Qualities to Look for in a Spouse
By: Brooke Grangard
The qualities that I hoped for in a partner at age 18 and what I actually got are fairly different. And I am extremely grateful to God that they are. My husband is amazing, and the qualities that he daily demonstrates to me and our kids are a huge reason that our marriage works!
So without further ado, here they are:
Kindness is a really big deal. I love the line from About Time when the father is giving a speech about his son on his wedding day and says, “I’d only give one piece of advice to anyone marrying. We’re all quite similar in the end. We all get old and tell the same tales too many times, but try and marry someone kind.”
My husband is a kind man. I will quickly admit that he is kinder than I. He listens to me. He treats me with respect. He values my opinion. He is patient. He is gracious with our children. I hope they grow up to be like him. They will have succeeded greatly.
This world tells you that you should be many things, but if you are looking for an important characteristic in a spouse, seek kindness.
Kindness allows you to grow to be who you are. It gives you space to make mistakes and loves you when you do. It speaks gently. It prefers others.
Are you dating? How does that person treat others, especially those that he gains nothing from being kind to like waiters, salesmen, other drivers? (ouch!) One day, you will be the “other” person. If he/she shows no restraint with those that he deems “lesser than”, he will do the same to you. Maybe not now or in a year’s time, but eventually his true colors will be revealed. Jesus said that a tree is judged by it’s fruit. You just can’t pick apples from an orange tree. This doesn’t mean that he will be perfect, but he should show this fruit of the Spirit most of the time if you want to expect that it will be shown later on in life.
P.S. It is not difficult to submit to a kind and honorable person.
#2. Fear of the Lord
Maybe you weren’t expecting this one, but it is critical. My husband cares about what God thinks of his life. And most importantly, he cares about what God thinks more than he cares about what I think.
There are times in marriage when all the super-gooey feelings of kissy-faced infatuation leave. When crisis hits and you respond in ways you never imagined. When life hands you lots of lemons and instead of making lemonade, you throw them at your spouse. In these moments, you will appreciate having a spouse who fears the Lord.
A spouse who fears the Lord treats you in light of God’s view of you and the price He paid for you, not as you deserve to be treated when you sin and aren’t coping well with reality. A spouse who fears the Lord makes amends (even when the argument was primarily your fault) simply because it pleases God. He does it for Jesus first and then for you.
A spouse who fears the Lord does not seek solace in another woman because that would dishonor God. His respect and love for God set the boundaries in his life.
Despite what some women’s books may tell you about keeping yourself in shape for your man, or divorce-proofing your marriage by always being willing to have sex, there will most likely come moments in your marriage when you are either too pregnant, too depressed, or too whatever to accomplish just that. In those moments, will your man seek satisfaction in someone else or will he stay true to you because it the right thing to do? The thing that Jesus asks of him.
Of course each partner should give of themselves for the other’s sake. That is the ideal and the ultimate goal, but this is life, and we are not perfect. We will all make mistakes. A spouse that fears the Lord will not let those mistakes turn into disasters.
#3. Sense of Humor
Essential! Life is rocky sometimes. If you can’t laugh, you will cry. And sometimes you will do both. You might as well be able to do it with each other.
My husband and I laugh daily together. Why? Because we truly enjoy each other’s company. Now, we don’t often have complete conversations while the kids are awake because they are 2 and 4, but we laugh about them too.
We are a team. Sometimes it’s a well-timed expression. Sometimes it’s a witty comment. Sometimes it’s a spontaneous dance party in the living room. Sometimes it’s seeing the ridiculously painful reality of the moment and choosing to laugh because- well, you just can’t make this stuff up!
Once when we were flying from our home in Cambodia to visit my husband’s parents in New Zealand for Christmas, we discovered en-route that our kids had both caught some kind of virus prior to take off. To sum up the flight, I was puked on approximately 5 times by our 1 year old. My husband was puked on by our 3 year old. When the plane was about to touch down, BOTH of them were throwing up on us AT THE SAME TIME! It was so ridiculous! All we could do was look at each other and laugh. (And then cry when we realized that was only the first of our flights.)
The Bible says that a happy heart does good like medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)
Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)
22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,=
You’re going to need that medicine. I would suggest that you marry someone who can bring it in large doses!
So there it is, 3 essential (but overlooked) qualities that I hope you find in your spouse (and your spouse finds in you).