I thought about drawing one up a few months back, but a few words of wisdom from a friend stopped me. He didn't mean them to apply to this topic, but nevertheless, they did. I remember it was about 1:00 in the morning, and I was having a deep conversation with two other teenagers about our life goals. One of my friends brought up preparation for marriage (he was several years older, so it was a much closer prospect for him), and the conversation went down that road.
I still remember my other friend, who had stayed quiet for most of the conversation. He quietly interjected to say that the most startling realization of how he needed to mature as a guy came from Prov. 31. He hastily (sadly before I was able to get off a joke about it) reassured us that he realized which gender Prov. 31 was aimed at, but that what he had realized was so simple we weren't sure how we'd missed it before.
Prov. 31 speaks of the virtuous woman rising before dawn, working with her fingers, gardening, directing servants, etc. And it's very easy for us guys to look at that and say, "Yep, that's the wife I'm looking for... She's got to do this, and this, and this..." But what my friend pointed out was that as her husband, I'm supposed to lead that woman! I'm supposed to be her head? I'm supposed to lead a woman who gets up before dawn, works late, runs a household, etc.?
That was a startling concept to me that at once turned a classic chapter of what a woman is supposed to be into a startling measuring stick of what I am supposed to be as a man!
I know many of my friends who have these lists, lists of what they're looking for in a spouse. And that's fine, I'm not saying that's wrong or that you should go throw them away! What I am saying is that maybe we spend far too much time dreaming about what we hope that spouse to one day be rather than working, right now, on allowing Christ to shape me into the husband or wife He intends me to one day be.
Let's turn that spouse list around, folks. What if we made lists of who we should be before we marry rather than what they must be? What if we changed the look a little bit, spending this time in our lives looking at ourselves and at Christ's work of sanctification in us rather than at what we hope God is doing in other people?
Again, spouse lists aren't a bad idea. I'm not saying they are. I'm just saying that maybe having two spouse lists might not be such a bad idea.