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Single Purpose

Eight Great Traits of Future Mates

Reminder: Keep your questions coming! More questions, more good blogs entries!

From reading many of your comments, it sounds like finding someone who shares a genuine faith and commitment to God is an important factor for you in choosing a future mate. I’m so happy to hear that, and I encourage you not to let that go. However, determining if the guy or gal you’ve been dating is the kind of person you want to marry can be confusing. Maybe you wonder at what point you’re either being too picky or too accommodating. Maybe you have trouble recognizing the habits and traits that should be present in a God-honoring mate. Consider the following questions to help determine the spiritual vitality of any potential mates.

Growing. Does this person seek out God willingly and eagerly on their own (without relying on you) by reading the Bible, praying, engaging in ministry at some level, and fellowshipping with other believers? God's best will have a growing relationship with Him that is genuine, fresh, and intimate in a way that is noticeably and consistently affecting their life.

Praying. Does this person pray regularly? Do they easily pray with you or in front of others? Do they talk about their prayer concerns and answered prayers? A marriage without prayer is like a light that hasn't been switched on — dark and powerless. A great mate will be someone who is conversing with God on a regular basis for direction in life, developing prayerful intimacy with God, and investing in the lives of others.

Pure. No matter what mistakes have been made in the past, is this person determined – now – to wait until marriage to have sex, refusing to use your body for their own sinful pleasure? Do they honor their word to preserve purity, not trying to entice you into a physical relationship? Does this person work hard to avoid “pushing the limits?" A great barometer of a person's current spiritual life is how they control their sexual urges. If they truly love God (and you) and want to be obediently set apart for Him, there won't be any excuses, playing with fire, or compromises. Trust me, this is possible. It’s called delayed gratification.

Teachable. Does this person ask for help? Do they admit when they’re wrong and say they're sorry? Do they respect God-given authority? Do they seek out godly counsel? Someone who invites wise counsel into their lives is a very trustworthy person. Plus, if a person is teachable with others, they will likely be teachable with God. There’s no greater trust and security in marriage than a mate who’s teachable before God, seeking His will above his/her own.

Honest. Does this person tell you the truth even when it's hard? Do they communicate openly about their feelings, struggles, past, and failures? Do they take responsibility for their actions when they do something wrong or hurtful? Do they frequently twist the truth or minimize to get out of trouble or make themselves look better? Counting on your partner's word in marriage is vital so there should be all the signs of honesty and openness, even when discussing hard issues or admitting to wrongs.

Whole. Does this person place their hopes, expectations, and emotional needs in God alone or do they try to fill up emptiness with the emotional support of others (you), or overindulgence in things like alcohol, food, drugs including prescriptions, spending money, T.V., sports, etc.? Does this relationship feel more like a drain or does it create positive energy? In a healthy marriage, both individuals must know where to get “filled up,” not depending on the other for happiness or constant fulfillment. They do not avoid pain or boredom, and are not afraid to be quiet and still. They must each be secure in their relationship with God alone. Only then can you have a content joy in being together without dashed expectations and hopes.

Surrendered. Is this person independently pursuing their own plans and goals, or do they frequently offer up their lives to God and His plans? If the person you marry is living for their own plans, you are not going to have the marriage God intends for you. Two people who are surrendered to God’s plans open up doors for a great marriage adventure!

Forgiving. Does this person forgive and get over things easily? Does he/she treat people kindly who have hurt them? Is there any area of bitterness or unforgiveness from their past that shows on the surface? A person who can't forgive usually hasn't really connected with God's forgiveness toward them. This person’s bitterness will make your life bitter, too. People who are forgiving recognize that God is ultimately in control and they can let go of offenses. This will work in your favor when you have marital conflict!

The most important thing to remember is that, whatever traits or habits you’re looking for in a future mate, you must also exemplify them yourself. If you want a godly mate, you will only attract that kind of person if you are that sort of person.

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 11:23 AM

Comments on this post

# RE: Eight Great Traits of Future Mates

Thanks so much for this one! I've posted once before on here (Singles & desire). I so enjoy your blogs! It's very refreshing to know there is support like ya'll out there! You know, single life is hard, especially when you already have youth group age kids, & when you've been married before & been in other serious relationships. It's a daily struggle for me to not give in. I think sometimes it would be so much easier to just go out with some of these men who want to go out, but I know better--I know they're not in it for the commitment to me or Christ! I've been praying & waiting every day for God to bring the right man into my life. (& waiting, & waiting :-) After the difficult hurts & relationships I've come out of, I know that's not what God has in store for me ever again! So, THANK YOU for reminding me to not give up on waiting for the best, and for helping me remember exactly what it is that the Christian man God has for me should reflect. God Bless You Both!
Left by Stacy on Mar 06, 2009 1:04 PM

# RE: Eight Great Traits of Future Mates

For Stacy and other waiting godly singles: The Lord has shown me that it is He who is to choose for me. He presents His choice for us and gives us the opportunity to choose the one He chooses. I have prayed about the list of qualities I would like in my mate and presented it to Him. God wants to give us the desires of our heart. As we delight ourselves in Him, He will. As we seek Him first, He will add a spouse to a "completed" us. We have been made righteous through Christ and since we are righteous, our steps are being ordered by our Father. The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives (Ps 37:23 NLT). Read "Where's My Mate?" by Bethany K. Scanlon. She teaches singles how to prepare for marriage God's way and how to believe for a mate. Her book is an uncompromising look at the principles of God's word. It also includes her personal testimony as well as testimonies of people she has prayed with to receive their mates. Great book!
Left by janice on Mar 06, 2009 4:03 PM

