Monday, July 13, 2015

The Thing About "the List"

If you are a teenage girl who has ever read a relationship related book or blog post by a Christian woman, you've heard of "the List."


The List, if you don't know, is the concept of making a list of qualities you look for in future husband (I don't know if there are guy books/blogs out there that encourage the dudes to do this for future wives, but I guess that's a possibility). It's well-intentioned, and in the right circumstances, it can be beneficial.

Typically, the List starts off with one of the various ways of saying the 'obvious':


1. Must be a die-hard Christian


There are a thousand ways to say it, but that's the basic idea. This obviously isn't a bad thing to want/need. There's nothing wrong, with wanting to date and marry a Christian. In fact, you should date and marry a Christian. But all too frequently we end up with this unclear idea of what a Christian is.

And so teenage (and even preteen) girls start writing this list, put the obligatory "Christian man" at the top, and then anything goes.

2. Must be super-duper funny in every way...


3. ...But he also has to be serious at all the right moments.


4. I'm not saying he has to be hot, but he has to be hot.



Then there's there are the other obvious ones: must love cats and also dogs; must know how to dance (preferably swing); must be ENFJ (or other specific MBTI personality type); must wear Converse and/or flannel button-downs. And it goes on.

Honestly, the times I've tried making a list have turned into a rambling about all the things I like about the guy I have a crush on (I'll not say what those things currently are). While you should definitely have standards concerning your "significant other," (okay, is it just me or is that term kinda weird?) all too often, the list turns into an Instagram-esque reading of "relationship goals." 

Often times, we limit our options to this super strict list of must-haves, thinking we know what we need. The problem with this is that we could also be limiting God. Obviously, God can't actually be limited. But when we have such a specific list of what we "need" and someone comes into our lives who doesn't match up with every little detail, we instantly discount them because they haven't cured world hunger yet

If you're looking for a perfect guy, you aren't going to find him. People aren't perfect. If you want perfection, the only place you'll find it is God.

God's plan for you life rarely (never) looks the same as your plan for you life, and his plan is always best. It may be messier than you expect, but it's also so much greater. Whether you make a list or not, always pray and trust God to help you make the right decision. Maybe your future husband will fit every detail on the list, and maybe he'll totally flip you expectations. Just don't freak out if God tells you to go out with a guy who isn't 'your type.' Thing's don't always go according to plan, and it's better that way. And that's what's up.

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