Man hiding a bunch of flowers behind his back

One of the most important things to look for when considering a marriage partner

One of my friends was getting married and went on a marriage counselling course. The person running the course explained that he was going to share with them the first question to ask when considering someone as a marriage partner. They all assumed he was going to tell them to ask if the person is a Christian, and to determine the person’s spiritual maturity. Instead, he said the first question to ask is ‘are they kind?’

Everyone has an idea of the kind of person they would like to spend the rest of their life with; for some women, someone that makes them laugh comes high on the list (as well as someone tall, dark and handsome, obviously). For some men, a good cook is priority. Whilst I agree it is important to be with someone you can laugh and have fun times with, and knowing one’s way around the kitchen is also a good idea, I think we often overlook a very important quality that is important for a successful relationship.

It may or may not come as a surprise to you to discover that kindness is not a trait that is common to a lot of people, Christians included. So, before you start worrying about the size of his bank balance, or whether or not she’ll get along with the lads, maybe you should ask yourself a few questions;

1. Are they hospitable? Unless you want to spend your married life just the two of you, with no friends or family ever paying you a visit, you need to go for someone that has a hospitable nature.

2. Are they generous? Generous with their time? With their money? Someone with a kind heart will make time for other people, and not always think of themselves alone. A kind person is not selfish with their resources.

3. How do they treat those less well off, or from a seemingly lower class? Are they standoffish? Do they take the time to get to know people, or do they think some people are not worth their time?

4. Are their words encouraging? Or do they put other people down with harsh words?

5. Are they considerate of your feelings and that of others? Or is it always about them?

6. How do they treat older people? Do they treat them with respect and patience, or are they impatient and dismissive?

7. What are they like around kids? You may both not want kids but how do they treat other people’s children?

8. How do they talk about their friends? Or their colleagues? Are they always complaining and pointing out other people’s faults, or do they have nice things to say about people too?

These are just a few questions that can give you a good idea as to whether someone is kind or not. It may have even got you thinking about whether this is a quality that you possess yourself. Kindness is obviously not the only thing to consider when choosing a marriage partner but it sure is a good place to start.

What do you think? What other questions would you add to the list?

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