1. Both in relationship with Jesus
2. Character Attraction
3. Same Vision
1. Both have a relationship with Christ and a firm foundation in Him.
One cannot be an unbeliever nor can he/she be a "new" Christian while the other is a more seasoned Saint. 2 Corinthians 6:14 is pretty clear that believers and unbelievers should not be closely linked. Why? Because the majority of the time, believers are sucked into ungodly behavior and fall out of a strong relationship with God. It is so easy to think that "you can be a light" for them to follow and lead them to Christ and everything would be all happy and fine. But you have to realize that God is the only one who change a person's heart. You can do everything "right" so to speak and still, the other person's heart is unchanged. After, all Paul says in Romans 1 Cor 7:16, "How do you know, wide, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whther you will save your life?" (Although this is more to do with one who is already married to an unbeliever, but the principle is there!)
Many would disagree that new Christians and more mature Christians should not date. There are very good reasons why a baby and a mature Christian should not be together. Many argue that the more mature Christian in the relationship can help the new Christian become stronger and come to a place where they are both on equal footing. But, why do that as boyfriend and girlfriend? It is better to be a friend than more in that case! You can't be a spiritual mentor AND a boy/girlfriend. Just like you can't be a psychiatrist and a boy/girlfriend to someone. There are too many conflict of interests that could stump both of the person's growth. Also, look at it this way. Take a graduated student from college and an upcoming freshman in college. The graduated student has experienced the classes, the learning, the stress of tests, and the like. But the upcoming freshman has yet to experience the college life and the blessings and trials and tests and the like! They have so much to learn and so much to go through! The graduated student doesn't need to relearn all the stuff they did in college! It won't be new to them, and their growth could be stumped! Do you see my point? And as a mature Christian, we want the new Christian to learn all the things that we know... but that takes so much time. I would also submit to you all, that what is lacking this type of relationship is a similar vision. A new Christian will not know where God where lead Him! And what ministry He has for the new Christian. But the mature Christian will have a better understanding of where they are heading. And he or she should not slow down so the other can catch up.
God has a wonderful Christian for you! One who has already gone through the necessary trials and temptations so that he or she may be a suitable husband or wife for you! You don't have to do any of the work to "prepare" your husband or wife. That is God's job! Just focus on your relationship with Christ, and how He wants you to serve. God will provide!
2. Attraction. Of course, you have to be physically attracted to the person (however, not right away). If you aren't physically attracted the person, then physical intimacy won't be grand... at all. But, physical attraction, is not the most important attraction. The most important attraction is character/personality attraction. A person's character is not their personality. A person's character is expressed through their personality. Every person has a different personality. Some are shy, some are outgoing, some are very routined and some aren't. This is just how God did things (He is a God that likes variety :) ).
As Christians, we are to become like Jesus, develop his character! What is his character? The Bible tells us that, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control," (Galatians 5:22-23). All these characteristics should be seen in not just our future husbands, but also all our brothers in sister's in Christ! This character takes time... a lot of time... in fact a WHOLE LIFE TIME to develop. Granted, that no one will be perfect in all these areas, but the emergence and growth of these qualities should be evident!
Just as it take time to develop these characteristics, it takes time to see them! Take the time to know a potential spouse OUTSIDE of his/her relationship with you. Of course, they are are going to show these in front of you! But, what about other people. How do they treat other people around them? Other believers? Their family? The person can tell you all about them, but what one perceives themselves to be can be completely different from what they actually are. This doesn't mean that it takes years and years to find out a person's character... BUT it sure takes longer than days and weeks!
3. The Same Vision to Glorify God.
This is one a lot of Christians miss out on. It isn't good enough just to be both Christians. And it isn't good enough to just be attracted to one another. You both have to have the same vision. What does this mean?
Having the same vision starts with each person's separate calling in the ministry. All the couples I have talked to received their "calling" before even meeting their spouses. They were already heading in the direction that God wanted them to go. Either by becoming a counselor, doctor, or serving someone in the church. They already had an idea of what God wanted them to do for the rest of their lives. THis is important to know because a relationship wouldn't be successful if one person is called doing a ministry overseas and another at home, or one is called to do a ministry that requires all their time and effort for the time being while another one is doing something else.
If your ministry is called in the same location/area where it would be possible for the two of you to have a relationship then comes the most important question to ask yourselves... If the both of us got together as one flesh, would we be able to do more for God's Glory together than either of us would be able to do alone? It is a serious question to be answered... one that could take awhile to answer. One that requires conversations with God.
You don't have follow any of those requirements. However, think about this...If you are to marry, God has only one person in mind. He knows what you need in a spouse to better serve Him and serve each other. God is the most romantic being who ever existed and whoever will exist! Let Jesus write your love story! Why? Because He is the one wrote and DID the most wonderful love story: The Cross. That is the most romantic and beautiful love story of them all... and it is still going.. because He is coming back for us! We are to be His bride... and He will be our King!
If you have any comments or suggestions or scripture, feel free to comment!