30 Oct 2014 by Adeline Lum CM-
Sometimes, we tend to focus and inspect a man we are interested in to know whether he’s the one for us. However, we forget to ask ourselves five simple questions to know whether he is the one.
The first question is how do you feel around him?
Although he may exhibit the good qualities we are looking for in a life partner, does he put you at ease and make you feel comfortable in being yourself?
Sometimes, we are interested in men whom we cannot even be friends with. Hence, even though a man may look like a prospective date but if you feel that you cannot trust him or feel comfortable in revealing yourself yet, take time to build a friendship first before jumping into a relationship.
A good marriage is built on a good friendship. So, take your time and get to know the person. But above all else, guard your heart. (Prov 4:23)
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Prov 18:24)
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Prov 4:23)
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. (Song of Solomon 2:7)
The second question is do you feel valued by him?
Does he value your comments, feedbacks, and emotions? You can tell from his actions. For example: Does he remember to respond to your call or your text messages? Does he remember the random and small details that you mentioned in passing, such as your quaint fascination with raindrops, your love for this curry noodles in a particular store, or how you had this horrible traffic on this street?
Recalling these details appear creepy or obsessive. But when a man is interested in you or values you, he wants to know everything about you. If he does not, perhaps he’s not that into you.
And personally, I believe in a man pursuing the woman. Proverbs 18:22 tell us that a man finds a wife out of God’s favor, and not the other way round.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD. (Prov 18:22)
John Ensor, author of Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart also illustrated the beauty of a man leading of a woman in the form of ice-skating, which I believe starts from the point of pursuit:
“[The man] leads [the woman] onto the ice and initiates each part of their routine. She receives that leadership and trusts in his strength. His raw, physical strength is more on display than hers; he does all the lifting, twirling, and catching. She complements his strength with her own—a more diminutive and more attractive strength of beauty, grace, speed, and balance. His focus as the head, or leader, is to magnifying her skills. Her focus is on following his lead and signaling her readiness to receive his next move. He takes responsibility for the two of them, and she trusts his leadership and delights in it”.
The third question is do you feel you can grow as person with him?
Everyday, we learn and grow even until our old age. So, it’s good to find someone we can grow with in our weaknesses and fumbling around. Do you find him encouraging and always seeing the best in you?
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Prov 17:17)
In terms of growing, do you see yourself doing life with this person? In other words, can you see yourself waking up next to him, cooking with him, doing laundry with him, doing grocery shopping with him, learning something with him, paying the bills with him, and basically doing ordinary day-to-day things with him? Marriage comes from choosing a person you can daily walk life with.
To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. (1 Cor 7:10-11)
The fourth question is why do you like him?
My father once sat me down and told me sternly, “Don’t choose anyone for his good looks.” But I believe good looks are not correlated to one’s character, as pointed out by many biblical characters. Furthermore, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.
However, I do believe my father has a point—if we were to ask this question of why we like a person and all we can say are his external good qualities (such as his sharp features, his height, his deep voice, his ability to sing, etc.), then perhaps we need to take more time to know the person beyond his external qualities.
Do you really like him as a person or are you only fascinated with what you see?
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7)
The fifth question is how is his relationship with his parents?
This is a really old but effective litmus test especially in our Asian culture, because like it or not, we marry his family when we marry him. If he has a bad relationship with his father or mother, then it needs to be addressed. This is because most of our values come from our parents, which are deeply embedded in us.
And unlike mutual interest that can be developed over time, values affect most (if not all) of the decisions in our life such as how you spend your money, how you want to raise your children, whether to stay with aged parents, etc. Values are hard to change.
So, make your life easier by choosing someone who has similar values like you. For example, if you value your family and love spending time with them, then choose someone who values family as much as you. If not, you will be pushed to choose either him or your family as your relationship progressed, and that would make your life hard.
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. (Prov 22:3)
Finally, how do you tell a man’s character?
Firstly, you can tell a man’s character mostly from how he acts in a group setting, more than a one-to-one dating setting. Watch how he treats people, especially those who are unnoticed, neglected, or forgotten in a group setting, such as the loner of the group, the waiter or waitress at the coffee houses or the security guards.
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (Heb 13:2)
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
He will show his goodness in the kindly consideration he shows those less favored than himself. It is the way one treats his inferiors more than the way he treats his equals which reveals one’s real character.
—Rev. Charles Bayard Miliken, Methodist Episcopal, Chicago, year 1910
Secondly, play a game with him in a group and watch how he deals with winning and losing the game. Is he competitive to the point of aggression? Does he throw his temper? Does he care about winning more than you? On the other hand, is he gracious, calm, and generous? We can tell a man’s character a lot from playing a game.
The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. (Prov 15:2)
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. (Prov 29:11)
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared. (Prov 22:24-25)
Thirdly, ask your mutual and trustworthy friends about his character. Usually, they are able to tell his character clearer than you because of their lack of romantic interest in him and also perhaps the longer duration of knowing him. Of course, you would stand a chance of having a biased perception of him. So, ask a few friends and find consistencies in their description of this person. It should closely mirror his true character.
The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. (Prov 12:15)
And of course, above everything, pray to God and ask Him to give you wisdom.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. (James 1:5-7)
Lastly, before you enter a relationship, build yourself in the love of God first and thus accepting and loving yourself as the child of God. Only then, you are able to give love and accept love from the people around you. And yes, that includes your life partner!
And so, here are the five questions I would ask myself before choosing a life partner. What kind of questions would you ask yourself? Share with us below about what you think.
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