Thursday, July 16, 2015

What He Must Be


If you are a good Christian girl at one point in your life you probably sat down and made a list of all of the standards and requirements your future husband must meet. If you are like me and made this list when you were fifteen years old, you most likely had no idea what you were looking for in a husband apart from the obvious musts you were told such as “he must be a Christian”, etc. I remember making a similar list when I was really young and unfortunately the better part of my expectations were completely superficial. Not that I can blame my fifteen-year-old self for having superficial teenage standards, but I thought it was high time to revise this list. While a lot of this list is simply my personal opinion, I hope you all find it helpful. I would love to hear any input that you might have on this subject. Is there anything you would add or take off this list? Let me know in the comments!

1. He must love Jesus more than I do.

We are all familiar with 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” This is pretty straight forward, right? Don’t marry someone who is not a Christian. The problem is the definitions of “Christian” and “believer” is pretty loose in our society and even if someone is a true believer that does not make him qualified to be your husband and spiritual leader. My husband does not have to be more pious or theologically knowledgeable than me. He does not have to have been a Christian longer than me or be more righteous and sinless. But his love for Jesus must be genuine and something that I aspire to. He must be a spiritual leader in my life, someone I can follow, and someone who will challenge me. His spiritual life cannot be stagnant. His growth in grace must be evident and his attitude one of humility, repentance and kindness.

2. He must have a kingdom focus.

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus gives His disciples a command to "go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age." We see the fulfillment of this great commission in the book of Acts, Romans, the Epistles and Revelation. The entire New Testament is the Apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ seeking to further Christ's kingdom and exhorting and encouraging the saints to do likewise. It's important to realize that Christianity is about having a relationship with Jesus Christ but sometimes I think we forget that a relationship with Jesus is not simply "me and Jesus", we forget the implications that a relationship with Jesus has (or at least should have) on our lives.

My husband must have a desire to seek God's kingdom and spread the good news of Jesus Christ. He must have a heart for the lost and a desire to reach them. If we love Jesus, a desire to share Him with others should be a given but unfortunately it's not. Today we are told to simply internalize our religion and keep it our selves. Our beliefs are supposed to have nothing to do with the way we interact with others and the rest of the world. Read the book of Philippians, the words of the Apostle Paul in prison. In his letter to the saints in Philippi, Paul equates joy in Jesus with spreading the Gospel and ministering to the saints. 

3. He must love my family as much as I do.

I realize that this standard cannot really be applied in everyone's case because we all comes from different family situations. I also understand that this one is a tall order (haha, no offense to my family!) I know that there’s a lot of my family to love (we just keep getting bigger) and we’re not always the easiest people to get along with. It’s hard to remember all of our names. We can be weird, loud, have way too many inside jokes that nobody else gets. We don’t always communicate very well. But I love my family. I love my parents. I trust their discernment and wisdom. I love them and it’s kind of impossible to love me and not my family. Let’s just say that if a guy succeeds in winning the love and respect of my family members, then he’s well on his way to winning mine.

4. He must love children.

I love children. I always have. If I ever get married someday, Lord willing, I want to have children and my husband is going to have to be on board with that. He doesn’t necessarily have to be good with kids. I really don’t care if he’s grown up with twelve siblings or if he was an only child all his life. I don’t care if he’s never changed a diaper before and never held a baby. Whatever the case, he has to want a family and he has to be willing to put forth the effort in investing in and caring for children. And this doesn’t just mean go to the office and make money. This means putting in time to develop a relationship with our children, teaching them about Jesus, praying with them, disciplining them, protecting them, etc.

5. He must love others.

In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus teaches us that the greatest commandment is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." He then goes on to say that the second greatest commandment is to "Love your neighbor as yourself." I always appreciate someone who is genuinely kind and loving to everyone. This is one of the first characteristics I notice about people. How do they treat their family? How do they treat their friends? More importantly, how do they treat strangers, acquaintances and everyone else? Kindness should be a universal principal, not a privilege we bestow exclusively on people we deem worthy of our kindness. My husband must be kind, selfless and loving toward everyone. Love is when we extend kindness and friendship toward people who don’t have anything to offer in return. It is when we are kind to the people who spurn our kindness. It is when we love our enemies.  
   
