There's this super awesome article on marital compatibility circulating my facebook news feed at the moment. After ignoring it for the past few days, I finally got bored enough to click and read through it. And surprise, suprise, it actually offers a lot of truth! And not just for married people {which was the cause for my apprehension in reading it. It's enough of a daily struggle to stay where I'm at as it is, I don't need to read marriage advice to help that out}. But what really caught my eye was this list of questions to ask themselves about Biblical compatibility in a relationship.

The world has chalked compatibility up to be the one of the biggest make-it-or-break-it factors in relationships. While I think it's important that you get one another and have things in common to enjoy together, the point this article heavily emphasizes is harmony within a relationship is anything but the natural way of things. If that were the case, would we really need to center our relationships around Jesus? If harmony were common, we could basically do it on our own, right? But that's not the case. And the fact that we simply can not do it on our own just presents one more opportunity for Jesus to get the glory in our relationships. I can only speak for myself, but I know in my relationship, we daily point back to Jesus in our victories. And that's what they are-victories. Because Satan's a bastard and would love nothing more than for us to be constantly arguing or tearing one another down. The only way we could ever work is if everything's about Him.

"Instead of finding a compatible mate, Christians are instructed to marry another Christian and become a compatible mate." -Phil Smidt

In a relationship truly centered around Jesus, you can't help but grow and transform into the person and mate Christ wants you to be. Thinking you're going to walk into this relationship and stay the way you are is just stupid. Instead, I would hope we're walking into relationships excited about the chance to grow and learn from Christ through the person you're running your race with.

This is the list of questions singles should ask themselves when seeking a Biblical compatible mate:

1. How do you know he or she willingly submits to godly authority? Ladies, if he does not submit to godly authority, he is a dangerous man. Period. Men, if she doesn’t submit to godly authority now (as a single man, that’s not you by the way), she is the kind of woman Proverbs warns you to avoid.
2. How do you know he or she is teachable? If he or she likes to argue, they are more concerned with being right than being made righteous. When you think you’ve won an argument in marriage, you’ve actually lost. Marriage is about humbly maturing, realizing you have much to learn for the rest of your lives.

3. How well known and involved is he or she in Christian community? It’s easy to put on a good front when you are attracted to someone and motivated to marry. If he or she is unknown in community, they are unknown to you. Others need to vouch for the person’s character, integrity, and faith.

4. How does he or she speak of others? If he or she is critical, demeaning, or flippant in their attitude and words now, it will happen in marriage. Soon, you will become the brunt of their anger and pride.

5. How does he or she respond when confronted with their sin? When someone tries to hide, misrepresent, blameshift, excuse, or rationalize their sin, they have a distorted view of the Gospel. Because of Jesus, we can confess sin (I John 1:9), repent (Rom. 2:4), walk in the light (Eph. 5:8-9), and be reconciled to God (II Cor. 5:17-21).

It's kind of nice to read a list like that and not immediately feel an enormous amount of guilt/dread that neither myself nor the person I'm dating look anything like this. Not that I read it and go check, check, check. Not at all. I, personally, still have so much to learn about being in a relationship.
Perfect? Never. Trying? Always. And that desire to keep running towards Him and look more like Christ both in and out of a relationship is so vital to a functioning relationship.
Instead of writing a "list of standards" that consists of makes me laugh and has brown hair and likes kids, I would hope that we would line our desires up with the kinds of characteristics in this list for the person we spend the rest of our lives with. Don't get me wrong, my "list" used to look a lot like that first sentence there, but God recently moved me to re-write it to line up with men of character and truth from the Bible. And that's way better than has nice arms...although that isn't terrible either ;)

 Here's a link to the article so you can read the whole thing, there's some really great advice for married couples too {do married people read this blog?}

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