The List Flip: What Makes YOU Marriage Material?

I was recently interviewed by Tracy Price, CEO of Looking For My Spouse, on her weekly internet radio show that seeks to educate marriage minded singles on what it takes to be a spouse, find a spouse and stay a spouse. The show airs on Blog Talk Radio every Tuesday at 7pm EST and she covers some great marriage related topics and has an awesome lineup of guests. Click here to check out my interview as well as interviews of past guests. Prior to my interview, Tracy noticed that I had started a series of posts on my blog entitled 365 Reasons I Married My Husband. Having seen this ongoing list, Tracy asked if I made a list of characteristics I wanted in a husband prior to marriage. While it would appear, based on these 365 Reasons posts, that I developed this list prior to marriage, actually I didn’t. I began to develop this list after getting married so that I could remind myself to appreciate all of the little things about my husband that confirm for me why marrying him was the second best decision I’ve ever made. While I didn’t make a list of characteristics I wanted in a husband prior to marriage, I wanted to take the time to elaborate my position on making lists.

If you’re into reality tv shows like I am *hangs head in shame* you’ve probably seen an episode or two of VH1′s What Chili Wants. If you haven’t, the show is about Rozonda Thomas aka Chili (1/3 of the group TLC) and her quest to find a husband. There are so many things about the content of this show that I disagree with, but there are three things that stand out. First, she is actively trying to find a husband. Second, she only really wants a husband to father a second child. Last but not least, third, she has a long list of nonnegotiable criteria that a man must meet in order to be considered man/marriage material.

Check out this ridiculousness!

  • he can’t drink alcohol
  • he can’t smoke
  • he can’t eat pork
  • he must be good with children
  • he has to be gorgeous
  • he has to be at least 6 feet tall
  • he has to have a six pack abdomen
  • he has to be charming
  • he has to be well endowed in the penis area
  • he has to be successful
  • and I’m sure the list goes on and on and on about things that don’t have anything to do with values, morals or beliefs!!!

I’m not totally opposed to lists, but the list maker need to assess whether the characteristics on that list are of substance. Very rarely do we ever hear Chili mention finding a man who has a strong relationship with God and when she does it seems the other characteristics easily outweigh spirituality. Her only criterion regarding finances is that he be “successful.” She hasn’t mentioned finding a man that shares similar relationship views such as conflict resolution, communication or collaborative decision making. She seems to be uninterested in whether he has integrity, listening skills or even self discipline. The vast majority of the criteria on her list are superficial. The core values are missing which makes me wonder whether or not she has any core values of her own, which brings me to my next point.

Ladies, before you go making a list let’s focus on what it is that you as an individual bring to the table. Let me ask these questions? How can you want a man that will go to church with you on Sunday and you won’t even go by yourself? How can you say you want a man that’s charming if you aren’t charming? How can say you want a man with a great personality when you are seriously lacking personality of your own? Sometimes a woman can get so caught up in her list that she loses sight of the qualities she needs to posses in order to become a wife who is pleasing to God. I’m just saying because you did plan on using your marriage to be of service to God right?

So, while you have your eyes peeled looking everywhere you can think of to find that perfect guy that meets all of your potentially superficial award wining standards, I encourage you to chew on this: Proverbs 18:22 says, “A man who finds a wife finds a good thing, and he receives favor from the LORD.” Have you ever taken the time to notice that the scripture says “The MAN who finds a wife…” There is so much importance in this part of the verse. First, it is a man who finds a wife, not a wife who finds a man/husband. Stop searching ladies…I’ll tell you in a minute what you can concern yourself with in place of actively looking for a husband. Second, the scripture says he finds “A WIFE.” It doesn’t say he finds a good woman or even a girlfriend, but A WIFE. This means the man finds a woman who already embody many of the qualities that a Godly wife needs to possess. You don’t have to look for a man because as you demonstrate these qualities, you will stick out like a sore thumb to the man who is to become your husband. Let us not forget that due to your “wife qualities” it is inevitable that your future husband will feel that he, by receiving this “good thing”, has received God’s favor.

