I recently decided to read through an old journal. In the midst of realizing how bad my memory is, I came across “the list.” You know the list. It’s the list every young girl writes. The list details every attribute “the one” will possess. It’s probably been amended on occasion and possibly contains some “bonus features” (aka – negotiables).
I honestly don’t remember what year the list was written. My best guess is probably about ten years ago. Back when I had it all figured out. Back when I thought Prince Charming was waiting just around the corner. Back before “Frozen” informed us that all men eat their boogers (this still grosses me out completely). Back when fairy tales were clearly portraits of real love. Back when I was the perfect catch. Back when I knew it all.
A lot has changed in the last ten years. I now have no idea what God wants to do with my life, other than use it up for His glory. I’ve turned several corners, but have yet to find Prince Charming waiting there for me. I now understand more fully that we are all flawed people and no man will ever be perfect. I’ve realized that fairy tales are fun, and can sometimes have elements we can learn from, but they are not portraits of real life or true love. I’ve learned so much more about how weak and sinful and selfish and in desperate, constant need of a Savior I am. I’ve learned that I still have much to learn.
I opted not to read the list that night. I didn’t see the point. It is probably just a list of the characteristics of whatever guy I had a crush on at the time. I don’t want a list. My roommate and I were talking about this tonight and she made the comment, “God knows what I need better than I do.” She’s absolutely right. We, as sinful humans, will inevitably fail one another. I don’t want to be someone’s list. What happens when I have a bad day? When I’m being a jerk? If our relationship is based on me fulfilling “the list” the whole relationship suddenly comes into question. If I don’t want someone holding me to an unachievable standard, how can I do the same to them?
Does this mean I throw all my standards out the window? Absolutely not. But when it comes down to it, there is really only one non-negotiable. Does he love Christ first and foremost? There is no other solid foundation upon which to build a relationship. With Christ as his first love, a man can better love his wife, lead his family, serve his community, etc. etc. etc. (Not to mention the fact that devotion to Christ is really stinking attractive.)
Now back to reality. All of this talk is great, but right now I’m single so what does it really matter? Trust me, it matters. The Lord is not only concerned with my potential future husband’s sanctification. He’s concerned with making ME more like Christ. So the real question is, “Do I love Christ first and foremost?”
“For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is His name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth He is called.” ~ Isaiah 54:5
“For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” ~ 2 Corinthians 11:2-3
“But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” ~ Revelation 2:4
If the Lord chooses to never give me an earthly husband, will I be content with that? Can I rest in the knowledge that He is sovereign and knows exactly how my life can bring Him the most glory? Often we (or maybe it’s just me?) try to manipulate God. We’re told that we have to be content in our singleness before God will bring that special someone into our lives. So we try to be content, but if we’re striving for “contentment” so we can get a man sooner, we’re really just striving for a man. God is not mocked. He wants my heart – the whole thing. And He pursues me with a patience, devotion, and fervor that far exceeds human understanding. How sweet it is to be loved by love Himself! The very author and definition of love reaching out to capture my heart and make me pure… wow!
Tonight I choose to sink into my sweet Savior’s loving arms and trust Him to lead me, protect me, provide for me, encourage me, fight for me, and make me more like Him. Tonight I hope in Him instead of in a fairy tale. Tonight I tore the list from my old journal, crumpled it up, and threw it away.