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What Does Compatibility Mean?
The dictionary defines the above word as 'being able to exist and perform in harmonious or agreeable combination'. But on the long run, when you think about marrying that person, what are the ingredients one should keep in mind to check for compatibility?
First of all, it is important to understand that no amount of life on earth―even if you could live 100 lives one after another―will ever bring you to the point where you could became a spiritual 'clone' of your partner. Being compatible doesn't mean that you will always enjoy the same things and you will always share the same opinions about everything. Although on broad lines ( l will mention those later) we need to be on common ground, the main reason we want to be together is the very motive that we are different!
Being man and woman is already different enough and that is why we found each other interesting in the first place! From these differences to the point where you want to change your partner into what you think it is 'the ideal', it is a long way.
Some people think 'Well, he/she is a nice person and even if I do not agree with this and that, once married, I will change him/her'. It is the least to say hazardous to base your marriage on the future changes you dream to bring in your spouse's life. What if he/she never wants to change? What if she wants to change you and you want to change her... and you realize that none of you is willing to become the 'perfect partner' according to the image of the other?
It surely is not a place where you want to be in... at least not for the rest of your days!
Spiritual Compatibility
For that reason, it is very recommendable to clearly establish the issues that are most important to you. From the Christian perspective, the most important fact is that the man and woman in the couple are first of all spiritually compatible. You don't need to have a different religion and not be spiritually compatible; you can be in the same church and not be spiritually compatible!
What I mean is that if in your life prayer and worship are important but you see that you and your partner can't pray together because he just doesn't think it is important to pray or any other reasons, you should seriously consider that marrying will not necessarily fill in this gap, on the contrary... negative aspects tend to accentuate after saying 'I do'. Right, so for a born again Christian, the spiritual aspect is crucial. However there are other features of compatibility that are not to be taken lightly even if the main problem―spirituality―is solved: the physical aspect.
Physical Compatibility
Do you find your partner physically attractive? Are you proud to introduce him/her to your friends/family or are you embarrassed with the way they look? Keeping sexual relationships for the safety of marriage is what God intended from the start and it is the most rewarding and satisfying way of experiencing intimacy, that's why it is an aspect that you shouldn't neglect trying to be very spiritual. God clearly states that sex outside marriage is a sin and as Christians we are to conduct our lives as such, yet this doesn't mean that you are not to find your future partner physically attractive.
Intellectual Compatibility
I read something interesting in a book and I'm afraid it is very true: 'If a woman can't look up to a man, she should not look at him at all'. It is also important to be intellectually compatible because this has to do with a very important pillar of the relationship: respect. If you don't consider your partner's way of thinking, intelligence, education as being satisfying and challenging for you, then feeling handicapped for the rest of your days because 'he/she can't understand me' is a very heavy burden. Marriage has already got enough challenges as it is! You don't need any extra!
Right, so check your compatibility levels in the main areas and keep in mind that this is a lifetime process and no amount of time on earth will ever turn you or your spouse into your copy, another 'you'. There will always be things to deal with, to improve and correct, but they all have to be done with the right motivation, and not to turn the other into our selfish image of perfection.
Jesus Christ taught us to love one another, and this climate of love and respect is the most fruitful for a compatible couple.