Remember when I told you, I’d tell you some things you as a woman can concern yourself with in place of looking for a husband…well here they are:

  • Get in your Word. Take some time to figure out what the biblical roles of a husband really are so that your list may reflect what’s on God’s list.
  • Pray! You may not even know the man that is to become you husband, but God does. Do him a favor and begin to pray about the qualities you want in to possess as husband.
  • Aspire to be the Proverbs 31 woman! You know how people say, dress for the job you want, not the job you have? This also applies to being a wife. If you want to be a wife, you’ve got to learn what it takes to carry yourself like one.
  • Make a new list that focuses on you! We are so quick to make a man list, but have you ever stopped to think what makes desirable to a man for marriage. Begin to understand and investigate you own worth. I’m pretty sure men have lists too! Stop focusing so much on the list you have for a husband and start developing qualities about yourself that you’d like to bring to the table in marriage. Perhaps you’d like to play a major role in your family’s financial decisions. Start making moves to become disciplined with money, get yourself out of debt or learn how to better manage money. Maybe you’d like to get a better job, earn more money, further your education. All of these goals will shape who you are and what you contribute in terms of your talents within a marriage. Maybe you have some old emotional baggage you need to deal with before you can even receive the blessing of a husband. Either way, get you together so that you can bring something of value to your marriage.
  • Recognize that being single is a gift. Being single gives you the opportunity to submit yourself completely to the will of God. As a wife, you’ll be asked to submit yourself to your husband as to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22) so it might be easier to do that, if you already know how to submit yourself to the Lord. Being a servant to our Lord should be our only concern. You really don’t have time to search for a man when you are busying yourself being a servant for the Lord. Remember that a Godly marriage is all about how the two of you can best serve God as a couple. How can God join you with another person in service, when you haven’t learned how to serve Him on your own?

Remember guys, there are no perfect marriages because there are no perfect people. Everyone has flaws and we are all works in progress. I’m not telling you to totally throw out your standards, but what I’m suggesting is that you work on getting those standards more in line with biblical standards of being a husband or wife. If your desire to be married is so strong, find out what it is that makes you marriage material first. When we start by understanding and embracing our individual role as husband/wife we can begin to understand God’s plan for marriage.

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6 Responses to The List Flip: What Makes YOU Marriage Material?

  1. Sarah B. says:

    Awesome, awesome, awesome! I am currently being courted by a Godly man – one of amazing standards. I pressed into the Lord for about a year and a half serving and submitting myself fully to him and then along came this wonderful guy! This post is amazing and I pray, in Jesus' name, single women everywhere will read this and seeds will be planted! Thank you for speaking truth! I follow you on Twitter and it is so refreshing to hear the positive sides of marriage – Especially in this negative / divorced -filled society we live in. God, HE reigns and I will continue to believe to be used for the Lord's greatness in my soon-to-come marriage!

  2. Tracy Price says:

    Thanks so much for expanding on this. I will be sharing with my audience!

  3. nylse says:

    this is so good. i'm glad you are able to articulate it and help others along the way. i didnt know i wanted to be married, but god was working on me and shaping and preparing me in to the person he wanted me to be so that when mr. right came along i was ready; i didnt have to check my list twice. keeping marriage in its place (the 2nd best decision) and living a life submitted to God is the key. Similar Values, morals and beliefs are essential.
    Sometimes you do these things and you still dont get married – but i think thats another post and alot of women dont view it as a gift
    My recent post Mummy, Can You Pray For Me?

  4. Good Stuff girl. I wrote about making lists a little bit back. I talked about how I am waiting on the man God has for me. Then people always say "write a list and make it plain." I think that is so wack. I wanna say you don't like your husband do you? LOL. I think If I pray for me to grow and pray for who ever this man is to grow it will all work out. I just have to mindful not be weak or get weak in the process.
    My recent post New Year! New Plan!

  5. Nona says:

    ok…. But what do you recommend to someone who really isn't looking to get married now but is planning to in the future. It seems to me like every guy i'm with is so quick to jump in to it and I don't

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