6. He must have big dreams and goals.

I don’t mean that he has to have a complex strategy for becoming successful, famous and rich. He should not be materialistic or greedy. But my husband must be ambitious and diligent in whatever field or craft he commits himself to. I will always encourage him, support him and respect his choices but he must have a personal drive, motivation and diligence. This is important for all aspects of life, not just work. The key to growth is to constantly be learning, exploring potential and possibilities while at the same time staying focused on our goals and ultimately focused on Christ.

7. He must be independent.

When I say independent, I mean it in every sense of the word.

He must be independent in his faith. It must be genuinely his own and he must be seeking to grow and nourish his faith and relationship in Jesus Christ through worship, studying God’s Word, and prayer.

He must be an independent thinker. He must logically rationalize and make decisions for himself. He must have well-developed and well-informed opinions.

 He must be financially independent and not in debt to anyone. He must be able to support and provide for his own livelihood. He must be diligent in his work and wise with his money.

Now I want to make sure to clarify that independence can be taken to an extreme, especially in the Land of the Free where we like to idealize the self-sufficient rugged individual. A man who lacks mentors, friends and leaders in his life and instead bases all of his decisions on his own judgment is a man who is righteous in his own eyes. What I am trying to avoid is the opposite extreme, a man who is entirely dependent on his family and friends for his faith and opinions, i.e. a man whose faith is not genuine or sincere, a man who is irresponsible, mentally and morally lazy, etc.  

8. He must be married to me (and only me).

He cannot be married to his work, his family, his friends, his addictions or himself. He must be married to me. My pastor once shared a quote he received from one of his mentors in seminary. His mentor told him, “Noah, you have a bride and Jesus has His bride. You should never confuse the two.” If my husband’s work comes before me, if his family comes before me, if his friends come before me or if he comes before me, then that’s a big red flag. I don’t intend to make this a double standard. The same goes for me as well. I realize that these are things husbands struggle with on a regular basis and I don't expect my future husband to be exempt from temptation but he must fight it. He must always fight it with me.

An indicator of how devoted and faithful someone will be in their marriage is how devoted and faithful they already are to Jesus. I would humbly submit, ladies, that in order to prepare ourselves for marriage we shouldn't be writing letters to our future husbands but instead devoting ourselves entirely to Christ and recognizing that we (the church) are His bride first and foremost.

9. He must dance.                                                                             
I know, I know. This is an incredibly superficial standard and I probably should take it off this list. But I personally love to dance. And if my husband doesn’t want to dance with me, well then I’m not sure why he would want to marry me. I don’t care if he has two left feet. I don’t care if he has no sense of rhythm (we’ll work on that). I don’t care if he’s never danced before. But he has to be willing to try and learn if only for my sake.



So, what did you think of this list? Was it helpful? Let me know in the comments if you have any questions, thoughts or things you would add or take off this list.

18 comments :

  1. Haha! I am so glad you left in that last one! So good! :)

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  2. Great post. :) When I was younger, I made a list divided into two categories: Essentials and Desirables.

    The last one made me think of the Lee Brice song I Don't Dance.

    And speaking of dancing, I saw a post you made on Google+ with the song We Dance. I listened to it, and it's been very meaningful/encouraging to me lately.

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    1. Lindsay, those are two excellent categories! We all appreciate different, specific things about others but it's always helpful to also keep our priorities straight.

      I'm glad you enjoyed that song! It is so beautiful. :)

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  3. This is a great list! I like all the thought you've put into it. #7 has a good point...our faith should be our own, not someone else's!
    Well, I was one of those young girls who made a future husband list. Mine was actually copied from a long list from a seminar with a few I added myself (and a very small boxed off section for things that aren't necessary but would be nice...*cough*). Looking back, there's nothing bad on this list but I would be surprised to find a man who fulfills all the moral requirements, besides Jesus. :) Hehe!

