Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"How do I find a good man?" - Part 1

This is a question that was recently brought up by a reader, and I'm so glad to have the opportunity to talk about it; I'll try to share whatever humble experience and insight I might offer as someone who isn't married yet, but who is preparing for – God willing – marriage and motherhood as a full-time, lifetime vocation.

I'll begin by saying that I don't believe there's a formula of, "do this and get a good husband". I know a number of wonderful, excellent women who were never married, or married later in life. Ultimately, everything is in His hands, under His rule of everlasting kindness, wisdom and love. However, I firmly believe we aren't supposed to just let things be. I'm convinced that motivation, commitment and a decent measure of good old common sense can bring us further down the road of preparing for marriage.

I believe that IN ORDER TO FIND THE RIGHT MAN, YOU NEED TO BECOME THE RIGHT WOMAN. What you say and do, how you live your life, the convictions you demonstrate, and quite simply, the person you are, will influence the men you attract. A key principle here is examining yourself and your current way of life, comparing it to how you would like to see your married life. Don't hold back, don't postpone. Live your life to the fullest now, do what you love and what is important to you – don't wait for marriage to become the wife you want to be. It takes more than a day or two, so better start now.

What do I mean? Well, for example, if your vision of marriage and family is being a full-time homemaker and mother of many children, and living a peaceful, simple life, it would make sense to start living out this dream. Focus on your home, your parents or other people in your life who need you, who can offer you the precious opportunity to love and serve. Learn the arts of homemaking. Cultivate a soft, gentle, loving, feminine spirit. Be open to children and love children; whenever a woman you know announces her pregnancy receive the news with joy, as a cause for celebration.

See, that's precisely why I have a problem with an attitude expressed so often: "I know I want to focus on marriage, children and home once I find the right man; however, I'm not married now, so why don't I spend the next 10 years getting a PhD in marine biology?" - I see two main problems with this type of thinking. One is that a young woman might get so caught up in a time-consuming career that she loses her initial focus, and delays marriage and motherhood longer and longer, sometimes even unconsciously, because she doesn't have enough time to stop and really think about it. Then later there's also the thought of, "well, I spent 10 years studying for this PhD, am I supposed to throw it all away now?"

And if she stays true to her vision and becomes the happy bride of a good, godly man, she might discover how difficult it is to switch gears instantly. In her single years, she didn't think too much about wifehood, about focusing on her husband's needs, about making her home a haven. Think I'm being too dramatic? I wish you had seen the number of emails I got from young women who tell me, "I got married without knowing anything about marriage or homemaking, and now I feel like this ship is about to sink!"

To sum it up: work on preparing to become a wife to the man of your dreams. Be the right woman and increase your chances to attract the right man. Of course, I will greatly appreciate the input of married ladies on this issue – I enjoy learning from you!

43 comments:

Stephanie said...

Preparing for wife life is a good idea... Have your read Dr. Ruth's book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands"? It's a good one. It hits core issues about submission in a candid, realistic way that I have rarely seen.

I, personally, was determined never to marry because of various life experiences... but deep down inside I knew it was my heart's desire.

I am so thankful that God had a better plan for my life and He brought an amazing man into my life. Has it always been easy? No. But it has been wonerful.

Here's some input from a married lady... To prepare, I think the most important thing is a teachable heart. If you are willing to put others ahead of yourself and you are willing to learn, then you are well on your way to a successful marriage. Also, look closely at your heart, at your weaknesses, at your short-comings. Those things will be magnified when you are married. You can make a perfect meal, you can have a perfectly clean house, but if you have a vengeful spirit you are in for trouble. You can be a sweet, kind person, but if you can't keep your house clean or make a decent meal, there are likely going to be ongoing issues with your lack of "wifeliness" that could cause resentment or exasperation in your husband. So, basically, look inward. Pray for strength to change. Deal with "issues". And, of course, to learn at least the basics of housekeeping won't hurt!

shannon said...

