Condensed from Chapter Three of, “Marriage and the Family: Wisdom’s Way” By Dr. Tim Pollock
The well-known novelist, C.S. Lewis once mused, “Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.” I could not agree more! Truly, love is what makes life worth living.
We know from reading the Bible that God cares about morals. But our God, Who is love, is also touched by our personal lives! He cares deeply that we have our needs met. God’s greatest gift to Adam was a loving spouse!
5 Principles in Finding a Godly Husband or Wife:
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing...” Proverbs 18:22
God says that a mate has to be found. This suggests some very proactive steps are to be taken. As I was praying about this verse it seemed like the Holy Spirit said
to me, “There’s no better story to use as an illustration of finding a spouse than the story of Boaz and Ruth.” This is a classic Biblical romance that can be found in the Old Testament book of Ruth.
Prayer to God is the first, foremost and fundamental ingredient in finding a mate. After Ruth’s husband’s death, her mother-in-law Naomi insisted that she should go back to her homeland. Ruth refused and reassured Naomi, “My home is now where the God of Israel is.” Ruth purposed to Naomi, “Your God will be my God,” and then proclaimed that Jehovah God was the number one thing in her life!
If God is the number one thing in the heart of a potential mate, we can be sure then that prayer is the way to touch that person.
It is good, Biblical and wonderful to desire a mate. It was God that put desire in the heart of Adam towards his wife. It was God who made body, soul and spirit to desire the opposite sex – God did that.
We should pray to God then and ask, “What do You want me to do?” “Whom do You want me to talk to?” “Where do You want me to take this person on a date?” “How do You want me to word this note?” God is the greatest dating coach there is! God cares, so talk to Him!
2. Go to Work for God
One of the best ways to find a godly mate is to go to work
for God. Ruth came to live with Naomi because of her faith
in Naomi’s God. After she arrived, Ruth got busy serving her new family, community and God. She was characterized in the community by her work ethic.
A good Bible-based church is the absolute, top of the line place to be if you want to be able to observe day after day, week after week, month after month and in some cases year after year – a prospective mate. You can watch how they act and react in season and out of season.
There are places other than church for “mate discovery” such as going on mission trips or Bible college, but I will tell you that nothing is so incredible as the local church for a non-threatening opportunity to let relationships begin to sprout and mature!
God says you have to “find” a mate. Personally I’ve rarely found something I wasn’t searching for. You usually find something because you’re looking for it. That’s what the Bible says...find it! I am a firm believer in finding.
3. Look for Christian Character
What was the first thing that Boaz saw in Ruth? Scripture doesn’t say Boaz exclaimed, “Wow, she is a beautiful woman.” Not that beauty is wrong...far from it! But the first thing we find Boaz noticing about Ruth was the fact that she was an incredible worker. He was so impressed with her genuineness that he even commented on it to his friends, “I know her character, and I’ve seen how she treats her family.”
The first thing I’m going to be looking for in a mate
then is character. That doesn’t mean that we’re not attracted to their appearance. It would be naive to think that’s not
the case, but it should be secondary in importance to their character. And honestly, good character can aid in the physical attractiveness of a person.
However, before I look for character in the lives of others I must first look into my own heart. “I want to find a beautiful, Christian lady,” some young men say. Well then maybe you should look at your own character. Am I industrious? Am I polite? Do I have wisdom? I wonder what amazing things would happen in our love lives if we were to examine our own life and say, “God, I want to work on my character.” I am convinced that one reason we don’t find a
mate is because we’re not ready to be a mate.
It is incredible how the spirit of God shines through people of godly character. This quality goes a long way at dismissing some
of the things that are of less importance. Only after I have examined and are maturing in my own character can I begin to look at the character of others. Seeking out godly character first allows us to get to know the real person and make wise decisions for our future happiness.
Boaz and Ruth were not a picture perfect couple. They
were from different cultures. They were from different age brackets. They were from different backgrounds. They were not what you’d call a “perfectly compatible couple.” And yet, because both had such a deep love for God and each other, God made their relationship work.
Of course, there are some “must-haves”, for both men and women before you should move forward in a relationship. You MUST HAVE someone:
1) Who is Spiritual. They don’t have to be a completed project but they do need to have a deep love for God.
