Choosing a Good Husband Pt. 2 - Check Yourself

jadyn noelle photography
 Are you one that wants to get married ONE time and make it work?
To actually stay married for life?

If so, good for you. It's possible. A good goal. Not gonna lie, it's hard, but it IS possible. The best headstart you can give yourself is choosing a good man to marry. They are out there! Yesterday we held out 10 qualities to see if your man is a keeper...a man that will make a good husband in the long run.

Today, let's talk about YOU. Your outlook on life and marriage. These are outlooks that will help or hinder you from being the wife that he can marry one time, for life.

1.  Marriage works best when two whole people, confident and complete within themselves, marry each other. If each person feels like a "half", searching for someone to complete them, they will most likely end up disappointed in marriage. No other person can complete you. Work on becoming "whole" yourself, in your own identity and in your relationship with Jesus, the ultimate Fulfiller. Choose a man who is complete on his own also, confident in himself and his relationship with God. Two wholes make a marriage. Two halfs make a hole that will never be filled. Are you looking for someone to make you feel better and complete? Or are you your own person with confidence and goals, who happens to find someone you'd like to live your life out with? Have your own dreams for your life. Be a whole person with or without him. Be confident.

2. Don't marry a dream. What you have is what you get. Aren't girls infamous for thinking "I'll change him?" You won't. Or "things will be different when we're married?" It won't. So, don't marry what you want him to become, or the idea of what you want marriage to be. Look very clearly at what you have NOW because that is what you have.  If you don't have it dating, you won't have it married. Is that too blunt?

3. Keep your standards high before marriage. Don't marry what you're not willing to live with. This is tricky, because some girls' standards are so high they will never marry. Then again, some girls explain away flaws that they'd rather not see, in order to not be alone. That understood, it is still important to keep your standards high if you want a really good man. This leads us to point #4.

4. You want to have high standards before marriage, but depending on how you think, with some girls it's a fine line between high standards and expecting perfection. Even in high standards, you can't expect perfection.  You won't get every single thing you want in one man. It's impossible. Be picky, but not unrealistic. No one is perfect and guys will make mistakes. As will you. Which leads me to point #5.

5. You need to have someone older and more mature in your life to help you decide if some mistakes are immaturity and forgivable, or if they are deal breakers. Sometimes you can only see that if you're older and have lived longer, so a mentor friend is very valuable. More on that below.

6. Don't unfairly judge your man based off of what has become dubbed as "chick porn". Chick porn consists of all the love stories, books and movies that portray boyfriends as perfectly charming, impossibly good looking and always "on" in the ultra romantic department. They slay dragons and run through the crowded streets of Manhattan to chase a taxi down in order to propose to the waiting female. Most guys aren't going to live up to that romantic Hollywood ideal. That's not entirely real.

You don't want to be judged by guy porn, do you? Girls that aren't entirely real? He shouldn't be judged on our girl version of porn, utter and total perfect romance at all times. It makes for a great movie, but then many are dissatisfied with the real guy next to them on the couch. Think about it.

That said, I would worry about a dating relationship where there was NO romance, pursuit or adventure. Most guys will muster up romance during the dating phase to win you over and that is a big part of dating! It's good to feel pursued and romanced, to know that he really wants you. 

7.  Let a good guy be a good guy, without having to be THAT guy. Banners and posters, flying leaps out of airplanes, and heartshapes mowed into cornfields are not going to last. They are endearing, make for great memories and pictures, but sometimes a guy who simply asks you face to face to the prom, or to marry him, is a good guy.  (For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, asking a girl to a dance, a prom or to marry him has of late become an art form. One that I wonder about- are guys intimidated by this? Have girls become too demanding in their expectations of romance and exploits for simple invitations? Guys, be thoughtful, respectful, charming and maybe even romantic in your invitations to girls, but save the big one for a marriage proposal.) Girls, if he's speaking to you face to face and is sincere and thoughtful, receive it, even if there's not fanfare.  If he happens to be strumming a guitar singing a song written just for you, good for you, enjoy it!

8. Tell yourself the truth. Girls, we are SO good at lying to ourselves, seeing what we want to see and explaining away red flags. Ask friends who care about you and are brave enough to tell you the truth. The ones you're afraid to ask. If a lot of people close to you are questioning you two as a couple, listen carefully to that. Ask yourself why you're afraid to talk to some friends about him. Listen to family. Be honest with yourself about any red flags you see.  Everyone I know who is now divorced say they ignored red flags before getting married. Divorce is an extremely painful process. Listen now, even though it's hard. It'll be harder later.

