My youngest daughter got married this summer and I am rather amazed that I made it this far as a dad. My son got married 3 years ago. I must admit I have thought a lot about whom they would marry. When they were young I began talking to them about it. I didn’t have anyone in mind but I did have some characteristics or principles that I thought needed to be evident. So when my oldest was about seven I gave him a list of five things he should look for in a girl whom he liked. I thought if I started young, by the time he actually was paying attention to girls, he would have these five characteristics pretty well ingrained.
Faith – Belief in God (God of the Bible)
Without faith there is nothing bigger than this life. Therefore, the possibility of over dependence on each other is high. Faith puts this life in perspective and allows us to be strong in the difficult times and humble in good times.
Ethic – The ability to get and keep a job and be productive in society
Personal ethic is the ability to do life right even when no one is looking. An ethical person understands and lives his or her life for the benefit of others and values all that is around him. Trust, integrity, and value are the byproducts of ethic.
Health – Do not date a hypochondriac, or someone who is unhealthy
This is difficult because is sounds heartless and cold. The reality is we can never know what life is going to throw at us. A car accident puts one in a wheel chair. A disease strips away the quality of life. These are unavoidable and unforeseeable. However there are many areas of health and wellness that we can do something about; eating right, exercise, hygiene, and understanding how our bodies work. These are all within our control. Observing how a person takes care of their body will greatly determine their future life.
Generosity – The ability to live for others
Generosity is a learned behavior and is important in parenting and marriage. If a person is not generous then they are selfish and that does not fit in a family. The first prerequisite for any good relationship is generosity. I would rather have a family fighting about who is going to give more, than one fighting for their own rights.
Vision – Wants to make a difference in life
Vision is the boundary of life. If you don’t have a vision then you don’t have direction. Ask yourself, what is my vision. Ask the person you are interested in what is their vision. After my wife and I got married, I asked here why she picked me. She dated several guys that seemed cooler, better looking, definitely smarter than I was (I weighed 121 lbs the day we got married) in other words, a skinny runt. She said it was simple; I was going somewhere, they weren’t. I had vision.
Be diligent in leading your family. The next generation is counting on you.