The list. Oh, you’ve heard of it. All of the traits that you want your mate to have. The things that you are believing in God to provide because, ask and ye shall receive, right? Over the years I’ve heard a number of arguments on why people should or shouldn’t have a list. On one hand, you shouldn’t settle for less than what you want/deserve; however, on the other hand, how do you really, truly know what you want until you’ve met the person? In fact, many of the successfully married people that I’ve met reveal that the person they married is not anyone they ever expected to wind up with, yet they couldn’t imagine life any other way.
Having a “wish list” may be a good idea for Christmas or birthday gifts, but when it comes to your dealings with other people, are you really going to pass on a what could be a wonderful husband/wife and parent to your future children simply because he doesn’t drive a Benz or she prefers jeans and a t-shirt to dresses and heels? Ultimately, that decision is up to you. Either way, I still think it’s very important to honestly evaluate what you want in a mate and I believe the first step to considering what you want is to define what a mate or spouse is, exactly.
If you really think about it, isn’t your spouse an “overseer?” They “oversee” the children, the household, the bank account…God forbid you get sick, they will “oversee” your medical affairs…This is a very important task to be appointed to someone.
In 1 Timothy 3, Paul gives his protégée Timothy direction on how to select the deacons and overseers of his church. He mentions the following traits that a person (in this case, a man) must have to become an overseer. He must be:
- Above reproach (meaning his words and actions conform to God’s word)
- The husband of but one wife (faithful)
- Able to teach
- Not given to drunkenness
- Not violent, but gentle
- Not quarrelsome
- Not a lover of money
- He must manage his family well
*Please take a moment to review the chapter in its entirety, as I left off a couple of points for clarity’s sake
He also goes on to say that “11In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.”
In Ephesians 5, Paul compares the relationship between husbands and wives with that of Christ and the Church. Maybe using the criteria the church uses to select their overseers as a guide to how we approach the selection of our “overseers” is a good place to start. At the end of the day, maybe it’s not having a list, but what’s on your list that makes the biggest difference…How do these things fit in to your ideal description of a mate?