One really important thing you are missing in this post - student loan debt! It can often make staying home and not working impossible. I went to undergrad, grad school and then law school. I have 130 thousand dollars in student loans! I never really wanted children before I got married-then I was lucky enough to marry a wonderful man and have a beautiful baby boy. Now because of my student debt it is impossible for us financially for me not to work. I have to make mortgage sized student loan payments each month. I was lucky enough to find an extremely flexible job as a lawyer and I am home every day after lunch-but I still must work outside the home. I never even considered this when I was choosing to go to private university's and law school. No one warns young women that in preparing for one's future- we should be mindful of the possibility of not wanting to work outside the home some day.

magda said...

so true! i love what you say about becoming the right woman. i will add another argument against the obtaining of the Ph.D- men do not tend to marry women with higher levels of education than they have. there are exceptions, but it is not typical. so if a woman was to spend 10 years studying for a Ph.D, her pool of available suitors will likely be in that program. and they are not likely to be too keen on her staying home and having babies, etc. most men in that situation will expect that she will use her degree. again, there are exceptions. but it is going to be difficult for a woman in this position to explain to a fellow Ph.D candidate that she was really just getting her M-R-S.

Anna S said...

Shannon, you are absolutely right. I haven't mentioned what you said in this particular post, but I agree with you 100%.

Maggie said...

I think that in addition with becoming the RIGHT WOMAN, in order to find the RIGHT MAN, one needs to be comfortable in your own skin. If you can't stand being around yourself, than what makes you think you'll ever attract someone who is willing to spend time with you for the rest of your natural lives?
Maggie
http://creativeportal.spaces.live.com

Anna S said...

Maggie, right on! If you respect and appreciate yourself, someone out there will love you. Self-hatred usually leads to destructive relationships with abusive men.

Haus Frau said...

Yes, yes, yes, yes .... and ... yes ... to all of the above!

It was a challenging transition going from the corporate world to homemaker when I married at 30, but one that I would have (in hindsight) done *much* earlier and would have greatly embraced!

Stephanie ~ Dr. Ruth didn't write that book, Dr. Laura did. :o)

Miss Julianne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
got another on the way said...

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, Don't Date the Wrong Man. If you suspect that a certain man is not marryable, at least not for you, stop seeing him (I don't mean changing place of worship/work/etc, just cut the ties). If you hope against hope that it'll work out, or you feel you've invested too much (time, effort, dreams) to leave, or you're just afraid to risk being alone, the Right Man will pass you right by. (That almost happened to me!) And of course, evaluate and re-evaluate what makes a good or right man. Pray about it and talk to a wise mentor about it. One's list may be unrealistic (are super-rich or model-handsome requirements? Romance-book dashing?), or unhealthy (are you willing to commit to live your life with a verbally abusive man?). Talk to your parents, and to folks who've been married for more than 10 years, or 25 years. While you're waiting, pray for your future husband, too.

Anna S said...

Got Another, I agree with you 200% :) I just wish more women realized that.

Terry said...

You give good advice here. As a married lady, I really can't think of anymore to add except that I agree with Shannon's warning about debt. I was totally unprepared for marriage, as I know you know from reading my story. Thank God for His grace that helped me along the way.

UltraCrepidarian said...

Wow Anna! So right on.

Another way of putting it: You have no way of knowing who the husband will be in this situation and you can't do much about making him show up, but you can be pretty sure that if you're married it's going to be you he's marrying, and thus you are doing well to consider who it is that you are becoming. And for those women who do not marry, it is not a wasted life, if you have truly become the woman that the Lord meant you to be.

Proverbs 31 is a high standard, and why not, in this your one and only life her on earth, set your standards high!

The thing is that a guy who is right for you, will recognize your moral character. This is I think, part of what the whole concept of "Besheret" is based around, right?

Warren

Anna S said...

That's right, Warren. I like how you put it: "...you can be pretty sure that if you're married it's going to be you he's marrying, and thus you are doing well to consider who it is that you are becoming."

:)

Sarahndipity said...

You can be a sweet, kind person, but if you can't keep your house clean or make a decent meal, there are likely going to be ongoing issues with your lack of "wifeliness" that could cause resentment or exasperation in your husband.