9. Take it slow. Enjoy the process. Enjoy friendship. Don't rush it. We live in an impatient culture that hurries everything along. Instead of acting like you're married, (going on trips together, spending Christmas morning with them, living together, having sex, having him read marriage books with you)  just date and see if you enjoy each other. Hang out, have fun, be friends, date. You can add all those other things when it becomes appropriate. Some things are better and less complicated when waited for.

 10. Make your decision a matter of much prayer. Follow peace in your heart. God will direct you. He wants good things for your life, so let Him in on this decision- the biggest decision of your life. He knows your heart, your life and what is best for you. 

5 Questions to Ask Yourself-

1. Do you really, really love him?

2. Does he bring peace or drama to your life?

3.Does he make you a better person? Are you freer to be yourself or do you feel controlled?

4. Have you lived through each season together?  Summer, fall, winter, spring? Have you been through some "life" together? Hit a bump or two? it's good to be together long enough to have a challenge or two to work out.

5. Are the things that bug you when dating deal breakers, or livable? If it bothers you now, it will only escalate in marriage. Ex. If the issue is that he's messy, you are able to deal with that.  You may not like it, but you can learn to deal with it. If the issue is he cheated on you when dating, that's a deal breaker. Talk it over with your older mentor friend who has lived longer than you. Almost 100% of affairs I've heard of in adult married couples had cheating involved during dating or engaged years. That's a serious issue that will probably be repeated, so you need to talk to someone about it.

"Don't marry someone you can live with- marry someone you can't live without".


Choosing a Good Husband - Pt. 1

yes this is me, hubby and groomsmen at our wedding 1991
Recently a couple of girls I've known for years, who are now at the age to consider marriage, asked me for a list of relationship advice. Advice geared toward those considering getting married.
 That is such a huge question. We could either be really simple, "follow your heart", or we could go overboard with a looooong checklist of demands....

I tend to be wordy in print, so looks like the list will err toward long....However, that's actually what these girls were asking me for, I believe. In a world where so few couples stay married, they were asking for real tips.

How do I choose a husband that I can actually stay married to for life? These girls are Christians and know that I am, so my list will be geared that way. As I wrote my answers for them, the thought occurred, why not blog this? There are obviously so many more good thoughts, so don't get mad at me if your best tip isn't on here. It would be FAB if you would leave yours in the comments!

SO, feel free to take what fits and throw out the rest. Though I really believe all these are important. :)

Part one focuses on HIM. (more to come, focusing on YOU).

10 signs that mean he might be a keeper:

1. Marry someone who loves Jesus as much as you do and who believes in the covenant of marriage. Having that in common will put you lightyears ahead on the road to success. It can be hard to be married at times, but each of you having your own personal relationship with the Lord will give you both the foundation necessary to make it work. It still takes more than that, but at least foundation is there to work from.

2. Choose a man of character.  A man of character is consistent. He treats you with respect, as well as others in his life- his friends, your friends, his mom, his family, his boss. He cares about honesty, commitment, respect and trust.  If he has a past that includes children or an ex, does he take care of them? Is his character the same online as it is in person? Is he open with you or secretive? 

3Marry someone you can laugh with, that shares your sense of humor. It's a wonderful thing and can help you through difficulties, besides just making life more fun anyway! If you're laughing together, you're probably friends, which is a great basis for marriage.

4. A good husband is responsibleDoes he have a job and a good work ethic? Does he pay his bills? Can you trust him in this area? Does he rely on you to do the responsible things or is he self motivated?

5. What is his family experience? They say you don't just marry him, you marry the family and there is truth to that. What are you marrying into? What's his idea of marriage based on how he grew up? Someone with a similar family experience growing up is helpful, but definitely not necessary. Commonality just makes thing a little easier when you already think somewhat alike in family related issues. Do you both want kids? What are each of your expectations about you working or not working outside of home when you have kids?

6. Marry a giver and not a taker.  In the Bible, dating isn't discussed, but marriage is. If you study the Ephesians 6 husband, he gives, not takes. He serves, doesn't demand. Love gives, lust takes. Read the chapter from that perspective. Of course, reciprocate that and be a giver also.

7. Find a man that's teachable.  Everyone makes mistakes and as a couple you hopefully mature together. Part of that requires both of you being teachable, not stubborn or demanding or stuck on your own way. You can work many problems out in life if he is willing to admit he's wrong sometimes, and see another way. You of course should be the same, not just him.

