A few weeks ago, I was sitting around a table with some friends after a leadership meeting. As we always do, we ended the meeting going around sharing prayer requests.The usual requests were made– jobs, families, school, etc. Then, of course, there was my request for a single, bearded lumberjack to fall in love with me.
I tell people to pray for me to find a lumberjack to marry. Preferably bearded. Might as well keep it specific.
Jokingly, my friend (my MARRIED friend) turns to me and asks if I’ve made my list yet.
List? Oh you know, “THE LIST”. The list that girls sit down and write when they’re 12 years old all the while dreaming about their Prince Charming. The list of “must-haves” and “can’t-live-withouts”. They usually sound something like this:
#1: MUST love Jesus.
#2: MUST be at least 6′ tall, blonde hair blue eyes.
#3: MUST love children.
#4: MUST floss daily.
#5: MUST have been on 5 mission trips and want to adopt a child from a Chinese orphanage.
#6: MUST have seen a miracle first hand.
#7: MUST pray for every meal. That includes at all fast food restaurants and meals while driving. Snacks, too.
#8: MUST only watch rated R movies if it has something to do with Jesus.
And on. And on.
Don’t get me wrong, none of those things are bad. Actually, I’d prefer my mate shared some of those characteristics and desires. Here’s the problem.
Having a list for a potential mate is….dumb.
Ya, I said it. Get out your flaming torches and large stones and escort me out of town. Tell me how important it is to have standards (which I agree with) and how you’ve got to KNOW what you want.
Here’s some advice from the single girl, stop looking for the person to match all the criteria on your list. Stop looking for perfection. Stop looking for someone to meet all your needs. Another heads up (all this FREE advice!) no person will be able to do that. Not a spouse, not even one that has a 10/10 on your Marriage Rubric.
Lists, in this scenario, look a lot like boxes and God doesn’t work inside our little man made boxes. So many times, we think we know best, but I’ve learned (the not-so-easy way) that is not always the case. He does give us certain *good* desires, like wanting to have a spouse, but He knows who will fit that bill better than you…and me. Let’s be serious, there are shirts in my closet I’m still questioning what I was thinking when I bought them. Why would I even begin to trust myself to know what I need in a man?
I’ve found its much easier to hand all of this list business over to God. I don’t need to write a list because I can trust God to bring me the partner who will compliment my life, and whose life I will compliment in return.
To reiterate, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have certain standards. Heck at 30 years old and still single, I’ve been accused of having too high of standards, which I find laughable. If that’s my problem, then I’ll gladly stay single. Standards are good. At times, they’ve weeded out guys that I would have gladly settled on and made a very poor decision in the process.
My advice? Toss the list. Keep it simple. Ask God to bring His pick your way and for you to be smart enough to choose him. That’s my prayer at least.
And because I know you’re curious, if I had a list, it might look something like this:
#1: No sissy hands. If they’re softer than mine, its not happening.
#2: Must never wear Crocs. This will be included in my vows because those things are gross.
#3: Cleans hair out of shower drain. Yes, its gross, but my hair isn’t the only hair in that drain, Mister.
#4: Kills snakes for terrified partner. Always. Oh, and mice too.
#5: Will let me watch Jane Austen movies without any heavy sighs or sarcastic commentary.
#6: Is not a Boston Red Sox fan.