For years I’ve joked with single women, “You’ll never find The Perfect Man because I married him.”
My love for my husband grows and changes from year to year as we survive trials and tribulation. They aren’t troubles within the marriage, they’re troubles outside we’ve weathered together. In fact, we’ve often joked that if the Lord had shown us the path we would take together, we wouldn’t have gotten married. Just joking, of course. The truth is, life is hard for everybody, and going through life with someone who is your best friend and is there for you no. matter. what. is a joy and a privilege.
Years ago, my friend and her fiancé took a test to see if they were compatible for marriage. They were asked questions about household chores, common interests, and expectations for future family. To me, it was shallow.
Who decides who’s going to do dishes before they’re married?
Life happens. Some couples can’t have kids, others end up having more than they planned. Other couples move and are exposed to new foods, interests and hobbies. There are too many unknown factors to match up couples according to a simple list of physical things that will change.
The ideal is to match the core of your ideals and ride the changes and hardships in life together. Choose a man who has a depth of faith and moral character that will endure for eternity.
Ten Things to Look for in The Perfect Man
The Perfect Man loves the Son of Man more than you. He is faithful to the Lord Jesus, His Word and His people. He actively uses his spiritual gifts to minister. He should love the Lord more than you.
The Perfect Man loves the real you. There is no glass Cinderella slipper in his hand that you must fit into. Yes, there are colors he likes you to wear, or foods he wants to eat. But, overall, he loves you for your passions, interests, and beliefs. He wants you to become the woman the Lord created you to be, not the ideal mate he created in his mind.
The Perfect Man loves you more than his possessions. How does he react if you have an accident with something he owns? When I dinged up our Suburban, my husband said, “It’s just sheet metal.”
The Perfect Man loves the way you look, but his staying power isn’t dependent on your staying that way. Illness happens. Babies happen. Stress happens. I have two 6 1/2 inch skinny scars that interweave across my neck like a macramé’ choker. My husband doesn’t see the imperfection, he sees the woman he loves. These blemishes don’t affect me, because they don’t affect him.
The Perfect Man listens to you. Yes, he needs to be reminded, he needs to be told more than once, after all the word MAN is still in that title, but overall, he listens to your words and understands the passion, because he knows they come from your heart.
The Perfect Man understands you come with baggage. He’s willing to open up the baggage, help wash what’s inside and repack it neatly.
The Perfect Man knows when he marries you he marries the whole family. He won’t make you choose between him and them. He doesn’t have to agree with their philosophies, approve of their life choices or enjoy all their activities. He respectfully chooses to love them and be a part of the family because they’re your family.
The Perfect Man is not afraid to ask for advice and is not too proud to act on advice given. No person is an infinite fountain of wisdom, your life will always benefit from a man who is willing to seek out advice from others who are older and/or wiser.
The Perfect Man blesses you when there is a reason and when there isn’t. I get flowers on Valentine’s Day and the First Day of School. But, I also have been given lovely gifts like an usual rock or a twisted piece of wood when my hubby was out hiking. When he went to the ocean for the first time on a business trip, he brought home a takeout box of white sand so I could share his experience.
Chocolate is always good, too. It’s never about money, it’s about the thought.
The Perfect Man will pass the Bed Pan Test. This is the final and hardest test to pass.
Many men will buy flowers.
Many men will buy chocolates.
Not many men will hold a bed pan.
The Perfect Man holds the bed pan while you puke your guts out.Then he’ll wipe your mouth, give you a drink of water, and not care that your breath stinks. That’s what my man did eight years ago when I went through my first round of thyroid cancer.
The Perfect Man grows more perfect through trials, clinging to the Lord for His strength and wisdom. He endures poverty and riches, sickness and health, joy and sorrow with the same faith and joy. Because His love for the Lord endures, His love for you will endure.
Not all marriages will require a bed pan, but all couples will endure trials together. Many marriages end during cancer. Other marriages are destroyed while dealing with a prodigal child, a miscarriage, death of a child or financial troubles.
The bed pan signifies the commitment of a man determined to stick out his faith and his marriage, by the grace of God, at any personal cost during every trial. He’s willing to sacrifice for his bride, because He loves the One who gave up His life for His bride. How men handle frustration and trials will tremendously affect your marriage.
