"The man who loves his wife loves himself."---Ephesians 5:28(NCV)
Monday, January 9 makes five years of me...not doing that married people do. In the marriage bed.
And just as I was sharing on another blog platform that I pen for, *this year*, it doesn't bring forth all of the "!!!" that it has in times past. Honestly? I'm a bit...neutral about it: knowing that it's what is expected of me as a Bible-believing single woman and yet, in being unsure of how long this unmarried status will last, I'm not clear on how to process it all. Moving forward. I do know the Word, which is Adonai (John 1:1), is true, though and since it says that in confession there is healing and with prayer there is power (James 5:16), prayer that I maintain would be *mad appreciated*. Nobody said faith was easy. Just that it's required.
In the meantime, as I was pondering all of the emotional detoxing that I've done over the past 365 days, I thought about how the "refiner's fire" has brought me to certain levels of clarity about not just what marriage entails, but what a husband should be like; *not just in general, but as it relates to me and my specific needs*. So often, especially within the Church, we are so used to repeating what we hear other people say that we don't *really pay attention to what is being said*.
Take, "I'm just waiting for my Boaz" for instance.
For one, Ruth didn't *wait* for Boaz. She worked *hard* in his fields and then, real talk, she came onto him. And, as much of an honorable man as he appears to have been, I wonder why it's often not stated that Boaz married Ruth, *partially out of obligation*. I'm not knocking the man, by any means. He *was* a good provider. He *does* appear to have been a gentleman. He *did* care about doing things in an orderly fashion---a way that would protect Ruth's character and Naomi's legacy. I'm just pointing out some of the facts that tend to be overlooked.
Personally, after doing some research on husbands in the Bible, the men who top my list (and not necessarily in this order) are Jacob for his unbreakable focus when it came to getting Rachel, Adam for the way he honored covenant *no matter what*, Elkanah for loving Hannah even in spite of her barrenness, King Xerses for his provision capabilities, unselfishness and the fact that he *listened* to his wife, Joseph for his ability to *hear and move* based on what the Lord told him to do and while it's not totally clear (to me) if they ever married, oh how I love the shepherd boy's passion in the Song of Solomon. As a poet, writer and passionate woman myself, I desire a man that digs me. I mean *really* digs me, just like the shepherd boy did the Shulamite woman.
This resolve was further confirmed when I read an article earlier this morning entitled, "Role of the Husband in the Bible". There was a line within it that says, "Husband, if you do not love your wife, you are at fault, regardless. If your love [has] grown cold, you have sinned."
Wow. IF YOUR LOVE HAS GROWN COLD, YOU HAVE SINNED.
Yep. *Hot love* is something that is biblically sound *and* the right of any godly wife!
It amazes me how many times, in times past, when it came to my interaction with romantic interests, I've overlooked this fact. It also amazes me, in hearing the stories of many women's dating escapades, how they seem to have as well. Because here's the thing: if a guy is not passionate about showing his interest in you while dating (and it really needs to be courting), why do so many women think that will change after the wedding (which really should be called a "covenant celebration")?
Kinda dating + Kinda into you = Sorta married
And a "sorta marriage", according to that article, is lukewarm and a lukewarm marriage is sinful!
And then to really drive the point home (and park it-LOL), I thought about something Ted Haggard's daughter said to him on "Celebrity Wife Swap" last week (that Ted Haggard/Gary Busey combo was fun-ny to me!). In speaking with her father about desiring more time with him, he said, "I always have time for you. When you need me, come and find me. I'll always be here." I loved her reply. She simply said, "It places more value on me when you seek me out."
Value: relative worth, merit, or importance
Seek: to go in search or quest of; to try to find or discover by searching or questioning; to try to obtain; to try or attempt (usually followed by an infinitive); to go to
She feels important to him when he searches for her. When he tries to discover more about her. When he makes attempts to spend time with her and get to know her better. Beautiful (and don't even get me started on why this is yet another reason why girls needs fathers in their lives...*to set this kind of standard!*).
I thought about how that applies to me personally at this juncture as well. Personally, I'm more in the "be sought after" lane because means "to be desired or in demand". See, I told y'all I was a passionate chick (LOL)! I want a man who finds me to be someone "in demand"---a top priority requirement in his life. For a long-term relationship to work, that is of *utmost importance* to me. And you know what? It's nice to *finally*, at 37, be at some "I know what my deal breakers are" places in this part of my life. Yep. I've been single and abstinent long enough to know that I'm not settling for less than being a woman who is *sought after* even once I am *brought over* to my Beloved.
And on the brink of this five-year anniversary, for all of the "On Fire" gals, I think this is my bottom line. A part of being single is becoming *whole*. Not just as an individual, but in breaking away from fragmented philosophies re: what you desire in a future covenant companion. Oh, how often so many of us *claim* to have a resolve about the kind of husband we want/need and then some guy comes along and it all crumbles. And how can you build *anything* on a shaky foundation? Ladies...*you can't*.
So, I encourage you this year to spend your own time researching the husbands of the Bible. Which ones "do it for you" and why? Spend more time deciding what you need to feel valued. Oh, and read that article that I mentioned in this blog and perhaps keep a journal filled with this information along the way. Nelson Mandela once said, "There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."
Think that doesn't apply to marriage? *Of course it does!*
Continue your quest for self and relational discovery. Embrace what you find. Receive what God reveals.
'Cause after all of this time, who wants to be "kinda sorta married"?!? Not me!