Monday, December 17, 2007

In General

Thanks for all the comments regarding the last post!!! I love to see it. :-) I am working on an indepth post, but I wanted to clear up some things first. (Thanks, Scott, for your insight and encouragement. Your wife will be blessed!)

1- I pray for all of the single men in my life on a regular basis. I have a great burden for all of you and desire to see each one of my male friends (just like my girl friends) pursuing Christ to the fullest. I also pray for the future spouses of my dearest guy friends- whoever those girls are! The times you live in are hard and I believe single men face struggles unlike any generation in the past.

2- My comments were not direct criticism to any of you Godly, elligible and single men. Each of you have circumstances and situations that are unique. God will direct you as He pleases. Several of you, like Anderw and Scott, have made great sacrifices to their own desire to be married in obedience to what God has called you to do. I understand and respect that VERY much! My statements were also not a command that you should marry tomorrow. Marriage, as high of a calling as it is, it not the end goal nor purpose of life.

3- What I said comes from several "frustrations":

A- My own singleness. I want to be married! I could be a girl that dates for fun. I don't. I could have a suiter if I was flirtatious. I'm not. I could waste time and emotions dating guys to "see" if they are the one. I'm not going to do that. AND I could be married, but it was not God's will. I am thankful, so thankful for that! It is hard to be a girl that desires marriage in an age when marriage is not taken seriously. It is hard to be a girl that is not going to take the relationship in her own hands, like so many do, and find a guy. It is hard to be a girl that is not wanting to settle for the average man. It is hard, from a human perspective, and it is an ongoing area where I must trust God and believe Him. The fact that I am still single does not shock God and He will (and IS) using it for His glory.

B- Many men are still boys. (Remember I am talking in generalities now... but I have known many guys like this!) There are girls that want to be married, have children and build a home. A majority of the men that are saying they desire marriage seem to be doing nothing to pursue it. Instead, they are buying toys, going on trips and telling the girls they "love" that they are not ready to be "tied down." (Which is sad for us girls to be viewed that way!) When us girls see that happening so much we begin to feel like a product or an accessory to have and be discarded. The guy wants somone cute, thin and loyal, but he avoids commitment. The girls get tired of being used and are willing to give him more than what should be given in hopes to keep him.

C- Cultural shift and sin. Sin causes losts of problems and a low/distorted view of marriage is just another one. As cultures move farther and farther away from God, we will continue to see marriage degrated. More people, including Christians, will lower their standards and accept what should not be. We must continue to fight against worldly thinking in order to be a people that treasures marriage the way Christ does. How rare and beautiful strong, Christ-centered marriages are! We do not marry for the sake of marriage- but to display a mystery that is to mirror Christ and His Bride, the Church. Sin will always decieve and the enemy will always hate marriage because God loves it!

4- I want to be a girl that, by my integrity, purity and Godliness, encourages the single men in my life TO marry. Many guys I know look around and are very discouraged by what they see in women- including Christian single women. There ARE many dominating, immodest, controlling, manipulating, career-minded and vain Christian women. Most of my dear guy friends want a girl that is exactly the opposite of that! Even though I will only marry one, I can be an encouragement to other single men that Godly single women DO exist! I am not perfect by any means, but I want to be a woman that will bring delight, honor and joy to one man. One of the ways I can honor my future husband is by encouraging single men to marry- to be like Christ and take a bride (isn't it amazing that although Christ did not have an earthly bride, He still purchased one, the Church, and calls us His Bride!) I pray there are people encouraging my husband in the same way!!!

5- Masculinity and femininity are under attack in many ways. I believe that God gave the man a different level of responsibility than He gave the woman. It was to Adam that God gave the headship of Eve. She was to follow him. Now, this does not mean that all problems (like feminism) are the man's fault. Women are just as sinful, corrupt and depraved. We girls cause a lot of problems, trust me. I long to see more men taking leadership like we see in the lives of men like Jonathan Edwards or Hudson Taylor. I also desire to see women joyfully following like Sarah Edwards and Mary Taylor! The weight for the different roles must fall on the respective genders. The discouraging thing for me and a dozen of my Godly female friends is that in order to be a Sarah Edwards, we must have a Jonathan Edwards... and there does not appear to be enough to go around. :-) And God did away with multiple wives a few thousand years ago!

