Friday, March 11, 2016
'On Fire': What Do You Love About Yourself? Tell Me About It.
I'm pretty sure that some of y'all read about the man who advertised his daughter's virginity (among other attributes) in Christianity Today (click here to read about what he said and the fallout). Although a lot of people were offended, funny, it didn't hit me that way. I actually had a conversation with an over-40 virgin. Here was our email exchange:
I don't quite understand the notion that someone's virginity has anything to do with their father. And I say this as someone who based their decision to abstain until marriage on their fathers example of being a good husband. I'm not going to make a commitment to my dad about my vagina. It's MINE. It's between me and God but not the three of us. I need a better understanding of this opinion.
A woman's father is responsible for her until she marries. Biblically and in The Little House on the Prairie days, a man would not be able to marry any girl without her father's permission. Negotiations were made, dowries were paid and yes, a woman's virginity upped the ante. All of Matthew 19 speaks to a man being given permission (BY MOSES) to divorce if she lies about her virginity; it has nothing to do with unfaithfulness in marriage. And then there's the fact that God gave away the Woman to Adam and fathers still give their daughters away now. From one man's covering to another's.
That's why I laugh when women want to keep their maiden name after marriage as some symbol of independence. I tell them: "You don't have 'your own name'. You have your father's or your husband's. Pick one."
Virginity is a gift that a woman honors or doesn't but God puts fathers in place to help them to cover the gift.
So, I get the concept. I just think that his approach was very Laban/Leah.
But no matter what your personal opinion is about the ad, it didn't inspire me. In a way.
The reason why I said that it feels a little Laban and Leah (in the Bible--Genesis 29) is because I'm not sure how much the ad evokes confidence from the father that *God the Father* is more than capable of bringing the young woman to the right man at the right time (Genesis 2:22, Acts 1:7-Message). If there's anything to be "embarrassed" about, to me, it would be that (if I was her).
Yet aren't a lot of us more like that dad than we would care to admit?
We settle in dating...
We have sex with people we're not married to...
We talk our own selves out of our standards...
We date divorced people (even though the Word says not to--Matthew 19:1-12)...
We don't look for a spiritual leader...
Because we also think that God either forgot about us (Philippians 4:19) or somehow needs our help in bringing us to our husbands. Even though he formed us in the womb (Psalm 139:13). Even though he invented marriage (Genesis 2:18-25). Even though ALL of his works are perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4).
Sometimes, we settle because we don't see ourselves as we should---*as God does*.
So here's the exercise for this week:
Over the weekend, sit down and think about what would make you an awesome wife. Don't write it as an "ad" per se but do please pen it in 1-3 paragraphs. Then send it to me at email@example.com. Some of them, I'll probably feature on here (first name and age only). But overall, I have another plan. I'm not going to share it just yet, but long story short, I figure if you see what makes you a blessing on a regular basis, you'll wait for God's best rather than opting for basically anyone just to have someone.
As additional incentive, the first seven women to send their write-up in, I'll send a copy of Prayers for New Brides: Putting on God's Armor After the Wedding Dress over. I counsel a lot of wives who, quite frankly, are making their husbands pretty miserable because they're expecting a man to make them feel good about themselves when that's not a husband's job. A husband's biblical role includes (read more here and here):
And what he's to do is:
Dwell with you
Pray with you
A woman who knows her value *prior to marriage* tends to make a healthier husband choice, avoids making a god/savior out of her husband (Exodus 20:3) and is better equipped to help him since she's not so busy draining him about making her feel about herself what she should already know. Feel me?
Looking forward to reading your responses!