The List

I’m a big fan of lists. As a planner, I use them to make sure that all the details that need to be taken care of do in fact get resolved. I also like the feeling of satisfaction that comes when I can cross something off my list. Like many list-writers, I’ve been known to write something down that I’ve already completed, just for the pure joy of crossing it off the list. Lists are good tools for not only evaluating what needs to be accomplished, but what criteria we’re concerned about, or what factors need to be considered.

Even people who aren’t as fanatical about lists as I am still often have at least one list that they maintain. It’s the list of things that they want in their future spouse.  Somewhere along the way we went from just dreaming of having a future prince or princess to articulating how they will look, what they will do, and why they will be attractive to us. We’re told that this is a good list to have because it helps us separate out the “quality” people from the sleaze. We might even ask other people to review our list to see if we have left any important characteristic off. We want to be sure that we will be able to identify Mr. or Ms. Right when they come along – simply by reviewing our list.

However, I’ve come to realize that there’s one very big question we often overlook when considering our list. Is what’s on my list the same thing that’s on God’s? In other words – do I have the same criteria for my future mate that God always has?

This is different than simply including “A Christian” on our list. It means that that the only things on our list are what would be on God’s. It means that we evaluate our criteria in light of God’s standards – and remove anything that’s “extra”, not that we simply include His standards as part of ours. Because at the end of the day what matters is whether or not we have the person that God planned for us – not whether the person that He’s ordained for us fits our plans.

It’s a hard truth to swallow. Like most things in life, we are reticent to give up control. We think it’s important that we exercise “our requirements” so that we don’t “settle” for something that is less than good. However, if we believe God’s promises that He desires to bless His children with good gifts, then we should trust that whatever criteria He’s established for our future mate will be there for our good. We can trust that His list is the only one we need.


Now it’s your turn…from Scripture, what do we know will be on God’s list?



  1. I think back to the 3 questions that your dad asked Aldee. 1. Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. 2. Do you love Natalie. 3. Will you love and cherish her as Jesus did His bride the church?

    That sums it up well.

What do you think?