The List

Dear X-ATI Girl, 

I started writing The List when I was around six years old.  It has now grown to 240 items representing the man that I (and my mother and father) believe will be only God’s best for me.  My mother has told me that I should settle for no less than everything on the list.  If “broccoli lover” is present, broccoli lover God will provide.  After all, there really should be no exceptions to the list if you remain in God’s constant will and under your father’s guidance and protection. 

 I have met a few nice men in the past year during which my family was attending a home church hosted by a fellow Gothard disciple.  All of these men come from ATI families.  I met one very nice young man 11 months ago who constantly shows humility before God and our church by confessing his sins before the congregation.   I am moved by his obedience to the Lord and his parents.  I rush home from church every Sunday afternoon, excitedly pull The List from my hope chest, and begin to examine whether this could the man that God has sent to ask my father for courtship.  

  1. Male – yes! CHECK!
  2. Humble – yes! Check again!
  3. Compassionate – oh yes
  4. Strong – we’re on a roll
  5. Under his parent’s authority – definitely
  6. Building a barn – wow, I’ve never gotten this far before
  7. Pure –there is no way that this man could be anything but pure
  8. Respectful to his mother – he was holding her hand when they walked in!
  9. Wants kids – already overheard his dreams of raising mighty sons
  10. Respects me – of course!  He hasn’t even looked at me yet!
  11. Respects my father – he didn’t even shake his hand he is so scared of him
  12. Goes to church – faithfully 

And so down the list my pen has flown, checking off each ever-so-important item, and getting more and more confident that God has given me the willingness to be his wife.  The young man did ask my father for permission to court me!  My father prayed about this matter for 4 months before telling me (and the young man) that while the answer is not a decided ‘no,’ it is a definite ‘not at this time.’  This is item 57 on my list – I know that God will send me a young man who my father will immediately love and I should not accept a waiting period. 

I knew I should have used a pencil this time when marking off my list, but it just seemed so very sure.  X-ATI Girl, have you had a similar experience?  An older woman in our church suggested that I stop my list at 200 items, what are your thoughts on that?  Would that be settling for something that is less than God’s will? 

May you find a rhema this very day,

Waiting in Wisconsin


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3 Responses to “The List”

  1. DragonKat Says:

    Dear Waiting,

    First, it would have been helpful if you could have told us how old you are. If you are not yet 25, I am less comfortable replying to without your mother or father being copied so they may censor my counsel appropriately, or hide from you any information that would lead you to hope in anything other than our Lord and your father.

    I admonish you, Waiting, that your obsessive dwelling on this matter shows that you are not truly trusting your Father (which ever one) to being you that which is good in His time. This lack of Faith should be addressed immediately and any unconfessed sin preventing you from fully trusting should be confessed and repented of. Perhaps your Father’s perfect young man is just waiting to see your own expressions of contrition and devotion before he makes his hope known.

    Once you have dealt with your sin, and fully placed your trust in your Father, I counsel you to give your heart to your father (now I mean your earthly one). This can beautifully done in a ceremonious letter in which you promise your father that he has your heart and you will leave it in his keeping until he gives it to another man. You might think it’s not natural for a girl to direct her womanly affections toward her father, but I promise you it will eliminate all misplaced thoughts of longing for marriage to know that your father is in charge of your needs. You can rest assured that even though your father has a wife of his own, not to mention (many) other children and a job and numerous concerns and responsibilities, it is his joy to ensure your emotional needs are met.

    I will note that it is good to put this “giving of your heart” in writing, so your father can hold it over later if you attempt to act as if your heart is your own.

    Once you’ve done this, Waiting, you’ll see that you’re no longer “waiting” for some as yet unknown person to fulfill your needs. Your needs are in fact, met, and any needs you still perceive are evidence of yet more sin and lack of trust. Confessing this sin and quelling this doubt should take up so much of your time that you no longer have time to worry about your list.


  2. Esbee Says:

    this is a beautiful letter…can I use it (minus the list) and change a few words such a marriage for prision or father for evil govt or soldiers as i send this letter to encourage christians in communist countries where they have been arrested for their faith in christ? Once i send a few of these out i will not feel so guilty enjoying all my freedoms here in the USA, since all christians here have such wonderful freedom to live as they wish.

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