I'm thrilled to have my friend Rachel share an amazing story from her life with you today. Rachel is young woman who is proving that courting is relevant in the 21st century. Here's how her story begins with a husband list:
What is a “Husband List,” why is it important, and why should I create one?
These were the questions my fourteen-year-old self was asking as I sat on the edge of my seat, clinging to every word that was said during the Purity Retreat my youth leader was hosting. Whatever a Husband List was, it instantly intrigued me.
That Purity Retreat in the summer of 2011 challenged me in my faith, and was what shaped my entire life goal to remaining completely pure until marriage: dedicating my years of singleness to seeking God alone, waiting on Him to bring me a husband, and committing to date only one man. And during the years that have ensued, I can attest first-hand that it has not been easy to wait solely on God: trusting Him to bring my man, glorifying Him in my many years of singleness while all my friends dated, and honoring His name through remaining pure until the day I say “I do!” It’s hard work, but it’s so worth it! As my boyfriend often says: “The greater the battle, the greater the victory!”
Husband Lists, I soon learned, were just that: written lists comprised of the attributes and characteristics one desires in a future spouse, and they are as different as the girls writing them. Seek God and pray about what attributes your man should attain, and truly ask yourself what you’re looking for.
A Husband List is important for many reasons. Ideally, it should be written before you begin dating someone, but even if you are in a relationship, it is not too late to write one and it can still be beneficial. Primarily, a Husband List is written so that you have your ideals written down and “set in stone” both so that you truly know what you want and so that you will not so easily compromise.
It is a form of accountability. Because, girl, it’s easy to write down what we want in a man, but we all know how hard it is to “stick to our guns” when a young, handsome man flashes us a smile that makes our heart melt and introduces himself.
This Husband List will give you something solid to reference when he winks at you, brushes your elbow, and sweetly asks you out. “But, he’s so charming…” we so often want to say. But pause, and take a long look at your list, the list you and God comprised. It will put things into perspective.
He’s cute, but is he pursuing God?
He’s got a to-die-for accent, but will he honor you?
His muscles make you blush, but will he lead you to God or to his bedroom?
This list will remind you of what you and God discussed and you won’t be so willing to compromise. If this young man doesn’t fit your List, forget him. If he doesn’t measure up to your ideals, tell him “no.” If he’s not what God says you deserve, dump him. Don’t feel bad about turning him down either; you are a daughter of the highest King and if a guy is not treating you like one, then he does not deserve you.
A God-honoring man will treat you like the treasure you are because he loves with a Holy love.
My Husband List – High Expectations
May I share with you my testimony of how my own Husband List has helped me through the years?
My List has played an integral part in my life, especially when it came to meeting the man I plan to marry; it’s been one of my biggest encouragements and it was my sign that I’d met my man.
As an English major and Author, detailed lists have always made me infinitely happy. So I went after it. Eagerly grabbing a notebook, lying sprawled across my bed, I began to pray, brainstorm and write. I jotted down everything I wanted in a husband.
“#1: He MUST be a born-again Christian.
#2: He must protect my purity.
#3: We must like the other’s family.
#4: He must get along with my father.
#5: He must honor and respect me.
#6: He must enjoy children. .…”
Before I knew it, I had a grand total of 43 things that I required in a man! And these were just the “must-haves.”
Now, for the preferences—ya know, just in case God really wanted to go all out for me:
#1: Can he be cute with nice muscles?
#2: Can he have an accent?
#3: Can he enjoy horses, hunting and love the country?
#4: Can he enjoy math because I hate it so desperately?
#5: Can he have soft, dark brown eyes, please?
Excited about my accomplishment, I shared my list with my best friend who prompted said
“That’s crazy. You seriously expect to find a guy who fits ALL those things?” She tilted her head and squinted at me, incredulous.
“Don’t get mad at me, but you’re never gonna find a man who fits all those things. You’re asking too much.”
Deciding to get a second opinion, I went to my mother.Her diagnosis was oddly similar. “Uh, Sweetie…don’t you think you’re being too picky? I mean, you really think you’ll find a perfect man—one who fits all these things?”
Unfazed, I stood my ground. “Yes, I do. If he’s the man God has for me, he’ll meet each of these things. God has put these things in my heart and if I have to wait until I’m 28 to meet this man, then so be it!”
Was I being harsh and unfair? No, I was determined. And I trusted God when He promised to give me the desire of my heart if I depended on Him. I told God I would know He brought me my future husband when I could check off each thing on that list. Throughout the years though, many people thought I was being ridiculous. Who was I kidding? No guy would match all 48 things!
Still, I stood my ground. I was more stubborn than my friends thought.
During the years that God called me to exclusive singleness so I could focus solely on Him, I did meet many nice guys, but when I compared them to my list, not one of them even remotely came close. About 6 things on my list were the closest they came. That was what kept me solid. It kept me strong against their “charm” and sweet smiles, and forced me to see their personality past their buff muscles.
My husband list reminded me of what I truly wanted and it encouraged me not to settle for anything less than what God had promised He’d give me.
When the day came, nearly four years later, I met the man whom I now proudly call my husband. I watched the handsome, soft-spoken, blonde young man tell my father about his church, farm, and family. I pushed my vegetables around on my plate, too nervous and excited to eat my lunch. Mentally, I began to check things off my List as I listened to Brian speak.
Strong born-again Christian, check!
He has 6 siblings and loves kids, check!
He is a gentleman who is pledged to stay pure until his wedding day, check!
His father was previously Amish, he raised horses, and now they have a pony because he loves horses, check!
He loves hunting and fishing, check!
By the end of the day, I had mentally checked off ¾ of my List! I decided that this guy was actually worth a cautious second-glance. He got along fabulously with my family, check, and they loved him! Things were looking promising.
The only things on my List that weren’t checked off had to do with his family. So at God’s prodding and my father’s permission, I met his parents.
Suddenly, everything on my List was complete. All of my “must-haves” were checked off and even my preferences were marked off! Not only was this guy absolutely gorgeous, but he had bright black eyes…a dizzying German accent, tanned muscles that made my knees weak: and he was altogether a precious country boy!
I stared at my List; Brian matched every one perfectly.Unknowingly, he’d completely nailed it!
With a certain amount of righteous pride, I showed my checked Husband Listed once again to my best friend. “So…” I shoved the notebook at her, “I’ve met a man who matches this perfectly…every last one of them…and the better I get to know him, he has qualities that I didn't have enough space to write down!”
She flipped through the pages, “Seriously? Every one?”
I grinned, unable to hide the delight on my face, “Yep!” I took the List back, “I didn’t settle for any less than God’s best for me. Besides, God told me I’d know when He gave me my future husband because he’d match this. Brian does…and you know what: I’m pretty positive he’s the one!”
God already knows what you want, and what you deserve. You're a daughter of the King who deserves a man that will treat her well. Write it all down, wait on God, and watch Him deliver! He always does if our motives are to honor Him!
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.”
~ Psalm 37:4, AMP
Read more from Rachel on her site, Today's Positivity.