I had a pen pal back in high school who lived in London. It was fascinating to write back and forth with this girl who was literally and figuratively from a completely different world as me, and the cultural experiences that set us apart united us in our mockery of it. One of the topics we would talk about repeatedly that brought on good, quality entertainment was that of boys. Obviously, the boys that I encountered on a daily basis from California were a different color from the English boys surrounding her. There was one letter I wrote to her which listed every single quality I wanted in my husband, and it required three whole pages of colorful circles and underlining of the especially important ones, like “He HAS HAS HAS to be over 6 feet tall!!!!!” (which amusingly applies today as well) and “No funny moles on his face!”
I remember reading this a few weeks back and chuckling to myself, mainly because I was embarrassed at the things that mattered so much to the 16-year-old version of myself. It really is interesting to see the variety of things that hold value to people of different life stages. Now that I am in my upper 20’s, the things that I find attractive in the opposite sex has changed dramatically (because let’s face it, I am not going to find a mole-free, 6-feet-tall white man who looks exactly like Brad Pitt circa 2001 with a less aggressive six-pack) and I appreciate little things that was totally overlooked in the past.
I know that these days, a lot of women I talk to always say automatically “Someone who loves Jesus” in response to the question of what they want in a spouse, but I don’t think a lot of people really know what that means. It’s almost as if it’s the “correct” answer to give. But what I’ve experienced is that the qualities that I am drawn to in a man actually has Jesus interwoven into them. He’s already there, in all of the good things I like. One particular quality that I have been appreciating a lot in a person has been thankfulness. When I have a conversation with someone who is simply oozing with gratitude for the Lord and just the little details of his or her life, I am so turned on. And by turned on, I mean my heart awakens with delight and I feel like God is totally bear-hugging both of us with joy. And it’s interesting because those who are constantly thankful to God also reveal kindness and patience through all that they do, so it’s proven that gratitude goes a long way. And when I especially converse with men who are not trying to put up a front and prove how manly they are, and instead express thankfulness in more ways than one, their attractiveness level shoots through the roof.
A common mentality that I have witnessed in a number of people who have been through a lot of battles is that they wear their scars as if they were trophies to be flaunted, raving about the victories won and puffing up their chests to show how invincible they can be. I’ve observed that this is a really bad interpretation of Grace. Seriously, thank GOD you survived the things you did, but why turn it into a Hollywood blockbuster which separates you from everyone else and turn your back on using those wounds for the good of people around you and contributing to the power of healing? But when someone can boldly praise God through giving thanks for the Grace that saved them, that emits an infectious brilliance. There is victory in that light shone outwards, rather than the spotlight that holds only you. Thankfulness shows me that pain is not mine, but God’s to share for His glory and display of His goodness to His children.
So thanks to those who thank our Father with thankfulness in their thankful hearts.