Sorry, I have issues with this. I would have quite a bit of resentment and exasperation if my husband criticized my housekeeping skills while refusing to lift a finger himself.

Look, I am not a feminist. I believe mothers should stay home with their children if at all possible, because children really need their mothers. But the primary reason for staying home is to raise your own children rather than having daycare raise them, not to have the perfect house. It is certainly important to keep your house clean, but the house is secondary to raising children. Men and women are different when it comes to raising children. Men can’t breastfeed (I know, shocker). Women’s bodies release bonding hormones while breastfeeding that men don’t have. But men and women are not any different when it comes to housework. There is no “housework hormone.” Men and women are equally capable of cooking and cleaning.

Now, I am not saying that all the housework has to be absolutely divided 50/50 at all times. Some couples “keep score” when it comes to housework (“I did the dishes last night, now it’s his turn”). It can get a little ridiculous. And if a woman is a stay-at-home mom, she would probably end up doing more of the housework, simply because she has more time. Nothing wrong with that. If I were a stay-at-home mom, I wouldn’t mind doing most of the housework, since I would have more time to do it than my husband, who would also be working hard all day. I would still expect him to pitch in when he got home, though, even if overall I was doing more of the housework. I have major issues with this notion that cooking and cleaning are always exclusively the domain of the wife, even if she has a job also or if there are no children, grown children, etc.

Men do not tend to marry women with higher levels of education than they have.

This may be true, but I would say that a man who refuses to marry someone simply because she has more education than him is a very insecure man and not someone I would want to marry. (I do not have a PhD btw; just a bachelor’s degree).

I do agree with Shannon that student loan debt should be avoided if at all possible. (For both men and women, not just women). My husband and I are lucky in that we both had parents who paid for our entire college educations, so we have no debt. We are already saving for college for our 3-year-old daughter and any future children we have.

Yes, it’s prudent to plan. I got married and age 23 and knew we would be having children in a few years, so for that reason I did not go to graduate school. I might have gone if I were still single, though. And I may still go, when our kids are older or grown. I think there’s a big difference between being engaged and/or dating someone seriously and having no dating prospects on the horizon at all. Your educational/career choices will likely be very different depending on the situation. Should women who are not engaged and not dating anyone put off their dreams because they might get married someday? Some people never get married at all!

I suppose it would not be prudent to, say, go to years and years of medical school if you think you want to be a stay-at-home mom. But a big part of the problem here is the nature of the workplace, which often demands that women conform to career paths that are more suitable to men. I think what we need is more part-time, flex time and work-from-home options that would help women better balance career and family. I do think it’s best for mom to be home full-time when the kids are young. But what if, say, a woman doctor could take several years off while her children are young, and then, when her children are in school, she could work just a few hours a day and still be home when they got home from school? We really need to think outside of the box when it comes to these things.

Sorry for the novel. :-p

Anonymous said...

Great post, Anna! When I first married, I had no college degree, but had spent a few years away at college before marrying a wonderful guy. My adjustment to marriage was very difficult--dh and I got along wonderfully, but I lacked any sense of purpose and mission as a wife that left me very depressed. Having spent my whole life focusing only on my own goals, I had no idea how to go about helping my husband in his mission, and using my gifts to complement his. In fact, I had spent so much time being a "professional student" that I really had no idea what my unique gifts were! Additionally, I had never cleaned house beyond some light vacuuming, or cooked a meal that didn't come out of the freezer or cans. My cluelessness in these areas left me feeling terribly inept, which only contributed to my depression. It was only after reading Mary Pride's book "The Way Home"(highly recommended if you can find a copy--it is out of print)that I learned about God's plan for married women, and realized how badly duped I had been. I am now training my daughters in all the skills and attitudes I was lacking when I reached marriageable age. I want them to "be" the "right kind" of woman, and I know they will attract the "right kind" of man, if the Lord ordains marriage for them. A corollary is that being focused on service, family, modesty, and godliness will eliminate many unsuitable young men who might otherwise seek to pursue my daughters. Worldly young men will most likely not be interested in a young woman so intent on pursuing holiness, and therefore she will not have to waste valuable time on men who do not have godly goals.
~Beth

Bethany Sue, CFO said...

