Dear Christian Girls: Stop Writing Future Husband Checklists

Sunday, January 18, 2015

If you're anything like me, you've made one of these before.  It has everything you want in your future Prince Charming, with a side of handsome and a dash of charming.

I'm very romantically-minded, trust me, and my number one question in every movie I watch is, "IS HE GOING TO GET THE GIRL OR WHAT?"  So the obvious next step for a list-lover like myself was to create lists about everything I desired in my future husband.

Here's my prayer journal three years ago:

Observation #1: My handwriting in that journal is better than it is today.  #truestory

Observation #2: I was pretty thorough!  I can think of a few more right now that I might've added, but this is a decent list.  I mean a sensitive, funny, buff guy with a stable job?  Not to mention the fact that He loves God an awful lot.  I mean, this is the real deal.

Observation #3: If your list is anything like mine it proves that basically, we all wanted Gilbert Blythes.  Perfect, and fictional.

Don't deny it.

Observation #4: Gilbert Blythe is an imaginary character.

Just mull on that while you stare at this attractive picture of said-fictional character.


I sometimes wonder if our expectations for our future husbands are a tad bit higher then is realistic.

I mean, really.  Do you know a single guy right now who meets EVERY SINGLE THING on your list?  "Yes I'd like a tall, handsome, funny young man who adores kids, loves to listen to me talk for hours, and is equally sensitive, patient, selfless, hard-working, and chivalrous 24/7.'   Firstly, that's a mouthful.  And second, these lists?  They don't leave an awful lot of wiggle room for grace.

"Sure, but all these belching, immature teenage boys I know right now will have years to improve and work up to the standards on my list," You say confidently. 

Yes, those immature boys you know will someday be men, and many of them will grow to be men who meet many of the things on your list.  Although, one little catch...

they will never meet all of them.

NEVER.  Even if you just wrote one thing, even if you simply scrawled the word "love" on there, no human person can love perfectly 24/7.   Try it sometime and you'll see how hard it is.

In my selfish world, I was already setting expectations that my future husband, whoever he may be, would never be able to reach as long as he lived.  I was setting him up for failure, and in doing so, setting myself up too!  

After the honey-moon stage is over and I begin to see even more clearly the faults and flaws that didn't line up with my list, I can never be content.  Nagging, tearing down, and discontentment with my husband will be sure to follow.  
No human on this earth can perfectly meet all those requirements.

Where, then, does that leave us?

Recently I read a post one one of my favorite blogs, Sarah Is A Writer .  Sarah writes,

I can relate to her last paragraph.  ::blink::

She makes a great point, though!  What if instead of dreaming about the perfect guy, we worked on becoming the perfect woman? 

After all, we want our hubbies to be getting their humility on for us; why aren't we doing the same for them?

Each day is an opportunity to cultivate those disciplines and traits in your own life.  The benefits from that are endless, and even if you don't end up getting married I guarantee you won't regret working on controlling your temper. It's life skills like these that you can use wherever you go! 

Assuming you will get married some day, when you do meet your future husband, you can now view him through eyes of grace and love, and not through paper cut-out holes in a checklist.

Now before I say adieu...

I see quite a few of starting to get really ruffled at what I have to say, and lest you explode in indignation, let me please clarify something:

This doesn't mean you should just settle with whoever you can find. 

Nuh-uh, nope, nada, zilch, WRONG NUMBER.  Girls, we should never settle for less. 

I've heard stories of so many young woman who, worried the right guy didn't exist, simply went for the first Christian dude to come along. I do not support this and believe that, while the perfect man doesn't exist, there are many strong, godly men for Christ who are worthy to win my heart. 

I know you hate me for saying this, but it's all about the balance of showing your future husband grace, AND knowing when to acknowledge that he is still a sinful, imperfect man. 

This is where wise, non-biased parents and mentors come in, along with lots of time and prayer and seeking God's wisdom.


