Recently a friend of mine shared an article with me in which the author recalls her prayer requests for the type of husband she wanted, she writes:
“I asked God for a husband who would be a spiritual leader and God gave me a husband who seeks him with honest questions rather than easy answers….”
I am sitting here and recalling that before my friend and I met our respective partners, we used to dwell (dream, fantasise, romanticise) a lot on the type of husband we wanted… a recurring theme was the desire to have a man who was a spiritual leader, who we could look up to, who would encourage our growth in the things of God and cause us to be all the things we thought a good Christian woman should be.
I am recently married and, with hindsight, I wonder what it was that made this picture of a perfect, spiritual, strong, focused and developed Christian man so strong in our hearts. I’m wondering if it was:
1. A desire born of God (because it is clearly not a bad desire).
2. A desire created because we felt like we were, so far (still chasing after the wrong men, still falling and getting back up only to stumble after a year of ‘being good’) from what we thought we should be. If we could just find a man who wouldn’t want to sleep with us before he married us, who would encourage us to attend midweek service, preach and talk to us of all the beautiful things in the Lord (while NOT being a Pastor/Vicar/Reverend and STILL be good fun *aka, or secretly wild*) maybe then we would stop running into all the things that didn’t edify us.
3. A desire fostered by all we hear in church; words, sermons and comments that built an image in our mind that only a certain type of man would do. If he didn’t tick all the boxes (a Christian for at least three years, spirit-filled, a worker in the vineyard, tongue-speaking, devil-stomping, not afraid to lift his hands and sing at the top of his lungs during praise and worship) then he couldn’t be the right man for us.
I don’t know the answer. I think just maybe it was a desire born of God, created by us and fostered by the church.
I have come to understand that God does not always deliver picture-perfect but part of the final joy is watching and being part of the growth. We don’t always get what we want in the way that we want it. We may bemoan our men (steer them in the right direction) but one thing I am learning at the moment is that I have a responsibility to nurture and encourage in love only (not a desire to change). I have come to appreciate that while lists may help create a picture of what you are looking for they are not definitive. A husband list while sometimes helpful to pull yourself back in line when about to fall for Mr-so-sexy-but-so-not-right, the ultimate guiding principle should be God bring me someone I could be proud to take home to you. Not because he is perfect but because he loves me imperfectly and daily strives to be the man that you have called him to be.
Image by jawnguy via stock.xchng images.