Published on March 3rd, 2012 | by Anna Redekop6
Becoming Mrs. Right
I came across a list written by an “expert” (air quotes needed) on how to know if you’ve found Mr. Right. It gives appalling insight into everything that is wrong in modern marriage. Here is her handy little check list with the deal breaker questions for your reading pleasure:
- Does he think he’s a lucky guy?
- Are his little faults things you can handle?
- Can you name the parts of you he finds most beautiful?
- Would he take the last sip of milk for his morning coffee?
- Can he keep a secret?
- How much money does he have?
- Has he seen you at your worst?
- Does he wear a seat belt?
- Does he kiss you firmly?
- Is he fun?
I would hope that the ludicrousness of this list would be self-evident to anyone else who happened to read it. Underneath each question she wrote a blurb about how the answer exposed a more essential characteristic in a man under these superfluous qualifications. Yet even including her defense of asking yourself these random and unimportant questions, I left the article with a bigger one still unanswered. Has the value of a relationship really been reduced to who gets the last bit of milk? Society has projected this strange and unattainable version of love and marriage. Like everything else, they’ve warped it to mean, “What can this do for me? What is best for me?” All the prerequisites are establishing the ways the man can serve me. And then we wonder why so many marriages are failing.
I think that it boils down to this: there is so much emphasis placed on meeting the right one that the process of becoming the right one is sorely neglected. Inherently, our focus narrows to searching him for hints of his rightness instead of searching ourselves for ways to suit him better. This twisted perception nearly ruined my dating relationship with my husband. I was consumed with the clichés of being “head over heels” and “soul mates” and “checklists” that I came close many times to sabotaging my own relationship.
As hard as this is to admit, even on my wedding day there were still traces of conflict of spirit. I never doubted him – only myself. And as happy and sure as I was, my humanity and selfishness still tangled with my certainty. I had myself so fettered down with expectations for the both of us that I nearly missed the point: that two people who are committed to loving Christ and each other will ultimately realize there is no rightness or righteousness in any of us. In light of discovering this, if I could go back in time, this is the checklist I would slip into my hand.
- Does he love the Lord?
- Can you walk in agreement?
- Are you headed in the same direction?
- Does spending time together produce mutual kindness and respect?
- Will joining forces cause growth for both of you?
- Are you ready to obey this man?
- Are there selfish desires you need to sacrifice in order to serve him fully?
- Are you able to find compromises for his sake?
- Are you willing to change?
- Is there anything you can do to love him better?
If the answers to all these questions are ‘yes’ then there can be confidence. Not in self of course, or even in him for that matter – but in the dazzling truth that God brings two sinners together to learn of each other for the purpose of serving Him better. Marriage is a privilege, and not one that everyone has the opportunity to experience in their lifetime. That’s why it is frustrating to see it neglected, degraded, abused. I’m not an expert either but here is my humble opinion. There is no such person as Mr. Right. Only flawed men we are called to love unconditionally. And if you marry someone who leaves you the last sip of milk in the morning? Wonderful. Cue the applause. If not? Well, maybe it’s a sign to learn to thank him for getting up in the morning to provide you with milk.
Do I have this figured out? Not at all. Married or not, learning to die to self is a lifelong exercise. It is agonizing to our inborn desires to be first, to be happy, to be loved. But hopefully, prayerfully, by striving to become Mrs. Right’s (or even Miss Right’s) we would cause the world to sit up and take notice- and maybe change their checklists.