When I was seventeen I wrote out the ten characteristics my husband had to have...As I met different young men I committed to not even entertain thoughts of pursing marriage with them if they didn't have these ten traits (which wasn't always as easy as it sounds), my girlfriends and I joked and called it my 'future filter'! A few girls this past week have asked me if I could post this and I thought it was a great idea, so here they are :)
1. He Loves the Lord
2. He has a vision for his life
3. He is passionate
4. He respects me and all other women
5. He loves and wants children
6. He has a call to the ministry
7. He leads me, and will one day lead our family to the Lord
8. He is disciplined and respects authority
9. He cherishes the things that I love-my hobbies, my passions, and my dreams
10. He always places God in a priority above me as his wife, and our children.
Let me tell you, Ladies how awesome it is to read through this as a married woman, and see my husband...Praise the Lord!
My dearest husband,
In the midst of all of the joy, all of the sorrow, all of the muck and guck of learning the in's and out's of someone, I pray so earnestly that you will never be unsure of my love and respect for who you are. As you know from the night we sat on the phone and it was my turn to list off why I loved you, it is certainly not limited to these ten, but here they are :) (Thank you Colleen for inspiring me to do this!)
You teach me, constantly and thoroughly. Since the night we met my relationship with the Lord has never stood still. You’ve guided me and watered me as I’ve grown and never given me a reason to doubt your knowledge and comprehension of our creator. I’m so blessed to have a husband who desires to learn truth, and so desires to share that which he has acquired.
You’re stronger than me. As a child my parents prayed that I would grow into a strong willed, confident woman. As I began to search for a husband they always told me that they knew that I needed a man who was stronger. You are the only man who has fervently strived and flourished as a leader to this woman. The fact that my passion and zeal which proves to intimidate some, in no way subdues you or stands in the way of you leading me the way you’ve been so called to do, humbles me in such a gracious way.
You’re truly a man of God. When countless other men cowered at the vision I had for a husband, you pursued me with no fear. You have shown me the eternal value in not simply claiming a title, but bathing in the love of our savior daily and seeking earnestly a relationship with Him. I am so fortunate, and you never seize to amaze me. “As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men” (Song of Solomon 2:3).
You are my calm in the storm. God so brilliantly and carefully crafted me a husband who can speak calmly to me when I am anxious, stand firm when I am weak, and show the gospel to me when I allow my emotions to fog what I know in my heart is truth. You are the rock I know I can hold onto when the winds of this life throw me in every direction…you keep me grounded to the One and Only who gives us strength (2 Timothy 2:1).
You honor me. From day one you have honored me by showing me truth-even when it can be difficult. I have such a peace in knowing that you lift me up in conversation with others, you genuinely desire God’s best for our marriage, and that you will hold to the vows you spoke to me on our wedding day. You honor me by not only repenting of the sin in your own life, but by gently and lovingly confronting me about sin in my own life. By finding God’s grace in even the hard situations and constantly sanctifying me within our marriage as we, together, conform to the likeness of Christ. When you invest in relationships with my family, when you do the dishes before I get home, and when you listen to not only the jumble of words that may come out of my mouth in hard situations but truly seek the cries of my heart in each instance. The times you encourage my passions, lead me in prayer, and walk with me through the word all show honor to me as your wife, and trust me this is not a complete list!
You inspire me to be the wife I know in my heart you deserve. The beauty of our marriage is that we both feel we could never merit the love of the other and what an awesome picture of God’s grace it is…Whether it be in my understanding of our faith or my skill as a wife in confrontation and forgiveness, honoring you in my thoughts and words, or even down to my abilities as a cook, you deserve someone so wonderful and it is my joy to spend the rest of my life becoming worthy of such a man as yourself.
You lay yourself down for me, in the smallest of things, which can sometimes be harder than the biggest. The way you find joy in what I cherish means the world to me. When you go out of your way to light a candle, wipe something down, or tuck something in (when I know that this directly would not be your first choice), you show me I’m worth more to you than your convenience. By watching a chick flick, or keeping me company at the museum, you show me you love me when you place my needs (and wants!) before your own.
You are discerning. I know I never have to fear where you lead me, baby. Whether it be the books we read, the people we seek counsel from, or where we move ourselves as a family; you, my dear husband, have demonstrated the most unparalleled gift of being able to discern the word of God and His call on your life, and it gives me such joy to be a part of this.
You love me, in a way that sends me to the foot of the cross…even when I least deserve you, there you are. You’ve chosen to push through my insecurities, weed your way through the selfishness I can show far too often, and break through my pride, pursuing my heart and soul, willingly accepting the effects of my sin in your life, and wrapping your arms around me to hold me close to you.
You Love the Lord. You seek to know Him in a way I’ve never seen in my life, You surround yourself with godly men and accountability, You create a world for us, baby, that is constantly sanctifying and redefining the way we see our heavenly father. You are the most Christ-like man the Lord could have place my heart in the hands of and I am genuinely awed by the compassion He has shown me by bringing a husband like you, to a sinner like me.
I love you, so much-You're my rock,
Your 'lil dumpling