July 13, 2012

Pondering "Dealbreakers" Over a Breakfast Taco

"How important do you think it is that the guy you marry be a virgin?"

"Huh?" I was a little preoccupied with preparing my coffee the way I prefer it: Cream, no sugar, gulp down the first cup as quickly as possible in order to get awake, pour a second to enjoy slowly, all the while thinking about happy things such as books to read, flowers, and butterflies. Actually, I wasn't thinking about any of those three things that day. I was mentally debating whether or not to eat huevos rancheros, but I don't like eggs... so really I was debating whether or not to eat a taco for breakfast.
Don't roll your eyes at me like you've never been faced with a similar situation. 

Folks, it is not wise to have these types of "conversations" with me early in the morning. If you lived with me you'd know that I don't say anything coherent in the first hour I'm up. 90% of what leaves my mouth are mumbles and groans about going back to bed. I walk around half-dead, wishing Americans would cut back on how many hours they have to be "productive." Why can't I live in Europe?

But then later that day I started thinking about how us Christians sometimes take our ideal spouse lists to the extreme. Young girls swearing they could never marry a virgin, or marry a guy from a messed up family, or they get nit picky about "acceptable" hobbies. Then I remembered hearing some guy give a lecture on what he was holding out for in his future wife, and how he encouraged all the other guys to aspire to the same thing. I came away from the situation feeling totally discouraged: "Well, guess I won't be getting married since I've got nothing going for me and won't ever reach the bare minimum. Because who am I kidding? Reaching that standard would take me all of eternity to reach. Must be time to get a dog. Guess the good news is when I buy a couch I can get whichever one I want since I won't need to take anyone else's opinion into consideration. Brown or black... leather or fabric...?"

Void of grace is what we become when our "standard" turns into one that is not rooted in the gospel, but rather our selfishness. You need the gospel in marriage, because neither you or your spouse will be perfect.
Some people in our culture want too much out of a marriage partner. They do not see marriage as two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love and consolation… Rather, they are looking for someone who will accept them as they are, complement their abilities and fulfill their sexual and emotional desires... A marriage based not on self-denial but on self-fulfillment will require a low-or no-maintenance partner who meets your needs while making almost no claims on you. Simply put—today people are asking far too much in the marriage partner. -Tim Keller in You Never Marry the Right Person
What matters is that you marry someone who loves Jesus. Those who loves Jesus are repentant. You and I shouldn't have the standard to marry a person who's completely pure, or has all of his or her baggage "taken care of." Essentially you're assuming a person "has outgrown sin and folly" in saying such things. That is unattainable for any human whilst living in a fallen world on this side of heaven. They're pure because Christ bought their purity on the cross by the shedding of His blood, death, and resurrection.
Don’t look for the perfectly healed champion.  He’s already waiting for you in Heaven. Look for they guy who is covered with scars from the fight. Look for the guy who is bloody and bleeding with this huge grin on his face because he’s confident that the war is already won. -Fabs from Thoughts from Fabs
It is not ticking off godly things from a checklist, but it is choosing Christ despite the cost, and failing, then rising up again. It’s not about never making a mistake, but it is about humbly repenting and reconciling with God and others... He can’t and won’t be perfect, but he will carry the marks of struggle with sin. He knows how broken and in need of healing he is, and that his every step is sustained only by the power of Christ. He has a story of brokenness and renewal, of failing again and again but fighting once more. It’s a story of grace, for we have all fallen short of the glory of God and need humble and true repentance before God and one another. -Connie in In which I Ramble about Warrior Poets, Husband Lists, and Grace
The standard is a man or woman who walks in repentance and grace whatever their past may have been, and whatever they still must battle.
FYI: I did eat the taco for breakfast. And it was good in all it's salsa and cheesiness.


  1. Love this!!! Forwarding it to friends

  2. Spot on, Natalie! It is so much more important that my future spouse has a heart after God and is seeking to be more like Christ every day. I'm imperfect and broken and he will be to...it would be wrong to place expectations on Him that only Christ can fulfill. However, it is good to have standards while trusting God to bring the person into our lives in His timing. Hope this all makes sense... :)

  3. Wow, Natalie... yet another wonderful post that has come at the perfect timing with the perfect message. People are always trying to tell me what I need and have never approved of the guys whom I have been attracted, too. Ok, some of them weren't the best... I'll admit. :P But really, who are we to judge like that? Why should I deserve a perfect person since am I not perfect? And how would I even find this perfect guy? Anyway, great post. I'll be passing it on. :) Thanks!!

  4. I love this post! I am a list maker and I do have some expectations of my future husband, but Chirst's influence in His life should smash away everything else.

  5. I love your writing! Your blog is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I found myself riveted by your words when this topic is hardly applicable to me right now -being married and all and yet at the same time it is so relevant because I need to remember to show grace to my husband every single day. Thank you!

  6. I'd agree Samantha! It is good to have standards, I was just getting that we should always be willing to extend grace if our future spouses though have made mistakes in the past. You may even want to look at this past post I wrote months ago: http://scribblesnthings.blogspot.com/2012/01/i-want-to-marry-man.html

    Chantel: Thanks! I love your blog too! And glad you could take something away from the post even as a married.

  7. not only is this fantastic, wise, and true, but this is excellent writing... you ought to write a book sometime ;)

  8. Apart from loving this and everything you said. I laughed out loud at 'must be time to buy a dog' haha.

    Great post. Completely agree with what you're saying. x

  9. Amen and Amen! Love this! It took me forever to figure this out, but when God's grace grabbed a hold of me I fell head over heals for a man that walked with God and was so full of character and integrity, despite his past. Christ makes us all new, and when we walk in that and love in that freedom, we find peace! Thanks for this! love Katie


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