Waiting and Praying for Your Future Spouse - The "List"

1.       Has to love Jesus (this is a MUST!!!)
2.       HAS to be taller than me.  I mean HAS to be.
3.       Has to have big, strong muscles.  …Calf muscles.
4.       Brown eyes.  Only.  Okay… compromise.  One brown, one blue-gray.
5.       Has to play the guitar, the banjo and the drums and have a dreamy voice.
6.       So I guess he’ll have to be a worship leader.
7.       He should give me a run for my money
8.       …by having lots of his own.
9.       2 words.  Sexy. Eyes.
10.   He should be cool with moving to Africa if God called us to go, probably.
11.   It’d be nice if he had a beard.
12.   …and got my sense of humor.
13.   And wanted kids
14.   …but not 10.  I come from 10.  No.  More like a small family… with 5 kids. Wait…no 2.
15.   He can’t be allergic to cats. I love cats.
16.   He should probably like to cook.  I only bake.
17.   And last but should have been second to first… or second… He should be a gentleman!
18.   …who wants to take me all over the world.
19.   …to do archeological digs and stuff.
20.   …oh. And take my dad fishing in Alaska.
….Amen.   (Wait, do I say amen after these things?)*

You might be a list person.  You might not be.
I am – totally – a list person.  I like to keep track of stuff I need to do and stuff I want to remember.
If you’re anything like me, you may need to keep track of great ideas too.
I keep a list of blog post ideas and even friends I want to invite to things because to be  honest, I’m not so good at coming up with things off the top of my head.

Some might wonder if you can take list-making too far.
Take making a list for things you’d like in a future spouse for instance.
Is it wrong?

I’d say that it really comes down to the heart of the matter.
 If you make lists because you have a problem controlling things, maybe you shouldn’t have a list!
But if that doesn’t apply to you, I might recommend it and here’s why.
I’ve been told to make a list by people.  I’ve been told to get rid of it.
But to be honest, a person’s prayer life is between them and God.  Period.  You know how He is with you and you need to honor that before you honor others' advises.

There came a time where out of love and willingness to remove anything that could be a hindrance, I offered to rip my list up for the Lord.
I was ready to do it and the Lord said, “No Child.  Put it up.” 
So it went up into my closet until further notice.
Not a few days after that the Lord directed me to make a new list without any reference to the old. 
“Let’s see what things have remained in your heart after all these years, Child.” 
 He knew I couldn’t recall my old list without looking at it.  I thought it was brilliant!
So do I think making a list of what you want in a future spouse is wrong?
Not unless God directs you otherwise.  No.

My old list is about a decade old and it’s morphed over the years.Hilariously as time went on, things that weren’t so important came off of it (to broaden the horizons, if you will) and very important things went on that only narrowed it down more. Figures.
But starting over?  Starting over would either reveal things I still absolutely wanted OR … it would reveal to a new level what I really longed for.

For instance, on my old list I said I wanted my future spouse to be a worship leader.
Since then, I’ve realized that worship leaders aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be and that what I REALLY wanted (as said on my new list) was a man who had a worshipper’s heart.
Not necessarily a huge difference but actually, you’d be surprised sometimes.
Then there are the few things that haven’t changed at all – exactly the same on both the old and the new.

-          He still has to be taller than me. By more than an inch.

I know it’s silly business.  It’s meant to be. But there is some truth to it, no matter how silly it seems! Sometimes the most important things to us are the little things… or in my case, the “tall” things.

But one thing I’ve been challenged about future spouse trait list-making is to maybe break it down and figure out if and where I’m setting the bar too high.

After all, according to some of my guy friends, girls really just want to date Jesus.

No, fools.  We want to marry Him. (That’s sometimes what I want to say with my snarkish-sparkle-eyed wit.  But … I say something nicer and different instead.  I guess I just wanted to make it clear that I DO in fact have these kinds of responses in my head and also that I keep there… except for when I don’t.  Like now.)

And while these friends may be right to an extent, there’s something to be said about knowing what you’re looking for in a life partner.

Not too long ago I read off my list to my roommate and asked her to tell me if it sounded too unrealistic.
When I finished these 28 things ranging from needing to love Jesus and know His voice to being a man of his word to well… being taller than me, she didn’t quite have an answer for me.
28 things can seem like a lot.  28 things can sound like a list of expectations that should never be placed on a person.

But I read the list again – and this time, and to make sure it wasn’t too much to ask for, I put my name on the bill.
Do I really love Jesus?
Am I a family woman?
Do I have a vision to further the Kingdom?
Am I a woman with an adventurous spirit and a heart of worship?

Suddenly it became clear.
The list of qualities I long for in a future spouse is also the list of qualities I love and want for myself.
For example, I love humility.  Why in the world would I long for humility in a man if I wasn’t also longing for it to be manifest in my own heart?  Do I want to date Jesus?  Or am I longing for something God has put in my heart to love?

