"The LIST" - How to Set the Criteria for Your Mate

"I want him tall, I want her to cook like my mama, I want him to pay my rent..." If your list for your mate sounds like this, you may need an assessment, but even if it doesn't, truth couldn't hurt.

v A Man's Heart plans his Way, but the Lord directs

his steps. – Proverbs 16:9

v The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he

delighteth in his way. – Psalm 37:23

v Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in

the way he should choose. – Psalm 25:12

1. BEHAVIOR FOCUSED: Is my list based on “Behaviors” I want to see happen? -

A long-term commitment for marriage requires much more than good behavior. Eventually the HEART of your mate will be exposed…then what? Your goal should be a mate whose HEART AND MIND HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED by the love of God through his Word. rather than a mate that CONFORMS. This requires a renewed heart in the Word.

Ø Seek a person who’s Heart Loves God and is filled with His Word.

Psalm 37:31 - The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

2. EXTERNALLY FOCUSED: Is my list based mostly on physical features, money, social standing, or the color of his colar?

It is perfectly ok to list your preferences, and some of these are important indicators, but remember, if you are constantly SOWING REJECTION based solely on the external, or the superficial, be prepared to reap rejection or betrayal based on the external. Remember: There is always someone richer, more shapely, buffer or of a higher social standing than you. Grass withers!

Ø Seek someone who understands the principles of God’s way to prosper, the Laws of Sowing and Reaping and who delight to operate in those laws. Tell God your preferences, make sure they are driven by love and not lust, and believe that he will give you the desires of your heart.

Ø Isaiah 48:17 Amplified Bible (AMP) - Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way that you should go

3. FEAR BASED: Is my list based on things I DON’T want to happen to me?

A list based on DON’Ts is a red flag for internal fear. Fear of not wanting to repeat past pain is one of the 2 leading motivators of human behavior. Fear and Love cannot cohabit the same heart. If you take the “I don’t wants” into your marriage, you will attract what you do not want, because fear attracts what it fears.

Ø Focus on Love and not on Fear. God can deliver you from the fear and effects of all past pain.

Ø Psalm 40:2 - He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

4. PERFECTION FOCUSED: Is my list of criterias a list of standards so high that only Jesus Christ could pass them? - You can’t expect a perfect relationship from an imperfect person. Perfection focused lists are often disguised as “spiritual,” but in fact, they are often an image of an Old Testament Mindset where grace, mercy and love do not exist. If your standard of criterias are so long and gruesome that they would put any human in a yoke of bondage, they are not biblically based. This Old Testament mindset of works, only fosters a toiling, performance based, earned relationship, rather than love that fosters a kind, grace filled, loving, and intimate relationship.

Seek a man who loves God, who loves himself, and loves his neighbor as himself.

Ø Mark 12:29-30 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: (30) And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Ø Mark 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Ø Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

5. NO LIST - Do you have no list at all?

This can be a sign that you have not sought God, don’t believe that God can fulfill your desire, or are double-minded in your relationship desires. If you have sought God, jot down the things he speaks to you in your heart, be open for his will to be performed, but be direct in your determination to join covenant with someone who he has ordained to be your covenant partner in fulfilling His purpose.

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