Rollo Tomassi left the following link at Sunshine Mary’s blog so that she could use it as source material for a post, but since she is busy right now I decided to snag it for my own use: The Husband List: 12 Non-Negotiables. The website itself is a real piece of work, one of the most puffed up examples of Princess syndrome (of the EAP variety) run amok that I have ever seen. A sample:
Every woman you meet may seem one way at first. But as you peel the layers by taking the time to talk with her, you realize she is much more than meets the eye. One by one, she is discovered to be more than enough. She has been uniquely gifted in order to carry out a purpose. Her value is rare and precious. The problem is, there is an epidemic of women who do not believe in themselves. Due to the exposure of various negative forces, young women are selling out and settling every day. They have bought into the lie that they are not worthy of a joyous, peaceful and bold life.
Part of me wants to believe that this is a parody site, because it seems too good to be true. I mean, it almost reads like something that Deti would write. Alas, this is no parody. Women really do believe such nonsense, and peddle it all the same. Surprisingly, the “husband list” itself is not nearly so bad. In fact, much of it is quite good. I will reprint it below, with some editing (mostly of scripture) for brevity’s sake:
1. He is a practicing believer.
Issues and conflict are bound to rise in marriage, so it is crucial that there is a common foundation on which to hold the marriage accountable. The last thing you want to be fighting about is your faith, whether or not to pray and your viewpoints on religion. Believe me, I’ve been there before. It is exhausting.
2. God is the center of his life.
He seeks God’s wisdom in all the decisions he makes.
3. He has integrity and does not put himself in tempting situations.
He guards you against harm and protects the relationship.
4. Seeks mentorship and counsel.
It is important that your man is wise in realizing he can’t carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. When he is surrounded by men who are older than him who can offer advice, prayer and mentorship, he can be a better husband to you.
5. He is slow to anger.
There is peace in knowing your man holds an even temperament even when he is provoked. A man who allows his feelings, emotions and anger to determine his actions typically has tarnished relationships and is not a healthy place for you or a family.
6. He holds strong conviction on the sacredness of fidelity.
A man is wise when he understand that infidelity and looking for pleasure outside of the marriage only brings strife. God actually calls him to rejoice over you all of his days.
7. He is honorable of your heart and emotional well-being.
I hated when a guy I was dating exposed my embarrassing moments or the private matters of our relationship with his friends. Picking on you may seem cute and funny at first, but it will get old after a while. You should feel honored and safe knowing you can always trust your husband to cover and speak well of you.
8. He is disciplined in living a life of integrity.
Watch how he handles temptation or sticky situations that test his character. Does he choose to do what’s right even when no one is watching? It is imperative to observe these things because it will indicate if you can trust his decision making. When you’re married, almost all of his decisions impact you.
9. Has solid work ethic.
10. He pursues and loves you passionately.
The man you marry should make you feel loved like you’ve never felt before. Safe, accepted, desired, nurtured, protected and comforted. Jesus loves us deeply, he loves us so fiercely, that he willingly gave up his life to save us.
11. Romances you.
I know women who feel guilty or wrong for desiring romance in their relationship, as if they don’t deserve it. But God desires for your heart to be romanced, just as He longs to romance us.
12. He is humble and can admit when he is wrong.
There is nothing worse than a petty conflict blowing out of proportion because your partner refuses to admit they were wrong. Taking responsibility for his actions and apologizing for his mistakes is the sign of a real man.
Again, much of the list is not bad at all. Points 1, 2 and 3 are all rock solid, indeed, I would consider them essential criteria that a Christian woman should look for in a man. Points 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 are also commendable as well. Problems arise with points 7, 10, 11 and 12, however. I will briefly address each in turn.
Point 7– While facially this appears sound, the fact that it covers feelings makes it suspect in my eyes. “Emotional well-being” is a fairly vague term, so without clarification this would be a potential problem area. Otherwise, any man must necessarily be a captive to the woman’s feelings, which would be disaster as many would tell you, especially Empath.
Point 10– Two problems here. The first is the comparison to Jesus. With the toxic hypergamy out there, this is just asking for trouble. No man can possibly compare to Jesus, much less His love. Bringing up that kind of comparison invites men to always fail. Second, all of those feelings are inherently tied into the attractiveness of the man in the woman’s eyes. No matter his other qualities, an unattractive man cannot generate them. And an extremely attractive man full of flaws will provide those same feelings regardless. This point could just as well have been replaced with “Attractive”, and the result would be the same.
Point 11– The real problem with this point is the second sentence. But the first is essentially another version of Point 10, aka, attention from an attractive man. I guess this one could be expanded to include that the man have “Beta” traits in addition to “Alpha” traits (see here for more). As for the second sentence, this is Churchian nonsense (perhaps even to the point of heresy). God does not “romance” us. “Romance” implies Eros, which is fine in the context of marriage, but the love that God holds for us is Agape.
Point 12– Again, on its face not necessarily bad. But when combined with the kinds of attitude displayed at the website, it hints at a desire for a man to debase himself in front of the woman. Not exactly a great thing if you want a healthy relationship.
So, that is the list. I’ve seen worse, but then again, I’ve seen better. What I think is more troublesome than a list like this is the attitude behind it. Reading through this website, you get a sense of entitlement and expectation which is not healthy and will probably ensure a lifetime of misery for most women. The author of the list might have been able to get away with it, but not every woman looks like this. We, men and women both, must temper our expectations and keep in mind that we are not perfect. So we cannot expect perfection in turn. As for anything further, I will leave that to my married readers to fill in.