A romantic time is upon us. Or at least, thus sayeth Hallmark, fans of St. Valentine, and chocolatiers everywhere. This weekend will cause couples to remember their love. An astounding number of men will take the opportunity to nervously get on one knee and ask their beloved to be their beloved forever. Cynics who call themselves realists will rail against corporate propaganda who attempt to force them to show affection. And many will sigh repeatedly to themselves, softly repeating “forever alone” as they consider their current singleness.
As for me, I’ll be spending the weekend as we do every year – at a teen conference in north Texas geared toward educating and encouraging the youth of the church to take the higher, harder path in their faith. Hopefully there will be chocolate involved at some point. It works for us. While my marriage has been shorter than many (currently clocking it at just under eight years), it’s been an absolute lifetime by Hollywood standards, and I would venture to say an exceptionally happy one. So for those of you still seeking to find the one to spend your life with, here are some thoughts for what you should be looking for.
Look for a (Committed) Christian
I know, cliche right? But really, look for a Christian. Not just someone who claims belief in God, because there is a difference. There are a lot of guys, a lot of people really, who call themselves Christians, but it doesn’t play out in their lives. How they talk. How they dress. How they treat others. Whether or not they pray and study and serve and aspire to grow as leaders in the church. There are those out there who need encouragement to grow closer to God and you should always seek to give that to those in need. But those shouldn’t be the guy you’re looking to spend the rest of your life with either. God didn’t intend for women to be the spiritual leaders of a family and trust me when I say His wisdom in that is evident on a regular basis. Don’t settle for a guy who says he loves God, but won’t make it to worship without your encouragement. Wait for the one who makes God his life and wants you to have that same love for Him. Yes, this can be hard to find. Yes, it’s completely worth it.
Look for Someone Who Makes You Laugh
This one might be a little more subjective, but it’s my article so I’m good with it. Admittedly, I love to laugh and I married a man who loves to make people laugh. It’s a beautiful thing. Sharing joy and laughter with one another is one of the best ways to bond with your spouse. But it’s bigger than just finding someone who knows how to make you laugh so hard you can’t breathe, although that’s a great thing. Life can be hard and sometimes we’re all tempted to take ourselves a little too seriously. Being with someone who can help you find a reason to smile when you feel like you can’t will make your life indescribably better.
Look for a Person Who Treats Others Well
It’s been said before, but it rings true. “If he’s nice to you, but not nice to the waiter, he’s not a nice person.” If he’s nice to you, but doesn’t show respect to the awkward kid in class, his teacher/professor/boss, his parents, those seemingly below him on the social ladder, other girls even – he’s not for you. Confidence can be an attractive trait, but anyone who puts themselves above others isn’t. Or shouldn’t be. Humility and selflessness are foundational traits for any Christian (Phil. 2:3). If he treats the person on the other end of the drive-thru well, imagine how much more he’ll show love and respect for you.
Look for These Qualities in Yourself
You want to be with a strong, positive, selfless Christian who treats others with respect and dignity? That kind of guy wants the same things in a wife. There are a lot of girls out there making lists for what they want in their future husband, but I’ve seen few lists on the type of wife they want to be. There are few men that want to be with a complaining, gossiping woman who values herself more than others. You want to find an amazing person with high standards to spend your life with? So does he. Don’t expect more out of a person than you’re willing to be yourself. But don’t aim high just for your potential future husband. Aim high because you’re a Christian and that’s what God calls you to be. Because when you committed your life to Him, you were saying that’s the type of person you wanted to become. Whether you find your other half tomorrow or in a decade or you never get married (all perfectly valid options), that’s the type of Christian you should be. But this way, should your Prince Charming show up on his white horse, you’ll be ready for him.