6- God's design. God created marriage. He loves it. He wants us to love the things He loves. Our Christian culture sees it more like a duty or a stage of life. God delights in marriage because it is a picture of the gospel to the unbelieving world. Also, since marriage is under attack in so many ways, what a joy to be a person that would display the original picture!

I hope that this explains a little of what I was thinking in my last post. Do not take what I said as an insult, but an encouragement. I am sorry if I came across crtical or harsh.

Galant asked that we girls pray for single men. Like I said, I do. I ask, as well, that you pray for the Godly single girls in your life. Many of them, if they are like the 100+ I know, are discouraged AND starting to take things into their own hands. It is causing them a lot of heart ache. Pray that we girls would learn to trust God as we continue to prepare for the one who will win our heart. Pray that we would be women of virtue in a perverted world. Pray that we would delight in who God has made us- keepers of the home, child bearers, followers, etc. Pray for us by praying for our husbands! You will know better than we the struggles our yet-to-be-husbands are facing!

Blessings to all!

11 comments:

Augustinian Successor said...

I hope you are not distracted by all these things. I thought you had your work and mission to focus on ... Just trust in the Lord. ;-/

Augustinian Successor said...

"Many guys I know look around and are very discouraged by what they see in women- including Christian single women. There ARE many dominating, immodest, controlling, manipulating, career-minded and vain Christian women. Most of my dear guy friends want a girl that is exactly the opposite of that!"

Yes, yes, twoshay!!! They think too highly of themselves, right, Jaclyn? Right ... yes, yes. At last, an angelic voice announcing the good news of the truth and reality that we men who live under the shadow of the Cross have to face on a daily basis.

Augustinian Successor said...

Christian women are seduced by the theology of glory, instead of living in the conviction of the theology of the Cross. Instead of being theologians of the Cross, they seek to fashion themselves into theologians of glory. The theology of the Cross is the theology ooff ....... the Gospel itself! The very heartbeat, soul, pulse, centre, core of the Christian life, sanctified, justified, elected, called, by the external Word and the Sacraments. The Cross upon which the Saviour hung comes to YOU, you do not go to the Cross, the Cross comes to you, the Cross comes to you in the power of the Holy Spirit working together always and in unity with the external Word and Sacraments to save us. Christ comes to you clothed in the external Word and Sacraments, masked and hidden in the lowly and earthy symbols of water, bread and wine. He assumes the voice of a man, a sinner like you and me to bring and deliver and proclaim and effect forgiveness of sins. Think about it: In the proclamation ooffff the Gospel, the ministerial priest delivers Christ to you, which you receive by faith, faith alone and nothing else! Unconditional, absolute, irresistible grace! Sheer unmerited grace!

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Let us pray:

Almighty and eternal God, our heavenly Father, Thou Who hast predestined all things that should come to pass in our providence; Grant, we beseech Thee to alway behold us favourably for the sake of Our Saviour Christ Who died to take away our sins, and by Thy Holy Spirit, ever more strengthened our feeble faith: through the merits and might of Our Risen Lord, Amen.

Augustinian Successor said...

When women behaved contemptuously towards men, it's not "sexy", it's UGLY! yes, yes ...

Andrew said...

First, I'm surprised that there's still a more "in-depth post" to follow this. I found it quite conclusive.

Second, I find that your gift is exhortation, which is encouraging to see, for I have just discovered it as my own, though in a much more raw unbridled state. Nothing that the Spirit and prayer can render into a sweet offering of service.

Third, I follow along with you in praying for those single friends of the opposite persuasion, but I fear that the greater need falls primarily on the side of the men, for here I find so few men taking lead in anything other than pew-filling.

Fourthly, I know I still need a heart change, for the single woman for whom I once prayed, I prayed for selfishly, instead of with agape.

And lastly, my personal quick, witty view of Christian marriage is that of a ministry partner. Since I have been considering missions abroad, I realize that by no means can I even seem to prepare for the task alone. And in the cross-cultural context, having a national as a spouse could be a great asset, even though the language a cultural barrier is so daunting. But if that is what the Lord wills, then I know that His grace can sustain me through that, for His greater glory.

So, here's the the men and women who will help us magnify Him!

Now, I'm off to fight the alarm clock for a better morning with the Lord, instead of this blasted computer! Somedays, I do wish my job didn't involve them, those electronic time vampires!

Augustinian Successor said...

Jaclyn, do you think, do you think the Good Lord will bless me with wife??? Sometimes, I think to myself, "what shall I do?", "what CAN I do" in these sad, desperate, hopeless times ..., you know ...

