For the past 24 years I’ve taught a class for singles on making marriage one of their best decisions.
One of the things we look at is a chart titled, “Things I love now and what they might be in 10 years.”
The person you’re thinking about marrying, for example, is very attentive and you love that about him. Later his attentiveness turns to possessiveness.
- The laid-back person turns out to be lazy.
- The playful person proves to be immature.
- The confident one turns out to be arrogant.
But because you’re in love, you didn’t have eyes to see the negatives in the positives.
The chart is helpful because it reveals how positives can become negatives. It provides an opportunity to help singles look beyond initial impressions to deeper qualities of character.
Since we live in a “the fake it till you make it culture,” it’s especially important to avoid superficial conclusions about a potential spouse.
I remind singles that character qualities rarely appear without a history.
Most of character qualities are formed during the early years of life in our homes. This is why it’s important for parents to help children develop positive qualities without allowing them to become negative.
When we raised our four children, we tried to build positive character traits in their lives. The traits we desired are necessary for both surviving and thriving in life.
Yet caution is necessary because positive traits can easily become negatives.
Life is often a balancing act.
We tried to be more conscious about what I call trimming positives to protect them from becoming negatives.
Discuss with others the ways you can build the 10 positive traits below into your life without allowing the negatives to destroy the positives.
Positives without negatives
- Confident without being arrogant.
- Humble without being weak.
- Determined without being stubborn.
- Teachable without being gullible.
- Friendly without being naive.
- A servant without being an enabler.
- Merciful without being undiscerning.
- Discerning without being a critic.
- Capable without being overly self-reliant.
- Godly without being self-righteous.