I am blown away!
"In order to find the right man, you must become the right woman!"


I will be saying that to all of my single cousins and friends when I hear them whine about not being married!


You are awesome girl!

Robin said...

One of the most important issues is that you be certain of your religious convictions and the way you want to raise your children before you ever consider being courted or dating. It is very difficult to have a satisfying married life and to raise healthy happy children when you and your spouse are unequally yoked.

Also, get to know yourself. I couldn't agree more with the person who said you should be comfortable in your own skin. If you have issues with depression, eating disorders or anything that gets in the way of living a live of service, deal with it now. Marriage and children will only magnify any problems you have if you don't deal with them beforehand.

You can always learn to cook and clean, but it's hard to deal with the skeletons in the closet when you have young children. It's also really hard to raise children when your spouse doesn't agree with your spiritual positions. I want to raise our children with the truths that I believe, however, I'm constantly trying to be mindful of not offending my husband or turning our children against him.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Well put Anna. It reminds of that qoute by Gandi, that to make a change in that world you need to start being that change. Also, a woman is ALWAYS a woman isnt she, even when she is unmarried (or widowed for that matter), and so always meant to live a feminine life. The conditions we put on this just drive me crazy--that its "allowed" for a women to keep at home if she has children or if she is married etc--when really is is part of simply being a feminine woman period regardless of circumstance.

I love what Warren said, that what's such of true value is that we "truly become the woman that the Lord meant you to be"...regardless of one's state of life.

Peaceful Week : ) Wendy

Ana said...

Anna~
I totally agree. I'm so glad that there are people out there who think like you and me. :) I can't wait to get married and have a home of my own, but it is such a joy for me to be at home now, learning the things I need to know for when (or if) I ever get married. I enjoy cooking, and I'm sure I could learn to cook after I was married, but how much easier it is to learn under my mother about the things she has learned to do or what not to do. It's so much easier to have someone over me who has already gone through the single life, the first years of married life, and the after 25 years of married life. :) I'm so thankful the Lord has placed me under my mother to learn what she has to teach and to learn what He wants me to learn, both about homemaking and about Himself.

Brittany said...

I really liked this entry. :)

I just wanted to add - sometimes you luck out! When I began seeing my fiance, I was a tomboy; I didn't own any skirts or dresses, and I wasn't too feminine. Thanks to him, I've slowly been changing. :) Now that is pretty much all I wear, and I am MUCH more feminine. And we are both happier now! He also wants me to be a housewife... I am so happy with him. I thank God everyday for a man like him.

andrea said...

This was such a good post! Sometimes, I admit, I'm so focused on marriage and being a wife and mama, I lose focus of the one year of college I have left to do...! Some of my friends talk about master's degrees and PhDs, and I'm so ready to be done with my bachelor's!!! But, I just have to remind myself that it is also important to live life one day at a time. I'm preparing to be his wife someday--at the same time, I'm working hard now because I believe God led me to the school I am at...anyway, I'm eager to see Part 2! : )

Anonymous said...

This is an important post for any young woman to read, but especially those considering or hoping for marriage. I pray many will heed your advice, Anna, as well as the wise comments from some of your readers.

I've always felt a bit sorry (okay, a little annoyed too) for young women who will sit around, lamenting the lack of "good men". But, if you press them for details, you will learn that they won't look past a man's face, or are more interested in what kind of car he drives than what dreams are near & dear to his heart. Selfishness, greed, & the overt desire for an easy life have no place in a marriage. A good man wants someone who can be a helpmeet to him in the fullest & best sense of the word, & a whining, childish female who refuses to look at herself first is NOT good marriage material!

Brenda

So, yes....in order to find the right man, you need to become the right woman. You nailed it, Anna.