WHY??? why? why?

Augustinian Successor said...

Jaclyn, do you think personal maturity might be an issue for me seeking a godly wife which I am sure is God's will for Christian men?

ann marie said...

Augustinian,

Can you define what you mean in saying "Christian women are seduced by the theology of glory, instead of living in the conviction of the theology of the Cross. Instead of being theologians of the Cross, they seek to fashion themselves into theologians of glory."?

How do you see us (ladies) attempting to 'fashion [ourselves] into theologians of glory'? Who's glory? Defined by what?

I'll add my two cents in to your last question...
I personally see both the man's and woman's personal maturity as a foundational issue in seeking a godly spouse. Personal maturity is NOT determined by the simple number of years you've celebrated your birthday... I know some people in their early twenties, and even teens who exemplify a wisdom and godly maturity beyond the years of many who are decades older than they. Then again, I know some who are in their 30's,40's, 50's and beyond who have a younger mentality and smaller view of God than the two year olds in my mom's Sunday school class (and I'm not being facicious in that statement). Our culture has delayed maturity, and now it is accceptable for a person to not yet reach the 'grown up' stage in life until the late 20's or 30's.
Delayed maturity is not Biblical.

I am single. I have had the opportunity on more than one occassion to change that status. I have chosen not to on the basis of the maturity of the prospective suitor. It's a long set of stories. I want my marriage to be a partnership in ministry to God's glory. As a (future) wife, I am called to be a helper, to ecourage my husband in Godly wisdom, to love and respect him, mindfully grateful of Christ's love, not simply acting as arm candy or a 'trophy wife'. I want to be someone whom my husband can be proud of for the glory of our Lord. But I echo Jaclyn's desire to marry a Man-- a child of God, not a man who is a boy of the world.

Paige said...

I agree with Jaclyn and Ann Marie that maturity is being delayed in both men and women and singles are shying away from the commitment that comes with marriage. There are a variety of reasons for this I am sure. What I am not sure of though is that the shortage of eligible Christian men who desire to lead a family is any greater than the shortage of eligible Christian women who truly want someone to lead them. I believe that both sexes are equally flawed and we happen to be at a place in our culture (perhaps Christian culture) where the flaws in single men (lack of leadership, etc) are more apparent or obvious than the flaws in single women, which are more subtle and widely accepted as appropriate behavior. Women have spent years telling men we don’t want them, need them, etc. and now we are mad that they actually listened and decided to make their own way in life without the love and companionship of a woman. Why? It just seems like a logical response to me. Is it biblical? Certainly not. But it is a reality and unfortunately Christian women are just as guilty as non-Christian women of dominating men. It is understandable that women are frustrated, but as James said “the anger of man never produces the righteousness of God.” If we want to see a change in the men we love (or hope to love and marry someday) then we need to change our own behavior and as Jaclyn and others mentioned in earlier posts PRAY! We also need to be quiet and resist the urge to point out their flaws. Even if they are major and displeasing to God like lack of leadership, treating women improperly, etc. I can’t remember one instance in my 6 ½ year marriage where my telling my husband what kind of man he is not and what kind of man he needs to be was effective in bringing about change in him. On the other hand, encouraging and affirming him in what he currently does well and praying for God to change him does wonders for his relationship with God and me! Men are far more fragile than we realize and we must start building them up…even if they aren’t exactly what we need them to be right now. There are going to be times in marriage when your spouse isn’t what you need him/her to be and the only truly productive options you will have in helping them will be to encourage and pray.

Ainios said...

Jaclyn,

Thank you for writing. Your blog is one of the few I have found that are worth reading.

Almost all of my friends are married. Most of them are passionately pursuing Christ as a family and I am learning a lot from them about what a Christ centered marriage is like. I know only one Godly woman who is not married; I know in my heart that she has all of the qualities I desire in my wife. I also know with so much more certainty that God does not want me to pursue her. I have known this for over a year, and I have not encountered any other Godly women (who are not married or engaged). I feel very lonely at times and it seems as if there are no more Godly women who are not married.

Your writings and some of your friends discussions have revitalized my faith and patients
in respect to trusting God to provide me with a wife.

I think that this is a very important subject that is not discussed enough in the Church. I would like to hear more of your thoughts on courtship and marriage.

Augustinian Successor said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!

In Christ,
Jason