Or you think they may be THE ONE.
Or you hope that they are.
But how can you know for sure?
- Saved. This is the lowest common denominator allowed by Scripture.
- Submissive to their authorities. They will treat God the way they treat their authorities.
- Spirit-led. Do they have a personal, warm, daily relationship with God?
- Self-Sacrificing. Or why would they put a spouse before their own selfish desires?
2. Is he a Proverbs Man? Is she a Proverbs Woman? Are they following Biblical advice regarding:
- And other Proverbs-type topics
3. What are the advisers in your life seeing in this person?
Pastors. Parents. Other spiritual leaders should also see God's hand in your relationship. In fact, don't even consider a close relationship with someone until you have the blessing of your spiritual advisers, especially your parents. Think of Genesis 24, where Laban and Bethuel say, "The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good." When you have that kind of response from others, it is a very good sign indeed! You want God's will to be obvious to all.
4. How do they respond within their natural life's contexts?
- Do you want to live with someone like this?
- Do you like the way they interact with their authorities/co-workers/friends?
- How do they conduct themselves at church? The bowling alley? The football game? Are they consistent?
- Especially note how that lady treats her father and how that man treats his mother. That is probably the way they will treat you!
5. What do you personally need in a spouse, based on God's calling for you?
Do they fit this? Do you know what God has called you and made you to do? Figure that out first!
6. What else do you want in a spouse?
What are those cherry-on-the-top qualities you long for? Maybe you always wanted to marry a hunter. Or a musician. Maybe you want someone with a sense of humor. Or maybe it is something physical: a deep bass voice, blue eyes, long blonde hair, or a scruffy beard. (I hope your list doesn't include all four of these items!) This is where many people start. It is not an appropriate starting place. It is the thing to consider after everything else.
When you have a person you are specifically considering as a mate, run through this list with them in mind. Check things off as you go.
If God is directing you to this relationship, you should be able to check off most or all of these qualifications!
So. . .
Check that potential mate.
One final work of caution:
If that person doesn't check out according to these characteristics, instead of a check mate, you may end up with a stale mate.
(Uuuugh. I know. But I couldn't resist. . .)