wow.  I just read some articles in Charisma Magazine that have gone “viral” listing what kind of man/woman to avoid for marriage. (Side note: 8 kinds of women on the avoid list; 10 kinds of men on the avoid list.)  You have probably seen them circulating on FB. Maybe I’m just one of those who believes a little too optimistically, but I found this so extremely disturbing.

1. disturbing that there were only X amount of things on the lists (if you’re gonna make one), and then 2. that there was a list at all.  Really?

This is how a Christian should pursue the “who to marry” question? A checklist of negative attributes? Run your love through the list to see if they “pass”?  I don’t know.  I am left bewildered and not even sure if I can articulate all of the “why”.

Don’t shoot! I’m not saying that there was not some level of practical wisdom there, but there was something strangely missing.

What was the missing ingredient? I’m wondering if at its root, humility is missing?  There is no one better than another.  Oh, you’ve never been in need of rescue from addiction?  No? Yes, yes you have! Oh, you meant substance/porn abuse? That’s different.  My bad.  I didn’t realize we were ranking sins in a list of gravity(just like Jesus did, right?). I am trying not to be sarcastic here, but I am so stinkin’ tired of lists.  Lists give you a very false sense of security.  STOP.  Put down the list and pray.  Ask God to show you what only he can reveal.  Don’t pretend a list can determine the answer to this important question. What does Jesus want? What he seems to dive in deep for, is faith.  Unadulterated, free-falling, jump-off-the-cliff-kind of faith and trust; a pursuit and connection with HIM that LEADS you.  Do not fear my dear. His love will cast that fear from you.  Don’t be afraid that he will not give you peace when it comes to finding a partner in life. Fear cultivates lists.  Trust cultivates listening.

I see in scripture that God guides.  He does not give lists. When He does (10 commandments, for example), it’s to prove TO US THAT WE ARE IN NEED OF HIM. He asks heart questions to bring us to a place of understanding of our own need, not to measure other people!! God gives grace to the humble. No grace to those trying to hide their faults. Just sayin’ darlin’.

The invisible list confirmed in our hearts will be one that we can trust; a guidance from the One who knows us and our potential spouse…Not one penned by men who want us to feel superior about our choice as if we are making an appliance purchase.  dear me. Truth is, we all know marriages that passed some kind of “list test”, only to then utterly fail. If we were scrutinized by someone’s list, we wouldn’t be chosen for marriage either… because are all in need…We are all at times the addictive, materialistic, diva, delilah…woman. (gasp)

God give us grace.  Because that is what we really need.