Dear Ladies of the 21st Century,
I’m not an especially candid person on this blog; it is easier to write/think/work on others’ injustices, problems, and fears – we do it all the time, right? Of course right! We do it every day, all day, and long into the night. Focusing on “fixing” other’s issues and improving their life-quality is easier than looking honestly at our own irregularities.
So, I need to take a moment and say what’s really going on in my brain. Forgive me if I have all the gentleness of a hammer, but this has been chewing on me for some time.
Gentlemen are not refrigerators.
(I can hear it now, the collective: What? Hold onto that to-do list.)
As a single lady, I do NOT want to be a sad-sap for “the” relationship, pining and wining and burying my sorrows in the numerous tasty treats and carb-o-licious items over the latest romance-flick.
Neither do I want to spend my days in “power-heels and suits” and my dinners alone save for my monthly reports, facts and figures.
I am afraid that, in some ways, we have backed ourselves into a corner by pushing so hard for independence and recognition as equals in relationships with the opposite sex, we have missed the very heart of that God-given relationship.
We are created and loved equally in God’s eyes, but we can’t expect to treat the men in our lives like the refrigerators in our kitchens: attractive, functional items that match our décor, store only our preferred brands of nourishment, and remain a strong, silent, yet immobile entity in our lives.
Ladies, that’s a utensil, not a man, and certainly not a man of God.
I would like to urge women, particularly young, single, Christian women on various career paths:
Do not overlook, or undervalue, the good men in your lives, or the roles that God created them to fill.
Ladies, this man you’ve hoped and prayed for, this Warrior Poet*, is not someone who comes pre-programmed with only the wonderful and perfect things to say and do for you. He is human, and someone who God has and is bringing on a journey of refinement just as He is developing you. He is full of faults, flaws, short tempers, and less-than-your-ideal-responses to your every idea and issue.
Those things that would seem different, frustrating even, are most likely to be the things that God desires to use to shape and teach us about who He is and how He wants us, and our relationship, to reflect Him.
Am I suggesting that we accept any opinion, or reaction that we encounter in our relationships as gospel and that we yield to every confrontation as some manifestation of God’s will? NO! I am not advocating abuse or codependence.
Neither am I advocating that we should expect him to accept every mood, craving, and/or viewpoint that we throw at him.
I am suggesting that we can be whole, holy, and courageous women of faith and that we let the men of God be men of God in our lives, equally valued, equally called, equally loved. We shouldn’t be afraid that we will somehow become devalued when God brings strong men into our lives. We need them to challenge us, to push back and help us press into that precious Refiner, the Holy Spirit, and seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance instead of relying solely on our gifts and talents instead of on Him. And, I might add, they need us for the same reason; we are to be united as one.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church,…” in this ultimate, self-sacrificing, ever pressing beyond human limits and into the Divine resources of grace and mercy and love, so we must take up the challenge to sacrifice, fight for, pray for, receive from, and participate with these men in passionate resolve and commitment. From the minute chores to the life-altering choices of calling, we need to engage each other in experiencing life on God’s terms, in His great adventure with us. There is no such thing as “the winning side of an argument” in a relationship; you are both on the same team.
So, you want to be a Modern Woman of Faith, “equally yoked” with a strong man of faith? Good.
Accept the challenges that come with the man that God brings into your life; he is an ambassador of Christ, full of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of God’s heart, His convicting and empowering Word. He is not an appliance.
“Then, Jesus said to him (Peter), ‘Do you love me?’” ~ John 21:17
*John Eldridge, “Wild at Heart”.