When discussions occur about dating, there is an emphasis that is usually placed on compatibility. After all, who would want to be married to someone who is significantly different personality-wise? But could there be a chance that we might be overplaying the importance of finding someone who aligns with us on virtually everything? In the following video, Jefferson and Alysa Bethke speak to this interesting subject.
Here is a compelling question: Do we need to be compatible with our partner before we marry them? Jefferson is convinced that what keeps a marriage together is not our idealistic or romantic notions of marriage, but actually our commitment to the marriage. When we believe that marriage is a covenant that we make before God, then we can make it work with anyone, regardless of incompatibility. This DOES NOT, however, mean that we are to be unwise with whom we marry.
Wise questions to ask yourself in discerning a future mate could be “will this person’s personality grate against mine?” or “is a particular issue a make or break issue with me?” These are important questions, but they are secondary to understanding that perseverance in marriage is founded upon the promises we make to the marriage. This concept can actually be freeing as we date with the intention of finding a spouse because it takes the mystical subjectiveness out of the process. In conclusion, faith, belief, and worldview compatibility should rank higher in our “future mate processing” than mere personality. Personality differences can actually play a role in heping us move toward the real goal of marriage, which is to make us holy.