I know, that's a mouthful. But it's worth repeating to yourself. Are you? Are you that person who your ideal mate would be looking for?
A few friends of mine have gotten married this year or will be getting married soon, and I never lose my enthusiasm for these new unions. It's a beautiful thing to see, especially since we see, hear, and sadly also experience so many stories of love not working out. It's good to be reminded that good love is happening around us every day. But as romantical as these weddings are, we all know it's not like the fairy tales. I ain't saying nothing new when I say that those unions that are really, really good, are the product of a lot of thoughtful work, reflection, sacrifice, and investment.
I recently had a conversation with my cousin about The List. You know what that is. Most of us have one even if it's just a mental checklist. Some of us even have several editions of it, printed up, laminated and taped to the fridge or bathroom mirror. (I don't, but hey, no judgment! Visualize!) The List is a person's requirements for an ideal mate. What is she looking for in a partnership and in a partner?
Crafting such a thing is, I'd argue, a great tool for helping make sure you are seeking out the right types of people, making the right choices, etc. But as my cousin and I were discussing, it's just an outline and in real life modifications, amendments, and redactions take place. And some people go just plain overboard, with height and weight specifications, what his fingernails must look like, precise income ranges, even skin tone. I just think that's too much! But I do think the exercise of identifying what you want/need can be good if done practicably and sensible.
At the same time, how many of us flip it and ask ourselves how many of these must-haves we actually have? You know, so that the person who fits our needs would actually give us the time of day when they met us? In other words, how often do we ask ourselves if we're that great catch that we're seeking?
I'll never be tall (Mom, why didn't you give me your height?!?) so there are obviously some things on my list that I will never fulfill myself. Lots of those things are silly anyway. I mean, if he's got everything I'm looking for except for height, I think I'll be alright. But the true character traits--humble, hard working, passionate, kind, driven, compassionate, giving, God-focused, intelligent--now those things are worth some self-assessment. As another friend recently said, it's more important to work on being the right person, than to focus on finding the right person.
You know what's even better than our lists? God's list. I've heard this passage frequently, you know with all the weddings and what not, but 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 provides a great one:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Pretty good list to me. What do you think? What are we doing to make sure that we fit the bill too?
For more, check out this "Are you the person the person you are looking for is looking for?" sermon and this "Be the person you are looking for" blog.