Ladies, how many of you know the qualities you desire in a mate, a lifelong partner? I believe all of us have an idea of the kind of person we want to build a life with, have children with, and grow old with. Am I right? And I’m sure many of us have created a mental image of this person, subconsciously outlining everything we want them to be. Some of us may have even gone so far as to prepare a physical list of every single quality our hearts desire. I know I have! Not only did I create an elaborate list, but I fervently prayed to God every night for years hoping that my dream mate would become a reality so we could live happily ever after. My prayer went something like this:
Please send me a husband who fears You, has a relationship with You, one who will pray for me, one who is financially prosperous, loves children but doesn’t have any of his own, is wise with money, classy and stylish, family- and career-oriented, extremely romantic, considerate of my feelings, one who will support me, a starter in the NBA or the NFL, at least six foot five, one who loves to travel, and anything else You think I need that I may have left out. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
While it is normal to know what you want in a lifelong partner, I can’t help but wonder if the things we desire in a mate are superficial or spiritual? Will they help establish and sustain a God-honoring relationship? And do we reflect the mates we desire?
I prayed this feeble prayer because I thought these were the traits I needed in a mate to be happy and have a fruitful relationship. Boy, was I wrong! After a few years of praying this prayer—might I add to no avail—I decided to reexamine my list and really look at what I was asking God for and why. While examining my list I came to quite a few harsh realities about who I was as a woman and who I wasn’t as a woman of God. It also dawned on me that the things I desired were superficial, they would only satisfy my needs, and I couldn’t reciprocate many of the things I wanted. But most importantly these traits and this person would not help me produce a relationship that would honor God. In short, I was not a reflection of the mate I was praying for. But what did this mean? What does it mean to be a reflection of someone, and how does someone become a reflection of the one they are asking God for? For a while I struggled with this reality because at that time in my life I did not understand that it took more than physical gratification to experience the joy relationships can bring. Not only that, but I didn’t realize that relationships that are worthwhile and God-honoring require a deeper, internal connection.
After these realizations I decided to take a hiatus from dating so I could figure out who I was, who God created me to be, why I desired this kind of mate, and what it means to reflect the mate you pray for. During my hiatus, which I am still currently on, I engaged in different activities, took classes, and even began to travel more all in an effort to “find myself.”
However, I soon realized I was looking outward for answers that are within, and all I had to do was look upward and get to know my Creator for who He is. While I did learn a number of things about myself that were helpful, I had to dig deeper into who I really was and why God created me. So I began an intentional journey to build a more profound relationship with God, and while on this journey the answers to my questions became crystal clear.
While I was trying to “find myself,” one verse stood out to me. “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
Before I could reflect the mate I prayed for I had to first reflect my Creator. That meant my lifestyle, habits, words, desire, and mindset had to be in the likeness of Christ. Reflecting the mate I prayed for also meant having a spiritual connection with someone, complementing them, and sharing a spiritual identity with them in Christ. During my early years of dating I was so naïve when it came to my desires and selecting a man to give my affections to. I was only concerned about my needs, rather than focusing on God, building my relationship with Him, and asking for His divine wisdom to guide me so I could have productive relationships that would honor Him. I’ve since learned that it takes more than physical desires to maintain healthy relationships, and in order for two people to have a successful, Spirit-led relationship both must have a likeness in spirit, be able to relate to each other, and share an identity in Christ.
So ladies, before you begin a list, such as the one I created, be it mental or physical, or before you go out on another date with a romantic interest, ask yourself the following questions: Are my desires for a mate superficial? Why do I desire the things I do? How do I define my relationship with God? Do I have the relationship with God I should have? Do the relationships I desire honor God? And last, am I reflection of the mate I desire?
Inspiring Christian Singles to Search their Souls, Liz Lampkin is an advocate for unmarried Christian who encouraged them to live their best single life for God! A twice published author, speaker and teacher by gift and trade Liz has a heart for teaching singles to search for their sole purpose while living single, rather than searching for a soul-mate. Follow her on Twitter @liz_lampkin!