“It was in those moments of struggle that I found a quality in my husband that hadn’t made the checklist.”
I suspect I’m not the only one who has ever made a “Future Husband Checklist.” I found mine years after I wrote it, when Robert and I were engaged:
- Loves God more than he loves me … CHECK
- Has a heart for people … CHECK
- Blue eyes … CHECK
- Tall, handsome … CHECK (6′ 2″ to be exact)
- A person of integrity … CHECK
- Will make a good father … CHECK
The list went on, and as it turned out, Robert met all but one of the items on my list. Who sounds like the lead singer of 3rd Day anyway? When I found that list, I was awed at how God answers prayer and cares about the desires of our hearts.
When you’re in the list-making phase–you know … single and dreaming about your future husband … it’s all romance and roses. You’re so wrapped up in the idea of being in love that there’s really no time to think about marriage being anything but wonderful. When you get engaged, you read books, go to counseling, and get advice from those who’ve been there–all the while secretly wondering, “How hard could it really be?”
After the Wedding Day
When I said “I Do,” I found out that marriage IS wonderful. In so many ways, it has been more amazing that I ever imagined it would be. But life brings challenges for everyone, and we soon experienced a handful of our own. It was in those moments of struggle that I found a quality in my husband that didn’t make the checklist. I hadn’t even thought to pray for it, but God–in his grace–gave it to me any way. Robert has FAITH THAT IS NOT MOVED by circumstances. We’ve gone through a lot in our 6 years of marriage, and he has responded to every situation with faith in God.
When a back injury left us living on a single minimum-wage salary for months …
Robert said, “God will provide.”
When I found a lump in my breast that might have been cancerous …
Robert answered my fear with faith.
When our daughter was diagnosed with a rare and frightening genetic disorder …
Robert reminded me that God is healer and that He holds Olivia in His hands.
When people, and life, and ministry threw us curve balls …
Robert helped our family focus on JESUS.
And isn’t JESUS all that really matters? Jesus upstages my checklist–encompassing everything that I could ever want or need in life, let alone in a husband. I fell in love with Jesus in Robert, and Jesus has steadied us through every storm.
In her blog post “Secret Revealed: What Every Godly Girl Wants in a Man,” Anna Koistinen writes, “All a godly girl wants is one thing more than anything else: more of Jesus.” (Click here to read her post.) She writes from the perspective of a single woman and I from a married one, but we totally agree. When Jesus is the focus, all other things–marriage included–fall into place.
Proverbs 31 describes a “virtuous wife.” I’d like to think that if Proverbs had a 32nd chapter, at least one verse would describe a man whose faith in Jesus remains strong through any trial. I say that because, while I love husband’s blue eyes and tall frame, I wouldn’t trade his unshakable faith for anything–even Third Day serenades.
So what is unshakable faith? It’s faith with SUBSTANCE–faith that acts on the promise of God, creating it’s own EVIDENCE in advance.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.–Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].–Hebrews 11:1 (AMP)
Faith HOLDS FAST to the conviction of the reality of God’s promises, no matter how bad things look.
So, my single friends, center your lives on Jesus. Trust Him with your future AND your future husband. Pray for a man with faith that is not moved by circumstances. Make a list if you’d like, but surrender it to One who knows exactly what you need.