Parents Give Advice: Future Spouse Edition

Parents Give Advice: Future Spouse Edition

They're older, wiser, and they know better than I do; I just wrote the words down.
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My parents have had a great deal of influence on my idea of what a future spouse should be. They've encouraged me in the right way, and ultimately, they want me to be the best person I can be with a person who makes me my best. To the person who is reading this: I hope you have had parents or people in your life who have encouraged you in what to look for in your future spouse, but if not, I hope that maybe this article and these words from my parents give you some encouragement.

Mama Qualls:

My mother is an amazing woman of God. She is patient and kind. She gives her all for people, regardless of what's going on in her life. So, I asked my mom one day, "Who do you want me to marry?" And she said, "Somebody that makes you a better you."

Okay Mom. What does that even mean? I don't need a man to make me a better person. I guess I was always confused as to why I sought out guys, and why everybody got married. Do I want kids some day? Sure! But that's not an excuse to get married, is it? So I dug deep. I asked myself questions. I asked my mom questions. What did it mean to have somebody that made you better? And I guess I got my answer by watching people love people. Over the past 20 years of my life, I've seen simple circumstances try to shake the foundation of my family, but my parents never seemed to sway. It was as if they were as sure of each other as they were of God. They were sure that they loved each other. They were sure that they wanted each other to be the best they could be, and that didn't always mean accepting one another's flaws, but it meant holding each other to the level of which they can operate at, especially when they weren't. It was never unrealistic expectations. It was believing in one another regardless of the circumstances. That's how they made one another better.

Dad:

My father is a champ. He is funny and resilient. He believes in people. He searches for the best in them, regardless of what he has seen. During my sophomore year at college, my dad called me while driving home from church one night, and he just said "When you're looking for things you want in a spouse, you have to continue to hold yourself to that standard while you're looking. If you want to be with somebody who's compassionate, you have to be compassionate. If you want to be with somebody who is patient, you have to be patient. Because when you start becoming the things you want in a person, it's going to be easier for you to fulfill your calling with the qualities you have gained than just standing around waiting for somebody with those qualities to find you first. If you stop running the race to wait for somebody, you won't be where God needed you to be if you had kept running."

I had never thought about it this way. It honestly hit me like a slap in the face. And I am firm believer that when we are faithful, God will give us the desires of our heart, whether that be in a career, a spouse, etc. But as we learn to become the qualities that we want, it makes it that much easier to find a future spouse with those qualities. So keep running with God. Keep running towards God. Because what He has for you is far greater than what you've already run through. Don't keep circling through things you've already overcome.

I hope this encourages you, the people reading this that have not yet found your future spouse, to keep the faith. To hope. To believe. To be patient. Be with somebody that makes you better. Be better while you're waiting for them. Don't go into relationships trying to fix people. Pray for your future spouse. Trust God's timing. In the meantime, build friendships. Don't go searching around every single corner with preconceived notions of finding the one in a coffee shop or the local grocery store. This person is worth the wait, and I think you'll realize that soon enough.

Thanks, mom and dad for being the best parents. I cannot thank you enough for all the care you've given me. I love that you guys are so evidently in love with each other, your family, and the Lord. Thank you for everything.

Cover Image Credit: My photo

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Newsflash! It's Time For Everybody To Love Everybody

Come on, people, get it together.

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I, personally, think it's time for everybody to just start loving each other. Now listen, this doesn't mean you need to actually love everyone, but at least accept them. Acceptance is the closest thing we are gonna get to loving each other.

Let me tell you a little something: politics at the moment are very messy. No matter which side it is, it's messy. There is no denying that. If you try to deny that, then good for you, you're not helping anybody. If you really want some change, you need to start being the bigger person. Change isn't about who can yell about something louder or who has the "better" argument, it's about being respectful.

Just because someone has an opposing view does not mean you need to yell at them. Does yelling solve anything ever? Maybe temporarily, like for 2 minutes, but that's about as long as you're gonna get. There's absolutely no need to indirectly say something about certain individuals on social media. Yes, there is freedom of speech, but everybody should keep in mind why they have that right and why they still have it.

I do not understand why it is so hard to be respectful of one another. If someone goes after another person talking about how absolutely terrible it is of them thinking something should be illegal, the person who's being yelled at should respectfully ignore the other individual's disrespectful remarks. If the individual does not stop, then they are not aware that they are making no difference in the world.

What I'm trying to get at here is that in order to love each other, we really need to accept all our differences. If we really want change we need to go right to the sources, not just yell at each other from across the street. If everyone learned to accept each other, life would be a whole lot easier. Is this ever going to happen? Of course not. This is the solution though, whether you think so or not.

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