So God, Here are the 24 Things I Want in a Husband…

So God, Here are the 24 Things I Want in a Husband…

Lucinda Secrest McDowell

In my late twenties, when was still not married, I decided God needed some specific help! While many of my professional, educational and ministry dreams were being fulfilled, the lifelong hope of being a wife and mother was still incubating…

With no prospects in sight, I went on a day-long prayer retreat and made My List. I decided to write down exactly who I was praying for in a husband. When the day was over I had a list of 24 attributes which I promptly typed and put in my planner (see photo to the left – the back side of the page was full too…)

Then I began praying diligently for each and every one to be fulfilled…. always ending my prayers in the prayer He taught us – “Thy will be done.”

When you read my list you might think of me as bold, longwinded, too picky or ‘shooting for the moon’ but guess what? I was/am all those things! You see, I believe in praying specifically yet always leaving it to God to winnow out and whittle down as He sees fit. Why should I pray a small prayer for something as important as a husband?  I’m still praying Big Prayers!

     “God is for you. If you don’t believe that, then you’ll pray small timid prayers; if you do believe it, then you’ll pray big audacious prayers. And one way or another, your small timid prayers or big audacious prayers will change the trajectory of your life and turn you into two totally different people. Who you become is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayer life becomes the script of your life.” (Mark Batterson, “The Circle Maker”)

My List

Lucinda Lee Secrest    August 1981

  • Strong commitment to the Lord; good theology; able to verbalize and share faith
  • Has a vision for reaching the unreached
  • From a Christian family
  • World Christian – open to missions and has traveled abroad
  • Strong spiritual leader and would easily take that role in our marriage & family
  • Would see my spiritual strength, gifts and commitment as positive, not as threat
  • Wants children and willing to spend significant time as a father raising them
  • Committed to trying to live as simply as we can
  • Knows how to budget money and handle financial affairs
  • Believes in having an open home and extending hospitality to others
  • Honest and open – a good communicator
  • Believes in this priority system: 1- God 2- Family 3- Ministry/vocation
  • Loves me just the way I am but wants to help and encourage me to become the woman God made me to be
  • Communicates openly to me – able to be vulnerable
  • Strong, yet gentle
  • Thinks I’m beautiful (I suppose this also means he needs glasses)
  • Intelligent (at least college graduate)
  • Doesn’t care if I’m not super athletic; likes me to be feminine
  • Feels comfortable with my family
  • Good sense of humor
  • Committed to tithing at least 10% to the Lord’s work
  • Knows manners and common courtesies
  • Likes to spend time outdoors
  • Has never been married before

I prayed and I prayed. For years actually.

In the meantime I went around the world (a second time) speaking and ministering. I went to dozens of weddings. I went to work every day and sought to grow as a woman and a Christ-follower.  I became a doting aunt to nieces and nephews. And, one day at my office in the San Francisco area I had an appointment with a man from Seattle. It lasted a real long time and when we parted he asked for my itinerary (because I was leaving the next day for a month speaking in Africa) and several weeks later when I landed in Tunisia, there was a letter waiting with a request for a date!

One thing led to another and within a year I married Michael McDowell! I was 31 and he was 39 — a tad older than typical baby boomer marrying age.

God answered my prayers!

Would you believe that Mike embodies every single thing on my list? No? Well, then you’re right. He actually embodies everything except one.

The very last thing I wrote on my list was that my future husband “has never been married before.” (don’t judge me for wanting to be someone’s “one true love”) God took one look at that request and LAUGHED!

In His wisdom and sovereignty God knew what was better for me than what I was praying for.

His Best for me was a widower with three small children whose first mother had died from liver cancer three years earlier. God gave me EVEN BETTER! Not just one amazing person but four! In fact our youngest daughter (who was actually born 5 years later) says that the last one is her favorite thing on the list because it reminds us that God loves to show control freaks (like her Mama) that HE knows best!

Today I cannot imagine my life story any other than the one in which I married a widower and adopted my first three children – yes all at the same time! (though I get exhausted  just remembering those early days… )

Because this week is Mike’s birthday, I am remembering God’s faithfulness in our many joys and challenges since we first met in 1983. Because it is so important to re-focus on the Love that began and continues through each new season of life.

Are you praying through your own deepest desires?

Though He may not always give the answer we want, God does always give Himself and His presence to us. He is faithful.

So, go ahead Make a List. Pray through it.

Then, be prepared to be Surprised. Be prepared to be Blessed.

“God is for you. I can’t promise God will always give you the answer you want. I can’t promise that He will answer on your timeline. But I can promise this: He answers every prayer, and He keeps every promise. That is Who He is. That is what He does. And if you have the faith to dream big, pray hard, and think long, there is nothing God loves more than proving His faithfulness.” (Mark Batterson)

under the mercy, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”

©2018 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

adapted from “Live These Words” by Lucinda Secrest McDowell ©2014 

NOTE: Did you enjoy this blog? If so, would you consider entering your email in the above right form and subscribing to it by email? I assure you I won’t overload your in-box, but would love to send you these ‘encouraging words’ each Wednesday. Thanks!

ORDER My New Devotionals “Ordinary Graces” ($10.99) or “Dwelling Places” ($10.99) at — best price online!

©2018Lucinda Secrest McDowell

About Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Author ~ Storyteller ~ Speaker ~ Teacher "Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength"
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2 Responses to So God, Here are the 24 Things I Want in a Husband…

  1. kimwilbanks says:

    A great word of encouragement! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Judy Foppiano says:

    I can’t hear about your list and God’s answer too many times. It always makes me laugh – God does know best and He definitely has a sense of humor.

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