Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A List about Lists

Almost all of us girls have done it.  Perhaps it was after a hard break up, a long time spent daydreaming or a genuine hope to prepare for the future, but we've written down the infamous list.

Perhaps your list changed as you grew older and your priorities changed.  But the future spouse list was something we could jot down and edit as life changed. 

There is nothing wrong with knowing what is important to you in a spouse. There is a problem, however, when your list begins to look more and more like a catalog order form with specifics planned out to the most minute detail for husband characteristics.

God has a heart that will love you at you worst,
and arms that will hold you at your weakest.  

Your list, if you decided to write one, should not be centered around physical characteristics.  So, for instance, it should not read as such:

1) He should have blonde hair.
2) He should have green eyes.
3) Must be minimally 6'3"

What will happen when you meet a great, Catholic guy who has dark hair, blue eyes and is pushing 6'1"?  There is nothing wrong with desiring a physical attraction.  In fact, that is important for marriage! 
Yet if physical characteristics are the deciding factor, and the final factor for yes-or-no, you may find yourself disappointed. 

So if that isn't the list you should write, what would a list for a future husband look like?  A good Bible verse to apply to this situation is 1 Samuel 16:7, which says, "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things people look at.  People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'"

There is even a Proverb for that: Proverbs 31:30, "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting."

But why is it important to have a list, or even an idea of what we would like in a future spouse?  Simply put, females are emotional.  We can think we have it all down, but let's be honest, it can be incredibly easy to let a red flag fall by the wayside of our consciousness simply because a guy acts like a gentleman, or tell us that we look pretty when we think we resemble what Jonah looked like after three days in the stomach of a fish.

Having a concept of what a Godly future husband looks like makes it very easy to quickly differentiate between whether or not a guy is going to be an acquaintance, friend or, if God wills it, more than a friend.

Your list should be based off of desirable, sustaining characteristics.  Despite the desire to stay young forever, we will grow older.  And when you are with your husband after twenty years of marriage, the color of his hair is going to have a lot less impact on your marriage than the contents of his heart.

Some ideas for your future spouse list?  Here is mine for comparison:

1) He is a strong man whose Catholicism is invasive: A blatant and passionate faith that infects every aspect of his life.

2)  He is someone who I would want our future children to mimic and look to as an example for what someone striving for holiness looks like.  He is an image for how our children will view God as a father.

3)  He is a man can laugh with me and not at me.  He can balance out my serious side, and has advice for even the most self-assumed dismal situations.

4)  He makes me a better person - and can say I do the same for him.  

Be prepared.  Having standards that you wish to see in your future spouse will not always make you the most popular person at the worldly-self-gratification-modern-culture party.  You will be picked out and told that 'You think you are all that', and 'I don't know why any guy would want to deal with you,' and 'Don't you just think you are a little princess who gets to demand those things.'  Believe me, I've heard those...and worse.

The thing is, you don't need scores of guys.  Primarily, you need one - and He's loved you enough to die for you.  Once your heart is full of Christ, He'll lead the right man of God into your life in His right timing.  

Words that should be said
first to Christ.

And each of the characteristics that you pray for in your future spouse do not exists as a one way street.  If you pray that your future husband is patient, also realize that you are praying for opportunities for you to practice your own patience.

An additional question to put this process in perspective: If the man who you prayed for showed up in your life today, would he be interested in you as a Catholic woman by the way you live your day-to-day life?  Be prepared to hold yourself to the same standards you pray he is living by.

The most important thing to remember is that God's timing is always the best.  He knows you better than anyone ever will...and even better than you know yourself.  Wait on Him, wait patiently for the Lord.  Don't lose heart, be strong of heart and wait on the Lord (Psalm 27:14).

Si vis amari ama,

Chloe M. 


  1. I came to this realization only a little while ago, and it's good to remind myself about these things that we women so long for. :) Thanks, Chloe. Blessings!

  2. I love it, love it, love it. I've been thinking about this a lot lately- thank you for summing it up so beautifully! :)