# RE: Eight Great Traits of Future Mates

Wow.....Grateful is an understatement. Thank you so much Julie and Lee for such rich information. As I read it i didn't know whether to smile, cry, dance, all those emotions simply put were an expression of how grateful i am, so thank you, thank you, thank you. May God continie to Bless your lives, ministries and families. To CBN Thank You as always for all you do to touch lives world over. And thank you Janice for Scanlon's book suggestion. To all my single brothers and sisters out there, whether you are writing on the blog or not, hang tight.....Jesus has our back, i'm finding Him (Jesus) more reliable than i ever knew Him to be, and that is because personally, I didn't know how to trust Him all the way. Let's give Jesus a chance to prepare us for our wonderful spouses. Massive Love!
Left by GodIsLove on Mar 07, 2009 7:37 PM

# RE: Eight Great Traits of Future Mates

Like the other's I thank you!!! I thank God, that He has allowed you to bless me with "Eight Great Traits Of Future Mates". Right now I am a single new Christian. (Both are a first for me, lol). But, when I sometimes meditate or speak about my future mate, and dating life. I often think "am I being too picky?" Your article has really helped me to confirm what I believe to be true and right, which is to be with someone who I can glorify God with! And I pray that this is God's will for my life as well.
I love this BLOG!!! Thanks again!!
Left by Taniere on Mar 10, 2009 2:51 AM

# RE: Eight Great Traits of Future Mates

I just found this blog Sunday afternoon. I read most of all the posts. It was as though God led me to this blog. I was bored and wanting to "play" on the i-net. For some reason I felt led to Google "700 Club." I didn't know what to read once I got to the CBN page. Next thing I know, found this blog. I have so many thoughts and questions I don't know where to start.
I am a single/never married woman of 34. I have been going back and forth in regards to my faith. It seems that in my life, when I do try to live a Godly life, some guy comes along to trip me up. So this eight traits post is awesome. Most, if not all, traits are so opposite of the men I have gone out with.
One question, could it seem like many people in society are ignoring God's laws of attraction? I am low-key and not flirty. It seems like men nowadays are interested in high maintenance women. The Bible seems to warn women not to puff themselves up and for men to stay away from those type of women.
Left by Kathy on Mar 10, 2009 8:47 PM

# RE: Eight Great Traits of Future Mates

I'm 26 and feel my challenges as a single are different; it doesn't bother me to be unmarried. I'm not anti-marriage but I just feel it will happen when it's supposed to happen one day.

However, I've never had a boyfriend and this does bother me. I get approached often and have dated several guys over the last 6 years but never got into a serious committed relationship.

God has blessed me tremendously and I've always had good self-esteem. I'm accomplished in my career and involved in church, with high standards and boundaries with men. I am also old-fashioned and do not pursue men.

Lately all these situations having not gone anywhere is making me feel terrible. I wonder why can't anyone I like ever see the value in me? I know God values me but all that rejection, no matter my boundaries or standards, has started making me wonder what's wrong with me where I can't even get a boyfriend. I feel more and more like trash, worthless or disposable, even though I know God loves me.
Left by renee on Mar 12, 2009 10:51 AM

# RE: Eight Great Traits of Future Mates

Renee...this is a great question. Lee has a post coming up tomorrow (we post every Friday) and next Friday, I'll tackle this question. So be sure to keep checking back!
Left by Julie Ferwerda on Mar 12, 2009 10:58 AM

# RE: Eight Great Traits of Future Mates

Renee,
Sometimes when we have high self esteem and are accomplished, men sometimes get the feeling you do not need them. They are threatened by your accomplishments. Do not lower yourself to attract someone. Also avoid unequal relationships. Get involved in organizations or activities that you enjoy. The right person may just be there when you least expect it. I am divorced and I made the decision to live my life as though I would always be single. That was one of the best decisions I made. When I did get involved with someone, it was not who God wanted for me and it caused pain that I could have avoided.
I am still single but feel that God is working in me to be the best I can be. If someone does come into my life, I will have to be the most important person in his life other than God.
I would rather be alone than to get into a dysfunctional, non godly relationship.
I love the Eight Traits list. I will save it for the future!
Left by Natural Health Lady on Mar 13, 2009 12:38 PM

# RE: Eight Great Traits of Future Mates

I'm in my mid-forties now and never married nor had kids. I still have the desire to get married but I know I'm overly sensitive and will always get hurt easily in a relationship. The pastor's wife told me to let it die and give it to God. My biggest fear is that if I give it to God and let it die I may never get married anyway. And my other fear is that I will get hurt again because I am so sensitive. Due to the second fear, it is easier that way for me to give up the desire for marriage. I don't know what to do! I don't want to get hurt again and yet my desire to have a meaningful relationship remains unfulfilled. Please give advice. Thanks.
Left by Teresa Chavez on May 22, 2009 5:10 PM

# RE: Eight Great Traits of Future Mates

this article has been very helpful for in making better descisions then i have been making thank you for the list.Lists are helpful
Left by mary on Feb 17, 2011 4:25 PM