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Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'll probably regret posting this...

Inspired by many things, this post. Sparked into action partly by this post:

you need to read that first!

beware some brutal honesty...i've pondered for a long time whether to post this. I want to do it in a spirit of contributing to discussion without fanning flames of indignation or pain or annoyance or anything else, so please take it as such!


Short of God Himself, I would say there a few things less praise-inducing (or attractive!) to a Christian girl than the man Bish asks if we could see in the post linked to above.

(having written that, I've decided it's not true. But the point of emphasis still stands – we really, really want to see Christian men like that!)

I'm tired of seeing young girls, friends (and myself) worn out in disappointment with Christian men who are not what is described. I'm tired of arguing against the temptation to turn to non-Christian men, because in actual fact they seem more manly (and, yes, caring...) most of the time.

I'm tired of young girls, women, friends, (myself) succumbing to the temptation to lead and control the godly men we know, instead of encouraging them in responsibility. I'm tired of people (especially men!) thinking I want to stay single simply because I get on with life and am not whiling away my days waiting for/desperately seeking out prince charming.

I'm tired of sin.

I'm longing to see Christians of the male gender be MEN not boys. I'm longing that they would love God with all their hearts and follow His Word, kneeling at the foot of the cross, all their days. I'm longing that should they choose to stay single for the sake of the gospel, that they would remain admirable and encouraging to the women around them.

I'm longing that should they choose to marry for the sake of the gospel, they would seek out their wife, under God's Headship and leading, (not making it obvious to all and sundry that they're desperate for a wife – that's not gonna make any girl 'chosen' feel special or loved or secure) and love her as Christ loves the Church.

I'm longing that Christians of the female gender would be women, not girls. That they would lean on their Father daily and allow His Holy Spirit to shatter their insecurities and need for control in all areas of relationships. That they would love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength...and allow Him to love them back with an even stronger, even more all-encompassing love. That they would use their single days for the sake of the gospel and the Church, not worrying whether these days will ever end but concerned only with Christ and His Kingdom. That if those single days never end they would know contentment and joy in God our Saviour. That if they find themselves in a relationship, they would work at it and see it not as a sense of security or identity but as a blessing and would seek to love and encourage the man God has given them to be a more godly man in word, thought and deed.

I long that the rest of the Church would stop silly match making games and careless talk about "maybe she likes him..." etc. That there would be proper, explicit teaching about relationships in the church - about how they are not our security, about how they can be great, but also hard work, about boundaries and godly choices, about divorce, about the roles of men and women in relationships and about how those who are single within the church can seek to fulfil those roles to the extent that they are brothers and sisters.

I long for relationships and marriage to be neither a topic addressed with cynicism nor as a state of being to be desired above all else in this life. I long for single parents (made such by death or divorce) to be supported in the church and made to feel at home and loved – not as though they are the odd ones out or (in the case of divorce) 'the ones who got it wrong...'

I want to see greater compassion and support for married couples from singles - instead of resentment. I want to see greater compassion and support for singles from those who are married - instead of incredibly unhelpful comments about how hard relationships are (ie you're 'lucky' being single) and/or how God is in control and/or "you should find yourself a husband/wife" and/or "oh you're 25 now...better hurry"

I want this in myself, I want this for my friends, I want this for the Church...I want this for God's glory. I want to stop feeling like I'm 'past it' in the relationships stakes or that there are no godly Christian men out there who I can respect enough to submit to and love and trust. I want to stop being cynical about marriage because of all the bad experiences I've seen my (Christian and non-) family and friends go through.

I want to get married. I want to have kids. There – I said it! But I refuse to believe that that is my aim in life, no matter what the world and the church and my family and friends may think/want/tell me. I will pray for that blessing, but I will not pine away my days by seeking it or making it an idol or wondering if every new Christian guy I meet could be 'the one'.

And I want to marry a man who understands that, who doesn't want me to make him or our relationship an idol. I want Christian guys to get this – that there are so many girls like me longing for a godly man to love them and care for them, even though it doesn't probably look like that at face value because, hey, we're getting on with life. We want the guys to dig a little deeper, to get to know us, to prove themselves worthy of our trust by showing an interest beyond what we show the rest of the world. Not because we're playing games, but because we've been hurt, because we're scared, because we don't want to mope, and because we're fighting with everything in us to put Jesus first, not marriage.

I want to know what it is, as a Christian girl, that I need to 'get' about guys!

I want to be a woman of God who cherishes Him first and foremost, who pursues righteousness, who seeks to further His kingdom...and who enjoys godly friendships with godly guys without any agenda or disappointment.

I want a lot...and yet not much. I want Jesus - and Jesus can do it all.