What qualities do you consider most important in the man or woman of your dreams? What kind of person do you think will make a good lover? One woman in her 20’s approached me and said, “Mr. McDowell, let me show you the type of man I want to marry.” With a flourish she unfolded a list of forty-nine traits she was looking for in a man. “Lady,” I said after scanning her list, “You don’t want a husband, you want Jesus.”
At the University of Washington, a sophomore approached me, whipped out his diary, and said, “Let me show you the type of woman I want to marry.” Of the fourteen qualities on his list I recall only faithfulness and trustworthiness. This time I took a different approach.
“Let me ask you a question,” I said. “How do you score on those fourteen points?” “What do you mean?” he asked. “The qualities you are looking for in a wife,” I said. “Are they found in your own life?” I could see I had him thinking. “It’s not so much finding the right person,” I continued, “but being the right person that counts in marriage. If you want queen, you need to be a king. If you want a good lover, you need to be a good lover.” Read Bob Phillip’s description of the contrast between our expectations and reality.
The Ideal Wife (What Every Man Wants)
Always Beautiful and Cheerful. Could have married movie stars, but wanted only you. Beauty that won’t run in a rainstorm. Never sick-just allergic to jewelry and fur coats. Insists that moving furniture by herself is good for her figure. Expert in cooking, cleaning hour, fixing the car or TV, painting the house and keeping quiet. Favorite hobbies: mowing the lawn and shoveling snow. Hates charge cards…Loves you because you’re so sexy!
What He Gets
She speaks 140 words per minute with gusts up to 180. She once was a model for a totem pole. A light eater-as soon as it gets light, she starts eating. Where there’s smoke, she’s cooking. She lets you know you only have two faults: everything you say and everything you do. If you get lost, open your wallet-she’ll find you.
The Ideal Husband (What Every Woman Expects)
He will be a brilliant conversationalist. A very sensitive man-kind and understanding, truly loving. A very hard-working man. A man who helps around the house by washing dishes, vacuuming floors, and taking care of the lawn. Someone who helps raise the children. A man of emotional and physical strength. A man who is smart as Einstein, but looks like a Greek god.
What She Gets
He always takes her to the best restaurants. Some day he may even take her inside. He doesn’t have any ulcers. He gives them. Anytime he has an idea in his head, he has the whole thing in a nutshell. He supports his wife in the manner to which she was accustomed-he’s letting her keep her job. He has occasional flashes of silence that make his conversation brilliant.
Of course, you get the point. The golden rule of a successful relationship might be stated something like: Whatever qualities you desire in a mate, develop first in yourself.
Josh McDowell, The Secret of Loving, pp. 17-18. www.josh.org.