What I’m Looking for in the Man I Marry

Time for a word-heavy post! So grab a cup of tea and let’s chat…

I’ve been told time and time again that who you marry is the second-most important decision you make in life, right after accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Woah, hey there, that’s some kinda pressure! 

It stuns me to think of the responsibility and privilege and weight of being married. Godly marriage is one of the most beautiful, blessed things a person could ever enter into. It’s holy. The idea is scary-as-all-get-out sometimes, too, if I’m being honest. It’s not something I take lightly in the slightest. But I’m also just really excited about being a wife. I think it’s going to be amazing, and a role and season of life that I am excited to embrace and explore.
In light of all of this, out there in this great big crazy dating world, how does one sift through the possibilities to find the potential? I’ve done my fair share of sifting, and I’ve found a few non-negotiables for the man I marry.  
I thought I’d share with you a few of the things from MY “list” (as inspired by Ali and her list). 
1.) A spiritual leader, willingly, unequivocally, and with my blessing (Ephesians 5:22-33): This has always been something I’ve struggled with. First off, I’ve seemed to always end up dating immature Christians. Secondly, it seems that oftentimes men are not taught what this looks like if it was lacking in their own home growing up. Thirdly, I’m pretty independent and a little bit (lot bit?) stubborn, so actually submitting and wholeheartedly accepting someone else as the spiritual leader has been difficult for me in the past. But this is non-negotiable, and requires work and commitment from both parties.

2.) Equally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14): I used to think this just meant “don’t marry an unbeliever” but now I have a more in-depth understanding of how God can create two people who are equally yoked in more ways that you can count or imagine. It’s utterly beautiful. I spent a lot of time (and I mean A. LOT. of time) with my mom and best friend trying to figure out what sort of man/personality type would fit with me. I’m a pretty unique person/personality type, and I’m the first to admit I’m not always the easiest one to “get” right away. But the truth is, you don’t need a “type” of man that would fit. You just need one. And God is faithful.

3.) Someone who is in a place in life where they are ready to get married (1 Corinthians 13:11): I’m not looking for a boy. I’m looking for a man. I’m looking for someone who seeks to serve the Lord with his finances, his career, his relationships, and his whole heart. I’ve dated guys who weren’t ready to get married and I’ve poured myself into them, tried to “love them” into growing up, etc. etc. Doesn’t work, friends. Let’s find men who are secure in Christ and secure in who they are BEFORE we show up on the scene.

4.) Someone who accepts me completely as I am, and yet makes me want to be a better person in all areas of life (Philippians 4:8 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-8): I want to be with someone who brings out the best of all of me. I’ve dated guys before who brought out one facade of my personality beautifully. One guy I dated brought out the nurturer in me in a lovely way, yet he never got to experience passionate-about-life Natalie. I want someone who makes me want to be better for him, for God, for my family, for my friends, for my employer, for everyone I meet in daily life. Someone who has seen my weaknesses and still chooses to love me and walk beside me. “I have seen the best of you and the worst of you and I choose both.” ~Sara Kay

5.) Someone who inspires me. (Ephesians 2:10). This might not be important for everyone, but for me, it is crucial. I’ve dated boys before with whom I never shared a word of my poetry with and never spilled a drop of ink about them onto the page. To me, that means they weren’t bringing life out of me, or pouring life into me. My creative spirit and soul is one of the gifts God has given me, and I want a man who isn’t afraid to engage that. This requires emotional intelligence, something that oftentimes men haven’t exercised enough to fully develop. He needn’t be interested in the exact same things I’m interested in or see the world through the exact same lenses I do. I’m looking for someone with the time and space in their life, heart, and mind to engage with my passions and their own. 

I found my “list” from 2008…and the majority of it still rings true, though it was me-focused, rather than God-focused. I thought it would be fun to share just for comparison: 

“I want a man who knows the value of a promise. Who keeps his promises.I want a man who believes that marriage is holy and is forever.I want a man who makes me absolutely a better version of myself (not just the other way around).I want a man who has both common sense and utter nonsense.I want a man who thinks I am cute when I make a few too many stupid jokes in a day, and when I laugh a little too loudly at something in my head.I want a man who will know when I’m in just a little too deep, and will give me that helping hand.I want a man who knows that occasionally I do get in a little too deep, but usually I am just fine.I want a man who is strong enough to be the spiritual leader for our family. And by that, I also mean, I want a man who wants a family and is a “family man”. I want a man who loves me FOR my quirks, not in spite of them.I want a man who is able to see through me even when I just keep staring straight ahead.I want a man who appreciates the little things I choose, like nice towels and hand soaps; who knows exactly what I want, but surprises me still the same; who is okay with the fact that I am a major dork; who knows that I always want the honest answer even if I don’t like it; who will like to cook with me; who will sleep out under the stars with me JUST because I *want* to.

