3 Things That Happen When You Find Your Future Wife

Whether we’re conscious of it or not, each of us spends a fair amount of time looking for our future wife. Maybe it’s because we think a man isn’t a man unless he’s gotten a woman to agree to marry him. Or maybe it’s because we don’t want to be alone for the rest of our life. Regardless, quite a bit of time and energy can be put into the search for the future Mrs. You.

For some of us, this is a self-assigned mission, steeped in heartache and error-filled trials; for others, it’s an itch in the back of our brains, a passing thought of fancy that flitters in and out of our brainwaves from time to time. And whether the search is a full-time obsession or a shrug of the shoulders, what few of us fail to consider is what will happen (or not happen) once we do find the one woman we want to spend the rest of our days with.

Therein lies the majesty of the unknown.

For the sake of complete transparency, you should know that I’ve already found the woman who will soon be my wife. And I’m not just saying that in faith. I presented her a ring and she was kind enough to say yes to a lifetime with me. So when I speak of what’s to follow, I speak from a place of experience and truth, not misguided hopes and unfulfilled dreams.

First, you should know that when you find your one true love, things will change. Your life and way of thinking will change. And more importantly, you will change, as a person, a soul, and a man. But you aren’t being forced to change by her. No, she will love you just as you are, unaltered and raw. Instead, it’s that complete love that will make you want to change. You’ll want to be more considerate and thoughtful. You’ll want to be more responsible and mindful of her wants and needs. You’ll even find yourself smiling more, with no rhyme or reason to explain it. That one woman is a changer and whether you realize it now or not, she will change you from top to bottom without offering a single suggestion or passive aggressive thought. You will want to change because you know she deserves the absolute best version of yourself. And that’s what you’ll strive to give her.

Second (and this is important), when you meet your future wife, you’ll look back on the time you spent as a single chap and you’ll be able to rightly see every single mistake you made in this vicious fight known as romance. You’ll see how foolish and/or desperate you were. You’ll see the missteps and the mistakes. You’ll see where you tried too hard and when you didn’t try hard enough. You’ll see why things didn’t work out with that one girl, even though you were sure they would. You’ll see why you failed in love before because this love you have now will be impossible to compare against. [quote]You’ll see why you failed in love before because this love you have now will be impossible to compare against. [/quote]You’ll see that those past relationships couldn’t have lasted because they didn’t have what you have now. You weren’t complete in those past partners the way you are now. Through everything you’ve experienced and fought against, this love—this completeness—allows you to see why you fell short so many times before. It’s because it wasn’t with her. She’s the reason it works now and she’s the reason you know this is now forever.

Lastly, when you meet the woman you’ll marry, you’ll begin to work. And I don’t mean in the way that earns a paycheck or promotion. No, you’ll begin to work at this relationship in ways you never knew love required. Because you realize that her saying yes to your proposal isn’t the end of your journey, but only the beginning.

You’ve found her, but now you have to keep her. And through this given wisdom, you’ll realize that to make this wonderful, mesmerizing, beautiful gift work, you’re going to have to work and sweat and bleed. Because while love feels easy and breezy, it’s not. It’s a beast that requires work and struggle. And yet, while you work to make this relationship as strong as you can, you’ll do it with a smile and joyful step. Because even though you’re working and working and working, it’s with your best friend and the work isn’t a job, but a privilege.

The Bible says that he who finds a wife, finds a good thing (Proverbs 18:22). And once you find this one woman who captures you heart, mind, and soul, you’ll know it to be true.

If you haven’t found your one true love yet, don’t be discouraged. Personally, I had to grow through a failed marriage and numerous failed loves and relationships to find the woman who made it all worth the fight. So don’t give up, do not surrender. Just be prepared for the day that you do find her, you will change, you will be made wise, and you will begin to work. This I promise you.

Monday Rundown: Sends #ValentinesWeek Out With A Bang

It’s Monday, and if you’re new to Quarterlife Man (welcome), you’re new to the Monday Rundown. The Monday Rundown is a compendium of  randomness compiled over the course of each week. Enjoy…

[As always, if you’ve seen something crazy or have a suggestion, email us or tell us on Twitter (@QuarterlifeMan).]

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––I Said A Bang, Bang, Bangity Bang…: Have you been loving #ValentinesWeek?

#ValentinesWeek is incredible because we get to invite so many talented writers (from our staff or otherwise) to contribute on a topic we’re all passionate about: relationships. The amount of knowledge poured into this website through God and our contributors has been phenomenal. As such, we are going to finish with a BANG.

Society has made you well aware that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Rightly so, you can expect relationship-related posts all throughout the day tomorrow; a culmination of one incredible week of #ValentinesWeek posts. We’ll do a recap post on Wednesday morning, and then back to your regularly scheduled programming.

TOMORROW IS ALMOST TODAY.

––New Stuff From Jennifer Stoltzfus: Have you seen the article from earlier today from Jenn Stoltzfus? It’s called The Gift of Undivided Devotion, and it’s on fire. In fact, it’s so on fire that Jenn will be contributing to Quarterlife Man on a regular basis and sharing everything that God has laid on her heart. We are pumped.

