I came across and read a blog post recently that was titled "The Husband List".
As I read through the rather extensive list, I found that it actually struck a chord with me. I realized that I had never sat down and evaluated what qualities I wanted in a partner. Like many other single women and men my age, I have considered a lifelong companion to be part of my wishlist for the future. As with most aspects of my hopes for the future, I find myself looking to God for wisdom and direction... but then I realized: How could I pray for the perfect spouse for me when I had no idea what that would even look like?
If I am planning to meet someone with whom I'm compatible, I need to be able to recognize it when I do. So, I decided I'd break it down into a few qualities and characteristics that I know I can't settle for less than.
1. An Active Faith
It is repeated more than once in the Bible that believers should not pursue relationships with nonbelievers. I think that in the past, I often dated nonbelievers, or those who had "lukewarm" faith but weren't in a daily, prayerful, reverent relationship with God. My logic was often that I could "help" them or lead them to God. While outreach is an important part of evangelical faith, it does not apply to dating and marriage. "Iron sharpens iron" : It is clear and crucial to me now that I need to hold out for a person whose faith is equal with my own, in order to grow in my own walk with Christ and to build a marriage on the values and beliefs that are important to me.
I am SO not into fluff or sugarcoating. While at one point in my life, I tended to be charmed by mischief and charisma, I now find myself drawn to the transparent and humble. There are few things more attractive to me than someone who is completely, transparently honest- with themselves, me, and others! I fancy myself to be an honest person, often to a fault. I respect someone who will tell me the truth so much more than someone who would rather tell little white lies. This makes room for the kind of stability and trust that is essential to living a healthy, positive life.
If there is any part of a potential future spouse that I cannot trust, I am turning the other way. I used to mistake non-trustworthiness as mysteriousness, leading me down a rabbit hole of regret. If someone is harboring secrets, those secrets should be seen for what they are: red flags. Hidden areas in someones life are not to be mistaken for elusive or attractive mysteriousness. A healthy person doesn't feel the need to hide things from those who are close to their heart. A marriage partner is someone with whom you are entrusting with many important aspects of your life: your body, your future, your finances, and the lives of your future (or, in my case, current) children. Complete and total trust needs to be there.
This goes hand in hand with honesty and trustworthiness. I LOVE genuine people. There is something so refreshing about people who can be themselves and speak their heart and mind without worrying about what others think. Looking at all of my girl friends, it is astonishing how many completely genuine, real, open, honest, loving, and absolutely, naturally, fabulous people I've met in my life! Surely if I can find ten (or more!) genuine girl friends whom I love dearly, I can find one genuine male companion to embark on the journey of life with.
5. Healthy Friendships, Healthy Family Life
Every family deals with hard stuff. Every family has their moments. Even so, family is such an important part of my life. It is important to me to end up with someone who has a consistent relationship of respect, forgiveness, and love with their family, and a willingness to develop one with mine. Along with positive family relations, healthy friendships are a big indicator of a person's character. If someone can maintain positive relationships with friends over the years, it is the truest testimony of that person's loyalty, reliability, and accountability. This is not to say that everyone should be an extrovert with lots of acquaintances or that everyone should be the type of person who is always on the social scene and making plans, but I do think it is important to have at least one or two intimate and enduring friends in one's life.
Okay, okay... so this one might make me sound pretentious or goofy. I can't help it! I'm a teacher, for goodness sake. Education is important to me. Ideas, wisdom, and creativity hold my interest. I want a partner who can hold a conversation! I love good, thoughtful conversation. I love writing. love reading. What can I say? The way to my heart is a good book recommendation! I want a partner who loves to learn AND who can teach me new things. Also- proper grammar. Sorry.
I don't mean placing the salad fork to the right of the dinner fork. I mean not being rude! I hate being rude. I hate when people are rude to me. I hate when other people are rude to others. It is just no good, and completely unnecessary! As silly as it may sound, I want to be with someone who is as kind and polite to the cashier at a fast food restaurant as they would be toward their potential future boss. There is something so attractive about people who enjoy making other people feel great. Please and thank you.
Disclaimer: I had previously posted this, but deleted it on account of it being too bold. Upon encouragement from my wonderful bestie/editor/fellow-seeker-of-the-good-life, I decided to re post it. Thanks, Lindz.