“People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has at some point indulged with some friends in the game of rating members of the opposite sex on a scale of 1 to 10 based on looks. And obviously that is wrong, because we should be seeking to follow God’s example and judge not based on outside appearances but based on the heart. But it is inevitable that as will look for a partner we will approach the search with a criteria. We may be able to proudly say that our particular criteria isn’t based on looks, but you are still going to have some sort of idea of what your perfect guy/girl would be like.
A principle we always stuck to in my days of rating girls was that there was no such things as a perfect 10. There would always be a flaw. And maybe the reason some of us haven’t found our ideal partner and aren’t enjoying the ‘steak’ God intended is we have set our sights too high and are looking for a perfection that doesn’t exist this side of eternity.
Because face it. We are all messed up, flawed human beings. All of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We say stuff we don’t mean. We get angry over stupid little things. We care more about ourselves than others. We don’t always practice what we preach. And if we are being really honest, we’ve all done stuff we are ashamed of, and I’m going to guess most of us aren’t totally content with the way we look (by the way – God is! He knit you together to look just the way you do, “wonderfully made” –Psalm 139:13-14). The point is, none of us are perfect. So even if that perfect guy or girl you dream about happened to exist, and you happened to find them, why on earth would they take an interest in someone like you?
So maybe when it comes to relationships we need an attitude more like God’s. Because if He demanded perfection from us heaven would be a very empty place. What He does require however is that we try. Maybe we need to stop overlooking people who aren’t quite perfect, and start wondering if the steak God intends for us to enjoy has been right in front of us, if only we could realise it. Maybe we need to give that quiet girl/guy from church a chance, not overlooking them for being slightly plain looking, but looking at the heart, discovering they are doing their best to live for God and noticing all the things that make them great rather than the few that hold them back from perfection.
The perfect 10 doesn’t exist, and if they did you wouldn’t be good enough for them. So let’s move beyond a search for someone who isn’t out there, and start to notice lots of great 7s, 8s and 9s, and hopefully amongst them the steak God has set aside for us to enjoy. Don’t miss out because you are waiting on a steak with a non-existent better sauce or fancier side salad.