One Friday night when I was in middle school, my dad and I somehow starting on a list of one hundred qualities my future husband must have. For the sake of humor and recollection, I wish I had that list today. I remember a few of the running jokes. Early on in the list, my dad wrote Must have hair somewhere on his body.
“But, Dad,” I offered, “what if he’s on the swim team?”
An addendum was added: Must have hair somewhere on his body, unless on the swim team or suffering from some sort of hairless disease. Randomly throughout the list a qualification is cancelled out by the joke of unless on the swim team. Some of these connections made no sense, which added to the comedic value.
I also remember a couple of the qualities:
- Must like plain pasta.
- Must like Taco Bell.
- Must like The Beatles.
- Must own a car.
- The car must not be a Pinto. (A Maverick is acceptable.)
- Must read the Bible.
- Must love Jessa.
- Must love God.
- Must love babies.
- Must know when to cry.
- Must not make to big a habit of crying.
- Must like British comedies.
What would Jay’s score out be out of that list of one hundred my dad and I wrote around fifteen years ago? Hmmmm….
Too often I think we look at the “he’s not” instead of the “he is.” When you focus on the first, you forget about the latter. Jay may not like plain pasta or my favorite British comedy, but he does love me, God, our kids, and The Beatles. And he doesn’t drive a Pinto or cry too much.
These are just some of the qualities I like about Jay: he is
- a good father,
- appreciative of my sense of humor,
- able to reach things on high shelves,
- kind enough to reach things on high shelves for strange old ladies at the supermarket (Yes, they ask.),
- a good friend,
- willing to work to support our family even though he’d rather stay at home,
- musically talented,
- calm (except for if his team loses).
I didn’t realize until I finished the list, but it reminds me of this verse: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Corinthians 13:4–7).
I guess it is just as well that I don’t still have that list of longings from my early-teenage heart. Besides the good laugh my dad and I could have over the memories, I don’t need to dwell on how Jay does or doesn’t “measure up.” I can better spend my time making sure I try to fill the qualifications in that 1 Corinthians list, and focusing on the ways Jay does instead of how he doesn’t.
Behen, Madonna. “The Seven Secrets of Lasting Love.” USA Weekend 27-29 April 2012. Print.
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