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    1. *moral as in the ones not in the little box of superficiality

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  4. Great list! I often make lists of what the perfect guy would be like. (I always add in little things that I don't need, but would be nice :P)

    ~Noor

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  5. Eh, I have to confess that for a second I was willing to take that "He must be married to me (and only me)" literally...if the world continues in the way it seems to be headed "Wants a monogamous marriage" will be high on my list ;). I hope you find someone who is a great match for you! Both parties loving the Lord is a great start. :)

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    1. Bethany, unfortunately that is only too true. I was kind of hoping that the fact that he loves Jesus inevitably means he only wants monogamous marriage but given what "Christians" can believe nowadays and still call themselves "Christian", that probably will have to be clarified. :P

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  6. This was a very helpful and encouraging post! My mom has encouraged me to make a list of qualities that I want to see in a future husband.It was good to write it down and see what I wanted in a spouse.
    I love the last one and I totally agree with that one, Dani! <3
    -Clara

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    1. Thank you, Clara! I definitely think that it's a good tool to keep us accountable and not compromise our values.

      Haha, the last one is one of my favorites and I'm glad you agree with me on that one!! ;)

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  7. This is such a sweet post, Dani :). Like you I wrote a "Prayer-List" for my future husband when I was younger. I'm not sure where this paper is now, but I know my mum has often encouraged me to do so, like she did when before she met my dad (and they both found how wonderfully they were for each other, and God answered their prayers in very little and big details!!).

    You have so many points about your future-husband that I pray for in my future husband as well. But my favourite in your list is really this one:
    "My husband does not have to be more pious or theologically knowledgeable than me. He does not have to have been a Christian longer than me or be more righteous and sinless. But his love for Jesus must be genuine and something that I aspire to. He must be a spiritual leader in my life, someone I can follow, and someone who will challenge me. His spiritual life cannot be stagnant. His growth in grace must be evident and his attitude one of humility, repentance and kindness."

    That is so precious and important for me as well. My dad has been very much this for me growing up, and I pray that I can have such an incredible blessing in my future spouse!

    And I also love what you had to say about him loving your family ;). My family isn't perfect either, but I feel the same way about them, and how I would love him to love and honour them too, especially my parents!

    About the dancing, haha. . . you know, I don't know how to dance for the life of me! ;) So this wouldn't be in my list, but if we were to talk about side wishes and hopes, I think I would definitely appreciate that my future husband would have a love of reading (both diversely in theology/faith and literature as well), would be an encourager to me in my writing, and love music a little bit the way I do too :D.

    But it's interesting because I've very much felt as I've written my "Prayer" wishes for my future husband how so many of the requests I have for him are things I still need to work on in my own life, which has been very convicting to me. Sometimes I forget, but whenever I've thought about those wishes and dreams, I'm often been moved to start praying for my future husband, asking the Lord to bless him, guide him, protect and keep him in grace, mercy and wisdom. That sometimes really helps me when I fall into doubting and worrying about this issue - the Lord really gives His peace in that :D. I pray that the Lord will truly grant you the desires of your heart in bringing you a truly godly and loving husband, Dani - and one who also happens to like to dance really well! ;) <3

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    1. Joy, that is an excellent point! Many of these "requirements" are standards that I aspire to. I think that's why it's so important for my husband to desire and pursue the same things because a marriage where both parties have different goals rarely ends happily.

      Haha, yes, the dancing is kind of silly of me but I wanted to throw it in there anyway! :)

      Thank you, Joy! I always enjoy hearing from you.

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  8. Visiting you here from Roses of Inspiration, and indeed, such inspiration and beauty in this post! How precious your heart is to the Lord to desire such a soul mate, and I believe the Lord has the perfect one out there just for you! Keep your focus on loving Jesus, and in time, the one the Lord has for you will be yours to know and love!

    I loved your last one the list as well - dancing... lol... I can't and don't dance... but how fun to include it! With the Lord, all things are possible, and I look forward to what the Lord has in store for your life! Glad to have found and met you today! :)

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    1. Aw, thank you! I'm glad to have met you too! :D

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  9. Dearest Dani, what a beautiful and oh-so-refreshing post. It was an absolute delight to see you at Roses of Inspiration and I am truly grateful for the post you shared.

    It's truly a joy to rest in the Lord and know that He has your "Mr. Perfect" waiting for you and it's a blessing to know that God cares about every little detail. When I was younger I, too, had a list and our precious Heavenly Father blessed me with a husband that fit the bill {{smiles}} God is good and He does indeed care.

    Again, thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. I hope you're able to join us next week. Hugs!

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    1. Thank you, Stephanie! I hope to stop by again this week. :D

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