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.
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.
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.