Aug 212013 96 Responses

The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry

(The following is an excerpt from Friends, Partners & Lovers)

“In sickness and in health.”

On two occasions I have said those words with the full confidence that the couple repeating those words actually knew what they meant.

The first occurrence brought a smile to my face. She had endured and marriage was her reward on the other side of illness. Together they have journeyed through the struggles of a serious disease as boyfriend and girlfriend. Now they would be husband and wife. They knew what “in sickness and in health” meant. (See: The Number One Cause of Divorce)

in sickness and in healthThe second occurrence brought a tear to my eye. She had weeks to live. The vow renewal was his gift to her. I almost cut the words fearing the might be too painful. But with a crowd gathered I included them as a testimony to all who would hear them say, “in sickness and in health.” They meant it and everyone knew it.

Few people consider sickness and suffering when picking a mate.

They consider how the other person might look in the morning or what bad habits they might have.

They consider what offspring they could produce or what extended family they might bring to the reunion.

Yet few people ever consider what is a vital question—can I suffer with this person?

It sounds like the beginning of another marriage joke, but it’s not.

It’s a real question and one which should be explored by every dating couple.

Suffering is a part of life. (See: Marry a Partner, Not a Child)

And the older a person gets, the more we realize that suffering is not a rare occurrence, but is a common aspect of our lives.

Sorrow comes in many forms, yet it is guaranteed to come.

BEWARE: Not everyone suffers well.

Some live in denial—unable to confront the deep realities of life.

Some live in despair—unable to recognize the convergence of laughter and tears.

Few have the grace to suffer well.

Those who do suffer well are a well-spring of life and faith.

  • Who do you want holding your hand when the test says “cancer?”
  • On whose shoulder do you want to lean when the doctor says, “We’ve done all we can?”
  • With whom do you want to lie beside when you don’t know where your child is or if they will ever come home?
  • When your world turns upside down, in whose eyes do you want to look?

Find someone who suffers well.

I know it doesn’t seem important when life is perfect.

A beautiful smile is far more attractive than a quiet determination.

A common interest is far more appealing than internal strength.

Yet when life falls apart, you want someone you can run to, not someone you want to run from.

  • You want someone who believes in you.
  • You want someone who instills faith, not causes doubt.
  • You want someone who hopes no matter the circumstances.

In the Bible, Job’s wife responded to his suffering by saying, “Curse God and die.”

Had he not suffered enough?

Was life not difficult enough?

Enduring hardship was enough, yet Job was also forced to rebuke his wife during his time of struggle.

Life is hard enough; there is no need to make it harder.

Choosing a spouse who does not suffer well makes life harder.

It makes every grief stronger.

It makes every sorrow more painful.

It makes every hurt deeper.

Yet,

when our spouse knows how to suffer,

when they have don’t live in denial, but confront the sorrows of life,

when they don’t live in despair but know how to laugh and cry at the same time,

when they offer support and hope in all of life’s challenges,

when they can see the big picture of life,

then,

every grief is wedded to hope

every sorrow is matched with love

and every hurt is paired with healing.

One of the great guarantees of life is that every person, every couple, will suffer. When choosing a mate, choose someone who suffers well and you will never be sorry. (See: If Your Dog–or husband–Runs, Don’t Chase Him)

 

For more, see:

What to Look For in a Mate

Blessed are the married who mourn

 

