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Thursday, September 19, 2013

How to Marry Well

This deviates from my theme of "Saving Money. Making Stuff." But I thought it was worth sharing.

When I was twenty-four and I had dated a few guys that were not right for me to marry, I decided that I wanted to get married, and I was serious about it. I was two years out of college, and while I wasn't yet "past my prime", I had several friends that were already married and I felt that I should be deliberate about getting married.

My dating experience showed me what I did and did not want in a husband. And I did not want to waste time in dating any more of the wrong guys. So to aid me in my decision of who to date, I made a list of what I was looking for in a husband. My list had two sides. One side was for things that I could not compromise about. Things like: being a dedicated Christian, being responsible and a hard worker, being good with money. The other side of the list was for things that would be a plus, such as being handsome, enjoying singing, being taller than me. I wish I kept that list so I could tell you everything on there. There were probably twenty or thirty items on my list.

When I looked at my list, I saw a wonderful man who would probably not want to date me. 

I resolved to become better. Among other things, I decided to spend more time in prayer and bible reading. I chose not to complain about things. I did my best to become the perfect woman for the perfect man of my list. I prayed over my list every day.

It wasn't too long before I visited a new church. I hadn't met any men at the old church. Unless you count the man who gave me a candle that smelled so powerful that I had to put it in the hallway outside of my office and I had to stop somewhere on the way home in order to throw it away. He meant well. But he wasn't the man for me.

When I went to the new church, I had two guys asking me out at the same time. This had obviously never happened before, and I wasn't quite sure how to handle it. One of these guys took me on a date and walked around his car to unlock my door, but he did not actually open it for me. I think that maybe he wanted to open the door, but he had offended a certain kind of woman by opening doors for them. It was a small thing, but he didn't do what he thought was right because he thought he might offend me. Would that spill over into more important areas? The bigger reason that I did not continue to go out with him was that he didn't pray at dinner unless I suggested it. If I hadn't resolved not to date men without the necessary qualifications, would I have continued to date him? Well. Probably not. Because the other man taking me out was (cue angel choir) David. 

At first I thought maybe he was cheap, because he took me to Hardee's on the way to the circus, and he wanted to share fries. But I realized he was just careful with his money, with the added bonus of not being gluttonous about his french fries. And that was exactly what I wanted in a man, but I guess I had this idea that men should be a little more free-spending when taking me out on dates. Ladies who hope for a man who knows how to manage his money, let us all appreciate it when he does not spend too much, even on dates. Men who know how to be frugal, tell your date how managing money is important to you and having a savings account and no credit card debt is important to you. Tell her that you want to spend time with her without spending more than is in your budget. Then ask her if she would like to share fries with you, and she will not worry that you are just being "cheap". 

As I got to know David, it turned out that he was everything on my list. Both sides of my list. Thank You, Jesus. However. I should have written "sings well" instead of "enjoys singing". Those are two very different things.

This was only seven years ago, but we look so much younger.

In conclusion:
Don't date someone who doesn't meet your "must have" requirements.
It is better to be alone than to be married to the wrong person.
If you're not the right person, make improvements.
Be yourself, and do what you believe to be right, instead of what you think someone else thinks is right.

What do you think? Is this helpful at all to people who aren't married?

What are the spouse requirements that you won't/didn't compromise about?

1 comment:

  1. you guys look so happy and I LOVE YOUR DRESS :)

    hahah. I never had a list. I just wanted to get married and have babies :P once I got saved then God gave me a list--it was "Loves God with all his heart".