Last time I wrote a blog in response to the 'girls' version of this article, I had a feeling they were right about a few things. Not so much this one.
Those interesting folks over at The Christian Pundit must know a lot of mean spirited and cruel people. Or maybe they read about them and assume they are real; I don't know. I'm writing in response to an article entitled Guys, it matters whom you marry too. If you have ever been a wife who nags, expect some kind of housework to be done or even think your husband has half a brain, read my thoughts as well as theirs. Please.
Firstly, the article begins with the notion of keeping unbelieving girls at arm's length until they are "properly" converted. Listen up fellas. If you wait for the woman of your dreams to be 'mature enough' spiritually, you better hope there is a wedding chapel in Heaven. We all go through times of doubt, depression and a lack of wisdom about God. The Dark Night of the Soul is a God thing. It doesn't make you less spiritual if you are struggling with things within your faith.
The article discusses the impact wives have on the service of the church. Yes, a Godly woman is great to have by your side. But your woman needs to be able to be honest about how you serve. If you are pouring into the lives of everyone but your own family, there's a problem. My favourite Adrian Plass book sees the main character (Adrian) enter into serving a small group for his church, who continuously gets roped in to 'serving' and 'fellowship' at the expense of his family. I won't spoil the ending of that story for you, but Adrian does realise his calling is closer to home than first thought.
There is a fair whack of words such as 'whine', 'whinge', 'complain' and 'nag' in here. Look, wives can do that. Girlfriends can do that. Mums can too. But it certainly is not a gender exclusive issue. I became very agitated at a friend's husband who would constantly nipick at people's habits, and in turn his habit had a negative effect on his wife. As previously stated, though wives might be seen as 'helpmates', we also have our own ideas, opinions and feelings. To bow down because the 'head of the household' is 'entitled' to spend a night out with his buddies is really unacceptable. Lots of the situations in the piece are very broad, but I believe the message of that article is - men can do what they want; women have other jobs. Not true. Sorry boys.
The article finishes with this:
But if you’re not married, don’t put yourself in a bad situation when it
is 100% avoidable. Don’t marry someone who can’t follow your
leadership. Don’t marry someone who is not seeking to love Christ as you
seek to love her as Christ loved the church. Marry someone who knows
and demonstrates the love of Christ.
As a close friend of mine once said: 'we love people because of their defects'. You can be loving and kind while acknowledging traits your partner have aren't especially appropriate or caring. No one is ever going to be 100% compatible, uncomplaining or loyal in service to you. Take a reality check before you invest in advice like this.
My only advice is two fold:
1) If you really have concerns about the man or woman of your dreams, talk to someone you know will give you a biased opinion. But face reality - the person for you is never going to be perfect on this earth. You can live with them, or you can't. It's as simple as that.
2) As I have said previously, marriage is a relationship of love and grace. Be gracious when you can. Say sorry first. Don't sweat the small stuff. Honestly, some of the stuff in the article is really small stuff, while others may bring forward some thoughts you actually need to deal with. And that's okay.
-with love and thoughts from my little family to yours xx