Your resolution: to improve your love life in 2017. That’s good! Some more social activities, a better prayer life, excellent! But have you thought about cleaning your list of criteria a little bit? It may be too long!
Ah, the famous list of criteria! Some singles take this exercise very seriously, and their list can easily stretch to forty criteria. Being selective is good, but too many criteria can be confusing and delay our decision indefinitely. Let’s go back to the source: what does the Bible say about the subject?
In the historical context where the Bible was written, marriages were arranged. The young women, like the young men, did not have the luxury of forming an exhaustive list of criteria. Good fathers certainly took into account their children’s taste, but it was the fathers who formed the list.
What were their criteria? The clearest example is the story of Abraham when he was looking for a wife for his son Isaac (Genesis 24). When the time came, he sent his servant to seek a wife with one criterion: that she should be born of his people, not of the Canaanites. In short, a woman who shares the same faith.
So the servant left with this directive, and he added another criterion. “Let it happen, that the young lady to whom I will say, ‘Please let down your pitcher, that I may drink,’ and she will say, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink,’—let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” (Genesis 24:14 WEB) For the servant, it was necessary for the chosen one to be a devoted and hard worker, and she had to prove it. Giving water to ten camels was a huge task!
Note that the servant did not ask for a blonde or brunette. He did not mention her weight, her hobbies or her bank account. She was only to be faithful, devoted and hardworking. In the context of the area where Isaac lived, two essential criteria to be to be able to survive and be a valuable helper. Today, our fathers no longer arrange marriages, but this story is a good example to follow.
- Like Abraham, our first criterion should be to share the same faith (2 Corinthians 6:14). Faith builds our family, dictates our standards. If you do not share the same faith, the foundation of your home will be continually shaken.
- Then we can add 2 or 3 essential criteria to us, as the servant of Abraham did. These are criteria that allow you to be compatible in the deepest of your personality, your passions, and your dreams. For example, if you are an athlete or someone that participates in a competitive sport, you will never be happy with a totally sedentary person. Such a great dichotomy between the two personalities will only cause tensions and misunderstandings. Or, a very insecure person in his finances will never be happy with a very liberal spender. What are the 2-3 points that make you who you are, which form the heart of your personality? Those will be the essential criteria to add to your list.
And that’s all. Faith and 2 or 3 essential criteria. Physical traits change with time, emotions heal and mature, activities evolves according to the seasons of our lives, especially when children arrive! You can add more according to your personal taste, as a bonus list, but don’t use those as non-negotiable criteria. Do not reject a man because he is a little chubby. If he shares your faith and your passions, you already have a good basis for building a new life.