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The Second Most Important Characteristic to Look for in a Potential Spouse

Aug 18, 2007
Sometimes the things people use as their criteria for marriage make me laugh. I heard a country song recently that listed the following for all the positives one guy found in a girl who caught his attention. She had many great qualities: her daddy's money, her mama's good looks, a sense of humor, an imagination, and an education. But the singer included two more that really tickled me: "She's a good bass fisher" and she is "as country as a turnip green."

Of course, there is nothing wrong with any of these things. In fact, I try to get my wife to go bass fishing with me every year (sometimes it works; most of the time, it doesn't). But none of these characteristics will ever make a solid foundation for a marriage.

If you're thinking about getting married, there are two things you need to look for in a spouse. The first, of course, is that the person be a Christian. Most Christians realize it's not wise to marry an unbeliever. That's a sure way to bring trouble into your marriage. So don't even open the door to those problems.

But if both of you are believers, there is one other characteristic that needs to be present before you consider marriage. If you can find this one essential characteristic -- and exhibit it yourself -- your chances of having a successful marriage for the rest of your life are quite good.

That one thing that holds the power to a successful marriage is ... drum roll, please ... the ability to solve problems biblically!

You read that right! I know it's not very sexy. And it probably won't make for a good country song. I've certainly never heard one about this. But the one thing you can count on in marriage is problems. That's why so many people don't want anything to do with it. There will always be problems in any marriage. And just because you're a Christian doesn't mean you know how to solve problems God's way. So your key to success is to know how to apply the Bible well enough that you can solve those problems with its wisdom.

So if you are thinking about marriage, make sure you and the one you've got your heart set on can solve problems using Scripture long before you make the vows. You'll make your married years far more enjoyable if you do. If you don't, it really doesn't matter how good at bass fishing your spouse-to-be is -- you're still asking for trouble.
About the Author
Steve Kroening writes for Success magazine and also publishes Wisdom's Edge. You can get Biblical tips on health, finance, relationships, parenting, and success, delivered to your email inbox every week. Simply visit http://www.wisdomsedge.com and sign up for this free e-zine.
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