Before the Wedding....
Establishing a list for your future spouse.

What do you want in a future spouse?  Sometimes this question is best answered before you even are eligible for marriage.  It is a list of "Must Have's" and "Can't Stands" that you can carry around with you and use to hold possible future spouses accountable to. 

     For your "Must Have" list, pick ten top things that your future spouse must have in order for you to consider him/her a possible good choice for not only yourself, but also for your future children.  For example, here are my top ten items for my future husband:

10 Must Haves:

1.  He must be a faithful Catholic who respects and loves the Catholic Church and all her teachings – especially those on Natural Family Planning and those regarding contraception.  He must be someone who can help me get to Heaven. 

2.  He must be in a career that would not only support us as a married couple, but also our future children in a way that would allow me to stay home and school them.

3.  He must have a good work ethic.  He is not afraid to go get things done and just because something is hard, he does not back off or procrastinate. 

4.  He must be someone who I can not only talk to about difficult subjects, but who can also help me understand and appreciate things.  His measured level of intelligence does not have to extremely high, but his ability to work out a situation and his “street smarts” would be a must. 

5.  He must be a good communicator, and not be withdrawn. He has to be someone I can talk to, listen to, and love.  . 

6.  He must be organized, and realize that I am usually not.  He has to be able to be patient with me when I leave things out – because I will, despite my best intentions. 

7.  He must have similar views on politics and current events.  I would not be able to be in harmony with someone who is liberal while I am conservative.  He must be able to read into current events, see what is happening, and if necessary, make moves to protect our family. 

8.  He has to be able to socialize well, especially when I am shy, and is not afraid of social gatherings. 

9.  He has to be proud of his appearance: not sloppy and dressed currently. 

10.  He is a man who is concerned about both of our physical, mental and spiritual purity – both while we are not married and when we are.
     For your "Can't Stand" list, pick ten qualities that your future spouse cannot have in order for you to not only be happy, but successfully lead each other to Heaven.  For example, here is my top ten "Can't Stand" qualities:

10 Can’t Haves
1.  He must not be involved in addictions – which include anything from alcohol, smoking, and drugs to pornography.
2.  He must not be deceitful in any way – with a broken trust; it would be incredibly hard to sacrifice for him when I knew he was lying to me.
3.  He must not be abusive – physically, verbally, or mentally.  Anger problems would not only harm our marriage, but also the interactions and development of our children. 
4.  He must not have a tendency to use strong language in situations.  His habit of having to use expletives to make his case would harm my respect for him, and make me fear for the language habits of our future children. 
5.  He must not be afraid to protect his family – whether that is physically protecting them from harm, or defending our family verbally.  If he is afraid to do so as it might offend someone, he does not value his family over what people think of him. 
6.  He must not be an irresponsible man when it comes to finances - he not be a compulsive spender, have incredibly expensive habits, or continually overspend past our budget.  
7.  He must not be sloppy or lazy.  If he did not appreciate the appearance of his personal belongings or himself, I could not take him seriously.  If he could not find the energy to accomplish situations in which he is fully capable, I couldn’t respect him fully. 
8.  He must not be disinterested in the raising and schooling of our children.  He cannot think that disciplining and raising children is just a wife’s job.  He should be interactive in the happenings and activities of our family. 
9. He must not think that chivalry dies after we get married – he should not be afraid to open the doors, compliment, and treat women with respect. 
10.   He must not feel that sexual purity is a thing of the past, or something that does not matter.  He must have respect and honor for sexuality – either saving himself completely for his bride, or have confessed past sins and resolved to remain pure in the future. 
     For more on "Must Have" and "Can't Stand" lists, read the book How To Know If Someone Is Worth Pursuing In Two Dates Or Less by Neil Clark Warren.  You can purchase it on Amazon for really good prices, and it is worth the read.   
     What is on your "Must Have" and "Can't Stand" list?  Let me know in the comments below!
God bless you all,
Chloe M.