As our oldest daughter reached dating age, my husband told her that when she first dates it is OK to date boys, but when she got older and she began looking for a spouse, she needed to date men. The way to know she was dating a man, he said, was a man knows what he wants to do with his life. He will have a plan.

Now that our sons are beginning to date, we have flipped this advice. Once you reach the age when you are searching for a spouse, you need to be a man with a plan. I have now added that they need to find a girl who is a pearl.

Man with a plan

What does it mean to be a man with a plan? A man with a plan means just that. He has a plan for his life. He is no longer flitting around without purpose or goals. A man with a plan has set a goal for his career. He knows what he wants to do and how to accomplish that. He is actively seeking to achieve these goals, not just dreaming about them.

However, a man with a plan is more than just that. He demonstrates the ability to make and keep commitments. He recognizes that the world does not revolve around him. In other words, he is not selfish. This means he is ready to enter into a relationship that is a true partnership in which both contribute to the happiness of the relationship.

Girl who's a pearl

A pearl is a precious jewel. It is made layer by layer. So a girl who is a pearl is precious. She builds her character layer by layer as she grows and learns. What characteristics would such a girl possess? She is virtuous and pure. She has learned the importance of hard work and does not shirk responsibility. Her life experiences have shaped her into the woman she is.

A girl who is a pearl understands the need to be supportive of her spouse. She has learned that she needs to put the needs of the relationship before her own personal interests.

She also seeks the best education or training she can receive. This enables her to be equally yoked with her spouse. She knows that developing her own talents and intelligence makes her a better partner.

Inherent in this search for a man with a plan or a girl who's a pearl, is the need for the one searching to become one. You cannot expect to find someone with these characteristics without developing them yourself.

Along with these characteristics, seek in your spouse someone with the same degree of religious commitment. This is important for when you have children. Your children will benefit from your strong religious foundation. This commitment needs to be established early in the relationship. Hoping someone will change or even if they promise to change, will not guarantee that change will happen. In fact, it most likely will not.

Remember this advice as you begin your search for a spouse. Seek someone with the same goals, same commitment and same faith. Be a man with a plan or a girl who's a pearl and in so doing you will find one.

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