2) Who is A Man Who Will Work. You just can’t deal with a husband who won’t work. If he will not work, nothing good will ever come of that.
3) Who is Gentle. There are some areas we can allow for growth as we mature together. For example, if he wears baggy pants – you can live with bad fashion until he figures out that it doesn’t look good. However, you simply must have a husband or wife that has a gentle and loving spirit!
4) Who is Kind. You simply have got to have a lady or man who knows how to keep their tongue in their mouth. If they do not have a kind heart or know how to speak kindly, the relationship will never be good.
After you see these four “must haves,” the sky is the limit on what God can do! If God can take Ruth, a younger woman, and put her with this older man, Boaz, then who are we to say that God couldn’t do something very unusual for us.
4. An Honoring of Jurisdiction
When Boaz discovered that Ruth could potentially be interested in him, he was very interested in going forward with the relationship. However, being the man of character that he was, he realized that another man had that right
and even the first responsibility according to the law of the Kinsman Redeemer to pursue her. So he said to himself very wisely, “Before I let my heart go to her, I need to make sure that she is released and that she is able to proceed with this relationship.” He then went to the “Redeemer” (relative) who was closer and said, “You need to take care of this matter and if you will not, then I will step in.”
One of the keys to getting married right is to have and keep the blessing of both families. That’s why a man, before he begins to court a woman, ought to go to the woman’s father and get his blessing to carry on.
Charles Barkley, a famous former NBA player, who was one tough cookie, was once asked about how he would handle boyfriends in his twelve-year-old daughter’s future. Charles Barkley’s classic response was, “I figure if I kill the first one the word will get out.” Amen!
5. Be Available
Boaz was obviously interested in Ruth. It didn’t take him long to move on this matter once he knew she was available. I’m a firm believer in making dreams come true. I believe in taking a proactive stance and having a plan to accomplish those dreams. I don’t think just sitting there waiting for a dream to come true is what God expects. Its naïve to think that that’s the way life works. When Ruth wanted to move ahead with the relationship, she was coached by Naomi to go and “lay at Boaz’s feet” (Ruth 3:7). This may have been a common cultural tradition to some degree, but I’m guessing it was still not the norm because Boaz was taken back by the action. This then was certainly a bold move by Ruth! I have just got to believe that Naomi must’ve known something about Boaz. She knew he was a godly man and a “good catch” but needed a little push. In all of this I see that both of them made themselves available.
Also, it is important to have good people skills. Looking “hot” is okay, but people skills are where success lay! People skills begin with a smile. We are about 90% of the way towards success in our people skills when we know how to smile. I like what Mother Teresa once said, “Let us always greet one another with a smile for a smile is the beginning of love.” A smile is the beginning of love...I like that! Some of us could do our face a favor and the world too, if we just learn how
Learning how to listen well is a giant step forward! You ask, “How do I attract their attention?” Well, simply stop talking so much and start listening. I was sitting at a Starbucks trying to enjoy a little break, but kept getting annoyed and distracted by this loud fellow who was talking nonstop to his apparent date. He had one of those voices that just carried over the entire patio. This guy was the greatest thing I had ever heard of in my life! He did it all, I mean, he was talking about cars, work, and seemed to know everything about everything! She would ask him a question about every five minutes and then he would carry on. Now I’m sure Mr. Puff Head walked away and was thinking to himself, “She is amazing!” But all she did was just listen and ask questions and let him put his chest out there (I hope she ran from that dude). Being a good listener makes you attractive.
It is a misunderstanding of God’s sovereignty to think that He’s just going to send you a husband or wife without effort. It might happen, but it’s just not likely. Solomon says, “...he that findeth a wife findeth a good thing.” It’s something we have to find.
There are so many avenues in this world today where
good people can come into contact with one another. If
you would’ve asked me ten years ago, “Should I use online dating?” I’m sure I would’ve not been as open minded as I am today, but I’ll tell you that in the world we live in, who knows what God can use. I know this, if the principles of Boaz and Ruth are firmly followed, I’m sure that God will help us as we move along in this matter of “finding” and getting a mate.