what a girl wants

Several years ago, I spent several months doing some hard praying, thinking, and soul-searching. I had finally escaped a six-year, off-and-on relationship and had decided that I’d rather be alone the rest of my life than with the wrong person. I was beginning to conclude that I should never settle for less than God’s best in any area of my life. I was starting to trust that God really had my best interests at heart and wasn’t holding out on me.

During this process, I began a list. Oh, the dreaded list. Some of you are cringing right now and about to close your browser window. I ask you to hang with me for a minute here.

Many girls’ lists are made up of things like “tall, dark, and handsome” or “drives a convertible.” There’s nothing really wrong with those things, but I want to challenge you girls to look at “the list” a little differently.

I’m kind of laughing at myself right now because it is going to sound like I’m telling you what to do, and that is just silly. But I seriously have seen this work in my own life and in other girls’ lives, too. Guys, you might get a little ticked off at me and think I’m telling all these girls to be insanely unreasonable. I ask you to spend some quiet time searching your own soul, and see if maybe you want to be the type of person I am going to describe.

I need to be clear, girls: there is no perfect guy. I know you’ve heard it a thousand times, but you really need to let that sink in. No matter how many of these qualities he has, he will eventually do or say something that hurts you. He’s human. He needs grace just like you do. Keep in mind that the things I’m about to list may look different than you thought they would. They may come in a package you didn’t think was “your type.”

You know from my other posts in this series that I don’t support unhealthy levels of intimacy (physical, emotional, or otherwise) early in a relationship. So many of the character qualities in the list below SHOULD be demonstrated in a guy BEFORE you get into a relationship with him. These things will be evidenced in his other relationships as you get to know him in a group setting.

And as you are reading through this list (and add your own things based on  your personality and God’s leading), you need to evaluate yourself on each point and ask yourself how YOU are doing in becoming the person God wants you to be. It isn’t unreasonable to look for a man who is compatible with you and who has these character traits. It IS unreasonable to think you should be with him while not taking the time to prepare yourself for a man like this.

Okay. Without further adieu.

THE LIST

  • A spiritual leader. He loves God; he is someone you can look up to and learn from spiritually; has strong convictions based on God’s Word. He takes God seriously and challenges you and others to love God more each day. He prays about everything and obeys God’s direction. He forgives and extends grace whenever possible.
  • A servant leader. He loves others in practical ways; he seeks to be more selfless in his actions; he takes initiative; he is generous. He has a positive attitude.
  • A worshiper. He wants to give God his best in every situation; he lives out what he says he believes; wants to give God a good name. He wants others to know and love Jesus the way he does.
  • A hard worker. He has a good work ethic; he is a hard worker but not a workaholic; honest with finances and responsible with money. He has goals for his career and life.
  • Has integrity. He keeps his commitments and does what he says he will do; he treats all women (and men) with respect; he is real and authentic; he is honest. He is not on a search for power and he does not manipulate people.
  • Level-headed. He can handle a crisis; he knows how to argue without fighting; he is able to responsibly handle an emotionally-charged situation; he speaks the truth in love.
  • Humble and flexible. Things don’t always have to be his way; he doesn’t flee at the first sign of trouble. He can admit when he’s wrong and isn’t afraid to ask for forgiveness. He works to make things right and will try to resolve conflicts.
  • Has good friends. He is committed to a local body of Christ followers; he has meaningful relationships with other men; has accountability in his life. Those closest to him will encourage him to be the man God wants him to be.
  • Passionate. He has healthy ambition and direction; he has a vision for the future; he is confident in who he is and his gifts. He is fun to be around and you share many common interests.
  • Communicates well. He listens well and can interact with people who are not like him; he takes care with his words. He isn’t always complaining and he isn’t a bully!
  • Family-oriented. He can interact well with children; he is a team player; he is a “coach” rather than a “dictator;” not afraid to take the lead. He can see the gifts in others and encourage them to use them. If he already has children, he maintains an appropriate relationship with their mother (based on the circumstances) and you are ready to be a stepmom.
  • Sexually pure. He respects women as daughters of God and sisters in Christ; he does not attempt to interact physically with women inappropriately; if he has been sexually active in the past, he is currently demonstrating his commitment to saving sex for marriage. He has healthy boundaries in his relationships with girls. It has to be said–he won’t ask you for or expect sexual contact of any kind. He’s not a player!
  • Emotionally whole. He is mature and steady; he shows progress and commitment to overcoming significant weaknesses in his life; he knows who he is in Christ; he can handle his anger appropriately. He does not have an active addiction to drugs, alcohol, porn, etc. but is self-controlled.
  • Affectionate. He expresses his affection appropriately; he understands what his “love language” is and seeks to know others’ love languages; he is not afraid of intimacy and is willing to invest himself in a relationship. In a committed relationship, he cherishes the woman as a gift from God and is willing to sacrifice for her.
  • Has appropriate family relationships. He respects his mother but she doesn’t control his life; if he does not have a healthy family he seeks to interact with them appropriately and with grace. (Ideally, if you come from a divorced family, it is a blessing to be with a guy whose parents are still married.)
  • Looks good. You’re attracted to him; he sees his body as God’s temple; has good hygiene; he takes care of himself physically and seeks to be in good health. He does not, however, place inappropriate emphasis on his physical appearance.
  • You have compatible weaknesses. In the areas you are weak, he is strong. In the areas he is weak, you are strong. It is important to have a lot in common, but weaknesses are not one of those things.

