I have just made a very drastic reworking to this criterion. Before reading on to Criterion No 1, please check out this link here
OK, before we start this week’s blog post, a little apology about last week’s blog post, where I kinda laid down the law to all my brothers about how they should be loving their wives. I must admit that at first after writing the post, I was full of a vengeful glee, at having been able to “give it back to them”, after hearing wifely submission preached incessantly for my entire life so far. However, the church sermon preached earlier today was about gentleness, and even before today I realised that I did not express that blog post in the most gracious of ways.
Honestly brothers, I want you to know that I respect all of you, and I am sure that those of you who are already married are all fantastic, loving and considerate husbands, and that those of you who are yet to be married will equally excel in your God-given positions of leadership. It’s just that the preaching on this topic always seems so one-sided, and we’ve heard and heard and heard and heard yet more about the wife’s responsibility to submit. Until last week, I had never heard, or thought through, the ramifications of a husband loving his wife as Christ loved the Church, and when I finally did think through these, I grabbed at them with a little too much enthusiasm.
I also want to make it clear that I don’t want or plan to be the kind of wife who is always telling her husband that this or that is what he should be doing, or opening up the Bible and showing him how he falls short. I have been living in hope that my husband will not feel the need to be constantly reminding me that I need to submit (although I would understand if this happened once or twice – surely that is almost inevitable?!) In the same way, I also have made up my mind that I am not going to be laying down the law for him, even in those rare occasions when he forgets to wash my feet, or (horrors!) expects me to wash his feet!
So yes then, moving on to today’s post.
I promised last week that I shall start a series of essential characteristics for my husband, and so I shall. Apologies again if it seems arrogant of me to define a list of criteria like this for my husband. I am not of course implying anything at all, I know that there are many criteria that I myself fall short of, even many of these criteria that I ask of my husband. I’m just saying that these are what are important for me.
So then, onto the first one. Let me first make it clear that this is NEVER the first thing I ask God for in prayer for my husband. In fact, it is the last thing. However, it is important.. If I don’t discuss it here, I’m not sure how many other criteria I will think of, and there will always be one that I could talk about before it…
Oh dear, I’m a little embarrassed! The first criterion that I am going to talk about today in choosing a husband is that I genuinely have to be attracted to him. The kind of person I am, and the kind of way I talk about my God, I hope it would be natural for people to expect me to talk first about my husband’s faith. Certainly in other contexts, I have spoken first about a fiery passion for God. And a passion for God is important. I want to live my life for God. I have made up my mind in every way that I am going to submit myself completely to His service and go with God as far as it it possible to go with God, and know Him as far as He will let me know Him. And yet, in all of that, I also strive to remain a real person, who makes funny jokes, and eats ice-cream. Concerning my husband I have also made up my mind that firstly, yes, I want to have a husband, and secondly, I have to be deeply attracted to him. Yes, he has to be fervent, and a whole lot more than that, but I have also trained myself that even if he is the holiest man in the world, the holiest man that has ever lived, if he literally breathes fire in his fervour, if I am not attracted to him in the very ordinary and predictable sense, then absolutely nothing is going to happen. I am not going to sit around trying to persuade myself or trying to work up feelings of attraction – I’m not that holy!
This is important for me because I think that sometimes, this (questionable) concept of “The (marital) Will of God” can be taken to such extremes that it contradicts common sense. OK, admittedly, God might sometimes have a hugely radical marital choice for someone, even to the extent that He would ask someone to marry a person that they are not attracted to. Without a doubt, God has a will, and He certainly has a will for us in marriage. What I struggle with is the idea that God has a step by step plan for us, which He has designed, so He tells us go here, go there, marry person X. To me this does not make sense, and is not hugely Biblical. Read my blog post about it here. So if someone comes to me and tells me that “God says” – if there is no attraction at all, then I am not going to bother even praying. If indeed it is the will of God, then He will give me the necessary attraction for the guy in question.
Also, I am hoping to do even more exciting things than hold hands with my husband, (but only after he is my husband!) However, there is no way at all I am going to even hold hands with someone I am not immensely attracted to. Hello?! Please! What do I look like, a martyr?!
On the flip side, it is also absolutely necessary for me that my husband should be hugely attracted to me. I want someone to be genuinely excited at being around me, someone who wants to spend time with me, who wants to hold my hand, and discuss deep things with me! What I don’t want is the idea that someone is sacrificing himself for the cause of Christ, or stoically enduring a lifetime with me because it is “the will of God”. So my dear friend, my dear brother, if you know that your heart is not in this, that you do not desperately want this, and yet you’re hearing from God, I would ask you to go and pray harder. The end! 😉
Song of Solomon 1v15-16
“How beautiful you are, my darling, How beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves.” “How handsome you are, my beloved, And so pleasant!
Song of Solomon 5v16:
“His mouth is full of sweetness. And he is wholly desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”
Photo of wild horses from Pixabay