Things You Know Before the First Date

(Advice to Those Who are Looking for a Mate)

You need to know as much as possible about a person before you marry. Marriage is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. It is a lifelong commitment (Matt. 19:4-6). You can’t know everything about that special person before you get married. You’ll still be learning about each other 30 years later. But it is wise to know what you can.

Here are some things you can do to find out more about the one you are considering spending the rest of your life with:

1. Listen to the judgment of parents and older Christians. They see things you don’t. Spend time together with them so they can watch you interact.

2. Seek the guidance of a preacher or counselor.

3. Talk can be cheap, so watch for actions and don’t just listen to words (Prov. 20:6).

4. Girls take after their mother and boys take after their father. “Like father, like son” and “like mother, like daughter” (Ezek. 16:44). Study the parents.

5. Personality profiles can be helpful. Get someone who knows about these things to point you in the right direction.

These and other suggestions will help. But don’t forget the value of plain old common sense. If you think about it, you’ll see that all of us share things in common. People are the same in many ways. If you’re honest about these things in yourself and in others, you’ll be much better off in marriage or any other relationship. Here are some things you already know about the person you marry before you date for the first time:

1. Sinner. All have sinned (Rom. 3:23). The one who has caught your eye has sinned and will sin again (I John 1:8,10). This doesn’t mean you should be careless and marry the worst sinner who is good looking. The best choice is to marry a Christian who is faithful to God. Even then, however, there will be times when weakness prevails and the ugly, sinful side of human nature shows. But let’s be more specific.

2. Selfish. The person you are interested in has a selfish streak. You don’t want to marry someone who is selfish overall in this life on a whole. Marry a giving person, but remember that the best of people have a selfish side. This leads to the next two points.

3. Prideful. There is an element of pride in all people. That includes that special love you have found.

4. Envious. Inside a person is this ugly thing called jealousy. The Bible says we are prone to it (James 4:5).

5. Childish. There is an old saying that inside every man is a little boy and inside every woman is a little girl no matter how old they are. That child will come out to play at times.

6. Sickness. Your future spouse will get sick and experience pain just like you will. Not every day will be a good day. It is your responsibility to be patient and take care of your spouse.

7. Hurt. If you get married, one of you will experience the worst pain imaginable. Most likely one of you will be left alone. One of you will probably die first or one of you might leave the other and get a divorce. You don’t want to think about such things, but unless both of you die at the same time one of you will be left here.

8. Habits. We all have habits. You won’t know some of your mate’s habits until after you are married and they will annoy you. But don’t expect your mate to change so much. Remember that you have habits too.

Above all, know God’s Word and love and obey Him first and keep in mind that marriage is an earthly relationship (Matt. 22:30).

—Kerry Duke

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