I hope that this has helped you begin to know what God’s best is for your life in the area of relationships. Guys, I know this is a tall order. But you have what it takes. Is there a man you know who fits the description above? Ask him to hang out sometime. See if you can start to learn from him how to be this kind of man.

Girls, he is out there. If God has called you to marriage, it is not unreasonable to be looking for him to be like this. It doesn’t only happen in fairy tales. The hardest part is going to be the waiting. Don’t sell yourself short by settling for less than God’s best.

I wish I could be having this conversation with you over a cup of coffee (or more often in my case, spiced apple cider). Please tell me your stories!товар на реализациюLed Lenser M3Rшины для авто купить

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3 thoughts on “what a girl wants

  1. I’m a list girl too. What I think was awesome for me having a written list was that I couldn’t waiver as easily. It was in writing, so if a guy didn’t make the cut, I couldn’t bargain with myself or God. And it was specific. While you downplayed the physical characteristics, the minimum height requirement of 6′ was really important to me as a tall girl, in providing security and reassurance. I’m totally ok with towering over every other person in the place, as long as my man is taller! (And I didn’t specifically ask for a guy that wasn’t hairy, but God knew what I would like and blessed me without it having to be on the list.)
    And in terms of marriage of parents, something we both had that was important to us was having a spouse who could understand the crazy dynamics of our family. We have great adopted-“parents” who are role models for us, but both our immediate families are pretty wacked out!!! Both our dad’s are on their 3rd marriages. His bio mom was 1st, followed by a step-mom (now ex) who raised him, and a new step-mom who came along his senior year of high school. And you know some of my story. Both dads seem to follow an appx 14 year cycle in marriages but our moms aren’t the healthiest, emotionally-wholest creatures either, though by comparison are far less drama. You need a freaking diagram to explain our siblings and steps and exes in the family tree!!! And I am not sure that someone from a happy Leave It To Beaver-type family could cope with the situation. So for us it has been amazing to have someone who comes from similar dysfunction but whose values and standards lie elsewhere!
    Finally, I had no idea that I would someday need my list as a defense. Because our relationship progressed very quickly to engagement (2 months after meeting and starting the long-distance dating thing) and moving-cross-country (1 month after that) and marriage (grand total of 5 months from when we met), there were those who had concerns, including my mom! And she asked me one day how I knew he was the one, and it was a question I really struggled for a long time to answer verbally and couldn’t quite get it all out together in a cohesive, logical manner. So I sat down and write her an essay, which I have saved (of course). I remember that even the writing of that reaffirmed to me what God was working in my life and how it had been confirmed repeatedly, so that I was ok making such a quick decision to move and get married. And I was able to give specific examples and qualities that made him the one, since my mom had not been able to spend much time with him to that point. Therefore totally proved it a logical, thought-through decision. I just now went back and read my essay and it made me cry to think again how it all fell into place. Just really neat!
    Here it is:

    How I Know He’s “The One”

    If I am allowed to preface this entire essay, I have to admit that nothing in my life has been more difficult to organize into cohesive thought. I’m not exactly sure why. It’s very clear in my mind, but there’s certainly an element of different-ness to the subject matter. It’s not a simple collection of facts as in a research paper, though there are factual elements. There is also the consideration of “feeling” and “knowing intuitively” and “because God said so” that definitely comes into play as well. I could go on and on for hours and hours and pages and pages, but I’ve opted for the summary version. I’m just hoping that I have in some small portion captured the mass of evidence that resonates in my heart and mind when I say, “I’m going to marry Michael Ralph Clair; he’s the one.”

    Because of the sequence of bizarre circumstances that God lined up so we would meet. It’s elaborate, ridiculous even, the chain of events leading to our setup. Just for the overview to get me to live in Hereford to meet Paul (who sent me to the church where I met Jamie) but working in Roswell…I had to have a internship supervisor fire me with false accusations so that I would be short on hours to graduate and need to double up my last internship so that I would get assigned to the supervisor who would offer the job in Roswell. But I still had to move to Hereford in hopes of taking that job but instead take the Roswell job, go to the church, get invited to their Bible study, attend it and be assigned to Jamie’s small group, then get to be friends with her so the idea could even occur to her to set us up! Not to mention the dream and pep talks it took me to send him a message, or that Jamie just happened to get engaged and married right after I finally did…and that’s just my side of the story! I cannot believe that God does anything by accident, so I believe there is purpose behind all that He allows in our lives. And quite frankly, He’s worked too many things together for me to believe it was purely coincidence.

    Because he is everything that I have always prayed that my husband would be. All little girls dream, wish, hope; but I make lists. As in literally write down, save, abide by…lists. One of these lists was a list of characteristics I wanted in my future husband. These weren’t the normal things like “is a Christian” or “wants to have kids” oh no! I’m far too specific to settle on such things. There were a few selfish requests…like a minimum height requirement, some fashion sense, absurdly handsome. But all things that were really important to me. Here’s a random sampling: Understands and seeks God as his ultimate authority and Savior. Shows the love of Christ in his daily speech and actions. Is a thinker. Enjoys music beyond casual radio listening and possesses some type of musical talent. Is actively serving in some ministerial capacity in his church. Respects his parents even when he disagrees with them. Goes out of his way to serve me and do the little things for me. Will lay aside pride and fear. Handles money responsibly. Carries the leadership role within the relationship by initiating the big steps (first kiss, talks about boundaries, progression of the relationship). Will insist on physical boundaries for sexual purity but is physically and verbally affectionate. Active as the spiritual leader in the relationship by initiating prayer together to thank God and seek guidance together and study together. Loves to laugh. Smart enough to verbally match wits with me. Someone who kids are drawn to. Has a reputation of being trustworthy and honest. Kind and loving to the lost and believers alike. Is proud of and supports my career and passions. Values friendships and fellowship. Seeks God on his own and through wise counsel. Who I can be comfortable with in silence. Can understand and deal with my family. Enjoys simple things. Challenges me to grow in my faith. A little old-fashioned. Yep, he’s pretty much perfect for me, all I could hope for and more. I respect and admire so many things about him. He’s simply amazing, Captain Amazing, in fact!

    Because I have perfect peace about it. We’ve prayed about everything together. We’ve prayed about it individually. We’ve sought wise counsel. And my heart is at rest. I’ve asked the Lord for signs and confirmations at several junctions, and every time it has come in the affirmative. There are no doubts, no qualms whatsoever. Truthfully, that is probably the most important part…the element of trust. It’s a choice to trust him and trust in the leading of the Holy Spirit, to walk by faith.

    Those are the big points. There are a billion little ones…moments I treasure, things he has said or written, observations, but it really comes down to…I just know.
    And I love him.

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  2. Wanna know the most valuable thing that I learned in high school?

    Here we go.

    I learned that I am deserving of more than some guy who wants to just sleep with me. That when Jesus died on the cross, He said THIS is what true love is… and that when I decide on a mate, I should want him to not just make me happy, but help keep my holy.

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