Let me just say this: I take being your friend very seriously. And because of that fact, I take the things that I say to you very seriously. So I think this talk is very important. I want to talk with you today about the person you marry.
I wish that when you were reading this, I were across the table from you with a cup of coffee listening to your heart and your story before I got to share what I need to say today with you...but for now, this note from me to you will have to suffice.
When it comes to the person you marry, I need you to know this: it's not going to matter what their body looks like, what their job title is, or how they dress. All that is going to matt is this: character, kindness, and friendship.
You want to marry someone who is KIND.
A simple practice that I started doing when I was dating and considering who I would want to marry, was this. I would take this verse and see if it applies to them:
"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 13:4-8)
The way that I would measure this is by taking out the word "love" and replacing it with that person's name to see if it still rung true. Like this:
"_____ is patient, _____ is kind. _____ does not envy, _____ does not boast, _____ is not proud. ______ does not dishonor others, ______ is not self-seeking, ______ is not easily angered, ______ keeps no record of wrongs. _____ does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. _____ always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
This essentially will show you whether or not they love selflessly and truly.
Are they your best friend?
You are going to be with the person you marry CONSTANTLY. You are going to share everything with them. When it comes to being with someone 24/7, you want to make sure that that person is your friend as well as your partner.
When you're with someone who is your best friend, you feel safe to feel. You can talk to them, no matter what you're going through, and they will accept you. They should be the first person you want to call when you're faced with disappointment. You should be able to turn to them with whatever you're going through, and feel comfortable to share everything with them.
When you're with someone who is your best friend, life is filled with joy. It's not always easy, but joy comes to the little moments. You want to be with someone who makes you laugh until your stomach hurts, who makes trips to the grocery store enjoyable, and someone who you have FUN being with.
When you're with your best friend, you don't have to pretend to be anyone your not. You are fully known and fully love. They know everything about you, all of your quirks, faults, and struggles--and at the end of the day they still look at you and choose you. Just for who you are. Nothing is more powerful than an acceptance like that.
Everything else will fade...except for character.
Marry someone with character.
There is a difference between personality and character. Anyone can "sweep you off your feet." Anyone can buy you roses, remember your birthday, and "charm" you.
What you need in a lifelong partner isn't charm, it's integrity.
You want to be with someone who has nobel character. Who does the right thing when no one is looking. Who serves others without thinking twice.
When you're grieving a loss too great to bear, suffering financial hardship, or faced with a diagnosis you don't want to hear....in those moments, it's not going to matter whether or not they have a six-pack. All that's going to matter is character.
Someone with character is someone who stays. Someone who chooses you always. Someone who even on their worst day, will treat you with kindness and respect.
Someone with nobel character will serve you when you're sick, treat your family like their own, and make you feel cherished no matter what you're going through. THAT is the type of person you marry.
Become the type of person you want to be with.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in looking for what type of person we want to be with, that we forget to cultivate those characteristics within ourselves.
Are you looking for someone who is selfless? Take time every day to think of the people around you and how you can serve them today.
Are you looking for someone driven? Find our what your own dreams and goals are, and start working to make them a reality.
Are you looking for someone kind? Pour into the relationships and friendships you have.
If you're contemplating whether or not someone is the person you want to marry, ask yourself these questions:
Do I feel safe with them?
If we were to have kids, and those kids were just like _____ ...would I be okay with that?
How would ____ treat me on their worst day?
How do I see _____ treat others? (Their family? Their friends?)
How does ______ speak to me in my worst moments?
Do not let fear of walking away from the wrong relationship keep you from the type of love that you truly deserve.
At the end of the day, it is far better to be alone than to be with the wrong person. You are deserving of an amazing, all-consuming, once-in-a-lifetime type of love, friend. It's out there for you.
At the end of the day, I am so thankful for every single circumstance that led me to where I am today--and every door that had to close to open the door to being with Zack. Failed relationships taught me what I was looking for, the treatment I was willing to accept, and gave me the strength to never settle. Seasons of singleness taught me to become the type of person that my future husband would be proud to be with. And dating a man who cherished me, respected me, and believed in me taught me that I had found the person I wanted to marry.