Finding "The One" and Knowing Your Deal-Breakers
Before I met my husband, I loved asking married people how they made the decision to marry their spouse. More often than not, however, I was told something along the lines of, “Oh, you’ll just know. Trust me. You’ll know when it’s right.”
In a sense, it was true. A few months into our relationship, I did “know” without a shadow of a doubt. Still, I don’t find the “you’ll just know!” vagueness very helpful. Today I’d like to share a few practical things that helped me know J. was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
A few weeks before I met my husband, I made a list of deal-breakers. These were non-negotiable items for me. And guess what? In spite of all the people (especially other guys) who told me my standards were too high, I didn’t have to compromise on a single one.
I decided that I would leave a dating relationship if . . .
- my boyfriend drew his sense of identity or worth from me.
- my boyfriend was clingy and made me his god.
- grace was not a defining characteristic of the relationship.
- he used pornography at all, and/or if he gave in to lust regularly. we were not more dynamic for the kingdom together than we were apart.
- the relationship did not foster more love for my core passions (Jesus, the Word, etc.).
- he was dishonest.
- he was controlling or manipulative.
- I did not feel free and encouraged to become a stronger woman in Christ.
My husband isn’t perfect, but he does surpass my greatest dreams for a spouse. I didn’t have to budge on any of the things that mattered most to me about his character. I can honestly say that even though I’ve seen his sin up close, my respect for him has actually increased the longer I’ve known him.
I see Jesus in him every day: he is loving, honorable, just, gentle, and wise. In a world where we’re told that men can’t control themselves or their eyes, he is faithful and upright with both his body and his mind. He is passionate about his Savior, earnest in prayer, daily growing in humility, hungry for the Word, trustworthy and honest to his core. He lives purposefully and passionately for the gospel.
I’ve grown so much because of our relationship. And he’s grown, too. I’ve watched him repent when we’re in conflict with increasing humility and speed. I’ve seen him actively putting sin to death, asking forgiveness when he’s wrong and then walking in a Spirit-led direction. My husband’s love is the truest reflection of Jesus’ love that I’ve ever experienced, and I am so excited to be his wife!
Looking back, I’m thankful beyond words that I didn’t settle for the first guy who wanted to marry me. Keep your standards, girls; God is big.
By Lindsey Lee
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