I've written about Biblical manliness more than once before. But today I'd like to talk to my sisters in Christ.
I was reading the blog of the Botkin sisters (an excellent blog which I would highly recommend- these young ladies are an excellent source of wisdom and by turns convict, encourage, and inspire me), and I came across this quote:
“What takes a girl from someone a man likes to be around, to someone
he wants to spend his life with? I see a lot of lists by girls about
‘my husband must be such and such.’ But it seems all I ever hear from
guys is ‘a godly lady.’ What does that mean to them?”
Well, here goes.
I started this planning to post it all at once. It's kinda (way) too long to do thus, though, so instead I'm going to shoot for publishing a part of the whole list once a week- probably every Monday.
A godly woman whom I would want to spend my life with...
- Is about her Father's business and her father's business. And she isn't waiting for me. I will explain.
- Is very intelligent- and not just in a sharp, high-IQ, witty way, but especially in a studious and wise way.
- Is prepared to learn, to change, to repent, to forgive, and to submit to my leadership.
- Is striving to be like Christ. Not because it makes guys like me pay attention, but because it's right.
A godly woman whom I would want to spend my life with is about her Father's business and her father's business. And she isn't waiting for me.
If homeschooling, family-integrated, skirt-wearing Christian girls had to be summed up in a book, it would be..?
Pride & Prejudice. Of course.
I know, it's normal for guys to not like Austen novels, the Twilight series, and so on. But usually the perspective is that it is normal for girls to like these things- indeed, that it is good for them to do so. I disagree, but it is not the purpose of this post to discuss the merits and problems of romance novels and "chick flicks" in-depth. There is one salient thing about them, though, which applies strongly to my point.
(For said in-depth discussion, I'd highly recommend the talk Jane Austen & Vampires by the Botkin sisters. Yes, them again.)
Books and films like Pride & Prejudice model, for girls, a life spent at tea and dancing, at pointless nothings, waiting for prince charming to come.
I'm saddened when I see "good girls" who are proud of their infatuation with everything Austen. When I see girls wrapped up in the fake, the shallow, the transient, the make-believe. In the hope of marriage. In the "what I want my husband to be".
Oh my sisters, please be wrapped up in what your Husband Christ wants you to be right now.
Your life doesn't begin- or end- with marriage. Marriage is neither the commencement of your real duties as a woman, nor is it the conclusion of your life story after which comes only the epilogue.
Instead of waiting for the arrival of your spouse, be about your heavenly Father's business, sculpting yourself to please your eternal Husband, Christ.
And what does that look like for you here and now? I don't know exactly. But it ain't sippin' tea and watching the horizon for a silhouetted steed bearing a knight in shining armor.
What are you doing right now that is advancing the Kingdom of God on this earth?
I don't doubt that often the answer is "I'm preparing to be a wife and mother- learning to keep the house and raise the kids".
Amen and amen. That is hugely important. But it's not all. There's So Much More. You as a daughter in your father's home can be a warrioress or a china doll. There is a world to be conquered, and you can be helping your father (or your brothers) do that right now.
It can be disheartening seeing examples like the one I just linked to. You may be thinking "but I don't have globetrotting brothers of awesomeness. My dad just delivers mail. My brother is more interested in conquering the World of Warcraft than the world which wars against the God who crafted it."
Grow where you are planted. Talk to your dad! Ask him how you can help him! Study theology. Yes, that may mean reading a book written 200 years ago which weighs more than your little brother. Study music or graphic design or auto mechanics or filmmaking or electricity. Apply yourself to practical, profitable, real-world pursuits. Being a daughter Joyfully At Home affords you myriads of practical Kingdom-building opportunities. Cultivate the mind and body and talents that God has given you. I don't know the answer for your specific situation. I do know Who does. Seek His Face, not the face of prince charming.
Your time in the household of your father is precious. Please don't waste it. Also please note that I'm not advocating by "real-world pursuits" that you "get a job." I firmly believe in the power of stay-at-home wives and daughters to advance The Kingdom in practical ways. May God give you wisdom as you seek to find those ways! Maybe it's selling crafts, or writing books, or teaching piano (each of which, actually, are examples from people I know). Whatever it is, though, it's not twiddling your thumbs until Mr. Darcy shows up.
So, to sum up, be content where God has put you. (Phil. 4:11)
Use your single years wisely, being a good steward of the time He has given you. (Eph. 5:16)
And be ready for marriage, not waiting for marriage. (Matt. 6:33)
A question which might give good perspective: "If God doesn't have it in His Marvelous Plan for me to get married (it is possible!) then what can I be doing to expand His Kingdom right now so that I don't find myself, at the end of my life, an old maid, filled with regret, waiting to die alone?"
A godly woman whom I would want to spend my life with is very intelligent- and not just in a sharp, high-IQ, witty way, but especially in a studious and wise way.
She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
I don't want to marry a girl who has spent her life just doing dishes and changing diapers. Those tasks that I just mentioned are very important and very Kingdom-building, but that's not all that Kingdom womanhood is about. I want a girl who can look at a dirty diaper or a stack of dishes or a little boy with a bloody knee and a messy face and see the Kingdom of God being advanced. But I also want a girl who has wisely invested her youth and who has a wealth of knowledge to pass on to our kids- and to me!
