by Melissa Condie:
I know it is somewhat of a popular thing in church culture to create lists about what you are looking for in a future spouse, but last Sunday, at my YSA ward, I participated in an activity that was different, creating a list I like much better.
What do you want your future home to be like? was the question, which is way more revealing than the selfish, nit-picky-finicky sort of prejudiced list we are apt to make. Humans come in all sorts of shapes and forms, exhibiting several types of qualities. I do not think you need a "list" to decide if you like someone or not. I say that you pick who you like, and you adapt your mental equilibriums around that person because you love 'em, regardless of how they compare to your preconceived notions.
Homes must be created. Their environments are based upon the contributions of many. I think it is incredibly important to aspire for an ideal home, a safe place, a happy house, and find a person who is wholeheartedly interested in signing into that dream. Whether or not such an ideal is to be realized will be up to the work of the partners within, but, if the goal is initially there, I think it is a swell starting place.
And frankly, that is all I am looking for in a man. Someone I love, and someone who shares the vision I have for my future home. I think that this is what we should be teaching our teenage and pre-teenage children. I think we should be teaching them, not to list superficial hobbies or certifiable accomplishments or physical characteristics about the male or female species, but to describe the kind of Spirit they want in their future homes.
I am not sure what sort of authority I have on addressing this topic, as I am single and childless, but I do know that I want my home to be filled with music, laughter, and a divine spirit of comfort. I want my children's friends to say: "Let's play at your house!" I want meals at the dinner table to be invaded by guests and neighbors in good fellowship. I want a brazenly congenial attitude of friendship to abound.
Isn't that a much more preferable and healthy goal than, say, "I want a return-missionary, eagle scout, all honors, high income, six foot two, darkly handsome, professional athlete, cooks curries, plays Rook, not bald, has a good reading voice, etc., etc., etc. kind of mate." Yes, if I depended solely on such a list, I could end up with a monster of a man. [Se verdad.] Return Missionary does not automatically equal Stellar Husband or Father.
So, thanks for taking the time to read, and God Bless, y'all. I secretly hope that this post will inspire YM and YW leaders everywhere to seriously consider abandoning those dang spousal lists.
Melissa Condie is a middle school orchestra teacher in Houston, Texas.
Image credit: Laura D'Alessandro (used with permission).