Thursday, April 28, 2011

Arranging a Marriage

I have found the perfect future groom for my daughters.

  • He doesn’t swear or get drunk (though he isn’t strictly opposed to drinking).
  • He is punctual and doesn’t seem to get lost (probably because he doesn’t mind asking for directions).
  • He loves children.
  • Given how frequently he is invited to weddings I hold out hope that he is a good dancer.
  • He has a witty, though dry, sense of humor.
  • He has the mind of a philosopher and a body use to hard labor.
  • He would be fiercely protective of her with the power to back up his threats.
  • He is affectionate, loving, tender, and attentive.
  • He will ardently pursue her until he wins her hand.
  • He would have absolutely pure motives in his time with her.  He would never ask her to comprise her morals by lying or being immodest.
  • He will love her unconditionally, always encouraging her to hold herself to a high standard.
  • He is quick to forgive and happy to forget past transgressions.
  •  He always has an attentive ear and will adore her as if she is the only person in the world.
  • He is happy to assume leadership within the home.  His style of leadership is to never lord it over anyone but to lead by modeling serving others.
  • He is a master orator and storyteller.  He has never lost a case when arguing before the Judge.
  • He will always have time just for her.
  • His looks are average but he has a smile that could light up the world.
  • He has a great relationship with his Father, but was not afraid to leave home and make his own way in the world.
  • He has a wonderful healing touch.
  • He is a wonderful provider.  His fishing skills alone could feed a village.
  • He knows his scripture inside and out, and he is not afraid to live by it.
  • He will never leave her.  There is no place she could go that would separate her from his love.
  • He is most interested in her inner beauty.
  • He is an excellent judge of character.
  • His Father owns a huge mansion filled with gold and jewels.  He has a bright future in store; his Father has always said that his son will one day rule the world.
  • He can read her mind. J
  • He is willing to die for her…in fact, he already has.

Do you know this man?  Have you introduced your daughters to him yet?  No earthly man could live up to the standard we women reach for, but Christ can.  I hope my daughters find loving husbands who do their best to model their lives after Jesus’ example.  I hope too that my daughters understand that a man will fail them occasionally.  God never will.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Twilight Tuesday 9 (The desire for "more than this ordinary life")

The need for a quest or mystery to give us purpose is not a uniquely feminine quality.  Being Christian does not diminish our Humanity.  We long to be a part of something great and important; to have value in this mortal coil.  But a strong relationship with God, a necessary component of living God’s plan for us, is all about surrendering to God.  Being in a stage of rebellion makes it difficult to see the advantages of surrendering to anyone. 
            The purpose in our hearts for something “more than this” life is our subconscious knowledge that this world is lacking something.  We can reject God’s purpose for us as the Pharisees did (Luke 7:30).  We can work against God’s purpose, either out of ignorance or desire for our own will, but His plan will always win out (Acts 5:38).  We quickly question God’s plan when we feel God has denied us something we think we need.  We need to share with our daughters the prayers we are grateful that God didn’t answer the way we wanted Him to.  Mothers have the pressure of being a role model when it comes to living a life with purpose for God.  Not that your daughter can’t see you struggle, but she needs to at least see conviction through your actions that it is a struggle worth having.  I wrestle with this in my own life.  Trust me, writing this article has been a huge wake up call for my parenting skills.   And you never get it right all the time.  I would settle for almost half of the time!
God tells us, unmistakably, the path he wants us to walk (obedience isn’t just for our children), but he doesn’t force us.  We are not puppets on a string.  Puppets are never the heroines in the story because there can be no courage or sacrifice without first having free will.  Our created purpose is to worship Him though.  We are to have no other gods before God (Ex. 20:3). 
We can turn to Romans 12:2 for inspiration that we do not have to be removed from the world, but we do have to find the will to not be conformed to it.  Following God’s plan to give us “more than this” can cost us in worldly terms; friends, money, respect.  I know it was hard for me when I was a teen to grasp the long-term perspective of my heavenly reward for following God’s adventure.  I didn’t have enough years then to see value to benefits I would not receive for many years. 
God’s will for our lives, to reflect His glory, does not sound very glamorous to today’s satisfaction-soaked youth.  But the world knows how to grab our daughters’ hearts.  The world talks about princesses, true-love, and beauty (warped as the standard may be).   As mothers and as Christians, we need to remind our daughters that they are already the child of a King.  They are princesses in a drama that will allow them to be heroes, if they would just be open to the possibility.