I was first called "boy crazy" when I was in seventh grade. My best friend's parents used to laugh at me on our beach trips, saying "Christy, you better be careful with that heart of yours." And while it was a joke back then, that was honestly some very wise advice.
High school was pretty normal, except I can't remember a time when I didn't have a "crush" on someone. The boys I was attracted to were your average high school athletes: the catcher of the baseball team, the star basketball player, the all-region wide receiver. That's the kind of guy I thought I needed. One who was athletic, tough, handsome, and caring. One who would give me attention when I felt unlovable. One who would tell me I'm prettier than the other girls or would tell me how "attractive" it was that I played sports. This was the kind of love I thought I needed.
I came to college and not much changed. I found myself clinging to the attention any boy gave me. Whether it was a boy in my class or some drunk guy downtown, I figured that any attention I could get was better than no attention at all. I figured that if these boys, these athletic, charming, popular boys, weren't interested in me, no one else would be.
And don't we all feel that way? If we don't notice boys looking at us from across the room or get Snapchats from the guys daily, we start to ask ourselves what exactly is wrong with us. However, what we're failing to realize is that that is not the kind of affection that the man we deserve will show us. That's not the kind of affirmation we need to prove to us we're worth it.
You see, after all of these years, I've realized that I have prioritized the wrong qualities in my list of what makes an "attractive" man. I've focused on the material possessions, the accomplishments, and the six-pack of abs that he can put on his resume. I've focused on his hair color, his athletic abilities, and the brand of shirt he wears. And by focusing on all of these qualities, I've lost sight of what I know I really want and really need in a man.
At the end of the day, I know what my heart really wants: a man who makes me laugh until I cry, prays before each meal, hugs like a teddy bear, and loves well. He's the man who encourages me to grow closer to the Lord and holds me accountable. My trust in his faithfulness to me won't dwindle because he doesn't immediately text me back.
He's the man whose presence makes you feel Jesus. He's the man who makes you desire more and more of the Lord with everything he says and does. His watch may not be gold, but his heart definitely is. He's the same Friday night as he is Sunday morning. And though he may not have a stacked resume and toned legs, he's the man that the Lord wants for me. He'll love me unconditionally and unceasingly. Bob Goff says, "That's what love does -- it pursues blindly, unflinchingly, and without end. When you go after something you love, you'll do anything it takes to get it, even if it costs everything.” That's the way I need to be loved, and the only man who will love me that way is a man who's heart is for the Lord.
On my wedding day, I want to be as giddy as I was on our first date. I want to look back at all of the fights and the hard times and smile because of the way he handled them. I want to look back and see how well he has loved me and how his love is a direct representation of the love the Father has for me.
Simply put, the man I need is the man who needs the Lord before he needs me. He's compassionate, selfless, understanding, generous, intentional, and diligent. He follows the Lord's call for him no matter how hard or how badly he doesn't want to. In everything he does, he glorifies the Lord. He speaks life to everyone and loves everyone he encounters well. To know this man is to experience the love and joy of the Lord.
This is the kind of love that I need: a consistent, unconditional love. The physical qualities and material possessions still catch my eye, but I'm learning to not let them steal my heart. I know I deserve a love that reflects the love the Lord has for me. I know that I deserve a man whose heart is already captivated by the Lord. I know that this is what I need.
And the exciting news is that he's waiting for me. And while waiting for this love is frustrating and lonely, I know that settling for any other kind of love will just leave me empty and heartbroken. He's (hopefully) praying for me every day, asking the Lord to bring me to him through His perfect timing. So instead of settling for second best, I've been praying that the Lord will give me the patience to know that His perfect plan is indeed perfect.
And to you, dear one, who is reading this and relating to every word: know that the Lord has such a perfect, wonderful man waiting for you. I urge you to pray for him, to pray for yourself, to never settle, and to be patient. The Lord is good, and His plan for you is better than you can imagine.