Letter To A Young Churchian Woman

(I have edited the post to remove all the links to the blog in question. See the comments for the reason.)

Dear Michelle,

I recently came across your blog, and read it with great interest. As a 20 year old single Christian man (with 19 years of experience), I’ve encountered numerous women on my walk and have learned lots of things from them about relationships and about life.

I’ve noticed many women want to wait and go after career and ministry, with the expectation that husband, marriage, and family would be waiting for them when they are done. The fact that you are giving thought to marriage as a 20 year old woman is a credit to you. If you are earnestly serious at finding a good, not perfect Christian man, you are ahead of many other women. They wait until they establish careers, party, or do a great deal of ministry before the thought of seeking a husband approaches their minds. They end up bitter and angry at the world and everyone in it because they’ve been patiently waiting until they have 19 years of experience at being 20.

I’ve noticed in a lot of women, as I’ve noticed in you, the tendency of women to wait and believe the perfect special man that God has set aside for them will appear. They have a huge list and expect God to meet them all. I know you follow The Personal Jesus from reading your other blog and reading this current one. Michelle, if you believe that the Lord serves women (and men) in their own desires instead of acts in His sovereign will by working all things together for good for those that are called of God, you will find a sea of emptiness and will be single at 40.

If God means you to marry, He will provide a suitable husband, not a perfect husband. Remember the story of the man in the flood? The man was sent three boats and a helicopter to be saved from drowning, yet refused all by saying he had faith in God that He would grant a miracle. The punchline goes that he had no reason to complain because God sent the three boats and a helicopter. The perfect in our feeble minds is the enemy of the sufficient, needful and perfect will of God. I might wish of my own will to live in a mansion, but should I not live in a house at all if the mansion is my desire? Should I not accept a simple house or apartment if it is needful and given to me by God’s grace? You may have this conception in your mind of the perfect mate, but God may have a totally different idea. Don’t reject “good enough” in the sight of God for the absolute perfect, which doesn’t exist, in the will of man. Grace requires that we settle for less than perfect, because God settled for us (men and women) while we were still enemies.

While your 33 point requirements list for a future husband is not as long as some, why do you think God should satisfy your every desire? We are wicked and wretched in His sight. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It’s even by grace that we have the option of Christ Jesus. It’s by grace that we have anything by His hand, even a spouse if it is His will. We deserve only one thing by His hand. We should not think that God owes us anything.

On that note, I’ve noticed the tendency in a lot of “Christian” women in my 19 years experience as a 20 year old to not recognize the grace that God has given them before others, especially the men that would be their suitors. There are no perfect men. There are no perfect women. You are not perfect, Michelle, and neither am I. Maybe you don’t realize this well, as I didn’t. Life is hard. Imperfect people fall short. They hurt those around them that they love. They fail to do the things they should be doing and fail when they actually do what they should be doing. We are failures, but God gives us grace through His love for the faults, as He does through the blood of Christ Jesus when we come to Him in repentance for our faults before Him.

Michelle, please remember this when you remember the “mistakes” you have made by “settling for the wrong guys for the wrong reasons”. You might have failed God in some form of your standards, but you have failed God again in throwing aside His witness of grace and love in your life by being too exacting. This is only one of the messages you are sending men. Remember as I wrote above, I’ve encountered numerous women. In looking at your list along with this observation of your mistakes, the message is sent that no man is good enough to be your husband who walks this earth. The perfect man who does not get grace from you for his faults, must walk with a selfish, arrogant, evangelical entitlement princess who must be worshiped as the righteous goddess that she is, not to mention that her obvious faults must never be mentioned. Michelle, most guys will interpret what you wrote to mean “fornication”, in case you were not aware.

This may not be the young woman that you really are, Michelle, but this is how you are presenting yourself to men. You wonder if your Prince Charming might have requirements for you too. Not many women who are serious about marriage and relationships would accept a man with such a list in hand. You most certainly wouldn’t when push comes to shove. Most men wouldn’t accept your list either and would run the other way. This is not selfishness, this is “not settling for the wrong girl for the wrong reason”, namely because of her selfishness.

Have you ever given thought on what you are willing to offer a man who would be your husband? After all, God’s love is about selfless giving, not selfish getting. One of the things I’ve found in my life that is that my requirements list for women has grown very short over time. It’s okay to have one, but not such a long one that you won’t accept anything from the Lord’s hand. But I’ve found the list to shorten as I’ve learned more about my faults and the Lord’s grace that He has extended to me in my life.

In conclusion, I know I’m a callous evil man who just violated numbers 5, 7, 14, 16, 20, 21, and 31 on your list of poorly thought contradictory items with the intention of 1, 17, and peripherally 3. I know you are like other women I’ve encountered and thinking “how dare that insolent obstreperous pig for writing those things!” Be mindful of what the Scripture actually says about the nature of rebukes and what the wise do with them. I hope you listen and consider what has been written.

With prayer and Christian love,