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Jerome & Leilani Haywood
Jerome & Leilani Haywood

Since I wrote "Five Signs That He Is Not "The One", which was shared over 4,000 times, I decided to write a counterpoint article. These five signs were confirmed when my husband, Jerome, asked me to marry him. 

#1: He has a vibrant relationship with God that shows in his involvement with the church.

Jerome was a former campus evangelist. The first time we met was in 1985, when we were on a missions trip to Boston. I was there from Hawaii, and he was from Missouri. When I met him, it was like meeting the postman. He made no impression on me, but in a group picture that we took together, he was standing right behind me. 

We kept running into each other throughout the years because we had a lot of mutual friends who were active in ministry. I was attending the University of Hawaii at the time and was very active in my church. He was part of a team that was starting a church at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.

Several years later, I moved to Gainesville, Fla., to work with the ministry's magazine. I ran into Jerome again when he was visiting the ministry's headquarters to attend a leadership training seminar. I thought he was really funny, but I didn't imagine that years later I would be walking down the aisle with him.

The next time I ran into Jerome was at a pastor's conference in Indianapolis. His pastors knew me and were very supportive of Jerome and me grabbing lunch. I wanted to go to lunch with Jerome to find out what was going on with some of our mutual friends.

That lunch turned into a three-hour conversation where I felt like I had just met my best friend. I was amazed at how much we had in common. For one moment, it seemed like we had met on the interstate of life but had driven along the frontage road in the same direction for years. We had the same vision and same ministry experiences. That was a sign that maybe Jerome was more than just another buddy but a friend for life.

#2: Your leaders or pastors think marrying him is a good idea.

Several months after that conference, Jerome asked me to marry him. It was really fast, but we had known each other for seven years. Still, I asked several leaders who knew us both for their opinion. They spoke highly of Jerome's integrity, faithfulness, commitment and sacrifice.

Jerome had a reputation after serving in ministry for many years and had led half of the guys in his church to the Lord. He had discipled them and fathered them in the faith. He was not a novice in the faith. This was another sign that God may have be leading me to marry Jerome.

My church recommends that singles interested in a new believer give them a year. I like this test because it will show whether the new believer is serious about their faith or whether God is just a passing fad for them.

#3: Your parents like him.

The first time I met my future father-in-law, Erdis, in Natchez, Miss., he was skinning a squirrel. I could barely understand his heavy Southern accent, but he approved Jerome's choice. When Jerome met my mother, Aloha, and my stepfather, Celes, in Stockton, Calif., they instantly liked him.

Jerome was funny and relatable, and he made them feel like his best friend. He still has that incredible gift that won my heart. My parents' approval was a sign that he was the one.

#4: He has a job.

Jerome was a salesman in electronics at Sears. His pay was pure commission, and he did very well in this position, which was a sign to me that he was a hard worker. When you work in a commission-only position, if you don't work, you don't eat.

I've seen women turn away guys who had jobs but the job wasn't up to their standard. The girl wanted a guy who was earning a manager's salary, but he was working at a convenience store. Even though the guy loves God and is very involved in the church, I've seen girls who have snubbed them for someone outside the church who earns more money and looks more attractive.

The guy who doesn't love God but has a great job and looks more attractive may pull you away from the faith. Actually, I'll bet $20 that you will not be in church after a month of dating this guy. I've seen this pattern play out over and over again, and it is heartbreaking.

I believe that if the guy is working hard at his current job, God will promote him. Girls, you just need to be patient and let God make him into who he is called to be. If the guy is faithful, hard-working and a good listener who loves God, he will advance in life. Don't pass up a guy because he may be earning less than you do at the moment. Give him some years of working hard and serving God, and faithfulness will pay off.


#5: He doesn't pressure you into premarital sex.

Jerome quit dating at 21 and was celibate for 13 years until we got married. I don't know very many guys who could claim this record. If the guy speaks in tongues, reads his Bible everyday and memorizes Scripture yet pressures you into sleeping with him, saying that you can repent or God will give you grace, run!

Guys who can exercise self-control when they're single will be faithful during marriage. I know that virginity or being celibate as a single is not a popular topic in church sermons. But God has a lot to say about sexual immorality: "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous" (Heb. 13:4, ESV).

With these five signs confirmed, you should have a good sense of whether the guy who just asked you to marry him is really "the one." If one of these signs is red, then I recommend waiting until that sign turns green.

What other signs do you think make the guy a bad candidate for marriage? Tell us on Facebook.

 


Leilani Haywood is a Kansas City, Mo.-based award-winning writer and columnist. Her work has been published in the Kansas City StarMetro Voice and other publications. When she's not updating her status on Facebook or Twitter, she's working on her book. Follow her on Twitter @leilanihaywood.

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