In this time of your life as a single woman, with no husband to steal your attention, you can really truly focus on our heavenly husband and lover, Jesus, who is creating a love story with each one of us that started on that cross those 2,000 years ago!  Every thing you scribbled onto your "checklist"? 

He can check those off every day of the week and twice on Sundays.   

Pray your butt off for your future husband and then leave it to our Savior.  He knows our deepest desires and will always ALWAYS fulfill our future husband checklists in himself. 

For more posts related to viewing love and marriage as single girls I would recommend checking out Leslie Ludy's books Authentic Beauty and Sacred Singleness, as well as this post from Sarah's blog.
Chloe Salts is an aspiring writer, pumpkin latte snob, sweater-loving sophomore who is slowly learning, day by day, what it means to fall in love with her Savior.
Give her books and chocolate and she will bake cupcakes for you until Jesus comes to take her home.  True story.
Follow her on 
Bloglovin to hear more of her daily ramblings!

You Might Also Like


  1. Oh, so true. Great post.

    When I was about twelve or thirteen, I went through a sort of phase where I kept daydreaming about my perfect Prince Charming and started writing up lists similar to yours (although mine was much more silly. Like, "Must have brown eyes"). I'm glad I wised up a bit and realized that since *I'm* not perfect, it's unfair to expect my future spouse to be.

    Again, great thoughts!

    1. Pretty sure I had a seperate list of physical traits too, I just never wrote them down. 'Tall, dark and handsome' made the list too, funnily enough. I think I'm more like Anne then I gave credit for;-)
      Thanks for sharing Hannah!! Have a great Sunday

  2. Oh my goodness.

    This is one of the best posts on the matter I have ever read. It also applies so well to myself, that I'm a little bit speechless! Thank you for these utterly true words.

    (Plus I couldn't help but swooning over Gilbert a little bit.)


    1. So glad it made sense and was applicable to you Adelaide!!!
      Ugh, I KNOW. Gilbert Blythe is very swoon-worthy. I think he was my first fictional crush.

  3. Whoa, that's eye popping. My mother says to make a list off all of the things that I wanted my future husband to be, but even if I didn't do that I would be spending my first several weeks comparing him to my expectations, and that's not good at all. I think Gilbert Blythe is really the sort of guy that most girls would dream of, but like you said, that's unattainable, because he's fictional and no onenout there can be as perfect as him. I'll try to become better somehow, and someday, when I do find love (if by then I know what love means... gosh, I feel a song pun coming on) the guy I'll marry won't be perfect, but I'd love him for all of his perfections and quirks. :)

    xoxo Morning

    1. So true! I think all young men can strive to be like Gilbert and can embody many of his characteristics. He's definitely pretty perfect, though!
      I'm glad this was so helpful for you girly!!!

  4. This spoke to me man. I've been thinking a lot about my future husband and praying for him even more. now, my case is....different, than most girls I would say. but to just even remind myself of this was good.

    thats always been my goal, to be the best wife I can be. and I needed to remember that. for as long as I can remember my mom has been teaching me to be a good future wife. she told me to practice with my siblings; especially my brothers. which is hard when they're being selfish, annoying, and immature. but thats the point. she would tell me that there would be days my future husband would act the same way, and I needed to be patient.

    I agree with every word you said here. thank you for those words of wisdom :)

    1. YES. Practicing with siblings is not all candy and rainbows, but then again, neither will marriage!! Words of wisdom right there, Faith;))
      Praying for our future husband is one of the best things we can do and I like how you pointed that out. Keep shining and waiting for your special fella girly!! God is faithful! <3

  5. Chloe, you really outdid yourself this time. this post was just so awesome. :) I completely agree with everything you said, and while there isn't a perfect man, I guess working on ourselves is probably the best thing to do. I agree that yes, Mr. Blythe was rather "perfect" but he was also fictional. Therefore I don't really think anyone like him exists today. hehe, well, this post was really eye-opening and truthful, girl, keep it up :)

    1. Agreed, I like to think about my husband improving himself and tend to ignore the fact that maybe I should be doing the same. ;-)
      Thanks for the comment luv!!!

