Thursday, July 18, 2013

Would I marry him?

As I approach "dating age," I'm observing and figuring out what I'd want in a potential husband, and I've come up with two weed out questions:

1. Is he the man I want my sons to grow up to be?
2. Is he the man I want my daughters to have as their definition of a man?

If the answer to either one of them is "no" then he is automatically off the potentials list (not that I have one...).

Why are these questions absolutely essential and important to me?

- They don't let my insecurities get in the way.
"But he's so charming..."
"But he likes me so much...I'll never meet a guy that likes me so much...."
"But he's so smart..."
"But he's so...so...muscular... *faints*"
"He said I look pretty.  He must therefore be the only man in the world who is physically attracted to me."
"Doctor? My mom might approve."
"Doctor AND deacon?  Mom approves."

No matter what is making me attracted to him right now, which may very likely be due to some insecurity of mine, they force me to think about what really matters.

They also force me out of the illusion that I can look at him for his potential.  "Oh he would be perfect, if only he were a little more mature, if only he had this, but that will change, I'm sure I can help him change."  As my father of confession wisely told me, "Nobody changes.  I know that from experience."  It forces me to say to myself, "No Martha, stop evading the question.  Is he NOW the man you want your sons to grow up to be?"

-They keep me objective.
He might be entertaining, he might be romantic, he might be a great friend, but will he be a good father?  Can we work together as a team?  It's easy to be short sighted and think marriage is all about me, what's most compatible with me, will be make me happy, but in reality the bulk of your married years are spent just raising kids together.

-They help me tap into my gut feelings about a person.
I just intuitively know the answer to these questions when I am considering a guy.  Rather than wasting my time trying to rationalize good and bad, if something is "off" about him, these questions will hit the nail on the head.

-They serve as a lens/frame/filter for any other qualities I'd want to put on my list of potential-husband qualities.
Puts my head in the right place first before adding superfluous qualities.

-THEY ARE TRUE.
My sons will grow up to be who he is.  My daughters will have him as the model against which they judge every other man, as well as how they feel men should perceive and treat them as women.

I think these questions are ingenious and that everyone should use them when thinking about her future husband or his future wife.  You know you'll thank me later.

What are your thoughts?  Please tell me so I don't feel like a loser!

12 comments:

  1. My only question for you is do you speak at retreat lectures or you're too young? I love this and i don't think I've seen a better explanation of this. The fact that you made insecurities your first point hit the bull's eye. Can't wait to see more. :)

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    1. youre so sweet veronica!! haha yeah i think im too young now, but maybe in due time ill be preaching to your children! =P

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  2. This is very good, but how can you implement this? I can imagine myself (feeling this way about a woman obviously :p) being so caught up with how pretty a girl is or how muscular (not exactly) she thinks I am, that my insecurities would poison my objective lens. How is it possible to think objectively is what I'm really asking.

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    1. the horrible thing that insecurities do for us is make us impatient. "no i need to settle down now before i lose her!" and make us forget about the long future we have ahead of us. sure, she might be pretty, but shes not the ONLY pretty girl in the world. she might find you attractive, but shes not the only girl that will ever be attracted to you.

      when you ask yourself, "is she the woman i want my daughters to grow up to be?" can you really lie to yourself? you might have a war going on inside you for a little while, "but were so attracted to each other..." i know what thats like, but you can never lie to yourself about your true feelings on her character. i think your objective side will always win. attractiveness is not going to make you happy or fulfilled in the end. and it certainly wont get you to heaven!

      another way you can put the question is, "will she bring me to heaven?" is she good for your spiritual growth? cuz thats definitely what is most important to me when seeking a father for my children, that he be my spiritual companion, force me to wake up on sundays for church, nag me to read my bible everyday. that hell bring me to heaven.

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    2. Hopefully the objective side will always win then. I guess to strengthen your conscious to be more objective in your decision making takes practice in things that are outside of choosing a good life partner.

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    3. yeah youre completely right. its an inescapable truth that the only thing that will truly make us objective in every area of life is becoming closer to God. time and time again ive found that to be true in my life.

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  3. Hey Martha :)

    Thanks for your post. I definitely gained a lot of insight from reading this too. So I liked the part about the insecurities - I think that is right, but I never realized it before. We often want someone who can supplement for something we think we are missing, or lack in; or someone who fits because we think there is no one else.

    Also, I agree with the father/mother role. Something that is also important to me is whether he/she gets along with parents and siblings. I heard somewhere that men treat their future wives the way they treat their mothers; and they treat their kids the way they treat their siblings. It could be different for everyone, but I think sibling relationships are important too. Any thoughts? Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Thanks for commenting Heather! :-D

      Yes, exactly! It's easy to look for short term remedies like that rather than actually doing the work to fix ourselves.

      Yeah I've heard the same thing before actually, that how the person treats his mother is how he is going to treat you. I've never heard the thing about the siblings though, sounds kinda strange.

      Ultimately I'm not a fan on analyzing a person's behavior and trying to draw conclusions. That's not for me to judge or understand, you know? I'd rather stick with a few simple guidelines that can tell me what I perceive about this person's character.

      I know something I fall into is continuously analyzing myself and others, when in reality the best way to work on yourself is not to look inward but to look up at God. I know I'm screwed up in so many different ways but God will fix me, I have no idea how He fixes me, and it's none of my business really, but He does!

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    1. Thanks, and thanks for commenting! :-D

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  5. Martha, this is great. Especially because I am someone for whom a couple of those insecurity-based thoughts are fully applicable and familiar. Though I'm not looking for the next man I meet to be the father of my future children, it definitely seems that you have put into words a lens through which I've already been looking. I simply wish I could occasionally take off those glasses and any others I wear and get a truly objective view.

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    1. Thanks for commenting!

      Ugh, it's annoying isn't it? Even though you're not looking for the next man to be your baby's daddy, I think these questions still help me stay objective. Because they cover a whole multlitude of things: how mature he is, how responsible, his views and treatment of women, the way he carries himself, so much stuff! I think it also subtly reminds me that I can't change him, that the way he is now is a very accurate picture of how he will be in the relationship, you know?

      If you're interested in learning more on how to stay objective and really understand yourself and the other person, and a bunch of other really useful things to understand about relationships, I have two REALLY REALLY REALLYYYYYY good book suggestions:
      Boundaries in Dating by Cloud and Townsend
      Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married by Gary Chapman

      I hope you check them out. You won't be disappointed :-)

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