Do you have a list? You know ‘the list’ which goes to sleep with you at night describing all the qualities God will provide in the man you’ve been waiting for. I love lists. We all need to put down ideas and get a feel for what we need and what would complement our lifestyles. But what happens when the presenting man doesn’t meet all the aspects of your list? How do you know if your list is really providing what you need? Looking out for the critical qualities in a man is important, as long as we don’t become too critical.I have spoken to pastors, women in leadership, couples, those I strongly admire, and watched relationships that have flourished and flunked. And I can say list or no list, there are some pointers that all my single sisters should consider.

God the ultimate matchmaker
Single women can meet men in a variety of different ways—through church, friends, family, work, and of course on the internet through online and speed dating. I have been to enough weddings to know marriages are successfully occurring via all sorts of means. But as an interesting observation, the majority of Christian marriages have taken place due to the couple having met at church.

Women are taking their single status seriously and looking for ways to explore opportunities. But before you start any search party, shouldn’t you find an expert to be in charge? Have you ever surrendered your desire to Jesus and asked him to choose the man for you? It seems pretty basic, but many simply leave God out of the equation.

Many women forget God loves matchmaking. He is the ultimate romantic. He is the author of your story. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith . . .” This is his love story. In his infinite wisdom he may just know a thing or two more than you about what you need. Jesus is in the business of setting up couples from all sorts of interesting backgrounds. Take a look at Boaz and Ruth (Rut 1-4), Rahab the prostitute and Salmon (Josh 2 and Mat 1:5). Then there’s Rebekah and Isaac (Gen 24).

Like a girlfriend, God loves it when you explore and ask questions. Let’s brainstorm a few. Questions like: Where should I go to find a potential mate? Is this a season of waiting or moving? Will I expect to meet him in the church or on the internet? What are the types of qualities I should look for?

I have come across many great successful relationships and often hear couples say they would never have chosen the person they ended up with, but God did. God is into the extraordinary and often it may not be what we expect. When he is in charge of the choice, most couples are not disappointed.

Opening our eyes
Often we can shut relationships down before there is an opportunity for something to flourish. Now I hate it when people say to me “you’re just fussy.” You know what you can live with and without. But perhaps we need to pray for God to open our eyes. Lists as I mentioned are great, but sometimes they box us in. No man is perfect and for that matter neither are you. Ask yourself what is really important in the scheme of it all?

I have turned down opportunities to explore certain friendships because what I had in my mind didn’t match up. Looking back I feel I may have been too critical. These men had qualities I was looking for—strong faith, a love for God, family orientated and a drive to do something incredible for God. Hindsight is a great thing but perhaps the next time an opportunity arises, I need to ask God to reveal what is really important.

The critical qualities
What critical qualities should we expect from a man to ensure a relationship lasts the distance? Character is ultimately what you are going to wake up to in the morning. I would say you would want bucket loads. A heart connection is often what stands the test of time beyond physical appearance.

Spiritual compatibility is also essential. This is beyond about being yoked with an unbeliever. This is about asking the question: Are we both going in the same direction? For example: Is my partner content being a Sunday Christian and I am not? Is God in the middle of this relationship and do our calls complement each other? Antoine de Saint-Exupery sums it up perfectly: “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.”

By Sandra Cavallo | Freelance Writer