I just wrapped up my 23rd year of teaching a class for singles on how to make the marriage decisions one of your best decisions.
We invest significant time in the class discussing the importance of maturity to a good relationship. I always ask participants to describe maturity and immaturity. This generates some great and convicting conversation!
When looking at the qualities of maturity, I encourage them to first examine their own lives before applying anything to others. I encourage them to focus on becoming the person that your future spouse will need and be blessed with.
I also remind them that behaviors, perspectives and life-patterns rarely appear without a history behind them. Looking closely and honestly at the history is essential to breaking patterns that get passed through generations.
Consider the following characteristics of maturity and use the list for conversation. It’s obviously not an exhaustive description of a mature person, but it offers a starting point.
Ask yourself and others how you would go about learning whether a potential future mate would fit the various characteristics.
- Not easily angered
- Not overly sensitive (taking everything personally)
- Can laugh at himself/herself
- Avoids childish drama
- Grateful for small blessings
- Doesn’t choose a negative perspective
- Doesn’t major on minors
- Not narcissistic
- Not manipulative
- Takes responsibility for his actions
- Avoids the blame game
- Rejects a mentality of victimization
- Chooses honesty over deception
- Makes thought out decisions
- Shows respect to others
- Practices tolerance
- Shows compassion with discernment
- Doesn’t take life too seriously, but takes it seriously enough
- Willing to look beyond his opinions to empathize with others
- Knows when to joke and when not to
- Able to admit when wrong
- Doesn’t gloat when right
- A capacity to endure uncertainty
- Accepts deferred gratification
- Doesn’t take for granted important things
- Forgives without enabling