(The photo and words loses some effect when you change the picture, as well as the message behind it. For people the truth of the message is as attractive or unattractive as the person presenting it.)
A Blog Post About a Blog Post
This past week I have been seeing a lot of my fellow young believers, posting on Facebook, a blog post of one young man’s letter to his “future wife”.
Here is the link: http://brettshoemaker.me/2014/02/04/to-my-future-wife/
Typically I make it a point to ignore these sort of posts, as they are not usually worth giving attention to, but this one serve as such a good illustration of some common thoughts amongst Christians, so I could not pass up the opportunity. For all of you guys and gals, who fawned over this young man’s letter, consider why you were taken by what he had to say. Was it because of Godly truth or human desire? I know it is hard to not fawn, here you have a somewhat attractive guy, describing how beautiful a woman he has never met is, your emotions get tugged and your taste for eye candy filled, but hear me out as to why posts like his do more harm than good.
You Have a Future Wife? Who Says So?
One of the first harmful elements in this “future wife” post is not that this guy says “if” he has a future wife, but he has the attitude of “when” he has a future wife. Where in the world did this idea in Christianity come from, that being a Christian guarantees you a spouse?! It is thinking like this that spawns a heck out a lot of discontentment. Can I say “hell of a lot” of discontentment instead or does that offend some of you? If it offends some of you I will just go with heck. In our culture, this goes double for the Christian culture, people long to be loved, to find another person to be with, and to ultimately develop an intimate relationship. The problem is for Christians this becomes an idol often disguised by phrases like “it is God’s will for people to marry” or “ it is better to marry than to burn in passion” and while these are true, God’s intention for relationships is that two people have relationships through Him, not before Him. The goal of many in the Christian life is to find a spouse then follow God, when it should be follow God then if a spouse comes, a spouse comes. Like this guy there is no guarantee that you have a future husband or wife, no matter how bad you desire or want it. Sorry. Friends there is no guarantee that you or I have a future spouse. I will not lie to you, it is hard for me not to give into thinking like this myself, I am twenty eight, all of my friends are mostly married or about to be, I would love to be with someone, but at the end of the day just because a spouse is something I want does not meant a spouse is something God says I need. Does that mean I will be single forever? I have no idea, I am not God, He may provide me with a spouse someday or He may not. What I do know is that my walk with the Lord cannot and should not be dependent upon whether or not I have a spouse. Yes God made man with the desire for a spouse, but God did not make man to desire spouse before they desired Him.
Words Are Skin Deep
While the whole “future wife” thing was kind of annoying, nothing annoyed me more than what this guy said to his wife, that he does or does not know exists. See what I did there? First of all he says a lot, to say very little and what he does say at times, I am not so sure is entirely Biblical. Okay, sure, there is nothing wrong with him giving empty compliments, I mean how can these words possibly be validated since he has not met his “future wife”? Love requires action, not just words, and if he is not in a position to act on what he says, as he has not presently met her, he is giving us just that, words. Sure they sound nice, and I am sure many of you ladies fawned over the sweet sentiment he spoke, but they are just words. If you really are dying to know whether or not you are beautiful OPEN YOUR BIBLE! I could sit here and wax eloquent about how beautiful you gals, and even guys, are but what are my words in comparison to Gods?! Who gives a rip about what I think?! You do not need men or women to find your beauty or your worth, you need God! Apart from finding your image and identity in Christ, no words this guy, myself, or anyone else will every convince you of your true beauty.
Not My Goodies
In the third paragraph this guy likens women and their bodies to cars. Cars…Yes, I get he is making an illustration, but women are not cars, they are far more valuable, Apparently women who show everything off are Honda Civics and the ones who do not are Lamborghinis. Give me a break. If you want to talk about women and modesty, talk about women and modesty, do not liken them to material objects, if you do not see women as objects, why would you use an illustration that likes them to objects? And for the record, Honda Civics show WAY less off than Lamborghinis, AND they get better gas mileage. That is beside the point though.
What really got me with this part of the post came in the last two sentences where he says “But, if everyone and my mom has a look at everything you’re showing off, I’m not feeling like as much of a lucky ducky. So please, for me, keep your goodies packaged away.” He says it all here, the modesty of his “future wife” is not about her value, her relationship with God, or her position in Christ, but it is about her being modest for him and how he will feel is she is not. You can go to the blog post, nowhere in this paragraph is his “future wife’s” modesty anything to go with God, it is about him. Am I the only one who sees a problem with that?! Women, men, your modesty, your sexual integrity, is about God and God alone, not your future spouse, not anybody, God is the only one whom these things are for. Remain pure in heart and action, not for a spouse you have no idea you will ever even have, but for God.
Your Princess is in Another Castle
The whole princess and prince charming thing never seems to die. Spend enough time with anybody and you will find out they are not princesses or princes, time brings light to that lie. As far as things go this is the one portion in which this guy had one or two decent things to say. My problem with the whole prince charming and princess description is the bad juju that already surrounds it. The implication is that people are better than what they actually are, which we are not. We are in Christ, and like him we should be servants, not royalty. One day that royalty through Him will come, but for now we are servants not those who have earned the right to be served. He does bring the reality that people will mess up, and everything will not be hunky dory, bringing the truth eventually that with God’s grace, losing me a little win he says they will win. While God will bring grace and triumph in relationships, you may not always win. Just ask any couple how many times they have one as opposed to the times that they have lost. Not to mention he includes this last, after a string of other things that seem to be higher on the list. Eternally we may win, but right here and now there are still many losses yet to come. When it comes to relationships we are not princes, or princesses, but servants, and as servants we ought to put the one we serve first (God), and everything else should be an outflow second. We may win sometimes, we may lose others, but what matters is not the amount of times we win or lose, but that we follow Him regardless of which.
So the Story Goes
I wrote this not to bash on some poor dude who wanted to bring a degree of sentiment to girls, especially one girl that he does not know exists in the future, but to continue combatting these dangerous ideas that work their way into the minds of us young believers. The other big question on my mind throughout all of this is, if this is a letter to his future wife, then why is he sharing it with the whole internet, instead of saving it for her alone? Who knows maybe the post is a method to attract a future wife? I mean if I were a girl, and I read a post by an attractive, spiritual sounding guy, about his “future wife”, it would be pretty hard to resist on a surface level for me too. That is why it is important to intentionally think about material we read before we buy into it, especially posts like the one talked about here, where we can easily judge with our feelings before we do so with our minds. Our singleness is not something to hate or a reason to long for something different, but a chance to continue depending upon God for our fulfillment, not other people. A relationship is not going to fix your problems or give your life any more meaning, and unless you can find true contentment in God you are not going to find contentment in anything else.