To make it practical, I'd like her to have:
- A firm knowledge of Scripture and be able to apply It to many situations.
- A good arsenal of knowledge, wisdom, stories from her past and her parents' past and her grandparents' past, proverbs and quotes from wise men and women, ready to pull out and apply at will.
- Practical knowledge of real-world stuff ranging from auto-mechanics to storytelling.
- A firm grasp of the basic things that our children will need to know so that she can teach them well- basic math, basic music (especially for my kids! :-), basic literature- a second language is a plus- etc.
Being a keeper at home doesn't at all mean mean being fat and dumb, washing dishes, wiping noses, and sitting around snacking in front of the TV with an occasional shout at a kid or two.
A godly woman whom I would want to spend my life with is prepared to learn, to change, to repent, to forgive, and to submit to my leadership.
We're human. We're imperfect. Even the woman who God has stored in His Perfect plan for me- the perfect girl for me- isn't perfect. And I, the perfect man for her- I'm not perfect either.
So we both need to be able to repent and to forgive.
God has called me to be the leader in the home that I hope to start one day. A godly woman will recognize and desire this. I won't be a perfect leader, and she won't expect me to be. She will, however, expect, exhort, and inspire me to be a great leader.
Quick note to my brothers reading this- it hit me one night recently that as a husband and father I will have a daughter of The King submitting herself to- obeying- me. That's a huge responsibility. Guys, if you take this lightly, don't come courting my sisters.
I'll slug you.
Now returning my address to my sisters: As a wife, you need to be ready to change and grow with your man as The LORD leads. This might make you uncomfortable sometimes, but we as Kingdom households are not on a gondola ride- we're on an epic, Kingdom voyage. Seasickness comes with the territory, but you need to be ready to take it like a sailor.
This also may mean differences of opinion with your parents/siblings/etc. LORD willing, throughout the pre-marriage process any disagreements will be discovered. If they're important enough, then the train wreck will be stopped before it started. If they're minor, then hopefully the marriage process will have the blessing of both families, knowing that the foundations are solid, and the disagreements can be overlooked.
But you must remember that as your husband this man is now your man, your head, your leader. You have to be prepared to follow him to the ends of the earth.
Example: if your husband becomes a credo-baptist when you were Presbyterians, then you need to submit to his leadership even if you're not sure he's right. And you need to support him in front of the kids. Or maybe he wants you to wear head-coverings, while your father didn't believe that that was the proper interpretation of Scripture.
"Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord." - Eph. 5:22
Submit to him as you would submit to Christ. You must be prepared to do this.
(By the way, if he tells you to rob a bank or help him knock off an old rival- please don't. Obedience to him is subject to The Word of God. But when it's a grey area, he is your leader. And if you accept your place at his side wholeheartedly- what amazing peace and security. God's design is unbeatable.)
A godly woman whom I would want to spend my life with is striving to be like Christ. Not because it makes guys like me pay attention, but because it's right.
I'll close with this one for now. It's something which my sister has discussed with me previously. It's kinda tough to communicate this, seeing as how you are reading a list of things that a guy is looking for in girls, but it's crucial.
If you're trying to be Christ-like because straight-laced, homeschooled, Christian guys like me look for Christ-like girls, you are missing the whole point.
Your obedience to Christ must be motivated out of fear of and love for God. If it's motivated out of fear of and lust for man- repent! Pray that God will change your heart. (1 John 1:9)
But don't be satisfied with being a good girl who checks the boxes and looks good. Oh LORD I pray that You would make such a girl transparent before I or any brother of mine commits his life to her! If your passion for Christ only runs as deep as your passion for this guy you like, then what happens when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and you're just not very passionate about the guy today?
More importantly- if what you do for Christ isn't done out of faith- if what you do for Christ is really just done for man- it's sin! (Rom 14:23)
Anyone who seeks godliness apart from God is doomed to failure. Every time.
Any woman who seeks godliness to impress the guys is no godly woman at all.
If you think your husband will make you happy, will bring you joy, will give you fulfillment- you're wrong. Even the best man can't do that. Instead of him bringing you joy, you will bring him misery. If you make him your idol, he will always fail to measure up to the deity you want him to be.
But if you both are seeking first The Kingdom, what harmony and unity and love will result! The more you love Christ, the more you will love each other. A man with his whole heart given to Christ will love you far more than a man with his whole heart given to you. And a man with his whole heart given to Christ knows that it works both ways.
This takes us back to point 1. If you are waiting for Prince Charming instead of serving the King of Kings, then you aren't ready for Prince Charming in the first place.
Because a real man is looking for a woman who has already given her heart away.
Bearing this in mind, I hope that this list has encouraged both my sisters and my brothers, not in manliness or womanliness, but in Godliness.
Stop by next week for part 2. :-)
EDIT - CLICK HERE FOR PART 2
CLICK HERE FOR PART 3