Adlyn said...

thanks Anna for the post it cleared up some things for me :)! any way if it's okay to ask where do you find these godly men? in the park, the diner, the synagoge/church? and what if the only synagoge/church is secualar? and what if you live in a liberal part of the counrty where the only men there are feminine men with no backbone what-so-ever and hate children, G-D, morals ect.? or the ones I face the perverted ones who think it's cool to be a "thug" "player" "pimp" who don't wants marriage EVER! and justs wants to go from woman-to-woman (yuck!) and never wants to work for his bread/famliy (freeloader)?
thanks for answering if you can!

xoxoxoxo,
Adlyn

p.s. I read Dr. Laura book "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" it's because of her I am no longer a feminist G-D bless her!

Anonymous said...

I remember when I was ten years old going to a family reunion at my grandfathers house. Usually my grandmother would put her garden out back between the vollyball court and the parking lot where the dogs would keep the rabbits away. My grandfather trying to give my grandmother a better life built his business up, so he had a parking lot where most people had driveways. This year my grandmother put her garden on the lake side of the house between two sets of trees so that everyone going down to the lake would see her garden growing. The woods were to close to the garden for the dogs to react fast enough. So my grandfather sat on the balcony with his hunting rifle everyday that it did not rain. One day during the family reunion I was coming back up from the beach when I heard a shot and dirt flew up from the ground a few feet from me a rabbit then ran into the woods in front of me. When I got up to the balcony one of my cousins told me I needed to tell my grandfather not to fire the gun anymore and that I was scared of it. I did not know what to do so I went inside, I heard the gun go off again My grandmother sad "I hate it when he fires that gun!!" then she turned away looking into the kitchen, unfortunely she kept kitchen polished. I saw her reflection in the stove. She was smiling from ear to ear. My grandfather stood up to everybody protecting her garden. My grandfather was married over 65 years when he died. His business put all of his kids through college, when he died they did the only respectable thing the dismantaled the piano store and spent the money paying off the debts they got into. When I was in high school the teachers told me that I should date often so that I could be prepared for marriage. That did not make sense to me it seemed the result of that would be to get in the habit of breaking up, not staying together. I did not date once in high school I was sent to a therapist because I was social maladjested. When I dated my wife (the second person I ever went out with) we always eat out. I found out after we were married that she could not cook. clean or organize much of anything. A lot of people suggested that we divorce. I believed that it was the husbands job to do his best for his wife, no matter anyone else thought or said. The first few years were hard I ate a lot of questionable food such as hard boiled eggs in spaghetti. They looked like the onions in the picture. We've been together a little over 22 years now. When people ask now I say to them that I don't dump her noplace for nobody. I feel very lucky to have found her and very glad that I did not just date everybody hoping one would somehow work out.

Stephanie said...

Haus Frau...

That's funny!!! Yes, it is Dr. Laura... Is there a Dr. Ruth?? Or did I get that from the kids show, "Between the Lions"? lol

kid's doc said...

Shannon, you are right on! I have spent the last 7+ years of my life training to be a pediatrician and have a large amount of debt to pay off...just from medical school! My parents paid for my college education, fortunately, or the amount would be even larger. Of course, now that I am an older, much wiser mamma to one precious little 2 year old boy, I am having a lot of serious doubts about what I have spent doing all these years! My DH, who is wonderful, and I have a great system right now to spend as much time as possible with our little one, but it breaks my heart every day that I spend nearly all my waking hours caring for other people's children. My chosen specialty in pediatrics has a nationwide shortage of providers and I thought I was going to do a great service by becoming one...however, I didn't realize until too late that the price I am paying of missing out on my home life is very, very dear, and maybe not even worth it at all. Medicine, however is not an easy career to just walk away from, for lots of reasons. I agree with the flex/part time comments above. The vast majority of pediatrician trainees in the US are now women. I'm totally upfront and honest to tell people that my number one career goal is to work part time...saying this out loud even 10 years ago would have been considered blasphemous! To all you ladies out there who are giving your daughters the blessing of all your wonderful knowledge of being a keeper of home, thank you. I wish had had the opportunity to receive more guidance on how my decisions at 22 would so totally affect my life at 30++. I have learned that despite my love for taking care of sick children and their families, nothing, NOTHING can replace being a mommy to my dear son! Thanks for listening!

