Two Practical Tools for Finding the Right Mate

Lisa Cherry —  February 25, 2013

List of dream mate qualificationsBy Lisa Cherry

Have you ever been to the grocery store and not known what you were shopping for? Have you ever gone to a car lot without first setting your purchasing budget?  As consumers we recognize the foolishness of such activities.

Why, then, would we dare send our precious sons and daughters into the world of romance without advance planning of their selection process?

I'm often asked by parents for tools we can use to assist our children to make selections of godly mates. Today I want to give you two practical tools that we have found helpful in our home.

1. Pray for the Future Mate

Perhaps this one seems obvious. But it is one we can easily neglect. Include your child or teen in some of your prayer times. Pray specific prayers, not just general blessings. Such as…

Father, today we come to You and lift up Micah's future wife. Lord, please protect her from every evil influence of this dark world. Draw her heart close to You so that she would know You personally, trust You and hear Your voice. We pray for her family that their relationships would be strong and healthy. Help her with her education so that she receives everything she needs to be a godly wife and mother. Protect her from every counterfeit relationship with boys that would steal part of her heart or damage her soul.

 Lord, would You prepare Micah to be the strong and sensitive leader that she will need. Help him to be patient as he waits for the day he will meet his wife. Protect him from sexual temptations and emotional traps that could steal from their marriage. Please give his dad and me the wisdom to teach him and lead him so his marriage will be blessed, happy and strategic for the Kingdom of God. Amen.

Can you feel what effect this prayer has? Not only will our God go to work on our requests, but the force of our prayer causes Micah, our 15 year old, to know what he is waiting for! When the counterfeit girls who are not his wife flow through his world, he will more easily recognize that they do not match his long term prayer.

2. Dream and Record a List

Sometimes it feels like we need a crowbar to get inside our teens' hearts on matters related to the opposite sex. But if we build a foundation from an early age of dreaming about and talking about their future husband/wife, we can help keep the communication lines open when the selection is truly being made!

Be willing to hear their dreams of their future mates. Ask them about what they want in a future wife or husband. Begin that conversation as soon as possible. But be aware that the younger you start, the more immature their answers will be! Do not be quick to pass judgment on their ideas.

Remember these are just dreams they are beginning to fashion, not the final qualification list. So if your 12 year old daughter is hung up on needing her mate to be rich, blond-haired, and a guitar player, don't hit the panic button. Time, wisdom, and more conversations will help to shape her priorities. Perhaps even watching some appropriate "chick flicks" together and conversing afterwards will naturally open her eyes to the effect of her immature priorities. Or look around you and discuss concrete examples of women who made either wise or foolish choices.

Our goal is to have a mature, well thought out qualification list ready before they enter officially into the world of romance. For our family, we have chosen that to be when they are of marriageable age and stage. The list needs to be discussed together and held in a safe place so that whenever a prospective marriage partner comes along, the list becomes the "shopping guide."

Obviously, it will be unlikely that any candidate would meet all the criteria on the list perfectly, but this list helps your son or daughter carefully consider the risks and sacrifices they may need God's grace for as they enter into marriage.

For example, if “comes from a strong home life” is on the list, and the prospective life partner being considered was raised in a divorced home, extra prayer and consideration will be needed. Your son or daughter would need to count the cost of managing holidays and consider the effect on their future children before they go on to fall madly in love with this one!

All of us hope that our children’s marriages will succeed and they will escape the pain of divorce.  But we must realize that about half of all prospective marriage partners may be affected by their own parents’ divorce.

This exact situation happened to our son, Nathan. When Nathan who had no personal understanding of divorce became interested in Tara whose family had suffered many pains, he would need to develop extra sensitivity, compassion, and flexibility. That advance consideration of his list has helped him and Tara tremendously as they have established a strong marriage and learned to avoid relationship errors.

A few ideas to consider for your list....

