With all the weddings that have been taking place recently and all the relationship drama that I’ve been watching play out before me, I thought maybe it’d be appropriate to talk about marriage.
I never thought I was that picky, especially when it came to boys (I guess men is a better word). I consider myself to be very open minded towards others, but very stern in my own beliefs. I have watched my friends date many people and I have seen the repercussions of their sometimes-not-so-picky choices that they’ve made. Disclaimer: many of my friends are in very happy and healthy relationships at the moment, but that’s because they’ve learned. And thankfully, I’ve been able to learn from them as well.
As I’ve gotten older, experienced college life, and dated a bit myself, I’ve seen how truly skeezy guys and girls both can be. It’s very easy to lose yourself and your identity when you are so focused on another individual or just focused on hooking up with multiple individuals. Darn hormones – they’ll getcha if you aren’t careful!
Having closely examined myself, my soul, my spiritual life, and the lives of those around me I have come to the conclusion: I am actually insanely picky. And that’s okay. You’re allowed to protect yourself and your heart. You are allowed to say NO, and continue saying NO. Like they say, “YOU DO YOU, GIRL” (or guy!) I don’t think it’s a bad idea to make a list of somethings that are extremely important to you whether you’re looking to date or to marry a significant other. Here’s (just a portion) of my own list that I’ve been working on and researching lately:
1. Spiritual Health.
a. They must be Christian. No exceptions.
b. They must push me to grow in my relationship with Christ and help me strive to know the Lord and myself better.
c. They must challenge my beliefs in a healthy way in an attempt to help me examine my own heart.
d. They must honor that my relationship with God is the most important relationship in my life. They come 2nd.
2. Emotional Health. This one is a biggy (and I had some help creating this portion from a morning devotional I’ve been reading.)
a. They must not be nursing any uncontrolled anger. Key word “uncontrolled”. Uncontrolled anger = deep insecurity and low self-worth
b. They must not be stuck in addiction (call me a hypocrite, if you will. I realize that an eating disorder is a form of addiction, hence my staying out of a relationship for awhile until I am ready to fully immerse myself into the ups and downs that tend to accompany having a love-life.)
c. They must not be harboring bitterness. Whatever you resent, you start to resemble.
d. They must not be selfish (BIGGIE FOR ME!!!) I truly believe that the #1 conflict in a lot of divorced marriages has to do with selfishness.
e. They must be generous and kind
f. They must always tell the truth (another big one for me). Love is based on trust and trust is based on the truth.
g. They must be excited to pray for you. I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t make praying for US and our relationship a priority. That has to be one of the #1 things every day!
a. I don’t believe in 1 soul mate for everyone. As romantic as that seems just think about this: if ONE person married the wrong person then the entire world would be off kilter because that would mess up the idea of everybody having ONE person that they’re supposed to meet and be with forever. Scary thought.
b. Just because you love someone doesn’t necessarily mean that you should marry them. Let’s be realistic. You have to make ends meet and if you want to have a family you have to take that into consideration. You also have to consider what jobs you have and if they’ll be able to co-exist. For example, the last guy I dated for about a year and a half. I thought I was going to marry him. (Young love does crazy things to you haha) He plans to be an computer science graduate and work with the FBI or some other government agency. I, however, am a musician and will have to go to wherever I can get a job. It was definitely a source of conflict for us because he didn’t want to budge from his original plan to live in Washington D.C. and I didn’t want to budge from my plan of following my dreams either. Sometimes the reality is that, even if you love someone, it just won’t work.
Of course, being a girl and loving that nasty mushy-gooshy-romantic stuff, I have another list that goes something like:
-likes the toilet paper to go under instead of over the roll
-insert long list of really stupid, pointless things
I think the main thing to remember is that it won’t be perfect. Nothing and no one ever is. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for less than you deserve or on things that are truly important and a vital part of your existence. Let your heart guide you, but don’t leave your brain far out in left field either.
Remember, Let God define your purpose. He will show you where to place your feet and you will be with the right soul at the right time. There is no rush.
“I don’t want to be married just to be married. I can’t think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can’t talk to, or worse, someone I can’t be silent with.”
― Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
And also: You are yourself. You stand alone. Don’t ever lose that ability. Don’t ever rely on another human being too fully. The things of this earth are only temporary and can be taken at any moment.
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
― Khalil Gibran, The Prophet