I could talk about this all day, but instead I think I’ll make a list for people who have lists.
Even if you don’t have a list or don’t plan on making one, there might still be some good pointers in here for you as well!

Here are some things that have either been passed on to me or that I’ve learned from experience.  Be encouraged!

1.       To Begin
God knows what you do not.
It’s a great thought.  Entrust this area of your life to God, ladies and gentlemen.  If you ask for His best, He’ll hear you.  He knows all that is in your heart and even the stuff you don’t know of.
If you’re following Him, there’s room to not know everything.  Relax. He really DOES have it under control. 

2.        Break it down.
Break down what your heart really wants. Do you want a pastor?  Or do you really long for a Godly man with a pastor’s heart?
Do you really want a quiet woman?  Or do you long for a woman with a gentle spirit? 

3.       Cut it out!
There are a lot of things that actually don’t need to be on the list.
If you’re an artist, maybe you don’t need your future spouse to be an artist too.  Maybe what you really need is someone who appreciates your ability to create!  Who knows?  God does.  ;) 

4.       Wear his/her shoes!
Put yourself in that list.  How do you measure up?  Do you have the things you want in a spouse?
No? Why do you expect someone else to be something if you’re not even honing in on that trait?  Get serious.  Let the Lord search you and know you.  You won’t attract someone with those traits if you yourself don’t have them! 

5.       Keep in mind -
Just because a trait isn’t fully perfected doesn’t mean that it’s not important to your future spouse.  Grace, grace, grace.  Learn how to give it now, before you know who it is.  You won’t walk this list perfectly and neither will they.  Give yourself grace.  God is.  Practice being a grace-giver like Christ is.  They may not be dating Jesus, but when they find you, they might just see His reflection and that’s attractive stuff, folks. 

6.       Don’t forget!
Even you don't have a list, don’t forget the things that really make your heart go pitter-patter.
Keep that stuff in mind, ladies and gentlemen.  I’m not talking about screaming blue eyes or flowing dark hair.  I’m talking about attractive qualities you see in the people around you.  Do you love a person who shows uber amounts of compassion?  Keep that in mind.  God’s put that in you for a reason.
Pursuing (or being pursued) by a person without that quality?  Um.  Why?

7.       Recognize the Jesus in others!
Just because you’re making a list or you have a list doesn’t mean you should be looking …searching… hunting the person who fits your bill.  There are people all around you who love Jesus and who do not love Jesus.  Regardless, find the ones who don’t and find things you love about them.  Find things Jesus would love about them.  Then love them for it.  Find the ones who DO love Jesus and do the same thing!  Let the Spirit in you recognize the Jesus in them.  Jesus is the same.  If He’s in a person, you won’t help but know it when He’s living in you.  Learn to love people for who they are and for who Jesus is in them.  If you’re trusting God with this area of your life, you won’t have to worry if you missed the person.  I have a feeling you’ll know when it’s time to.

In conclusion, though this post is about future spouses and list-making and the likes, even I’m not thinking about this day in and day out.  List making is meant to help someone keep track of things that they’d like to return to later on because they’re busy doing life.
I mean hey!  Most of my lists are made at work so I’m not stuck day-dreaming when I should be focused on the tasks in front of me!
This is meant to help you feel more organized and settled in your heart so you can move on and move forward with better understanding of yourself before the Lord.
The Lord loves a faithful heart.
Stay faithful.  Stay focused.
He sees you.  Never forget.
* this is a mock list, for anyone who is wondering.


  1. I love this :) And in regards to your number 4... my boyfriend has one blue eye and one brownish-grey which I thought was coincidentally ironic.

    1. Haha that's great! Thanks for reading!

  2. Great thoughts, Sarah! I especially love: "If you're trusting God with this area of your life, you won't have to worry if you missed the person. I have a feeling you'll know when it's time to."

    Fun fact, I made a list of "ideal qualities" roughly 4 1/2 years ago, and I haven't looked at it since! It's more of a "it'll be fun to look back and see how my husband measures up to what I thought I wanted back than" list, than a "does this new person meet all my criteria?" kind of list. :-)

  3. Yeah, I made my list so if I was compromising I'd know it. And honestly I've compromised a LOT. Returning to my own list is helpful to remind my heart that I am allowed to hope for what I don't feel I deserve. I hear being faithful is God's specialty though! ;)

  4. I like your list. More young ladies should copy it.
    Just checking back for any new items you may have posted.
    I left a note of invitation in the comment section on one of your past posts’ and invited you to follow my blog. Just in case it was accidently overlooked, just want you to know the invitation is still very much valid…and of course, I am already following your blog.

  5. "You know how He is with you and you need to honor that before you honor others' advises"

    BOOM! So true. Don't disobey your conscience and don't be afraid of disregarding non-applicable advice. The Lord does love a faithful heart. <3

    1. Mmm amen! Have I told you lately how much I appreciate your encouragement? Because I really do! Love you Meg!


Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:15