|Oh yeah, and please be perfect.
This has been a post I’ve been putting off for a long while. I always fear coming off as too opinionated or blunt, so my thoughts on the topic have been deleted as many times as they’ve been written. However, the more I encounter all things “Dear Future Husband” on the internet, the more I feel this internal urge to voice my opinion on this subject, boisterous as it may seem.
If you aren’t sure what exactly I’m referring to, let me clarify. I’ve seen a picture posted on Facebook by several of my friends that says something to the effect of, “if my husband doesn’t cry when I walk down the aisle, I’m turning around.” I’ve also seen several tweets to the tune of, “#tomyfuturehusband buy me flowers every week” or “this is how we will dress our children. Deal with it!” And don’t forget, “you better make sure my nails are done so they look good when you propose!”
Oh my word. To these statements, I issue a resounding “YUCK!”
When did we develop this notion that men exist solely to provide for our every need and cater to our every whim? These desires and expectations, well, they aren’t cute. In fact, they are just plain selfish and to me, it only seems to be a set up for disappointment. If seeing your future husband cry as you walk down the aisle is your greatest objective, then please, for his sake, do turn around.
And we don’t stop there. Lots of us have “husband lists.” Most of us have practically planned our weddings on Pinterest, picked our honeymoon destination, and chosen our dream engagement ring. And if he doesn’t bend over backwards to GUESS what we want and need at all times, then forget it!
In the midst of our naïve notions, I think we’ve forgotten that marriage is a relationship between two people. Like any relationship, marriage requires sacrifice, a servant’s heart, and a whole lot of grace. Further, Godly marriage is designed to reflect the relationship of Christ and His bride, the church. In God’s blueprint for marriage, I see no mention of requirements for the size of the home we will live in or the brand of clothing our kids will wear. If you’re under the impression that marriage is a one-way ticket to your personal utopia, then you’re sorely disillusioned. Your future husband, whoever he may be, is God’s gift to you to cherish, encourage, and reflect the love of Christ to. He is not your personal assistant. Jesus Christ took on flesh and came to this earth to serve us. If we aren’t preparing our hearts now to reflect Christ’s servant hood to our future husbands, then we have the wrong ideas about marriage. Talk to anyone who has been married for a good amount of time and you’ll come to find that the reality of marriage is far from what the movies portray. Its hard and its humbling. It’s rough and rewarding. Its work, but its worth it. (*at least thats what they all tell me) If we continue on with these assumptions that marriage is equivalent to the way its portrayed on Pinterest or in movies, I think we will come to find our ideas of marriage to be wholly overestimated.
Not that I would know, but being a Godly man seems like a lot of hard work! To love, provide for and spiritually lead a wife and children seems like a big enough task, without the unnecessary pressure of our unrealistic expectations weighing in. And the worst part of it all is that these selfish statements are void of any kind of grace or humility, but instead, wreak of a gross sense of entitlement.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t have standards. And I’m not saying its wrong to have certain desires of the person you will marry, but when these standards and desires reach this kind of unrealistic level, its time to reevaluate. I don’t know about you, but before I dreamt of lavish vacations and bi-weekly date nights, I dreamt of first finding a man that fears the Lord. Because I know that if He loves God, he will know how to love me. And all the other stuff? Well, that’s just icing on the cake! Should the Lord be gracious enough to bless me with a man of Godly character, I should only hope that gratitude, not entitlement, would be the emotion flowing from my heart. Because I’d gladly live in someone’s basement with a ring made of wire if it meant spending the rest of my life with God’s very best for me.
I pray that as the Lord continues to prepare our hearts for our future husbands that He would replace our desire to be served with a desire to serve. That we would stop praying for good looks and start praying for his heart. That we would long to see our husbands fulfilled in whatever Christ has called them to do and that we would seek after their joy and comfort and not our own. That we would lay down our pride and our crazy notions of romance and marriage, and begin to seek first after intimacy with our Savior. And I pray that in the time leading up to marriage, whether it be weeks, months, or years, that we would concern ourselves more with the condition of our hearts, rather than the condition of our fingernails.