Before I get into my point I should warn you, I haven't been single since high school. I won't pretend to know the struggle of waiting day after day for my prince charming. However, getting married young and moving forward has been challenging in its own ways and altered the course of my life in ways that being single wouldn't have. I wouldn't trade it for the world, but know that it is a challenge to be married as well.
I have been seeing a lot of articles circulating about facebook titled things like What Men Want in a Godly Woman and What Women want in a Godly Man
I have read both and wholeheartedly agree with many of the points made, but I have some reservations about what singles may take away.
I fear women and men will read them and think; OK, I'll just fix this, this, and this about myself and then a man will come. Then Jesus will finally approve of me enough to send me the desires of my heart. I will be whole and therefore ready for any man who rings my bell, and by golly he will be The One. If I can be all of these things I will be worthy of a husband/wife. Then, they try and try to fix all their faults, to be better, to be less emotional or more masculine and nothing happens. Men/Women don't come flooding in and they are left wondering what else they need to change to finally be lovable.
Women are always comparing themselves to each other. We want to be like Sally, Josie, or Betsy, because they are married and happy and have everything they have ever wanted. They shine like beacons a midst a grey and dingy world of singleness. Single women are left wondering what is wrong with them that they don't have that? What is wrong with them that they haven't found their partner, their helpmate?
Here is the thing. Women, you will never be wholly what a man wants. Men, you will never fully live up to a woman's expectations. We have ridiculously high expectations. These articles, although true and good, read as though you can make yourself those things and then a man will want you. Until you realize that living for the approval of a man is useless, you will continue to try harder to be better and keep failing. The only man you need gain approval from is Jesus. He is the only one you ought to be living to impress.
Here is the kicker, if you are truly living for Jesus, those things will fall into place. Many of those attributes are attributes of God. Honestly, loyalty, masculinity, right emotionality. Those are God traits, that is why we want them in our men and women. Women want a man who loves Jesus with his whole being, because if he does, he will no doubt be honest and loyal. Men want a woman who has a heart of compassion and loves like her Father loves. Jesus is faithful as we follow Him to make him more like us, to make us new creations, over time.
God is God of your love life.
However, and here is the second kicker and probably biggest challenge. You will not find a perfect man. The man God intends for you will not be perfect. (Men, neither will the woman). He will fail you, and heaven knows you will fail him again and again. I fail my husband weekly, if not daily. He fails me just as much. We are human. Sinful, messy, humans. The perfect man for you will not meet every item on your checklist, and you can bet your bottom that you will not meet his. As long as you are itemizing every character trait that your future spouse must have you have completely forgotten grace. Grace is what keeps us going in life, and especially in marriage. Without grace, we are nothing. Without grace in a marriage, it will fail. (This is not saying you should be unequally yolked, but that's another discussion for another time)
So rely on Jesus, hide yourself in Him, clothe yourself in his righteousness and accept His grace and love. In doing so, you will be able to show grace and love to others. You don't need to be better, you need more of Jesus. We all need more of Jesus.