t mistake ability to share and talk about the past as being healed. No, it is just sharing. A person can be very good at talking about their feelings and what happened but that doesn’t mean that they are healed from it, it just means they are able to talk about to you as a nice emotional blanket (dumping all of their baggage on you) but are still unwilling to actually do the soul level work required to heal.
He or she must be flowing in their passion, life – calling or purpose in a significant way already. They do not have to be all big and hot shot about it, but sincere and passionate, actively doing what God called him or her to do. A man should not be pursuing a woman as a girlfriend, wife etc. if he is not pursuing God and his life purpose first. If a man is on eHarmony looking for love and sex but not seeking God about his next steps or his purpose, he is out of order. A man is not ready for a helpmeet if he doesn’t have a purpose to work on that he needs help with. A woman is not qualified to be a helpmeet to help a man, if she can’t surrender to God’s vision for her life. If she can’t submit to God’s purpose for her, she can’t submit to a mutual vision with a husband. If a man is flowing in his calling to some degree it will increase is confidence and that confidence will spill to other areas of life and make him a better husband. The same holds true for a woman. When she is in the flow of life purpose, it makes her show up more fully into the woman that God created her to be. Then they are in a position to be mutually aligned in purpose.
A Man must be Consistent in Provision, Protection, Communication and Showing up for his woman. A Woman must be ready to receive him, cultivate the capacity to be vulnerable and being a safe place for her man’s heart. This means he pays, he covers, he texts, calls and does what he says he’s going to do. He never asks her for money. There is no shucking and jiving, no here today, gone tomorrow. A woman should be wondering if he is going to call, show up, etc. He should be very reliable at all times and not leave her wondering and guessing. A true godly man will not give the devil room to create anxiety, insecurity and vain imaginations in her head. He will never leave her hanging and uncovered like that. You should be able to talk and have serious conversations without disrespect, diminishing, negativity, drama. He should not be arrogant or self-centered and willing to listen. Same holds true for the woman. She treats him with utmost respect and is able to be open and vulnerable, thus encouraging him to be vulnerable and share his heart with hers. She is not all hard, super independent and bossy. She can receive his help, protection, provision and covering without feeling like it makes her less of a person or weaker. She understands that it’s not her college degrees or six figure salary that draws him (even though those things are good), it is her capacity to be a safe place for his heart and be his Queen. Queens reign with quiet confidence and dignity. They are interdependent, not independent or co-dependent.
The Man Must Exhibit Spiritual Leadership and the Woman must be Spiritually Mature. A man who is serious about his woman and serious about his relationship with God will want to take the lead spiritually in the relationship and will show signs of it by initiating prayer, bible studies, church attendance and asking about and being concerned about his woman’s spiritual growth. His presence should inspire her to draw closer to God and her presence should want him to draw closer to God as well. However, if a man is not flowing in purpose (#2 above) or has unresolved issues in (#1 above), then he is not leading himself to God consistently, therefore cannot lead his woman. Don’t make the mistake of looking at how well-read he may be on spiritual things, his past roles in the Church and his overall salvation as a deciding factor that he has the spiritual depth and fortitude to grow spiritually with you. Both partners should have confidence that either one can get a prayer through. In other words, when life gets really tough, you want a partner that knows how to pray. You don’t want someone that can’t pray, does know the Word and here you are struggling and can barely keep you mind together during a rough patch. Because your partner doesn’t have a prayer life or lacks spiritual depth, you will wind up having to seek outside support first instead of your spouse (who should be the very first person above all before the best friend, church people, other family) Even if you have no doubt that your significant other is truly saved and knows God, if their soul is weak and unhealed and they are not willing to do the work of healing, he or she will not make the grade spiritually – especially if you want a relationship of Kingdom significance and purpose. Women should not be pushing the man to pray or go to church. In the dating and courtship phase, he should already be established and you should be able to sense the peace and love of God in his energy around you. Same is true for the man. For any woman you are considering to be your partner, she should be actively cultivating her own relationship with God and you should see the fruit of it in her presence when you are with her.
There must be Chemistry/Attraction/General Compatibility. There should be mutual physical and personality attraction. You should be attracted to your future spouse and they should be attracted to you. There should be chemistry. But I think chemistry will be greater when #1-4 above is in place as well. It is not wise to be with someone who you are not attracted to and there is no chemistry. There must be basic personality compatibility. Even with different personalities and with conflict, there should be the capacity to mesh well or “become one” – not in the sexual sense, but in the sense of becoming one on all dimensions. Going back to the first two points — there is something about leading spiritually, being consistent, healed up from past and flowing in passion that is sexy and creates chemistry.
There must be a Willingness to Be Abstinent until Marriage. If you are reading this blog, chances are you are a Christian. Those of with a biblical perspective and worldview of dating and courtship know that sex outside of marriage is out of alignment with scripture. For a Christian couple who sincerely takes their relationship with Christ seriously, this is paramount. This means deciding up front what your physical boundaries are. This means putting the accountability, time limits, mental and emotional boundaries in place to protect your sexuality until marriage. There is an old saying – “Jesus will keep you, if you want to be kept…”
Well, there it is!!!! You can catch the replay of this teaching on live stream via periscope at https://www.periscope.tv/GetRealBeHealed/1gqGvbmmaRnGB!!!
Until next time,