in pursuit of critical and compassionate living and thought. in surrender to courage & delight of Christ.

‘The List’: Part 2/2, a super-long “minimum requirements” relationship list.

So, here it is! 

Some of the things on this list are very general and obvious (because even these can be forgotten or overlooked!), some may be found directly from the Bible, and some are specifically in reference to striving to being faithful to who God has made me, or some very important burdens or desires that I expect will determine key decisions or rhythms of my life (and so these may not be relevant to anyone else at all!). All of these things are to strive for a healthy, holy, and God-honouring relationship. These things are chosen in view of beliefs that we change over time, and should expect to go through many seasons and crossroads that we may have never expected – and that it is our grounding in Jesus, our striving in Christlikeness, and our responsibility to humbly nurture and respect both the complexity and simplicity of faith and love that is what should never change. Importantly, these are also things that reflect how I want to look like single for a season or forever, hitched, widowed – things that make me healthy, holy, and God-honouring regardless of what desires are, or are not met.

If anything, I expect this list will only get longer and more refined. What have I missed? Are there things you disagree with as important? Are some things more superficial – or judgmental – than I thought? How far is too far when it comes to list-making – at what point do we expect our partner to be more than they are purposed to be?

Alas, in no particular order…

The List

  • Faith:
  • Loves Jesus. Noticeable love for Jesus in how he carries himself and interacts with others and life circumstances. This love comes before any love for theology, doctrine, tradition, etc.
  • Mature in faith. Independent pursuit of deeper relationship with Christ, holiness, and stewardship (pursues his own growth, for instance in the keeping of spiritual disciplines).
  • Believes in prayer and pursues a prayer life.
  • Believes in inspiration of the Scriptures and lives according to them.
  • Is moved that others experience Christ too.
  • Open minded. Not dogmatic or afraid of considering new ideas. Sees faith and Bible as complex.
  • Can step out of comfort zone. Does not live fear-based.
  • Loves and appreciates different kinds of people. High value for people.
  • Lives “open” to change, new things, most of all: actively seeks and responds openly to big “asks” from God/Holy Spirit.
  • Emotionally healthy:
  • Communicates clearly, proactively, honestly.
  • Deals with own emotions constructively. In control of emotions (e.g. no temper).
  • Manages conflict appropriately (e.g. no passive aggression, avoiding, lying, or outbursts, etc.).
  • Is comfortable alone.
  • Trusts.
  • Is self-aware and honest. Can admit when he doesn’t know something, particularly what he wants.
  • Relational and community values/posture:
  • Wants roughly the same number of kids. Loves, is proactive and comfortable in interactions with kids.
  • Values community and relationships. Seeks it out.
  • Allows others to influence him/interrupt his life/keep him accountable within appropriate boundaries.
  • Has a track record of healthy investments in/with others (friends, family, community, etc.).
  • Is able to keep longer-term friendships.
  • Has posture of humility towards own privilege.
  • Is moved by collective sins of community, church, humanity.
  • Is overall “for” the church, including in times of frustration. Cares for the global body. Loving, gracious attitude towards church.
  • Is not unmoved or defensive in posture towards women’s issues or concerns. Has a high view of women and girls.
  • Holds views on complex or “hot” topics with humility, and love towards those of different beliefs, especially if beliefs are held by default, tradition, or cultural popularity rather than personal Biblical study.
  • Regardless of beliefs on gender roles, has a posture of willingness to serve the other, put the other first.
  • Holds a posture of lovingkindness, grace and patience towards family (whether his, my own).
  • High value for, and genuine commitment to family (or to family’s good if relationship not possible, etc); does not treat family as idol or put family expectations above the leading of the Spirit; does not treat family with contempt; cares about parents’ future and well-being.
  • Practices generous hospitality. For instance, stewards an open and hospitable household atmosphere, including towards people whose lives and histories are more difficult, or who need support.
  • Welcoming of, and ideally passionate about, youth. Will not feel burdened by a lifestyle surrounded by youth.
  • Character:
  • Other-centred. Actively and reactively puts others first. Seeks the good of others in his life.
  • Serves others joyfully.
  • Joyful (fundamentally at peace; not necessarily “happy” or extrovert-like).
  • Humble. Teachable.
  • Generous.
  • Works with best effort, and integrity.
  • Kind.
  • Patient.
  • Gentle.
  • Honest. Reliable. Trust-worthy. Loyal.
  • Is moved by injustice.
  • Considerate. Is concerned about others’ thoughts and feelings.
  • Respectful with all people in all areas of life (e.g. is consistent, does not play favourites with different types of people, or use respect or kindness conditionally for self-serving purposes).
  • Hopeful. Resilient. Charitable. Not a gossiper, complainer, or overly critical of others.
  • Loves, respects, admires, appreciates me:
  • Encourages me.
  • Calls me out. Can give loving rebuke.
  • Acts “for” me overall in all things (has my best interests at heart). Supports and values who and how God made me, what He fashions to do through me, and ways I can apply my gifts in service of others.
  • Cherishes and values me. Appreciates the things that matter about me most. Appreciates my whole “overall” self, not, for example, a role I can fill.
  • Enjoys me.
  • Likes me (not just loves me).
  • Appreciation for me is not conditional or based on me liking him (has an independent value for me, and desire to be around me).
  • Is secure in self-worth apart from me or others.
  • Finds me personally attractive.
  • Shares a practically compatible overall vision for life.
  • Loves learning. Can make me think. Challenges and supports me intellectually, whether with similar or different intellectual strengths.
  • Supports and allows me to have my own opinions, and come to my own conclusions.
  • Values peace and unity over sameness of opinion.
  • Handsome (to me).
  • Health & presentation:
  • Responsible with inner-health (proactively seeks healing, growth, freedom from fears/addictions/sins/etc.).
  • Cares about his own health (has respect and appreciation for health and body). Does not treat body with contempt through chronic excess or neglect.
  • Cares about being approachable in context (is respectful with self-presentation).
  • Financially:
  • Generous. Does not live only for self-pleasure.
  • Responsible with spending, planning, and privileges.
  • Does not seek comfort, security, promise from money, or materials over God, and our call to generosity and trust. Is conscientious with these desires.
  • Does not flaunt wealth, use money as status symbol, bribery, or getting what they want.
  • Humour:
  • Laughs, smiles freely.
  • Healthy humour (does not find pleasure in other people’s misfortune or engage in mean-spirited or blasphemous humour).

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This entry was posted on July 21, 2017 by in relationships & identity, Uncategorized.
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