(Just so you know, I'm not posting Leighton paintings as a model for how all women should dress. :-)
Continuing my thoughts from my first post (which covered points 1-4 below) in this, a multi-part letter to my sisters in Christ. If you haven't read the first one, please do. It's foundational.
Before I begin, I want to mention something that a commenter reminded me of. These things are really thoughts I'm putting out there- discussion points. Different Christians will be more or less prone to different areas. So this isn't like a "checklist"- it's a list of discussion points and things to think about. Ultimately, if Scripture says it, it's true. If I say it- check it with Scripture.
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.
- Presents a unified front to our children and others.
- Is honoring to the men in her life.
- Is interested in theology and philosophy. Like, really interested. Like, I can discuss eschatology and utilitarianism with her. And she loves it.
- Loves kids and knows how to handle/raise/teach them.
A godly woman whom I would want to spend my life with presents a unified front to our children and others.
Part of her submission to me is her support for me. This means that it's not her and the kids against me or me and the kids against her. We two need to become one flesh. As one goes, so goes the other. So if Johnny tries to play Mom against Dad or Dad against Mom he's gonna get spanked. Twice.
This also means that if neighbor Jane wants the kids to come over for a sleepover and I say "no," she's not going to get a different answer by asking my wife.
In front of our children and in front of the world around us, we're together. She's not only submitting to me, but she's supporting and reinforcing me. She backs me up rather then undermining me.
We're partners on the same mission. We have each other's back. Every time. It's just the way we roll.
*cue spy music*
A godly woman whom I would want to spend my life with is honoring to the men in her life.
Because, after all, I'm going to be the man in her life.
And because, more importantly, it's Biblical.
"An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones." - Pr. 12:4
This point follows right along with the two previous. Are you, my sisters in Christ, treating your fathers and brothers in the Biblical ways discussed above? Are you supportive and submissive?
How are you treating your father? Is Dad the buffoon that can't do anything right? Do you try to "straighten him out", but he's just too... silly? Do you roll your eyes at his jokes and act like Mom is the only one who ever gets anything done? Are you convinced that men are stupid (after all, that's what the movies say)? How about your brother- he's always on the computer. He never cleans his room. (I say this to my shame. But back to my point...) Or maybe he's younger and he never cleans his face. He is the subject of many an embarrassing story or sharp joke, and he is a real pain when he interrupts your talks with the girls. In fact, if he would just-
(and no, I'm not advocating wife-like submission to your father or brothers...)
What does that say about you? Are you being the "crown" of your father? Your brothers? Or are you being rottenness in their bones?
Trust me, I notice.
But more importantly- "The eyes of The LORD are in every place."
Do you think God smiles on a girl who makes a fool of her father? Who derides men in general and her men in particular?
And how much more beautiful to see a girl who praises her father, who commends her brothers, who magnifies their skills and achievements while hiding their faults (another good commenter point-out- I'm not talking about deceitfully hiding faults or lying to make them look good.)?
Again, I'm not equating your relationship to your father or your brothers to your relationship with your husband.
But I am comparing them.
And it would be foolish for me to expect a woman who was rottenness in the bones of her father or brothers to suddenly become my crown.
You as a daughter or sister have the power to bless and honor and inspire and crown the men in your life- or to shame them and cut them in half.
Please remember that by building them up, I don't mean being silly. "He's so awesome he's just perfect he's amazing he's wonderful." That just makes you look foolish and embarrasses him.
I say this very sincerely- the power of a woman is great.
Right now I'm talking about family relationships. This applies to a different degree to your brothers in Christ, but that's not my focus here. It also applies most strongly to the relationship between a husband and wife- but then, that's what we're really talking about, isn't it?
Please use it wisely.
A godly woman whom I would want to spend my life with is interested in theology and philosophy. Like, really interested. Like, I can discuss eschatology and utilitarianism with her. And she loves it.
This connects with point 2, but is a bit different. I want a wife who is my soul-mate- who shares my deepest thoughts and ponderings. She's not a theological cream-puff. If I'm away and a Jehovah's Witness comes to the door, she not only knows how to wield our Glock (just in case) but she knows how to wield The Sword.
And I can wrestle through hefty theology and always have a loving, compassionate, concerned sounding-board to turn to from which to receive Biblically-grounded feedback.
She's my soul-mate. A huge part of my soul- indeed, by God's Grace, the consuming desire of my soul- is God! I want her to be able to share in my passion for Him.
I want her to love it as I do my best to wash her in the water of The Word. And I want her to sharpen me too.
Thanks, commenters, for pointing out the important distinction that needs to be made here: all Christians are called to "study to show thyself approved." Not all Christians are called to be thrilled by dissecting postmillennialism. If discussing how to save money gets you more excited than discussing the differences between a four and a five-point Calvinist, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
A godly woman with whom I would want to spend my life with loves kids and knows how to handle/raise/teach them.
That little chocolate-bearded, runny-nosed brother. A nuisance? Wish you could just stick him outside and get back to your Austen novel? (OK, that was just mean.)
Or when you look into the teary eyes of the dirty little kid who scraped her knee, do you see the soul of one more citizen for The Kingdom of Heaven? Do you see a legacy of thousands and tens of thousands of human souls coming from this one child who will be affected by the way you respond, right now, to this needy little person?
Are you too soft to wield the rod? Are you too hard to cry with them when the puppy dies?
Can you raise them in the nurture and admonition of The LORD- from having enough of a spine to rule the house instead of being ruled by the house to having enough of a heart to let them tell you the rambling and apparently endless story about the bug they chased around the backyard, not because you care at all about the dragonfly but because you care about them?
Are you patient enough to teach math and energetic enough to carry the baby on the family hike? (Which only assumes that I'm carrying the heavier backpack, or I'd be glad to carry him for you. :-)
Do you love- LOVE kids? Do you see them for the treasure that they are- a soul waiting to be shaped? A treasure that will be stolen by the world if not seized by The Kingdom!
Do you look at a kid pulling off a first-class "puppy dog face" and say "how could I say no to that?" Or do you look at him and say with a smile "I love you too much to say yes."
Can you change a diaper and a worldview at the same time?
Check back next Monday for the third and final installment in this thrilling series. :-D
EDIT- CLICK FOR PART 3