Grocery List. Chore List. Task List. Relationship List.
The list goes on and on!
Truth of the matter is that we seem to have an obsession with lists these days. We rely on lists to keep us organized and focused. We look to lists to chronicle our ideas and dreams. We use lists to track our progress or lack thereof. We also use lists to define what we want in a mate.
I was no different than any other hormonal teenager in the world and spent the better part of my teenage years fantasizing about boys. My dear sweet mother did all she could to give my over-the-top emotions an ouitlet and her solution was the construction of “THE LIST”.
It was my task to sit down and write all of the characteristics, down to phyiscal features, that I wanted in a boyfriend and pray, believing that God would somehow in His omnipotent power, cause our paths to cross.
Bless her heart, and mine too.
Here’s what my list looked like, back in the day:
Good hair (curly or wavy)
Goes to church
That’s what my list looked like between the ages of 15 & 18. Sad to say, I’ve seen the same items on the lists of women twice that age. You’d think our lists would grow up along with us.
If I could come alongside my 15, 16 or 17 year old self, and proofread her “list”, this is what it would look like:
Good Hair (wavy or curly) Your hair, sweetheart, is not wavy or curly. Is it fair to make this a requirement? Should hair texture define his or even your beauty?
Caramel Complexion Once again, your complexion is not caramel. You are a beautiful dark brown. HE can be too.
Tall It’s ok to prefer a tall man as long as you keep an open mind. After all, you don’t want someone to overlook all of YOUR good qualities simply because of your physical appearance.
Loves God This is definitely the best thing on your list so far but you’ll come to realize over time that a person’s true relationship with God is private. However, their character and integrity is public. Make that your focus.
Goes to church You’ll see over time that just because a man or woman attends church, that doesn’t mean they are good people or will treat you good. How a person behaves outside of those four walls should be your primary focus.
Light eyes Seriously?! lol! You just excluded a ton of people because of this one requirement Rethink this.
Rich Define “rich”. Just because a man has money doesn’t mean YOU will. Is he generous? That’s what you need to make sure you find out.
Nice Car What exactly is a “nice car”? If you mean, “expensive”, then you are being petty and need to think realistically. A man doesn’t have to drive a Mercedes or Bentley to get along. You’ll soon have your own cars and car payments and trust me, you will NOT have Mercedes money but will be blessed with reliable transportation.
Good Job Well this would make sense. If he’s supposed to be rich and drive a nice car, then that would require a good job! But in order for a man to earn enough money for a “rich” lifestyle, he must devote a large portion of his time to that job and not to you. Are you sure you want a rich man? Think about it…seriously.Try a man who leads a balanced life and is financially responsible. That’s a little more down to earth.
Minister I know what you’re thinking, “surely a preacher is going to be a man I can trust and who has integrity!” But this is not a given sweetheart, There are plenty of God fearing men out there who are not clergymen. Don’t hold this against them and don’t assume he’s a man of integrity just because he is clergy.
Sometimes I wish someone had gone over my list like this with a red marker! lol! But the bottom line is that there are plenty of young women in the world who have unchecked lists. There was a time in my life when I preached against the construction of lists but now, I see their usefulness. If done right, mothers can get a glimpse into the mindset of their daughters as it relates to men and guide them where they may be drifting. It can be used as a tool to show moms where problem areas are. Daughters who emphasize superficial qualities may be battling issues with self esteem and self worth. Daughters overly articulate about material possessions may lack compassion and empathy for the plight of others less fortunate.
These lists can be used for good but these lists must change.
If you’re a young woman, an older woman can help you fine tune your expectations on life. If you’re an older woman, it can hopefully show you where you have the greatest need and show you areas that you can continue to improve on.
It’s ok to make a list.
Just make sure you’re putting those lists to work for you.