We all want the best wife or husband we can get.
I mean, dating is basically like spouse-shopping, isn’t it? You check people out, evaluate them from a distance, think about if they meet your needs, if they come with all the specific bells and whistles you were looking for. Then you make them a deal.
You know, tell them what you’re willing to offer.
Kind of like picking out an entertainment center.
The problem for me when I was single wasn’t that I wanted a good spouse (it’s good to want a good spouse) but in what my idea of a “good” spouse was, and in my assumption that a “good” spouse would somehow make me a good spouse too. I figured that if I found a guy who was attractive, and successful, and loving — meant that I was probably attractive, successful and loving too.
My idea of a “good spouse” has changed so much since I got married.
A good spouse is humble.
The person you marry is inexplicably connected to you (two really do become one) and like it or not, that means the way they act, the way they think, and even those ugly shoes they try to wear are connected to you. I think when I was single I thought this meant I should look for a man who had all of the “right” qualities so that I wouldn’t be stuck with qualities I didn’t like, or didn’t believe in.
Now I can see that humility is the most valuable quality in a husband.
More valuable than a man who wears the right clothes and says the right things, is a man who is honest about his faults, and is humble enough to change. Humility (more than good looks, or talent in the kitchen) is what makes me a good wife to my husband.
Humble people don’t alway stand out in a crowd (usually their the ones wearing the ugly shoes). They might not be the next guy/gal in the running for The Bachelor.
But humble people make the best wives and husbands.
A good spouse is a servant
This sounds really obvious, but a good spouse thinks about others before they think about themselves.
The problem is, as much as we believe this to be true, we don’t live in a world that celebrates servants. In fact, we celebrate independence, self-sufficiency do-it-your-self-ness. So not only are we trying to become more independent and self-sufficient, we’re also looking (maybe subconsciously) for a person who has those qualities.
When I got married I realized that all that energy I spent learning to protecting myself and fend for myself and “make something” of myself was wasted, if only because now I have to re-train myself to protect someone else before I protect myself.
When I forsake myself to care for my husband, I am a good wife to him.
When he covers me before he covers himself, he is a good husband.
A good spouse holds a good boundary.
I used to think that a good wife did whatever her husband asked her to do. I cringed at the thought because I’m fairly independent and always have an opinion about everything, so I’ll be honest.
I wondered if I would ever be a good wife to anyone.
The thing I’ve learned is that doing whatever my husband asks me to do does not make me a good wife to him. In fact, just the opposite. He is a good spouse to me, and I am a good spouse to him, when we can hold a strong boundary with one another.
A good spouse tells you (in love) when you are out of line.
The girl/guy who told you no when you wanted to push the physical boundary — that one is spouse material. The one who didn’t always bend and change to make you comfortable. Think about marrying that person.
It’s counter-intuitive, if you ask me.
People with good boundaries don’t always win popularity contests. They aren’t always the “nicest” people you know. But they fear the Lord more than they fear you, and that makes a really good spouse.
The qualities that you’re looking for in a spouse while you’re dating sometimes don’t seem to matter once you’re married. You both like rock climbing, or yoga, or you both voted for Barak Obama, or you’re Baptist or you’re vegan — whatever. People change. Life changes. And in six months from now, or six years from now, the qualities you thought you wanted might not be qualities you want anymore.
And the qualities you never thought would matter sometimes seem to become the most valuable.
Are you single? What qualities are you looking for? Are you married? What qualities do you most appreciate in your spouse?