––From The Female Perspective: Want to skip out on the Valentine’s Day heartache? Most of us do, too. Again coming from the female perspective, check out this article from Cindi McMenamin of Crosslife: Great (Unmet) Expectations: Avoiding Valentine’s Day Heartache. It’s a great look at what women see and feel on Valentine’s Day regarding relational happiness, and there are some things that we can see plainly too (don’t you just love that The Gospel is universal?).

Here’s another one from Madi at the Becoming Girls blog. Don’t say we never link to unmanly content!

––Oh, My Darlin’, Valentine: Ever been to Like A Bubbling Brook? Yeah, we haven’t either. Nevertheless! Take a look at this article by Lori Wagner. She masterfully crafts the story of Valentine’s Day then and now, weaves in the GIANT love story known as the Bible, and then gives us the call:

[box_light]Like the origins of Valentine’s Day, the Bible has its mysteries, to be sure. But there is no mystery in its overarching theme—it’s central message. God made the earth. God made you. He wants you for His own.

He’s issued His invitation. It’s up to us to RSVP. The way to do that is found in the Bible, too. It’s like those cards that come pre-stamped and self-addressed when you get a wedding invitation in the mail. The person extending the invitation makes it easy to respond.[/box_light]

––Showering Singleness: Courtesy of Deacon Heather Carlson and Mars Hill Church, a post titled, In Praise of Singleness. Let’s give a what-what to all the single people in the hizzy. (Never using ‘hizzy’ again, FYI) This is another one written from the female perspective, but still fruitful.

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Wait––––light bulb moment. All of the good articles are being written by women for women. Don’t you think there is a problem with that? As men, we need to yearn for the stuff more. The lack of content is proportionate to the lack of demand. Men, let’s set up.

 

DEVIANT: Your Grass Is Pretty Green.

DEVIANT: How to be a real man

This morning I was all set to send out a post on battling burnout. It’s something that I’ve been dealing with, as you can tell (NO POSTS!), with the pressures of work (traveling) and lacrosse (recruiting) mounting. Alas, I will give you a spoiler for that blogpost: In Christ it is well with my soul. #throwback

I will talk about burnout at a later date in the future (maybe when we have some downtime on the blog), but I really wanted to write on something else. There were a few blogposts that were half written (such as, “Replacing God With Women,” “Dare To Be Vulnerable,” & “Are You Critiqueable”), but I saw a topic I jotted down in mid-October that had no notes or anything previously written, so let’s address it now:

Your grass is pretty green.

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Mmmmmmm. Tell yourself again. And again.

I struggle with many things (pridefulness and other characteristics come to mind), but I have an extremely difficult time with the-grass-is-always-greener-syndrome. I am a classic optimist… hell, my blog is titled after a whimsical optimist. I will always think the best of people and situations and, in turn, I believe that (for me) there is always a better and more applicable scenario. I’ll save you a bunch of digression and say the following: I am wrong!

Your grass is pretty green.

Sometimes, I can’t possibly sit still. I’m always moving forward. An “if you’re not moving with me, get the heck out of my way,” type of thing. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with that… but sometimes we need to stop and smell the roses! [Loving the garden references, FYI] Most of the time I am moving so fast that I can’t possibly see the greatness that’s right in front of me.

It seems backwards, but it’s true: The grass is never greener. Once you see that grass, you’ll look for greener grass; it’s a vicious cycle.

I always mention something along the lines of, “rule #465: never settle.” (I don’t believe in EVER settling), but maybe the right answer is slowing down just a bit. If I am going so fast that I can’t possibly see God’s greatness, then what is the purpose of moving at that speed? I know right now, God is calling me to slow down. The world is saying, “adhere to the rat race and worry about power and money and materiality.” As Christians we’re called to a higher standard.

The good news is here: that higher standard is an all-encompassing God. He is a loving, understanding God that knows your every step and is lighting the way (Psalm 119:105).

Let’s take action. Tell God: When I’m with you, my heart is satisfied. I dwell in nothing less than the sheer greatness of you, Father. I will walk swiftly, but in a manner that is agreeable to the opportunities you have set forth. I won’t bury my responsibilities in excuses and miscellany. I will embrace what I have and seek You first, letting all else happen according to your good great and perfect will. Our brazen contentedness will not be questioned or mistaken, because God, we know you’re on our side and when we are completely and wholly obedient to you, great things happen.

DEVIANT: This Ain’t No Yoke.

(Let’s pause and clap for that title. Maybe I have a future as the editor of a newspaper?)

I consider myself a grammar king and linguistically sound, but I forgot that bible-jesus-spiritual yoking is spelled differently than egg yolk. Don’t be confused. (I find new ways to humble myself on a daily basis, it’s great.) Furthermore, in writer’s time it’s Thursday afternoon (compared to the current time of whenever you’re reading this) and #IMDEADTIRED so barring an infusion of caffeine or superpowers, there may be some structural or spelling errors that slip through tomorrow morning’s edit.

