Christianity Today: Rick Warren: 7 characteristics to look for in a husband or wife

Emotional health is one of the most important factors to take into consideration when thinking about marriage, Rick Warren has said.

In a May 20 blog, the pastor of Saddleback Church in California offers seven emotional health factors to keep in mind when considering engagement. Eight out of 10 marriage breakdowns occur because “one or both of the partners are emotionally unhealthy”, he says.

“If you wait for the perfect wife or the perfect husband, it isn’t going to just happen. Let me tell you why: We’re all broken. That’s why we need a Savior. We need Jesus. God loves you, but you need to understand that anybody you marry will be broken too,” Warren writes.

“Everybody’s broken, but some people are a lot more broken than others. And you need to avoid them no matter how good-looking, rich, or nice they are. You have to figure out the emotional health of your potential partner before you enter into a long-term relationship.”

He goes on to suggest seven characteristics of an emotionally healthy partner:

1. Someone who isn’t nursing uncontrolled anger

2. Someone who isn’t stuck in addiction

3. Someone who isn’t harbouring bitterness

4. Someone who isn’t selfish

5. Someone who isn’t greedy

6. Someone who is generous and kind

7. Someone who always tells the truth

This might seem like an impossible list to live up to, Warren says, but “God cares about you and he cares about who you marry”.

Read more at 7 characteristics to look for in a husband or wife.