We asked a few girls what the purpose of dating was and most had a healthy perspective, saying such things as:
- "to determine eligibility for marriage,...and to build the relationship on which marriage stands. To get to know a fella!"
- "A relationship where you can serve and glorify God together in a romantic way."
- "To get to know someone further that you feel has the potential to be your future spouse."
The difficulty comes in translating these ideals into real-life situations. When we think of a man who will be suitable for marriage, we can tend to create these long lists of expectations in our minds.
"My guy will be 6 and a half feet tall..."
"My hubby will have great wavy hair..."
"My boy will drive a corvette..."
"My man will be as funny as Steve Martin in Father of the Bride..."
And though this may seem a bit exaggerated, we have known girls (ahem, ourselves included!) whose lists contain very specific requirements. And while this may be a good tool in the struggle towards discovering what a healthy relationship could eventually look like, it might be somewhat limiting as we can tend to measure a man against our list to see if he has potential.
As I (Becca) was talking to my mother yesterday, she told me that perhaps when I woke up from my nap my prince would be standing there waiting for me, and as much as I wish my mother was a prophetess, the likelihood of that happening is very slim. Where can we go to find a man who will fit the bill set out by these standards? Better yet, should we even have these standards at all?
We are not here to knock down the idea of making a list of what you would like in a man. Indeed, this gives you a better picture of the kind of man that eventually might become your spouse. However, do not be afraid to amend the list. Instead of thinking of the list as a measuring stick, look at it as a guide to help identify potential. So what is he doesn't meet all 63 items on the list? Or what if he does have every quality on your list, then what?
What matters is this: do you feel God's calling on this relationship?
If not, then do not be afraid to say no. We know a girl who said yes to a boy because he met her list of standards, but the relationship still fell apart. What do you say to her? In Christian community, there's this misconception that just because both people involved in a relationship are Christian, it must mean it will work out. But there is something so empowering and edifying about being able to assert yourself in saying no when you are certain that it is not what God is calling you to.
So make lists of qualities you'd like in a man (and no, "six pack" doesn't count as a legitimate quality!), but be prepared to change them, add to them, or remove items from the list. At the end of the day, make sure you are giving over these hopes to the Lord, for He is sovereign above our desires and knows how (and if) they will be fulfilled.
Becca and Kelley
P.S. - "It’s like the word 'single' means 'find someone.' "
Once more, a shout out to the girls who bravely voiced their opinions for us. :)