On the quest to find love, what do you look for in your potential ‘significant other’? I’ve heard some of the criteria that men and women alike draw from and I must say, some of them are rather questionable.
My thing is this: whoever you choose to love, can you please make sure that the things you love the most about them are not superficial things that have no lasting value such as, how rich they are or how handsome/beautiful they are? I’m not saying these are irrelevant but the truth is that money comes and goes and good looks can be destroyed or just simply fade.
“What then should I be looking for?” Well, you know that list you subconsciously or consciously drew up, either on paper or in your head, of the top qualities your partner should have? I suggest you focus on the less superficial qualities that are indicative of substance and core values.
I watched a Nollywood* movie recently which centred on the choices of three friends when they were seeking out their future husbands. One of them was pretty smart about her choices, seeking a man with potential rather than one who could be considered a ready-made package.
The second friend was only interested in a man that looks good and has ‘swag’, by her own standards. She wanted someone who she can take selfies with and be proud to be seen with in public. If he was rich, that would be a bonus but she wasn’t particularly fussed about that.
The third friend was my favourite character in the movie because she was hilarious! The part was acted by Mercy Johnson so if you’re familiar with Nollywood movies, you can imagine how hilarious she was. She only cared about MONEY. She said if the man has money, he could never be ugly, illiterate, disabled, short, smelly etc. to her. The money was more than enough to compensate for whatever negative attributes he might come with. Funny girl!
As I like to say, God has a pretty solid and downright hilarious sense of humour. You see, the friend who only wanted a good looking guy found the one she thought was perfect for her and soon after, they got married. A few weeks into the marriage, her beautiful husband got into a car accident and his face was damaged and his left leg caused him to develop a less than attractive walk. Swag gone! To cut the long story short, she started cheating on him because what attracted her to him was no longer there. Unfortunately, the man she was having an affair with was engaged to someone else and his fiancée got her beaten up and she lost the use of her legs. Her now disfigured husband found out about the affair and he asked for a divorce. So she had neither a beautiful man nor any man to love her AND she became disabled.
The other friend who loved money found an illiterate business man with a very ‘literate’ wallet and bank account. Their relationship blossomed and they got married. A few months in, they lost all their wealth because the man had put all his money into an investment that fell through. So as we women can be prone to doing, she started putting pressure on him to find a way to get them back to their former glory. She even went as far as aborting the unborn child she was to have for him, under the premise that she cannot bring a child into poverty.
She had a friend who told her that she knew someone who could get her husband back in business. She encouraged her husband to go meet with this mystery person and after the first meeting, her husband refused to meet with this person again. Unbeknownst to his money loving wife, the mystery helper was offering a fetish, black magic kinda option aka JUJU*! After much pressure to make his wife happy, he gave in to this suggested way of life and that was the beginning of the end.
What I’m trying to convey is that just because something appears ready made doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way forever. So if your attraction and love for someone is more about what they have to offer materially and/or physically, rather than being based on who that person is underneath it all; if they lose the quality that your love is hinged on, will you still love them the same, if at all?
Before I sign off, I am just going to share some verses with you as advice for what to look for in a partner, just in case you are stuck or just need a little bit more guidance in this department:
For the men:
The Bible prescribes finding a Godly wife i.e. a woman with a proper relationship to God, one who fears God. The characteristics include but are not limited to the following:
- Godly – Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised (31:30).
- Wise – She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue (31:26).
- Trustworthy -The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack, of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life (31:11-12)
In addition to the above, it is worth keeping in mind that a woman who exhibits the traits above is also one that is Gracious and Faithful. For more traits, the book of Proverbs is a very good place to start.
For the women:
The Bible seems to approach the angle of a good husband as a man who is wise. Again, there are so many verses for these in the book of Proverbs but 1 Timothy chapter 3 summarises these qualities. Although this chapter was written in relation to Leaders of the Church, it is still applicable to men and their capacity to be good husbands. I have underlined the traits which are most relevant, in my opinion, to the context discussed in this post:
“1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
8 In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
11 In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
So you see, even the Word (i.e the Bible) tends to focus more on character traits rather than outward appearance, for what makes a good husband or wife.
Do you agree? Do you have other tips that could bless others in this area?
Please do share by posting your comments and your thoughts.
‘cause it’s The Steph Way
*Nollywood is the Hollywood for Nigerian movies. Like Bollywood is for Indian movies.