The overseer then must be above reproach . . . . And he must be well thought of . . . . (1 Timothy 3:2, 7)
When you marry a man, you share his name and the reputation that goes with it. Make sure it is a name that you will be proud to share.
A man who wants to impress a woman may hide some aspects of an unpleasant character from her, or temporarily subdue them without any intent of lasting change. Though he may fool you, it is unlikely that he will fool everyone with whom he has contact. Therefore, it is wise to pay attention to what other people say about a man whom you are getting to know, particularly people who have known him prior to your acquaintance with him. A man’s reputation may either confirm good character that you have observed or reveal problem areas that you have missed.
Read Proverbs 20:11.
God is in the business of transforming people, so it is not always fair to assume that a man who did not walk in integrity as a child or youth will not have changed. Still, it is a good idea to consider what people who have known him for a long time think of him and to watch for signs of bad behavior patterns that may still linger.
· Proverbs 3:3-4
· Proverbs 12:8
· Proverbs 16:13
· Romans 14:17-18
· John 12:26
· 2 Timothy 2:15
· 1 Peter 2:12
· Does he have truth and mercy written on the tablet of his heart?
What does that mean?
· What do other people say about his mind?
· Is he known as a righteous, upright man?
· Has his lifestyle earned him the approval (respect) of other godly men?
· Does he make time in his schedule to serve God?
If yes, how?
· Does he accurately interpret and apply the Scriptures?
· How does his lifestyle reflect on God—does he bring God honor or shame?
For their sake—and yours—do not marry a man who has not earned the favor of other Christians whose opinion you value and respect. Give your children a last name they can be proud to carry.
If you have not heard other people talking about the man you are considering, ask people what they think of him—when he is not around, so they will be frank. Be sure that you ask people who have had extensive contact with him so you are not just collecting first impressions, which can be misleading.
The righteous person is cautious in his friendship,
but the way of the wicked leads them astray. (Proverbs 12:26)
Friends can be a wonderful blessing in a man’s life if he chooses them well. When you are getting to know a man, get to know his friends, also. Listen carefully to what he tells you about them; observe his interactions with them.
· Psalm 14:5
· Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
· Proverbs 13:20
· Proverbs 27:6
· Proverbs 27:9
· What evidence do you see that God is present when he is with his friends?
· Do he and his friends help each other when one of them needs assistance with something?
· Do his friends give him good advice?
Does he give his friends good advice?
· Are any of his closest companions fools?
Friends can be a very bad influence in a man’s life if he chooses them poorly.
· Proverbs 10:17
· Proverbs 16:29
· Proverbs 22:24-25
· Proverbs 23:20-21
· Proverbs 24:21-22
· Psalm 1:1
· Psalm 101:4-7
· 1 Corinthians 5:11
The Bible does not instruct us to be so exclusive in our friendships that we never associate with “bad company” at all. Jesus, himself, spent time with sinners, but it was always with the intent of calling them to repentance and change. Often we have to befriend someone in order to lead him or her to Christ.
Jesus’ closest companions—His disciples—were not perfect men, but they were men who desired to know truth and to grow in wisdom.
The very best friend that a man can have is God. There are far too many men who learn a lot about God without ever becoming God’s friend. Read Jesus’ words in John 15:14 and James’ account of Abraham in James 2:21-23.
In order to have friends, one must also be a friend. Proverbs 18:2 and 20:5 contrast a man who invites confidences with a man who does not.
Read Proverbs 18:1 and 1 Peter 4:9-10.
A friendly man is much easier to live with than an unfriendly man. Consider this aspect of your boyfriend’s personality carefully.