Six-figure income, tall, thin, sports car and homeowner. Yep, single people usually have at least a mental checklist of characteristics they want to see in their future spouse. I’ve had several share their lists with me and I’ve seen “must haves” right down to the eye color. When they ask what I think, it’s hard not to let out a groan. Hey, if someone just feels they need their soulmate to have blue eyes, I’m not saying that’s wrong. But if your list doesn’t go any further than skin deep, you’re already in trouble, baby.

Recently I was reading “The Magnolia Story” about Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper. Joanna’s pre-marriage checklist included a guy with dark hair–Chip’s hair is blondish-red. She wanted someone quiet. He talked so much on their first date that Joanna wondered if he was a little crazy. But they have now been married for 17 years, have five children, were the stars of a popular television series for five years and own Magnolia Market–​the headquarters of their home decor line that encompasses two city blocks in Waco, Texas.

By Joanna’s own admission, if she did not have Chip Gaines in her life, all of her creative ideas would still be in her head. “​This entire business idea was born completely out of a dream I didn’t know could ever come to life. It’s only because a fiercely faithful, brave and bold husband pushed me to pursue my dream, that it ever came to be.” Yet Chip, the “all over the road adventurer” that he is, admitted that he finally learned about boundaries from his wife.

So how did God orchestrate the union of these two seemingly opposite soulmates? Chip always saw God as unruly and chaotic. Through Joanna he began to see the order and structure of God. Paradoxically, Joanna’s image of God was very “play it safe and stay inside the box”. Through Chip she learned that God created her for a reason and He wanted it to be known. She didn’t need to stay hidden anymore–God used Chip to pry her out of the box.

Just how important was Joanna’s list that included a guy with dark hair and a quiet personality​? It wasn’t important at all. God knew exactly what each of them needed.

I want to show you the perfect soulmate checklist–one that far exceeds eye color or socio-economic status. It’s found in Daniel chapter 5. King Belshazzar was throwing a big, wild party. He and his guests were drinking wine from the sacred cups taken from God’s house. That was bad enough, but it got worse when they started praising the gods of gold and silver. I’m sure Belshazzar realized he had pushed the envelope too far because–all of a sudden–the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote a cryptic message on the wall. Fingers only. Like, not attached to a body.

When no one was able to decode the secret message, it sent the king into a full-blown panic. That’s when the queen said something that should make every single person’s ears perk up like a Doberman’s. Are you ready?

She said, “There is a man in your kingdom.” At the top of every woman’s checklist who is believing for a husband, it should read, “A man in God’s kingdom.” At the top of every man’s checklist who is believing for a wife, it should read, “A woman in God’s kingdom.” Pretty simple, isn’t it? Your soulmate should be in the kingdom of God.

Now that we have the most important quality, let’s look at some other criteria for your checklist found in Daniel 5:11-16:

●  Has the spirit of the living God.​ The Message Bible says full of the divine Holy Spirit. Not “a little dab will do ya,” but someone who is ​abounding in God’s Spirit. This is not someone who loves God one minute and is a party animal the next, but rather someone who is stable and consistent spiritually because where there is spiritual consistency, there is power. You don’t just need a soulmate, you need a powerful soulmate!

●  Has understanding and wisdom. ​Ladies, you do not want a man who drains the family savings for a motorcycle, forfeiting a vacation that everyone could have enjoyed. You want a man whose wisdom leads him to make good decisions where priorities are concerned. Likewise men, do you want a woman who throws a tantrum because she can’t have Barbie’s dream house the first year of marriage? That is childish and selfish. A woman of excellence and understanding knows and accepts that there is a time for everything.

● Is a leader. L​ eadership is like beauty. It’s hard to describe, but when you see it, you know it. Leaders don’t head from one ditch to the other on life’s road. Leaders stay safely in the middle–avoiding extremes. I’ve seen marriages where one spouse will scream at the other, even using name calling. Then, without apology, expect intimacy a few hours later. That person is not capable of leading anyone to the refrigerator, let alone leading a family. Stability, growth, teachability, humility–traits of someone worth following.

● Is excellent. ​This is particularly interesting for the men out there. The Bible says in Genesis that God created a “help meet” for Adam. The Hebrew word is “ezer” which means a superior, excellent quality helper. Not superior to Adam, but rather of superior quality to walk with him. That would be a huge relief to have a superior, excellent

quality spouse–someone to troubleshoot life with and brainstorm together. It would be wise to put excellence at the top of the list!

● Interprets dreams, solves riddles and difficult problems. ​It seems like the world we live in is a new riddle every day. Navigating through it with someone who can properly interpret the atmosphere, discern the times and uncover solid spiritual answers is far more valuable than any eye color, length of hair or size of biceps. Think about this: a difficult problem solver. Someone who can pray their way through the minefield of a job layoff, bad health report or unexpected calamity–whew! Priceless!

So in the search for a soulmate that possesses the qualities above, it would be time well spent making sure these very qualities can be found in you. If you want more, you must become more, and you will attract more.

Yes, when it comes to finding your soulmate, it’s time to raise the bar, not hang out in one.

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