Strong, personal relationship with Jesus
Hard working
Manages anger well
Honors his/her parents
Knows the Bible well
Manages money diligently
Smiles easily
Polite to others
Sensitive to others’ feelings; not harsh
Loves children
Is ready to provide for a wife
Neat in appearance
Strong birth family
Has a strong vision to serve in the Kingdom
Has a strong prayer life
Gives tithes and offerings joyfully.......etc.

Do you get the idea?

What would your family put on your qualification lists? I'd love to hear your ideas.   Click here and scroll to the end to comment.

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Gratefully linked to   

Encourage One Another     Hope for the Home     Marital Oneness Mondays  Modest Mondays  Marriage Monday

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Thank you so much to all who commented on Frontline Moms during our contest! We entered your name in our drawing for the free Hot Romance resource. Our winner of the drawing was Jaimie, who commented on The Top Ten Things I Want my Daughters to Know about Boys.   Congratulations Jaime!  I’ll email you today to ask for your mailing address so we can get your DVD to you.

And for everyone else, click here to purchase Hot Romance through our store.


Hot romance front

God bless you and your family. Be watching for another giveaway that we will announce next week on Frontline Moms!


This post is part of my series Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate? Here are the rest of the posts in this series:

Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate?
Two of Our Kids Found Romance!
Can We Divorce-proof Our Kids? Ten Strategies for Parents
The Word that Makes Us Bristle: Can We Divorce-Proof Our Kids, Part 2
Should Finding a Mate Be Like Buying a Pair of Shoes?
Ten Things I Teach My Sons about Girls
You Can’t Make Me!  Teens, Romance, and Rules
The Top Ten Things I Want My Daughters to Know about Boys
When Romance Hurts: 10 Truths for our Sons and Daughters to Consider

  • Lori Ferguson

    What a valuable topic - we've been praying for our future son-in-love and daughter-in-love since our kids were small.

    Our son has found his love, and we're thrilled. They've been married 2 years now, and I tell everyone that 'if' I had written a job description for a wife for our son, she fits perfectly. We still haven't met our future son-in-love. Robert and I join in prayer with our daughter for this man, and we know God has the right time and place for them to meet. In the meantime, she is focused on becoming the woman God wants her to be.

    • Lisa Cherry

      Lori, what a blessing to see the next generation find Godly love! Thank you for the testimony that God is able!

  • Lynne Davis

    I love this post!

    I especially liked your example of praying for Micah's future wife.  That will be one blessed lady!

  • Elizabeth Ours

    Excellent post! Very practical! I love what you write! Thanks for linking up to Marriage Monday!

  • Rennell Garrett

    I wouldn't focus on the qualities that they have as much.  It's good to have standards, but people generally look for qualities and don't know how to respond when they fall in love with people who don't have all of the items from the perfect list.

    I would teach my child how to deal with the realities of imperfection.  I would also warn them and try to tell them how to find a near perfect mate, but I wouldn't want to poison they're thinking.  

    I've seen people dump other people who really love them because they're parents didn't approve simply because that person came from a broken home etc.  I believe it's unfortunate that people sometimes end up being lonely for the majority of their lives simply because their parents didn't approve or they didn't have the qualities to fit the perfect list.

    • Lisa Cherry

      Renell, you make some interesting points. One of the things I have found most helpful about making a list with my kids is to help them get over unrealistic notions and be ready to not compromise the most important qualities - such as relationship with Jesus, honesty, and integrity - for the lesser qualities of style and personality. To be a prepared spouse is to be ready to accept others in their strengths and weaknesses. But it is true, in my experience, that love can be blind for a season! I want my kids prepared for the long haul of the relationship. Thanks for writing in!

      • Rennell Garrett

        Hi Lisa,

        Yes you summed up what I was trying to say when you stated "To be a prepared spouse is to be ready to accept others in their strengths and weaknesses".  Also, as I get older and start to mature more I'm realizing how important integrity is; especially when it's someone you will spend the rest of your life with.

  • Kristi Schooley-Hale

    Laughs easily and enjoys life.

  • Lisa Cherry

    Good ideas!