There are so many other things I could tell you I’m looking for. The little things. But when it comes right down to it, the truth of the matter is this: I’m looking for someone I CAN’T WAIT to do every day life with. Who can’t wait to do every day life with me. I’m looking for the one God gives me. 
And I’m also working on a post of What I’m Hoping to BE for the Man I Marry…comin’ up soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

So…what’s on your list? Am I way off track?


Sister Sunday: Girl Versus Dough

I really love this idea that Kristin at Lily&Light (she’s on my sidebar this month, YAY!) came up with, as a way to celebrate, collaborate, and create community: Sister Sunday. It’s a special post dedicated to another blogger that you admire and want to share. So who better to share than my actual Sister (ok, in-law, if we wanna get technical), who also happens to be my Minnetonka Thunderbird Mocassins twin? Love it. 

Girl Versus Dough & Good Girl Style aka Stephanie & Natalie
Stephanie is a foodie blogger and a great photographer, and I happen to have it on good authority that she’s also pretty great as a teammate for Trivial Pursuit, she makes a delicious cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, and not only do we have matching mocs, we have matching coats. Oops. Slash awesome. 
Oh, and did I mention when I ask her to jump and reach for the giant Medieval-y chandelier so I can take a picture, she does it?
Yeah, awesome
Pop on over and say hello to my sister-in-law Stephanie
Happy Sunday!

(in)RL Conference Sign-Up

Girls, get your calenders out ๐Ÿ™‚
Because I’m pretty sure you’re going to want to be part of Dayspring’s Incourage In-Real-Life ((in)RL) meet-ups! I co-lead one of inCourage’s groups for single ladies (we are starting up again in February, be on the lookout for more information), and I just love what they do to encourage community among women. This is one of their initiatives…they like to think of it as a “free girls’ weekend that doesn’t require a plane ticket.” 
Registration is FREE, and the weekend starts with a webcast on Friday, April 22nd, and moves on to small community-hosted groups all over the country on Saturday, April 23rd. This year’s theme is “Staying Rooted In Community Through Tough Times.” Doesn’t that sound like a fantastic time?
You can check it out and register HERE (and if you register today, you get a few extra perks!).
Hope you can find a community and join!

Sunday Sweetie Pie

How to Make A Good Sunday Afternoon:

  1.) Mix up some pie dough. 

2.) Throw it in a pie pan, and crimp it as prettily as you can.

3.) Put some really yummy stuff in the pie crust (strawberries and rhubarb highly suggested)
4.) Cut lots of pretty little hearts on the top crust.
5.) Bring your sweetheart this pie and wait for the “sweetie pie” sweet nothings to come!
P.S. If he really likes you, he’ll take the piece with the little heart to work the next day ๐Ÿ˜›

Blossoming Beauty

The boy bought me these perfectly pink gerbera daisies (that he picked out all by himself!)…they make my heart sing ๐Ÿ™‚ I posted the picture and a friend and mentor commented, “What a special man that gives you such beauty.” 

A man that gives me beauty, as in beautiful physical objects…what a blessing! To have someone that I love, bring me things that I love, things that he knows will make me happy, just fills me. He wants to make me happy and to bring me beauty. He wants to make my heart sing and to see my face light up. Such a small thing that can make me happy all week!

A man that gives me beauty, as in, makes me a more beautiful person…what a blessing! Someone who makes me shine from the inside-out. A man who sees my femininity and works hard to make me feel like a beautiful woman…and tells me every day that I am beautiful and worthy. That makes me long to be more beautiful for him…more beautiful physically, emotionally, and spiritually, as a woman of God. He makes me long to be closer to God!That is the way it should be.

Girls, our men should absolutely make us feel that we are God’s feminine and beautiful women. We are our man’s feminine and beautiful woman too….inside and out. He spurs me on for the Lord! Don’t settle for any less in a man.

Life is Short Eat Your Greens First

I’m a dessert girl. My life motto is, “Life is short, eat dessert first.” Well, not my life motto per se, but at least my motto when it comes to, well…dessert.
So often my God has another idea. A better idea, I’m loathe to admit. God says, “Eat those greens, girl.”
“Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.” ~Proverbs 24:27
There see, He just said, “Eat those greens, girl,” basically. Waiting is difficult. Waiting when you have something wonderful in front of you {that proverbial house or a piece of chocolate cheesecake} is even more difficult. We must be faithful to our God. We must be patient, steady, trusting. We must be willing to do the hard heart-work God asks us to do. He calls us to prepare our fields, to eat our greens, to grow up.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” ~Psalm 127:1 
If you eat the greens, the dessert tastes sweeter. And being a dessert girl, I’m all for that.

This catchy song goes so well with this….