Part 1 stated that while you hope, pray, and wait for a good marriage partner, you should also be doing certain things to “be becoming” a quality partner, yourself. The list of doing centered strongly around excellent character qualities. In fact, it’s a list of qualities many are hoping to find in a future spouse. (To refresh, click on Part 1.
So, how do you become mature, hard-working, kind, honest, authentic, gentle, fun, and humble? Wow. That is a really good question. You can’t just go to Wal-Mart and fill your cart with those qualities. And I’m pretty certain you can’t order them on line. So where do they come from? How can a person load up on them? How much do they cost?
The previous paragraph asked good questions. This paragraph is designed to help prepare you for some answers that might be hard to read. Brace yourself. You might be tempted to think, “Oh dear. That’s too hard. I don’t know if I can do that.” Please don’t give up. Prayerfully read and think about these ideas.
So far, I’ve never seen a milk shake you can drink to become mature. No vitamin pill makes you hard-working. Never heard of a burger that makes you kind. Or a pickle that promotes honesty. There is no name brand that makes you authentic. No amount of toilet paper makes you gentle. No shopping spree (especially at the cash register) guarantees you are a fun person. There is no pie that makes you humble.
All excellent qualities come from God. He uses 2 things to grow them in you: deliberate hard work and suffering. Do you see why I told you to brace yourself?
- Deliberate Hard Work
Excellent qualities are formed –or not – in your thinking, attitudes, speaking, and actions – as you respond to life. They don’t just happen. They are the result of intentional choices you make as you navigate your way through events that happen and details of your life. Some examples of working at developing excellent qualities:
- Choosing to believe God is working even when you don’t see Him or when you feel lonely.
- Choosing to have a respectful, gracious attitude even when you feel misunderstood.
- Choosing to speak kindly to someone who has judged or mistreated you.
- Choosing to do the hard, best thing instead of the easier, second-best thing.
Making choices like these cultivates and grows integrity and excellent character in your life.
But then there’s that second thing that forms excellent character: suffering. It’s hard to suffer. But if you commit to respond well and keep a thankful heart when you suffer, you will grow very strong excellent character. So strong, it will literally propel you through terrible times. You won’t see the transformation happening (it has an invisible quality as it is forming). But it is going on underneath all the trials you encounter. Scripture says that, “We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering develops perseverance; perseverance develops character, and character develops hope. (Rom. 5:3-4)
Let’s form a bullet list of qualities from Part 1 – qualities you can be doing (growing) in your life:
- Mature – think of the big picture and the other person(s) instead of just your own little world and your own little self.
- Hardworking – get up and get going! Take responsibility and exercise discipline; plan your work; work your plan. Refuse to be lazy.
- Kind – decide what is the best thing for the other person. Show compassion and mercy.
- Honest – speak the truth, kindly, no matter how hard it is. If you are wrong, admit it. If you are right, don’t flaunt it. Speak and do what pleases God.
- Authentic – don’t pretend. Refuse to live in a fantasy world. Don’t lie or deceive. Admit the hard things even as you aim for the best things.
- Gentle – treat yourself and others with deep respect and esteem. Have a tender touch in your thoughts, attitude, words, and actions.
- Fun – Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have a good time. Laugh. Tell a good joke. Be cheerful.
- Humble – You don’t have to be right all the time, even if you are right. It’s OK to let issues “breathe.” Share the stage. In fact, let someone else have a moment. And certainly: admit when you are wrong!
If you choose to think disheartening thoughts, to have an ungrateful attitude, to speak disrespectfully, or to act selfishly, you cultivate undesirable (ungodly) qualities into your life, and they also will yield a harvest. Scripture says, “Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Gal. 6:7)
As you hope, pray, and wait for a life partner, choose above all else to guard your heart, because the heart is the well spring of life. (Prov. 4:23) Life issues flow from the heart. Keep walking forward with the Lord. He is working where you cannot see.
(Part 3 – check it out: SO, WHERE IS MY DESIGNER PARTNER? Got questions!)
(Also Part 1 – Hoping for a Husband; Praying for a Wife)
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