Once I was in a hot tub with a group of girls from a church I visited about two years ago. We were discussing relationships and what we desired for our future marriages. One of the girls to my right tossed her damp ponytail and chirped, "I feel like all we women really ever wanted was a strong man to be a cheerleader for!" All heads 'round the circle nodded curtly in agreement as I swallowed hard against the bile I could taste in my throat. Was I broken? Am I built wrong that I wanted to have my own adventure, rather than tagging along someone else's?
My mother, bless her heart, taught me to be a strong woman. My father, bless his heart, taught me to be a strong man. She taught me to not be lazy, to go after what I want, to love big and never stop pursuing the heart of God. My father taught me to shoot, fight, camp, survive a zombie apocalypse, plan ahead and never compromise my values. Being a strong woman is my burden and my blessing. The biblical role of a woman is something I've rebelled against my whole life. Independence and selfishness steered me towards dating men who allowed me to be the leader, and I thoroughly enjoyed the sense of power and control. But despite feeding into my sin nature in a satisfying way, I could feel how poor a fit it was. But the curse of being a strong woman is that I know that for a relationship to work, he must be an even stronger man. Yikes. I found it impossible to allow the men in my life to lead me, but I realized it wasn't because I was broken... but it was because I hadn't found the right man! I started asking myself some difficult questions regarding my dating life.
-Do I see active growth in his life, and a passionate pursuit of God?
-Do I trust him, both in day-to-day life and in matters of the Spirit?
-Can I respect this person, even when we don't agree?
-Am I guarding my heart?
-Am I in a good place spiritually to be lead, to encourage, and to uplift?
-Are we both surrounded by godly, intimate community able to speak truth into the relationship?
-Does he have a good character to endure in tough times? Do I?
-Is he strong enough in character and faith to lead me when I stumble?
-Is he considerate and gentle with me?
It's quite a laundry list, I know... But I believe in God's design for relationships. I believe it because I've done the opposite for years and it is such a poor substitute. *Sigh* This is going to be another one of those half-baked posts to process through some thoughts, forgive me. I'll do another when my brain isn't so scattered. Goodnight!