8. One push, one shove, one hit, he's out. Literally. Love is not abusive. I'm hard core on this, because of stories I know from friends. If he hits once, he'll hit again. You are not the one who needs to save him from this behavior. Someone else can help him. 

9. How are his words toward you? He should not call you ugly names.  His words should actually make you better. Back to the Ephesians 6 husband- as Christ "washes us" with the water of His Word, our husbands words to us should be cleansing and make us better.

10. Find someone who celebrates who you are, not someone who tries to change you into what he wants, that isn't true to your nature. You should feel celebrated, not criticized, and free to be your real self.

Come back tomorrow for tips geared toward YOU.


Black Light Prayers, Deciding to Marry & 5th Grade Friendships

Blogging is scarce sometimes when life gets busy, though I'm always working on things to come! Never fear!

Newsflash- I post DAILY on our Facebook page "5 Things".

If you haven't "liked" that page yet, join the fun and follow us there for daily articles from great people I follow, thoughts, conversations and other random awesomeness, all relating to raising kids in today's world.

Go to the actual website and you'll see the "like us on Facebook" link on the right. --->

Things to come....

Have another great story from a college senior coming up.

Working on a list of "relationship advice" for girls considering marriage (asked for by girls who are at the age of considering marriage). You have input?? Leave it in the comments here, please!

Working on the next 5 Things story from another mom.

Meanwhile, local meetings with girls are up and running again after a summer break. We had a wonderful prayer meeting last night with high school and college girls. I love that our church has a prayer room that is VERY coolly (is that a word?) designed, accessible to use 24/7 by the church and public.

Imagine this- a cozy room that artists have designed floor to ceiling, covered with pictures, scripture, a map of the city. All over the walls people who pray have written prayers. It's all set off with cool black lighting for a funky feel...(normal lighting for the non funky pray-ers).  The girls ADORE this room. We ladies suffered and struggled to actually see the Bible references we referred to, but ya know, suffer for awesome lighting and atmosphere!

I'm thankful for ladies who give their time to pray with these girls and for the girls who are honestly seeking God in their life journey.

Starting tomorrow, we kick off a Girls 101 5 week after school Friendship Series at an elementary school for 5th and 6th grade girls. Pictures to come! And the very best thing, I have 10 committed fellow volunteers who are so excited to invest into these girls lives, the majority of which are girls who have been in meetings with me since THEY were that age. LOVE it. So glad to have them.

Now, put on your thinking cap and leave me your best relationship advice in the comments, for those considering marriage. Please. :)

Once Again- Awkward Talk #4

I'm reposting the last Awkward Talk #4,  to parents. Not enough people read it, and I can't tell you how many things have come up on this subject since I posted it. So here we go again, click on this link:

Awkward Talk #4

You may even get blessed, who knows? A friend shared this good report- after reading this post, she followed her teen son on Instagram, determining to check things out and make sure it was all okay. She found only good things, like scriptures and family pictures. She was so blessed! And she unfollowed him and gave him privacy back, sure of his character online.

Now that's a good story. That's the way we like it.

So go ahead, creep on your kids. You'll either be confirmed and relieved, or you'll find something that needs to be talked about and clarified. Either way, greater good is accomplished.


A Tribute

In a day short on role models, especially for women, I'd like to introduce you to one today.

Yesterday was a Memorial for a lady who was known in our city as "Mother Tucker". She was like a Mom to the whole city.  She lived 93 long years, with most of those decades dedicated to serving the poor and homeless of our city.

I had the privilege of meeting her once in the mid 80's while I was in college. I visited her shelter and simply folded clothes with her, preparing them to be handed out to the homeless.

Of her 93 years, I only had one hour with her, but as was spoken at her funeral, when you were with her, you sensed a spirit of greatness. Meekness and boldness at the same time.

She has been honored by our State, our Governor, has a city street named after her, along with many other recognitions.

Her family legacy is amazing. 16 children, 43 grandchildren, 78 great grandchildren, 20 great great grandchildren, and countless others who were impacted by her and treated as family.

Her name is synonymous with helping the poor and needy of our city. She was also the first black woman in Tulsa to pastor an integrated and nondenominational church. She didn't even stop when she hit 90, but had been at this for 60+ years when she died of natural causes.

It was said she believed in people until they believed in themselves.

And that she did more with nothing than many do with much. Through all of the difficulties she endured, she never gave up.

Her motto was "Everybody is somebody".

Her family summed up her life as one who loved.