Thursday, July 12, 2012

Accentuate The Positive (Secret # 5)

Growing up, my family didn’t have cable television. This meant we spent a lot of our time reading, talking, or hanging out together. Sometimes I miss the quiet I grew up enjoying. If you catch me at home alone these days (a rare occurrence other than naptime when I am "alone"), you will probably find the television off, the room soundless.

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,
  • hilarious,
  • appreciative of my sense of humor,
  • patient,
  • 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,
  • intelligent,
  • humble,
  • musically talented,
  • trusting,
  • 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.  

 the entire series (with written posts linked)
Secret #2 Sweat the Small Stuff 
Secret #7 Spend Time Apart

 their humorous nonchalant pose 
 my sweet boys (above and below)

Behen, Madonna. “The Seven Secrets of Lasting Love.” USA Weekend 27-29 April 2012. Print.  

this post is linked up with

Life In Bloom


  1. Such a delightful post...thank you for the laugh this morning as well as the good reminder to focus on the positives.

  2. Really enjoyed reading this. Such lovely wisdom presented in such a refreshing way. Thank you for the the good thoughts you've left me thinking...

  3. This made me smile this morning. Thank you! I've enjoyed your series!!

  4. awww what a sweet post :)

    some of that list is HILARIOUS!!!

    loved it!

  5. Awesome! This is so true. Too often we as a general tend to only see the he's not and forget about the he is's. I love that your focusing on the positives. :)

  6. I LOVE this! I did the same thing and I think liking plain pasta was on my list too!!! lol...I used to always beg my mom to let me eat plain pasta and because she is Italian she never would. I swore when I grew up that was what I was going to eat....and I do, sometimes.

    I love the whole girls do this too!!

    Thank you for linking up with Thankful Thursday.

  7. We all need to remember our husbands' good qualities! Such a good post. How we think about our husbands determines the quality of our marriage.