If you’ve ever read a book about courtship, you’ll recall that it probably suggested that you make a list of all the qualities you want in your future husband. It’s meant to be a guiding light, so that when you meet a cute boy, you don’t get sidetracked by his wonderful sense of humor and dashing good looks. You’ll be reminded of your future husband thanks to the list, therefore not making the mistake of developing feelings for a guy you’d never actually want to marry.
After reading Before You Meet Prince Charming, I got all excited. A list! I love making lists; they keep organization in my many thoughts. A list would be the perfect way to keep myself focused on what was truly important in a future husband. So often I had noticed and wondered about boys, only to find out a short time later that they weren’t really what I was interested in. A list of qualities–now that would definitely help! I got started, making two lists: one titled ‘Essential’ and the other titled ‘Desirable’. The first was for things that I felt were 100% necessary in a spouse, the second for things I thought would be really, really nice if he had.
For awhile, this worked great! I wasn’t staring at every boy I passed, wondering if he would someday be my “Mr. Right”. I was so focused and happy. Then a few months later, I began looking over my list and wondered if maybe I should change a couple of things. After all, I had grown a little; there were certain things I didn’t enjoy anymore that were still on the desirable list. I could re-write and do something different, couldn’t I? Well, I re-wrote it again. This time, the only things on the essential list were some specifics of Christianity (such as, what he believed concerning the authority of God’s Word and Salvation) and that he’d be HANDSOME. The ‘Desirable’ list was shortened as well, and some of the specifics from the ‘Essential’ list were downgraded to ‘Desirable’. After all, he doesn’t have to be a Red Sox/Patriots fan. 😉
However, even with all this great focus on ‘what truly matters’ and my marvelous lists, I still found myself studying guys and their behavior. Not only that, I also found myself judging them. Thinking things like “Oh, that’s too bad. You seem nice, but you’re not a good enough Christian to be my husband.” Or, “It’s a shame you like that show on Facebook. I think that show is completely inappropriate and Christians shouldn’t endorse it. Oh well, I guess you’ll be a good husband for someone with lower standards.”
I talked myself up. I’d be married to this great, exemplary Christian young man, who was better than anyone else. He’d stand strong in the Lord, defending the Gospel and sharing it at the same time. He’d be enthusiastic about church, and involved in at least one church ministry. Or even better yet, he’d be the pastor! He’d realize the danger of compromising the world’s way with God’s, and together we’d raise our children to know the difference. We’d have a wonderful life together. He’d also be taller than me, the handsomest, the funniest, the most sensitive. Sure he’d have faults, but together we’d grow in God’s grace and truth. It would be perfect.
At least, that’s what my list told me.
You see, in the midst of ‘letting the list guide me’, I’d gotten lost in my thinking. I was no longer being guided by the Holy Spirit; I was allowing my heart’s desires to take first priority.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9 KJV
O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10:23 KJV
I discovered that while there are many Pros to making a list, there are many more Cons.
- You have a reminder of what’s important in a husband.
- It changes your view of certain guys–they who were once potential you now realize shouldn’t be.
- You’ll be reminded never to settle for less than God’s best for you.
- You start to think inside the box.
- You develop ideals of perfection.
- You are indirectly taking control of God’s plan for your life.
- Your view of guys changes when you don’t meet anyone who meets your ideals and wonder where all the “good guys” are.
- You may meet a guy who DOES match your list–but he’s not interested in you.
- Your focus shifts to your list rather than being on God.
- You’ll find it hard to let go.
- You’ll most likely be searching for age 14’s ideals at 20 or older.
- Mr. Right could come along–and you’d completely miss him because he doesn’t “fit” your list.
As you can see, a list can be a good thing or a bad thing. They may start out great, but lists can lead to discontentment and confusion. You can make a list of qualities if you want to, but I don’t think it’s required of you. God already has your love story planned out. Rather than making a list and determining “This or nothing; I won’t settle for less”, try looking at it and praying “Here’s my list, Lord, now give me what You want me to have.”
Also, consider trying to meet all those ideals yourself. Puts a lot of pressure on you, doesn’t it? Then why do you expect it from your future husband?
Next time, I’ll share with you some tips on what you should put on your list–qualities that both you and your future husband will need.