Anonymous said...

Anna,
I have been reading your blog for a short while. While this is the first time that I have commented I must say that I´ve enjoyed your wisdom and insight. You are a lovely, intelligent, young women giving much food for thought and I just wanted to thank you.

Bye the way, being born in the USSR and living in Israel, your english seems flawless. How many languages do you speak? I am an american, currently living in South America and my spanish still needs much improvement, and this, after seven years here.

I was blessed, several years ago, to be able to visit Isreal. It was truely an awesome time and we had the most spectacular guides; I´d like to visit again one day.

Colleen

Julia said...

IN ORDER TO FIND THE RIGHT MAN, YOU NEED TO BECOME THE RIGHT WOMAN

Thank you for saying that! I've never really thought of it in this light before. It's so simple, and it rings so true. This what I want to teach my children, and I've never seen it stated so succinctly.

Liedeke said...

Great post, Anna - and also great comments! It's like 'dressing for the job you want', isn't it?

Although my husband and I have a marriage that is far from godly, I agree with the principles expressed here. I was fortunate enough to come into marriage with some home making skills picked up from my mother and my mother in law. Unfortunately, I lacked more skills than I posessed. I still do. But I've learned to work on it and keep improving instead of complaining. We're actually living the life we want to live!

So that is my two cents': to indeed set your standards high - and at the same time accept each other's flaws and quirks.

~Liedeke

Anna S said...

Adlyn, some of your questions will be addressed in Part 2. :)

Rebekah S. said...

Amen! I couldn't agree more with you, Anna! What a truly wonderful post! Thank you for it.

Anonymous said...

I just accidentally deleted the post I just wrote. It went into the story of how I didn't get married until I was 40. Anyway, what I was trying to say is that God's timing is perfect. My DH and I went to the same college at the same time, but didn't meet until 20 years later, at church. If we had met in college, I would have seen him as too "boring" (because he wasn't some emotionally tortured musician type) and too "religious" (because he was a committed Christian at the time and I was "spiritual" in a wishy washy, lost way.

Over the years after college, I became a born-again Christian, worked out some insecurities I had from growing up in an alcoholic home, healed from some recurrent depression, etc. Then, when I was finally ready to meet a nice Christian guy, God sent him to me. Now, we are married, and so happy!

One of the reasons why our marriage is good, in my opinion, is because I am a SAHW. I have been on both sides of the situation though. When we were first married, I had a supposed "glamour job" (cough cough) in advertising, often coming home later than my husband. While we didn't need my income, I felt like a woman who didn't have children yet (I am almost 41, so that may or may not happen) has to work. It's just the way it's done! That's what I thought.

Anyway, one evening, when I once again came home later than my husband, completely stressed out from the deadlines of my job, my DH said something like, "Why are you working like this? I don't want your income...I just want you. It would be my honor to support you." For as long as I live, I will never forget how proudly he said "it would be my honor to support you."

Yes, he is a great guy, and I am blessed. But if I can be this blessed, so can anyone, because I was quite lost in college, falling into any New Agey philosophy that felt right, hanging out with pot smokers, becoming infatuated with noncommital tortured musicians who worked at the neighborhood convenience store and acted like I was the one who should be pursuing THEM, etc. Thank God that He turned me around!

One thing I would add...from my own past and my friend's situations, I have observed a tendency for women to get caught up in fantasy relationships with male friends who aren't really interested in them as anything more than friends. IMO, this wastes precious time and also slowly wears down a woman's sense of worth. I have seen one friend repeatedly read things into friendships that aren't there. I have done the same myself. If I were a single woman, knowing what I would know now, I would say to myself, ok, if a guy just likes to hang out with me, but shows no intention of wanting to court me or take me on a real date after X amount of time, I am going to end the friendship or at least step back from it. All too often, women think a platonic relationship is romantic, when really, the guy just likes hanging out with a girl, but she isn't really The One.

