So I should be working on American History, but I had to get my thoughts written out, so here is my jumbled mess:
If you are a twenty-something or younger, there is a 99.9% chance you have heard of “The List”. You know what I’m talking about, having a list of qualities that you desire in a husband, whether it be 325 things or only 10. It is something I heard about at a young age and cannot deny that I have written them–several of them.
I have had people tell me that I am far too specific about what I want in man, without even knowing what’s on the list. I have also had people tell me that I could be a lot more picky. Although I think it is important to have an idea of what you’re looking for, to be sure that you aren’t settling, I also believe that The List can be valued a little too much. When you meet someone of interest, you automatically begin comparing them to your list. You justify some of their qualities or mannerisms to match your list. You get discouraged when they don’t meet some of the items. You might even recreate your List just so that this person meets your standards.
After some recent conversations, I have discovered a much better method of handling this situation.
First off, consider this a list for a potential girlfriend or boyfriend, not a future spouse. This takes so much pressure off yourself and the list, and also off potential mates. If you meet someone who meets most or all of your list specifics, it doesn’t mean that is the person you are going to marry. It does mean that they are an extremely valid candidate and worth keeping around. They are someone worth praying over and investing in.
Secondly, remember that “tall, dark and handsome” may not be God’s plan for your life. Physical attraction is so important in any romantic development, but that looks different to everyone (no pun intended). God may even surprise you with that, as well! Don’t be so stuck in your ways that you are not willing to even talk to men that don’t quite meet your standards of blonde hair and dimples.
Lastly, I have learned to focus my List on Biblical truths and Scripture. I want a man who is patient, loving and kind, because those are fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). I want a man who is a leader, because according to the Bible, that is a man’s role in marriage (1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:23). I want a man who is loving, because God calls husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church–which, by the way, is a heck of a lot of love (Ephesians 5:25).
So much pressure is put on single people to be actively seeking “the one”, which I don’t know even exists, but that’s another thought for another day. I cannot count on my fingers and toes the amount of times I have been asked about my “love life” and/or asked if I could be set-up. Most often, it doesn’t bother me, but there are some cases in which I wish people would invest in other areas of my life rather than diving right into my current boy situation. Part of that is because I’m not one to sit and pour my heart out about the man in my life, never have been and probably never will be.
I’m not saying to throw away The List altogether, as some people have suggested, because I truly believe there is significance in knowing what you’re looking for. I am also not saying that you can’t have other personal preferences such as “health nut” or “artistic” on your list, there is nothing wrong with that! I am saying to search Scripture for truths and to also understand that God’s plans are much bigger than our own. He desires to give us the deepest wants of our hearts (Psalm 37:4), but He also thinks so much differently than our minds are capable of (Isaiah 55:8). I am also saying to cover The List and potential interests in prayer and ask for discernment in all of this.
Lastly, enjoy the seasons of being single and meeting new people. As a young, single woman who has struggled with the battle of self-worth when it comes to men, I understand the challenge in that sentiment. Take this time to enjoy your freedoms, to become the best possible you and to invest in your relationship with Christ and others. Enjoy the process!
Have a blessed day,