Short Trip Down the Aisle Anyone?

Okay, no one panic; resume breathing.  A wedding is not even remotely on my radar.  I am only addressing the topic of marriage and Mr. Right because I was asked to write about "My List" of Future Hubby Must-Haves from a female perspective for a male friend's blog

And after reading some feedback on his FB wall, I think it's clear this topic is necessary to discuss.  How on earth do people decide on a lifetime commitment with requirements like "My future husband won't need mood swing medications or wear women's underwear?!"  Let's lift the bar a little higher, shall we?

Between an ex-husband and other ex-relationships, I have definitely learned a thing or two the very.hard.way.  About men, about relationships, about myself.  But for the sake of this post, I am going to share my more forward thinking thoughts on what I am looking for in a future husband... and what I am looking for in myself to be ready for such a relationship.  {Oh yeah, this list better be going both ways - a lot of what I'm going to be looking for in a spouse I had better be able to offer as well}.

This seems like a very big post to throw out here within the first few days but um, okay, I know I’m not the only single woman out there (post marriage or never been married yet) and I know divorced women have a thought or two hundred on this topic, so here goes:

Big Picture Non-Negotiables:

Being a Christian is an obvious must.  At this point, more specifically, I know I want to partner with someone who has been wrecked by Jesus and whose heart is now so radically humbled and changed that some form of organic ministry is overflowing out of him and that through God's sovereignty, our individual divine purposes and personalities serve the Kingdom more effectively together than apart.  

That seems like a mouthful, but I really want this to be my overarching passion and purpose for why I would consider and enter into marriage again.  And in turn, then, I want this to be his primary focus - that we are together to serve God.  Every other kind reason God gives us to be together will trickle out of that.

My personal mission calling from God is to "go and communicate truth in a creative way."  Whomever I marry should have some kind of missional calling that together, we are able to complement and support and accomplish this.  (The implied then, is that the man is aware of his calling and actively living it out as well).

Spiritually compatible - I don't know if I have ever heard anyone talk about this before.  I'm not sure if that's even the right phrase to use, but I like the idea and am personally going to explore this more for myself.  Do our spiritual gifts and personal ways we relate with the Lord serve one another and others well?  I really want to partner with someone who has a very high regard and active prayer life.  This will definitely be a part of our conversation.  

Vision towards Co-reigning and Co-submitting to one another and to the Lord; Co-missioning and co-leading our family under and for the Lord... together, with equal authority.  There may be times the husband leads and there may be times the wife leads, but neither is superior nor inferior but rather equally authoritative and powerful under the Lord, in love.  Too.much.baggage and controversy to go into in this post, but this will definitely be an area of communication going forward.

Must Have Character Traits:

Honorable - equally values or honors and pursues my body, heart and mind (all 3 within biblical boundaries of course, ha, the emphasis being there is value on the fact I am three parts, not just, ahem, body, for example).  All 3 parts make up the Soul, and as we are talking about joining our Souls together, we need to make sure the entire Soul is honored/acknowledged/valued.  This also necessitates he understands his own body, heart and mind hold value and he knows how to manage and honor these for himself too.

Value of purity - towards me and himself.  I don't necessarily care about his past, assuming anything sinful has been legitimately repented of and new fruit is evident.   Protecting and honoring both of us in this way (and I think it includes honoring the purity of the Soul – all 3 parts) is respectful, demonstrates self-control and keeps us pure – before and within the marriage.

Powerful - this really has its roots in self-control, value and love and I think is utterly foundational in building any kind of healthy relationship.   Is he a man who understands he has been empowered by God to manage/control himself, as opposed to controlling others or having others control him?  Does he see himself as a victim, a rescuer, or dictator?  Does he live in fear of others?  Or does he see himself as responsible for himself and to others?  {Way more to flush out here in future posts}

Okay, I won’t detail every character trait, but additional ones I admire most are: 

trust & obedience, repentant & forgiving, humility, compassion, patience, wisdom and justice.

 (Practical non-negotiables that seem like they shouldn’t need acknowledging, but who knows who is reading this and may need a gentle reminder:  He should be fully independent, able to provide for himself and more.  He should have a group of friends of his own.  In my case, he should want a built-in family).

These are negotiable, but just for fun, these are the personality traits I would want to live with for all my live long days here:

 a darn good sense of humor (I am allowed to re-label this one as a non-negotiable character virtue at any time – apparently I want someone with a Spiritual Gift of Entertainment)

a high appreciation for learning, physical chemistry, a best friend, appreciation for the arts & most definitely music, laid back and who can go with the flow. 

And let me just add this here... yes, I do think this actually exists as a human and as a man.  On the one hand, I don't want to overload someone w this list that feels impossible.  I don't expect a man to nail this - I certainly can't either.  On the other hand, maybe men lack a clear vision for how AWESOME they actually can be with Christ!!  Maybe they some inspiration that THIS IS who God made them and what they have inside of them!  Men shouldn't feel *pressured* to be Christ to a woman.  Only Christ can handle being God for each person; I wouldn't want to put that expectation on someone nor should he think he could actually take it on.  I think this big picture vision also allows for people to change.  Because they will.  I will.  How I look or think or feel about something today may not be the same 10 years from now.  Do we divorce?  Do I live in fear that I'm not good enough?  Or have I learned to honor the body, mind and heart in a way that can be committed yet allow for adaptability?  Because I'm not twenty and I know how real this thing gets.  And on the days or months or seasons when he doesn’t value these things above or isn’t this person, and during the times I lose value for what I wrote above and I am not this person, I want both of us to go into it knowing we are covered and carried by a God whose “love covers a multitude of sins.”  We have to choose to believe in this.  Because there will be a multitude of sins, and lots of temptation to fear and control, but everything can find its safety and foundation and hope in His Love.  That has to cover it.

 Phew, that was a lot of work.  But better to do some of that hard work on this side of the aisle.

Thoughts?  Additions?  Amendments?  Trash it and pray for me?  Comment below!


Elle Neese1 Comment