I think if a man is interested in a friendship that will lead to courtship, he won't just "hang out," he will make his intentions clear. I have even seen women with guy friends who tell them about other women they are interested in! And still these ladies think they have a chance.

Ladies, please...treat yourself like a princess who deserves to be courted and pursued, not like an easygoing friend who is happy with whatever scraps of time and attention she can get from a guy. I hope that doesn't sound too know-it-all, but it's something I wish someone had hammered into my head somehow. (Now if only I could get my friends to understand this...)

Elizabeth said...

"IN ORDER TO FIND THE RIGHT MAN, YOU NEED TO BECOME THE RIGHT WOMAN ..." What a profound thought - thank you for sharing it!

Ahuva said...

I also agree that you need to develop into the kind of woman you want to be as a wife... I just disagree that this means concentrating on housework instead of a career. :) Working and being on my own has really shaped the kinds of things I find important. I am must more interested in practical things now and less interested in relying on others to fix my problems. Holding down a professional job has taught me a lot about time management, prioritization and dealing with others-- all skills that I expect to help me once I'm married. Juggling a job and grocery shopping/housework probably won't be all that different from juggling child-rearing and the same household tasks... at least as far as the "juggling different priorities with limited time" aspect goes!

I think there are many different paths to get to the same goal.

Adlyn, for me it was two words-- online dating. I'm currently seeing a gentleman who is a six hour drive away. The dating pool for men who share my religious beliefs and lifestyle choices is amazingly small. If the kind of man you want doesn't live in your town, then look elsewhere. :)

College Gal said...

This a good post Anna, I was thinking about it and...if he treats his mother with respect, then he will treat you the same. Sounds kinda weird but when you think about it, it is so true. I'm so blessed with my Sweetheart and this statement holds true with him in many ways. Okay I'm done bragging about him a little. ;)
God bless you!
Jeremiah 29:11-14

Ewokgirl said...

I think the most important aspect of finding the right guy is simply being open to God's leading. Focus on your relationship with the Lord, seek his will for your life, and the pieces will fall into place.

You really can't force the husband thing. If God's will is for you to marry, he will bring that man into your life at exactly the right time. It can be hard waiting, but the wait is worth it.

Prayer is an important factor here. You can't know God's will for your life if you're not in constant fellowship with him. And from personal experience, I can say that my prayers changed considerably when my husband came into my life. I dated one guy throughout most of college, and my prayer used to be, "Lord, please have him ask me to marry him!" Thankfully, the Lord didn't think that was a good idea.

When I met the man who would become my husband, my prayers changed to, "Lord, please lead us to make the right decision. If we're meant to marry, please make it clear to both of us." Big difference there!

As for how I met my husband, well, that came about because I followed the Lord's will. I became an English teacher after college. The district I wound up teaching in was exactly where I believed God wanted me to be, even though it was a more unfamiliar area of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. That job wound up being horrible, BUT it was the only one that would have placed me in that particular location, which is where I met my husband. For a while, it seemed as if maybe I'd misunderstood God because I was pretty miserable in that school, but then I met my husband, and I realized exactly why the Lord had led me there.

Just do what you believe God wants you to do, and try not to worry about meeting Mr. Right. If you're seeking the Lord's will, he won't let you down.

Stefanie said...

I emailed this post to my friend to read as she has been struggling with this issue. Reading through the comments, I want to suggest to people that the value of "home" remains for a couple without children also.
I have a niece who is getting her PHD, and still single and looking for her sweetie. She has money from grandparents so there is no debt worry for her- but she does seem so incredilbly busy and focused on her education to the exclusion of dating sometimes. I worry about that for her. I am thankful to be at home, that I have no debt, and though I often think about returning for higher education, I am reminded by other examples and posts here how very fortunate I am to be at home.

Karen said...

As usual I agree with you! You have an abundance of wisdom to share.