  6. I love this post! When I was in my middle school days all of my friends were making these husband wish lists, and for some reason it always made me uncomfortable...

    1. I'm glad you were able to maybe see how that wasn't the best thing;) and while I think husband lists in themselves aren't terrible, our huge expectations are. Thanks Hannah!

  7. Oh my gosh! This post was sooo encouraging! I love how you said that each day is an opportunity to cultivate those traits in our own lives. I want to thank you so much for writing this, and you don't know how encouraging your blog is to me! God has given you so much wisdom! Definitely following because you are encouraging me so much with my walk in the Lord. I'm gonna go back and read a bunch of your old posts now ;)
    -Lauren <3

  8. Great post! Too many teenage girls spend too much of their time fantasizing about "the one." They're fed media--both in the secular world and in the church--that says "Your man will be perfect" when that's just not true. And certainly not fair to expect.

    While I probably wasn't your average teenage girl (I had about two crushes in my life; both after age 14) I did make a couple of these lists, and I realize only now after I've met the man I will marry, just how far off they really were. How unrealistic and unfair. And how much more amazing he really is--because he's not a fictional, cardboard cutout.

    You hit the nail on the head here. Christian girls should stop focusing all their energy on "finding (or waiting for) Mr. Right" and start getting their own game on. Even if you don't get married, it's important to be a competent, functioning adult who can take care of yourself in the real world. And if you do get married--to support and step alongside your man. Growing up is a big deal, whether you've "met the one" or not.

    Those husband-checklists really need to go. I didn't think about it like this for a long time, but I realize how disturbed I would be if my boyfriend told me he'd made a "perfect woman" list that he'd been measuring me against. As if I were just the fulfillment to his order. It's the same thing when girls do it to guys. Finding the person you're going to marry isn't an order in need of fulfillment. It's a journey with two imperfect people traveling towards a perfect God.

    Anyways, now that I've basically written my own post, I'll stop now. :P

  9. Chloe, this is absolutely perfect!

  10. It is all about that balance! I heard an older brother share with some younger brothers once, "so what you really want is a perfect blend of Madame Guyon and Miss America. The problem is... she doesn't exist. And if she did exist... she wouldn't be interested in you!" It was kinda a funny joke, but there is a lot of truth in it. And as always, it goes both ways.

    On the one hand - no human being is perfect. So we obviously cannot expect our future husband to be. On the other hand, we cannot just give up and say "well I can tell he is not perfect, but I'm going to marry him anyway cause it doesn't get better."

    You are right. The only thing we can do is pray. Marriage is such a HUGE commitment, I guess I could never trust the choice to anyone but my perfect Lord. I believe that if we really pray, when the right one comes along, the Lord will have a way to let us know.

    Or we could just be spinsters and drool over the perfectness that is Gilbert Blythe.

  11. Oh my goodness, YES. This is part of why I am not for the conservative courtship approach to dating. The expectations are just too high. If you have expectations for a 100% happily ever after, you're not going to get that with any guy. Those checklists make love seem more like a shopping experience or a business contract than a love story. And also, really, what does 13 year old Sally know about love? Even though I never had an official checklist, I fell under that courtship thing for a little while. The standards are too high. I remember mentally culling through all the guys in my class and realizing that none of them fit my standards. I also missed a huge part of that. I realized that I wouldn't fit the standards of any guy that also has a checklist, yet I didn't lift a finger to do anythjng about that. :)
    What I realized is this: maybe 13 year olds don't need to be worrying about how they will meet their future spouse? Seems so basic and "duh" but I feel like a lot of folks miss that.


Hey! Person commenting! Yes, you. Wanna know something?

You're kinda awesome.