For those who grew up with the church, I have noticed a specifically sad and terrible lie that we so often believe. Today we refers to women in the church. I know men believe many lies from the church, but today we, women, are living in a crucial lie.
Imagine your preschool story time; that reveals a prince saving a princess. It was the most beautiful story when you were young. You might have been, like me, wishing to be the knight because he got to fight and do cool tricks. Or you might have been dreaming of your castle and the beautiful dresses you would wear and the knight that would save you. Then on Sunday you go to Sunday school, and learn about Jesus who DOES save you so beautifully and naturally that it is so easy to walk right into that space and know Him. From singing Jesus love me, to the truths that were preached over us, we got the blessing of knowing the stories and love that the Word of God tells us.
The problem is today, I see so many people talk about their (current, past, or future) boyfriends, as if they are supposed to be Jesus in their life. It was definitely a lie that I once believed. From phrases and little pictures of men praying for their wives or helping old ladies across the street, we have over spiritualized the forever relationship of marriage. We have all said it: “One day my prince will come”, as if we are holding out for this prince that will make everything better or that marriage is the ultimate goal of a women. That is so unbiblical.
Relationship and marriage is so opposite of that. It is hard work. I can only speak of my experience with my boyfriend and the marriages I have seen. Your prince will not come, one day out of the blue, to save you from the stress of this world. Having a boyfriend does not make everything better and they do not save you from your sins. Relationships are made to give you intimate community with people. It is a community of response, revision, and restoration. They are to encourage you in your walk with God. The man you will marry’s job, as so explicitly stated in the Bible (Ephesians 5:25-28), is to love you like Christ loves the church. Christ does not love the church with a small princely love. He loves the church with righteous anger at the sins that are committed. He loves the church with tender mercies. He loves the church with deep compassion because He has walked where we walk. He loves the church as His own people. He loves the church with deep sacrificial love as He gave up everything for it. Men have their work cut out for them. However, the princes, we read about when we young, did not love their princesses in that way. The story ends after he wins her over. Happily ever after is meant for eternity with Jesus only. We have given ourselves to standards that make men impossible to be in our lives.
For example, early on in my relationship with Evan, I realized something extremely significant that had happened. I would call him when I was sad. I would expect him to restore my joy. I would call him when I was upset and expect him to teach me well. I would call him and expect this fairytale Jesus in him to come out and make everything better. As the good Christian man that he is, he called me out. It was hard and it hurt. But he was loving me the way Christ does. He was asking me to accept his sinful state and work together to pursue Christ individually. It has been a very hard and long journey and it is not for the faint of heart. Evan called me out and I changed my ways.However, I want to ask my sisters, friends, family, and beloved women of the Church, are you measuring the men you see up to Christ and do you expect them to fulfill your fairytale needs?
I want to leave you with this, do not replace your relationship with Jesus with a relationship with a man. Your relationship with Jesus is too precious to even compare with sinful man to. Always know and look for the fruits of the spirit in the life of the men, you hope to pursue. But do not replace the oh so beautiful and intimate life that you share with Christ for man. Don’t expect sinful man to fulfill this need for Jesus in your life.
I know this post is long and a little bit of a rant. However, I want to remind you of Mary (Jesus’ Mother). She was the chosen mother of the Christ. She believed the miracles that God bestowed in her to carry and take care of. She was a woman of God. Remember the way she speaks with God in Luke 1:46-55. And then when the culmination comes as she carries Jesus in her womb and births him and she does something unique to women:
Luke 2:19-20 “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard, as it had been told to them”.
Jesus wants that intimacy with you. Mary holds this intimacy with God so dear to her. She keeps treasures of her relationship with Him and does not let them waiver to anything else. Jesus goes before the Father on your behalf and declares you clean. Don’t ever settle for thinking that a prince of this earth will satisfy your hunger for the King of the Universe. It’s about you and Jesus and the happily ever after you will get in heaven with Him. Don’t let anything replace that.
I pray this over each person who reads this:
The Lord bless you and keep you,
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.