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Can we actually chat now? Good.

I want to unpack 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 and the idea that two should not be unequally yoked. I broached this issue briefly in the relationship edition of the Monday Rundown back in February, but I will expand on that information because I believe the spiritual equality of a relationship deserves it.

First, let’s examine the proper context of 2 Corinthians 6:14-15. The Bible without context offers limitless interpretations, so it is important to use God’s word as He intended it, and little else. As such, here is 2 Corinthians 6, starting in verse 14, but continuing through the end of the chapter (NLT):

14 Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?

16 And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said:

“I will live in them
and walk among them.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.

17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers,
and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord.
Don’t touch their filthy things,
and I will welcome you.

18 And I will be your Father,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”

And this is rooted from a passage in Deuteronomy 22:

10 “You must not plow with an ox and a donkey harnessed together.

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Certainly, there was not first-century dating as we know it today. In fact, many will argue that Paul’s intentions for 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 were not related to dating and marriage. I disagree. I think the parallels are clear.

Imagine you’re a donkey. You’re faster than the ox, you have a better diet, but the ox is bigger and more stubborn. Now picture being tied together by the neck. How awkward is that? //parallels time// Now imagine yourself married to a woman who doesn’t believe in God. You’ll want to give at least 10%, she won’t. You’ll want to pray for your kids, she’ll ask you not to. These are two lives that are headed in drastically different directions. Instead of rooting their love in God and faith, it’s rooted in emotions and physicality, which is a failing recipe.

We are called to deviate. If you’re a lukewarm Christian, find a lukewarm Christian. If you’re so on fire for God that you can’t see straight, find someone who’s so on fire for God that they can’t see straight. It’s simple… but at the end of the day we’d rather not do that. Nope, instead we would rather settle for less than God’s best (rule #456: never settle) and lose out on so much of the goodness greatness that an amazing Godly marriage can provide.

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Tip #1: If you’re a Christian and you’re dating a non-Christian. END ITTTTTTTT. No negotiation. You are deliberately saying, “You know what, God, I got this. I think I can do this better than you can.” WRONG. So just stop and end it. Please. All of your other Christian friends are waiting for you to wake up.

Tip #2: If you’re “dating down” spiritually, END ITTTTTTTT. Again, you’re settling for less than God’s best here. So many times, we accept what’s right in front of us because we’re lazy or not really men. It’s important to assess all relationships fully, but seriously, find a beautiful woman that loves the Lord and is willing to bake you cookies. They’re out there.

I would never ever ever ever date somebody that isn’t on point in her spiritual relationship… it’s just that simple. I don’t care if she’s Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, and (another hot Jessica but don’t say Simpson please) combined; if she’s missing the one thing that matters most, she is not God’s best for you. Bottom line: If she can’t stay with you step-for-step, give that girl her walking papers.

Tip #3: If you’re “dating up” spiritually, hang on to them for dearrrrrr life (just kidding). In all seriousness, if you can recognize the fact that you’re with someone who is just more “with God”, then do something about it and get with God! You’re supposed to be the spiritual leader and until you get there you’re holding her back! If that’s too much to ask to keep this amazing woman of God, then save her the eventual heartache and let her go now.

While we’re on the subject… you can’t change someone. You might be able to plant a seed, but only God can change someone. NO MISSIONARY DATING. Imagine building a piece of furniture not from Ikea. If you were to build it without instructions (your plan), you would expect some awkward carpentry and it just wouldn’t look right. Now imagine building it with the instructions provided (God’s plan); that’s a good lookin’ bookcase.

(P.S. Never buy furniture from Target. I don’t think I’ve ever had a piece of furniture last more than two weeks. Aye.)

Have a great weekend and see you Monday.

DEVIANT: Becoming The Right Man.

Deviant

On Thursday, we looked at what your future wife might look like. Today, we’ll tackle what you’ll need to look like to find her. You can pray ALL YOU WANT for Mrs. Right, but if you’re not right when she comes along, it won’t matter.

For a while, I got all kinds of caught up in finding Mrs. Right. Every woman I met or saw underwent an immediate split-second spiritual psychoanalyzation. How messed up is that? Keying in on my future wife became a massive detriment because I didn’t know how to use that information correctly. That’s why this step, for men, is so important. Eventually, I understood how destructive that thinking can be and I said to myself:

“Imagine how much better off you’d be if you spent half the time you do judging women by working to become a better man.” Continue reading “DEVIANT: Becoming The Right Man.”

DEVIANT: Your Kind Of Woman.

Deviant

Let’s chat about your kind of woman. [Disclaimer: This is a heavy-hitter. Get your reading glasses.]

First of all, she is a woman, not a girl. You’re looking for the cream of the crop. 2 Corinthians 5:5 (MSG) says,

The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.

Rule #456: never settle. If you settle for less than God’s best, you’z a heathen. Moving on. Back in February, when I did my first set of relationship posts, I mentioned my kind of woman… Continue reading “DEVIANT: Your Kind Of Woman.”