I finished reading Boy Meets Girl a few weeks ago, and Mum and I were talking about a certain section of it yesterday.
Joshua Harris [very wisely, on the whole] says that we shouldn’t go out into the world with a pre-conceived list of what we want our future spouse to be. He says that if we do this, we’ll be missing out on a lot than if we didn’t immediately eliminate people just because they don’t meet one or two of the expectations on our list.
To some extent, I do agree. I think it holds true for just basic friendship in the first place — if you go out into the world of pre-conceived ideas of what your friends should look like, should have accomplished by a certain point in their life, should believe in, should be, you’ll miss out on a heck of a lot of great friendships. I know I would have. If I’d tried to limit myself to just Catholic friends, or to handsome and dashing Prince Charming-looking guys, or to, I dunno, just Asian girls? or to just homeschoolers… what would I have been missing out on!!! I mean, c’mon. Seriously, my best friend? He has 10 piercings and a bunch of tattoos now and I don’t generally approve of that stuff, but what the heck? If I’d let myself get turned off by what he looked like at my first class (‘course, that was when there were only 4 piercings and no tattoos… but still), I would have missed out on a wealth of kindness, sincerity, encouragement, just plain hard tough brotherly love… so much, so much. And now? 4 years later, he’s still one of my absolute best friends ever, and I can’t imagine what life would be like without having ever met him. He’s had a hand in shaping who I am now. All of my friends have.
But then there is the other side of it. Yes, pre-conceived ideas are not always wise… but then it depends on what those ideas are.
Here is what I believe — I believe that one has to have standards. Now, what kind of standards? Well, not things like omigosh he has to be this much taller and that much smarter and he has to be Pinoy and… blah blah blah blah blah. BUT. He has to be Pro-Life, a committed Catholic, etc. I think the question here is, Are they my non-negotiables? or are they God’s?
If I base my standards on what I honestly believe are God’s non-negs, then I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I don’t think I’m closing myself to anything by God-centered standards.
I would love for my future spouse to have read and appreciated books like Sense and Sensibility, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Boy Meets Girl, Arms of Love, so on, so forth. It would be nice if they played some instrument very well. I would love for them to have an appreciation for martial arts. It would be cool if they didn’t mind my usually-leaning-towards-emo poetry. Basically, I’d like for them to like all the things I like, enjoy all the things that I enjoy, show some sort of mannish appreciation for all the things I squeal over… hahaha. And obviously I’d like him to be Pinoy so that my kids will speak tagalog, duhhhh… xD
But those aren’t God’s non-negs, and if I chose my friends by how many of them appreciate martial arts as much as I do? Whew. That’s a pretty darn short list compared to the one I am blessed to be able to write up with confidence and head “My True Friends.” I know it won’t work either when I’m 23-ish and possibly dealing with would-be court-ers.
I see it all now.
“May I have permission to court you?”
“Well, let’s see. What do you think of karate?”
“Ok, how about Sense and Sensibility?”
“I… saw the movie…”
“Oh bleh. Which one?”
“Did you ever read Arms of Love?”
“… Never heard of it…”
“Ah. Of course. Never mind. Gee, I dunno, I really don’t think we could ever work out.”
:) But wow, wouldn’t that be a fun conversation, just for the heck of watching their face? Lalala… I’m evil… rotfl.