The older I get, the more time I reflect on what went wrong in my first marriage, and the more time I log in this second marriage of mine, the more I realize what are the most important factors to look for in choosing a life partner.
Our beloved Jesus said to us…
“In this world you will have…”
Finish that sentence.
In this world you will have happiness?
In this world you will have love?
In this world you will have success?
In this world you will have admiration?
In this world you will have it easy?
You know what he says.
“In this world you will have trouble,
(John 16:33, AMP)
It astonishes me that we – and when I say we, I mean I – am perpetually surprised that my life and your life is comprised of suffering, when we are basically promised that they will be.
Of course, he lovingly and gratefully goes on to tell us that we can be courageous because he has overcome the world and he will give us great peace. That part is awesome. But I want to focus on the first part for just a moment.
My life attests to the absolute FACT that in this life I have had trouble, tribulation, distress, suffering.
I look around this world and I sometimes shake my head. How have we gotten this so wrong as a culture? Why is happiness the pinnacle? It is so very fleeting. It’s wonderful to feel and be happy, don’t get me wrong. I revel in those moments! But they are just moments.
Give me peace, give me love, give me hope, any day of the week over happy-happy. Give me something I can hold onto as life’s ebbs and flows sweep me back and forth.
Okay, but what does this have to do with what to look for in a life partner?
Last night, I rolled over in bed, mid-sleep. I could see my husband’s silhouette. My first groggy knee-jerk thought was this: I chose well. In this world we will have trouble. But this man, I can get behind helping this man carry his load.
And thank you, sweet Jesus, he helps me carry mine.
So, in the middle of the night, I thought of two things when it comes to finding someone to share your life with:
- Do your personalities mesh well enough to get you through the day to day? If you are constantly annoyed or fed up with or hurt by this person…or, on the other hand, if you can tell this person you’re with doesn’t actually like you or doesn’t think highly of you, trust me when I say, marriage will only amplify all of that. I know that life is short, but days can be long and marriages can be harder than the average hard when you’re with someone you are only tolerating, when you’re with someone who is only tolerating you.
- Are the burdens this person carries the kinds of burdens you and he and Jesus can handle together? Or are they too much (addictions, for instance, or baggage that has red flags waving all around it)? And, on the flipside, how has this person helped care for you in your struggles? Is he dismissive or neglectful, or supportive and life-giving?
Our lives are not sunshine and roses and skipping through meadows of wildflowers. In this world we will have trouble.
Let me rephrase: IN THIS WORLD, YOU, SWEET ONE, WILL HAVE TROUBLE.
If you believe marriage is where God is leading you, if your heart’s desire is to have a partner to sojourn through life with, I am begging you, choose intentionally, thoughtfully, prayerfully, wisely and well. Because who you choose can either drastically add to or dramatically divide your promised troubles into something a bit more bearable.
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.] -John 16:33 AMP
Let’s make darn sure you’re ready to date or remarry, shall we?