'You don't have to be a superhero to win a girl. The right girl will bring out the hero in you.' (Deadpool, 2016)
All of us dream of our Mr or Mrs Right. Like the hero in the recent movie Deadpool, we expect the right person to be perfect for us by bringing out the best in us. We list out a hundred qualities our Mr Right should have, including the things he should do for us and the things he should say.
When the idea of dating first crossed my mind I only had one criterion for a future mate: he must be a Christian. After all, if he was a Christian nothing could go wrong—could it?
This was a great start, as it made sure my basic beliefs about the world matched a potential partner's. My basic 'Mr Right' criterion helped to set a boundary and prevented me from blindly starting a relationship with someone who did not share my beliefs about the creation of mankind and the world, and the existence of God and life after death.
Our beliefs govern our life
Being in a relationship is about more than just emotions and falling in love. It is therefore wise to keep the long game in mind, and date with a lifetime of marriage in mind.
All our decisions in life, whether big or small, stream from the beliefs we hold. A simple example is our food choices. Some religions hold certain animals in high esteem or consider them unclean—resulting in their followers avoiding those animals. Sharing the same beliefs would, in this sense, make meal decisions easier.
More than a religion
I thought making Christianity the one criterion to be fulfilled by my Mr Right would ensure shared belief and moral standards. However, by making it the one thing on the checklist for my Mr Right, I reduced Christianity to a mere religion.
I simply looked out for whether or not the other person was a Christian. If he was not, he was immediately out. On one hand this was great because it eliminated candidates that I was not supposed to fall for before I became emotionally attached.
On the other hand, whenever someone ticked the 'Christian' box, I almost immediately thought he could be Mr Right—regardless of his other characteristics!
Christianity is not just about sharing the same beliefs. Even the devil agrees God is the Creator and believes in the existence of heaven and hell—andthe devil is definitely not a Christian!
Christianity is a relationship
Christianity is about a God who wants a relationship with us.
God created Adam and Eve in His own image, to have fellowship with them. When things went wrong, our sinfulness highlighted God's holiness. God gave His one and only son to die on the cross for us, making a way for us to be holy before Him. Through Jesus we can once again come into a right relationship with God.
While all the other religions focus on things we can do to earn eternal life, Christianity is the story of a loving Father who graciously gives us the gift of eternal life and adopts us as His own children—He invites us into relationship.
My new checklist
Just being a Christian should not have been my only criterion for finding Mr Right. Being a Christian is more than just obeying the Ten Commandments and going to church on Sunday. It is more than reading the Bible and praying daily.
Being a Christian is about relationship: with God and with others. Our relationship with Jesus enables us to know God through Bible reading and praying. The Holy Spirit enables us to reflect God's greatness and be His ambassador of love as we trust Him, living out our salvation.
With this in mind my checklist expanded. The first item became 'Mr Right must love God more than he loves me.' Secondly, 'Mr Right should share my passion for others.' Having those two things in place allows us both to put God's will first in our lives and support each other to live out His plans for us.
What's on your checklist for Mr Right?
Esther Koh is a stay-at-home mum living in Wellington with her husband and three year old son. She loves people and has a passion for helping others find their purpose for living.
Esther Koh's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/esther-koh.html