Potential Living

dating1God has blessed everyone with great potential. He has designed us all with the abilities and desires necessary to accomplish the works He wants us to do (Psalm 139:14). A huge part of reaching our potential is surrounding ourselves with people who encourage and lift us up; godly people who inspire and challenge us (2 Cor.6:14). One of the most important people in our lives is the one we choose to marry.

I, personally, am not a believer in soul mates. I think that there is more than one man in this world who I could be compatible with and could choose to love. But I will not love just any guy whom I like; there must be certain qualities about him that cause me to want to be more Christ-like. I want you to think about the things in your life that encourage you to be great!

The ideal man for me would be someone who complements me; someone who has strength in areas where I may have trouble. One example would be patience; I would want the man I married to be very patient so that he could help me to not be rash. I would also want this person to appreciate my talents and encourage me to pursue them. If you are talented in sports, singing, playing instruments, hunting, or any number of things, the man you choose to love should encourage your abilities, as long as they are godly.

I know that sometimes we let ourselves fall for someone who is not good for us, someone who may pull us down rather than lift us up. But I would like to share with you one belief that I have always stood firm in. I do not believe that we fall in love, because falling is an accident–love is not. Loving someone is a choice and we don’t stop or start loving someone unless we make that decision. The love God demands of us is an active love—one that we must think about and participate in. I believe that this must be true because of God’s description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8; it is always described as something that takes work and effort.

dating2For example, in those verses, it is written, “Love is never jealous.” Being envious is often a temptation for many people. Sometimes girls feel like they don’t want their boyfriends to even talk to other girls, or vice versa. If that is something you struggle with then you have to decide not to allow yourself to fall into Satan’s trap. You must let your love overshadow sinful feelings and trust the one you are with. In those verses you will find that everything love is being described as is an action. You choose not to be easily angered, not to be prideful, not to rejoice in sin, and to be kind. They all require thought and decisions. Therefore, when you decide to put yourself out there and love someone, you are making a choice.

So when you are getting to know a potential husband, ask yourself if this boy complements you, encourages you, and challenges you to be more Christ-like. Ask yourself if this boy will encourage you to reach the potential that God has given you.

By Shelby Garrett


  1. Thanks Shelby for your comments on looking for a mate,as an elder of the church it would be great if all people young and old would study God’s word and see what they need to look for in a boy or girl for life, if we use the bible as our guide the divorce rate is sure to drop. Great job Shelby! keep up the good work.

  2. beverly kendall says

    Wise words Shelby. Even wiser because they are coming from someone your age. You have been taught well and you have listened well. You have taken God’s Word to heart. You have found out early that It works in every situation. It will not fail. Neither will love. You are being blessed because of the Godly choices you are making. The abundant life is the best life.

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