Tags:
96 Responses to The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry
  1. […] response to The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry, a couple of readers asked w... kevinathompson.com/look-mate
  2. […] The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry This was my favorite post of the month.... kevinathompson.com/family-update-best-august
  3. […] The most overlooked essential characteristic in a life partner. […]... heatherserody.com/weekend-links-31414
  4. […] Is it possible that the problem is a spiritual problem? (See: The Most Overlooked Characteristic of ... kevinathompson.com/married-believer
  5. […] Thompson’s The Most Overlooked Characteristic Of Who You Want To Marry is really excellent ... bronlea.com/2014/11/07/pick-of-the-clicks-1182014
  6. […] The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry […]... titus2minutes.com/2014/11/08/weeks-best-reads
  7. […] The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry by Kevin Thompson […]... kevinhalloran.net/links-30
  8. […] idea is stolen shamelessly from the Kevin Thompson article that’s been circulating on Faceboo... lifecommaetc.com/5-careful-lessons-3-vigilant-years-marriage
  9. […] chanced upon this article entitled, “The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Mar... nicholastong.com/blog/2014/11/a-partner-who-suffers-well
  10. […] following is a repost from a blog by Keven A. Thompson. Keven’s words are so eloquent and true tha... swmch.com/essential-quality-look-partner
  11. […] Let me end with a short excerpt from this article: The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Wa... lifestinymiracles.com/2015/01/in-sickness-and-in-health
  12. […] No matter how much you grieved the loss of your parent at a young age, you will have to re-grieve th... kevinathompson.com/ever-changing-grief
  13. […] Realizing the weariness which loss creates can cause us to use even greater care when making decisio... kevinathompson.com/what-the-smartest-people-rarely-know
  14. […] When both spouses feel camaraderie with one another as they are attacking a problem, the relationsh... kevinathompson.com/does-having-a-child-with-down-syndrome-make-marriage-tougher
  15. Trackback: :D
    […] the greatness of God. I’ve read so many articles circulating on FB recently on couples needing... eatwelllivenourished.com/2014/11/d
  16. […] there’s another question to ask. Kevin Thompson first pointed it out here. He calls it the most o... foreverymom.com/the-one-life-changing-question-we-all-need-to-ask-before-we-get-married
  17. […]  “Those who do suffer well are a well-spring of life and faith. Who do you want holding your hand... theprovisionroom.com/2015/10/29/preparing-for-marriage
  18. […] article: https://www.kevinathompson.com/the-most-overlooked-characteristic-of-who-you-want-to-marry/... https://smilingthroughtears.wordpress.com/2015/11/17/today-we-celebrate
  19. […] note: This article was originally published on Kevin A. Thompson’s blog. It has been republish... imedia.ng/overlooked-characteristic-want-marry
  20. […] read this article that totally changed my paradigm. I absolutely concur. I learned this too in Dece... https://mariennefelisilda.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/love-that-stays
  21. […] this year, I read a fantastic article about looking for a spouse.  It’s true that we’re... julievarner.com/day-21-learn-to-suffer-well
  22. […] The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want … – I know it doesn’t seem important when l... australiaboots.info/index.php/2016/04/02/what-is-the-most-important-characteristic-of-a-good-friend
  23. […] some of the struggles we have gone through. A number of months ago, my sister in law had shared an a... estateofgrace.co/lucky-number-seven
  24. […] there’s another question to ask. Kevin Thompson first pointed it out here. He calls it the most o... foreverymom.com/marriage-suffering-annie-deddens
  25. […] The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry […]... lifelettercafe.com/2016/08/kevin-thompson
  26. […] It’s not enough to restrain yourself on behalf of your spouse. Love must also motivate us to a... kevinathompson.com/willing-to-live-for-her
  27. […] While having fun on a Friday night is nice, going to dinner and a movie will reveal very little abou... kevinathompson.com/spouse-matters-choose-wisely
  28. […] there’s another question to ask. Kevin Thompson first pointed it out here. He calls it the most o... foreverymom.com/marriage/one-more-thing-you-need-to-know-before-you-say-i-do-annie-deddens
  29. […] The culture isn’t cursed. (See: The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry) [... kevinathompson.com/marriage-still-works
  30. […] not have imagined this situation. This suffering became a pressure cooker for our relationship. Kevi... https://www.boundless.org/relationships/the-overlooked-trait-youll-want-in-your-mate
  31. […] Suffering in life and in marriage is inevitable but has high potential to glorify God. In the case o... https://christianschat.net/News/three-reasons-i-loved-the-movie-i-still-believe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Please enter your name, email and a comment.