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10 qualities of a great marriage partner

After encouraging my readers to more actively consider marriage in yesterday’s blog, I thought a good follow-up blog might be in order. This article by Suzanne Hadley on the web site was as good as I’ve seen. I shortened it somewhat.   I informally interviewed a dozen ma…
By Seth Barnes
After encouraging my readers to more actively consider marriage in yesterday’s blog, I thought a good follow-up blog might be in order. This article by Suzanne Hadley on the web site was as good as I’ve seen. I shortened it somewhat.
I informally interviewed a dozen married couples
to find out what drew them to their spouses and what made them stick
around. These 10 characteristics rose to the top.

1. Contentment. When Nathan met Kelsey, he noticed
her beautiful smile and the fact that she was satisfied with her life.
“She wasn’t desperate to get married,” he says. “Kelsey had two plans
for life: one that included a spouse and one that did not. That told me
that she was content with whatever God brought her way.”

2. Initiative. Josh found many things to love about
Danielle, including her stunning auburn locks, but the thing that most
caught his attention was that she was living her life with purpose. She
had graduated from college and was succeeding in her career as an
exhibition design assistant at a big city art museum.

“Some girls I knew were sitting around waiting for this wealthy,
good-looking man to take care of them,” Josh says. “Danielle was living
life to the fullest and that attracted me to her.

3. Kindness. Johanna was first attracted to Paul
because of the friendliness and kindness he showed to everyone, not
just her. “And I thought he was a hottie,” she adds. After they were
married, Johanna discovered that Paul’s kind heart extended to
financial generosity as well. “He gives way more than the standard,”
she says.

4. Consistency. Kelsey knew she wanted to marry
Nathan when she was grocery shopping with him for a dorm section event
in college. They weren’t even dating. “I thought to myself, I could shop with Nathan for the rest of my life!”
Kelsey knew Nathan for two years before they began dating. “He was
consistent,” she says. “He was the same person no matter who he was
around or what situation he was in.”

5. Optimism. Gavin and Jamie met while working
together at the same church. “I guess it was natural I would take a
second glance at someone who was my age, cute and single,” Gavin says.

But once they began dating, he discovered something else. “She’d
lived through some rough times growing up (like me). Yet somehow, she’d
come out on the other side with a remarkably positive attitude about
life and an unshakable faith.”

6. Commitment. When Josh began attending Lindy’s
church and quickly committed himself to the worship and leadership
teams, Lindy was impressed. It was also a “happy coincidence” because
she was on the same teams, which meant they got to see each other three
times a week. Josh demonstrated the same kind of dedication as he
pursued Lindy for marriage. “He’s a man of integrity who knows how to
make a commitment,” she says.

7. Spiritual Passion. Krista believes God told her
to marry her husband, Craig. “I quite willingly agreed!” she says.
“When I was growing up, my mom told me to pray for a husband who is
passionate about God. I did, and I got him! I am able to respect Craig
because he listens to God and obeys His voice.”

8. Humility. Christine met her husband, Mike, via
their blogs, and eventually moved to Australia to marry him. Among his
many good qualities, Christine says of Mike: “He is open about his
flaws and sincerely repents of his wrongs. I can see his tender heart
constantly being shaped by the Holy Spirit to become more like Christ.”

Josh’s humility “really got my attention,” Danielle says. “I’d been
around a lot of men who were full of pride, who never gave heartfelt
apologies or thought they were wrong. Josh had a humble spirit, and I
really loved that about him.” She’s discovered that this humility also
allows Josh to be a good leader of their home.

9. Faith. Shy and reserved, Sarah might have never
talked to Andrew if he hadn’t sat by her at a college ice cream social
and struck up a conversation. But as she got to know him, she noticed
his deep trust in the Lord. “I knew Andrew would make a good spouse
because of his commitment to being a godly man and the way he trusted
the Lord for all of his needs. That was a trust that I saw the Lord
rewarding time and again as He provided exactly what we needed at the

10. Perseverance. Rebecca and her husband, Kade,
had a long, difficult engagement. “I experienced so much grace, love
and truth-telling,” Rebecca says. “I felt completely valued and loved
in a way I never had before, and I saw Kade persevere in the challenge
of relating to my parents, who didn’t like him.”

Each of the above 10 characteristics was mentioned again and again –
by people who know. This list is certainly not comprehensive, but based
on the fact that most of the couples interviewed have been married for
between five and 10 years, these qualities seem to be good indicators
not only of “mate” potential but of success in married life.

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