So, that list you have in your Bible. C’mon, single girls, admit it. I know THE LIST is in there, that’s where I kept mine. Take it out right now and add one more thing:
“Must be able to pass the Bed Pan Test.”
And next time you look into the eyes of the young man you’re
swooning praying over, if you’re confident he could hold a bed pan, he just might be The Perfect Man.
This may sound weird, but two of my favorite memories from our marriage have been in times of sickness. One was when, right after we got married, my husband had to have surgery. I got to take care of him, feed him, dress his wounds… Not a typical way to start off a marriage, but those memories are precious to me. One of my other favorite memories was our first New Years Eve as a married couple. I got horribly ill the night before, and was throwing up constantly. Instead of lamenting that we could no longer go with his family to their cabin for the holiday, he sat with me and rubbed my back while I puked my guts out. Then he sat at my feet as I lay on the couch, half sleeping, half watching Pride and Prejudice, keeping me company while he could have been in the other room enjoying the festivities with my family. I knew then that I had a keeper.
Mindy Peltier says
Kelsey, those are beautiful memories. Thank you for sharing them with my readers. It truly is a true test to see how husbands and wives are going to treat each other during hardship. Thanking the Lord you found a keeper and encouraged us all with your experiences. May you truly live happily ever after. 🙂
Joanna Pearson says
Thank you!! I was definitely intrigued by the title, as if I’m going to meet him I don’t think I’ve met my “Perfect Man.” But I appreciated your insightful comments as it reiterates the importance of reality. A man who is honest and real, and yielded in the Lord’s hands. I’m definitely enjoying being the Lord’s alone right now, but thanks for the encouragement to wait for such a man. 🙂
Mindy Peltier says
Joanna, not sure how I missed your comment…..months ago. 🙂 I am so encouraged by your faithfulness to the Lord and for your contentment with where you are at right now. A lot of Christians are happily married and may not realize that single people feel like they’re on Noah’s ark….
I love it that you are WILLING to wait and I love that it that you are WORKING for the Lord while you wait. Blessings to you, sweet sister!
SWEET TEA says
What a great post.
So true and so well written.
I’ve never heard of the Bed Pan Test, but my guy has done this too and I will never forget it!
Notice so much of love involves action…Not emotions or feelings, or personal wants. I am in a great marriage, and my husband is my best friend. I think my best memories of our times are times when we were doing for each other, not waiting for the other to do for us.
Mindy Peltier says
I love to hear people are married to their best friend. It sure makes life good, doesn’t it? Great advice on doing for others. I think often newlyweds are in marriage for what THEY get. When they don’t GET, they get disappointed. One woman once told me, “I expected my husband to make me feel like a Princess all the time. I don’t feel like a Princess!” Sadly, she’s no longer married. Wish I could have given her the advice you just gave us!
I loved this post, your list, your beautiful flowers, the kisses, the bedpan thoughts, and the comments to the single girls reading your post. You are a motivator for loving on your husband!!
I remember when I was in the hospital with meningitis when we were dating. My hubby (then-boyfriend) was so good to me and visited me and even fed me. I was too tired to eat and was losing weight fast as all I did was sleep, lol!
There have been times in our marriage when I was sick and throwing up (or pregnant) and he held my hair or changed the pan, so yes….he’s passed the test, lol! But great post my friend.
In his pre-marital counseling he will ask couple’s questions. He keeps things in confidence and doesn’t tell me, of course, but a gal from one of the couples came up and told me that they hadn’t talked about children yet until he asked them if they’d talked about it.
Your blog looks very weird to me. It’s spread out all the way across the page, but I’m thinking it’s just my browser being weird because it’s never done that before.
Yup, it was just me. Your blog is back to normal again!
Mindy Peltier says
Isn’t it amazing to see and experience true love? I love your meningitis story. What an interesting beginning you would only find in a love story written in Heaven, not in Hollywood.
Happily married to the best man on earth too. 🙂 I know for certain that a bed pan wouldn’t phase him much!!!
I think that any single male looking for a wife should read this blog!!
Mindy Peltier says
I was thinking that as I typed and typed and erased and erased on this post trying to capture my thoughts. Men could read it to see what they should BE. But, Everything we WANT in a mate should also be everything we strive to BE ourselves. We want to be equally yoked!