My biggest advice for singles is, DON'T SETTLE. Because that's the biggest mistake I see women make. As long as you're single, you still have a shot at finding Mr Right. If you get tied down with the first loser who asks you, just because you're lonely, or you think you can't do any better, or you're thinking you can CHANGE him...no you can't...then you aren't going to be available when Mr. Right comes along. I had a lot of Mr. Wrongs and Mr. Maybes, but I stuck it out because I just had faith that there was someone out there for me, and there was!!

People always told me don't look. But they never told me what I should be doing instead of looking! I'm another of those who spent most of my life preparing to be a capable single person...not a wife and mom! When it came I had to start from the ground up. I certainly wish I could go back and prepare a little but it's too late now! I'm just learning as I go...thank the good Lord my hubby has patience with me!

I agree religion plays a big role. Whatever is most important to you, you need to find someone with those ideals. Too bad there aren't many single men in pro-life groups haha. I'd also like to add, don't be too eager. It scares men off! Just look to make a lot of friends and get to know people in your single years.

Jeannine said...

Anna, I agree that we have to become the right woman. Our heart, our attitudes and our faith are so very important.
However, I do not necessarily see a "danger" in pursuing a college degree and a PhD while waiting for the right man to marry. I have both (well, the PhD is almost finished), but always stayed true to my wish and belief to be a wife and a SAHM in God's timing. Maybe it will be more difficult to leave my job when I have children, but to be true, I don't think so. I am already looking forward to the day when God will bless me with children and I can stay at home to take care of my family. It really is a matter of faith and our heart.

What I found helpful to find the right man was to really think about the things that are important to me and to put them into categories like "mandatory", "very important", "could make compromises here" and "would be nice, but not important". Things like faith, interests, opinions, habits, activities my future spouse should or should not have. Then when I met a young men I felt interested in, I would try to bring these topics up in our conversations and find out if we matched in those areas or not. My DH and I do - and I think I realized that after our first conversation (which was quite long) :).
I think I had that advice from Dr. Neil Clark Warren in his book "Date ... or Soul Mate?". Definately considered it helpful. So often we just look for the "right" person without having thought about how this person should really be.

neuropoet3 said...

"Become the right woman" - this is so true! As a teenager I focused a lot on becoming the kind of woman I wanted to be able to look back on when I was old. (If that makes any sense.) I wanted to be able to have memories worth remembering, and I was blessed to realize that very young. (I think it had a lot to do with how much time I spent ministering in nursing homes and spending time with elderly women.) I would look at my hands and think about what I would remember them doing when I looked at them in the future, wrinkled with age. Will the hours I spent writing papers or the like be more important then the hours I spent changing diapers and washing little bodies? I guess I was blessed with knowing who I wanted to be very young (I still have a long way to go though) - and who I wanted to be turned out to be the kind of young woman my future husband was looking for. :) We married when I was 17 and he was 21 (not something I think everyone should do):) - and now we've been married over 11 and a half years. Working toward becoming the woman I wanted to be made me a young woman who was ready for marriage when the time came - and it gave me the chance to learn who I was in the meantime.

Good post as usual Anna!
~Jenny

Rebekah S. said...

Wow- many of you ladies have offered some great tips and words of advice! Thank you.

I'd like to say also that it's very very important to make a list of characteristics you want in your future husband. Also, ask your parents to write a list as well. Often, you will find that they will think of many important characteristics that you may never have even thought of, and ones that are often very wise and needed.

Also, pray for your future husband! You may not know him now, but pray for him! This will be such a blessing to him. I'm planning on doing a post on this subject on my blog sometime in the near future.

MarkyMark said...

How does one land a good man? Simple-by being a GOOD WOMAN-duh!

Daphne B said...

Oh, my! What a wonderful post and what wonderful comments! I'm currently a university student in a rigorous engineering program; but after I graduate this year, I will be branching out to a more domestic/women's ministry route. I'm really excited about investing in the more womanly things of life!

I so agree with Wendy on the fact that a woman is always a woman, so whatever her circumstances or preoccupation, she is called to live like one.

Wise words, Anna. Thank you.