Around the age of fifteen, I believe, I made a list of things that I felt I needed and wanted in a husband. It’s funny because most of that list included superficial things. Not just “I want him to be cute” but things that don’t really contribute to the relationship past the first few dates. Anyways, I got the man of my dreams. He fit every description except one: he doesn’t play an instrument. The tall dark and handsome thing though:NAILED IT! Eleven years have passed. Even though I am thankful for those “list worthy” qualities in my man, I am astonished by the things in him that I never considered or dreamed could be so amazing and meaningful. Things that contribute to our life together in epic ways. I realize now that while my “list” was helpful, God’s list was perfect and extensive, and as we continue to grow in Him I realize: it’s growing too! Here are some characteristics that I see that I would like to share.
He loves The Lord: ok ok that was an easy one for my list. I wanted to marry a Christian because of the whole unequally yoked thing and because my Daddy taught me that it’s important for a man to lead his family spiritually. You know what though? Through the years as I have seen this in action especially in the hard times, it’s so much more intricate than I thought. To lead spiritually my husband has had to stand by me in my darkest times pointing me back to Christ and having faith when I lacked and supporting me even when it caused him pain. That isn’t just being a Christian: that’s being a man of God and loving someone with Christ’s love, not selfish love.
He puts family before work. I see him put tremendous effort into making sure he is awake and there for our time together. One thing he has always done is when he comes home for work at night, he is 100% there mentally and physically for his family. His kids know that he will drop WHATEVER he is doing to play with them, listen to them, teach them, and love them. He also stays connected with us throughout the day via phone calls, texting, and video chat. He may not always be awake with me at night or not working, but he is AlWAYS there for me and always looks for ways to connect in other times. His priority is his family and I have never doubted it. He makes the most of his time with his family. He may only have a few minutes to call during his work day, but he calls, and he makes sure we know how loved we are and how much we mean to him. He doesn’t have to have hours and hours to make us feel important, he can do that in less than a minute. There have been times also when he has taken his lunch hour to take one of the kids out just to have a heart to heart talk with them. I know his work is important to him, but he also makes time in his schedule to be there for sports events, recitals, and anything else that our family is doing that means so much to me! Its not about having lots of time together, it’s about taking the time and making it count. For my part, I want to make sure that in the times I am lonely or feeling resentful that other things take so much of his time, I remember all he does to make time for me. He listens, he holds me, and he takes me on trips, he makes the most of birthdays and anniversaries, and any time he can to be close to me, even if it is sleeping on the couch with his head in my lap. I love him and I appreciate his hard work, at work and at home!
His word and his character are important to him. John is a very loyal person. He loves and commits with everything he has. He is the same guy no matter where he is. The same guy at work, at church, at home, with friends, everywhere. He is steady. He is strong. He is honest. He learns from his mistakes, and imparts wisdom to others whenever he can. It means something to him to be called a leader, a man of God, and he tries his best to be a good example. He understands that good leadership does not require the allusion of perfection, but rather an honest view of oneself and the power of God on a life, and the sharing of your experience for the glory of God not self. I look up to him and love that my kids can follow securely in his footsteps. It reminds me of a picture I saw one time of a child taking a bath in a dinosaur footprint. Not only can you easily follow the footsteps, but they are big enough to securely hold you when you need to rest. I don’t know if that makes sense to you but it’s pretty special in my head.
He is funny. Laughter is the best medicine. I can’t think of anyone else that makes me laugh like he does. I have actually been trying to return the favor for years. I’m just not as funny as he is. When I get a chuckle out of him though it makes my whole day. I then laugh for hours which is probably why he laughs hysterically at me all the time (on the inside). Anyways, his humor has brightened my life for almost 13 years now and I am thankful for it!
He works hard. Work is definitely high on the the list of important things. Johns commitment to his work includes a commitment to excellence, loyalty, and giving everything he can do do a good job. He inspires others to do the same. This part of him spills into the other kinds of work in his life as well. John learned from an early age that work is important, doing it right and well is important, and teaching others how do do it right is important. He had many good examples of this from his family. His parents (both of them) and his grandparents on both sides as well has aunts and uncles who have all been great examples to him of excellence in work and in life. Through all he has learned he has become something of a jack of all trades. He can do many things well, and he is an excellent teacher.
He is not afraid to ask for help. This is huge. To me his example is this: be good at what you do, be proud of your accomplishments, and know that it’s the power of God and the help of others that brought you to where you are. Surround yourself with people who love you, seek advice only from people who are qualified to give it. I love this about him. Asking for advice doesn’t me you can’t do it on your own, it means that you understand that what you bring to the table tastes better with side dishes. Together they make a balanced meal. Hehehe I know a weird way to put it but it’s true. He is not afraid to seek counsel from the men in his life, our pastor, his dad, my dad, his closest friends who are godly men in their own right (that could be a section on its own), and others who have contributed as well. I love him for it!
There are many more things that I could go into, some would not be appropriate for this post. My point is this. If you are not married, make sure the things on your list are things that will be important your whole life. If you are and you feel like your list wasn’t met: reconsider. What are the things about your spouse that you deeply appreciate. Chances are they are more fundamental and helpful than your original list. And if you are like me and you feel like the marriage God gave you is more than you ever even could have hoped it would be, praise God for it. Let your spouse know that the things you see in the person that they are matter to you, that you appreciate them, and why. My list was so basic it almost provided an unwritten disclaimer. A free pass to my heart. If you check all the boxes, you are in. Praise God for HIS list, and Praise God for a man who loves me, even at my ugliest, and loves me with the love of Christ always showing me the way! John you are a man in full! Thanks for your tremendous contribution to our wonderful life together!