Thursday, May 26, 2011

Myths That Young Christian Men Believe About Their Future Wife

Let me preface this by saying that this information has been collected from years of listening to advice of married men, pastors, and other spiritual mentors who have given me lots of important information. I can guarantee that at one time or another I believed all of these.

My future wife will complete me.

Some women probably believe their gender has dominance on the need to feel complete, but men have it too. It simply comes out in other ways. Unfortunately, guys are just a delusional as the women who believe their spouse will complete them. Gents, marriage was never a man and woman gig, but rather a God, man, and woman show. Without God, the puzzle is incomplete and you will find yourself unsatisfied.

Speaking of finding yourself unsatisfied...

My future wife will meet all my sexual needs.

You're a young man and you've got hormones that drive you nuts at times, we all do, but unfortunately your wife will most likely not be able sate your sexual impulses all the time (And expecting her to can cause a rift in your marriage). Now don't go losing hope, my friend, because if you discipline yourself now to exercise restraint in the face of sexual temptation; I think you will find that your sexual impulses won't be out of control and therefore when you find a woman who you're ready to share that much of yourself with, then the sex you do have with your wife will be exactly what you need. Now, years down the road you may run into other sexual problems, but that's not I'm discussing here.

Are you addicted to porn? Struggle with lust? These things will not go away when you get married! It is essential that you, my brothers, understand this. Your wife is not going to be the cure-all for your bad habits and untamed sexual addictions. You must seek Godly counseling and help for that before you even consider getting married. Oh, and if you think that you can find a nice Christian girl who can be your accountability partner and help you kick the habit, then you are deceiving yourself. I have never heard a story of this ending well. Don't go there.

She will be an innocent young virgin who obeys you.

First off, I do not endorse the traditionalist view that a man must be a strict authoritarian head of the household. I lean a lot closer to egalitarian relationship structure, but that's another story.

Let's start with innocent; your wife will not be a Disney princess. If you expect her to have the innocence of a woman whose been locked in a tower her whole life and was just waiting for Prince Charming to come and take her away, then you're going to be seriously disappointed. Women aren't anymore immune to the influence of the world than men are. While James 1:27 tells us that we are to keep ourselves untainted by the world, chances are she's going to have some warped views about different subjects. Unless you both have locked in a tower your entire lives, then chances are you both are going to bring some distorted views into the marriage. It's important that you don't get into a relationship thinking you can change that about her, but I will cover that later (like, "in another entry" later).

When I use the word, "young" I am intentionally trying to call to mind the Western idealized female who is youthful in appearance and full of vibrancy. My brothers, at this point I recommend you smack yourself hard across the face. This ideal is an unobtainable thing which you will not find and women can try but will never achieve. Chances are, many of our sisters in the faith have insecurities because they know they cannot match up to your idealized woman, but how would they feel knowing that you're striving for that? Did God make a mistake in creating them? Are they incomplete? The fact of the matter is that, we as humans have idolized our human form to such a degree that we now have idol which we cannot ever be like.

Virgin. I think the vast majority of Christian men want to marry a virgin. I wonder how many men would hold themselves up to such a standard, would they refuse to marry the woman they love because he isn't a virgin? It's not completely unheard of, but it would seem the expectations that men place on their future wives are greater than the expectations they place on themselves for where they should be in life and their walk with God before getting married. Let me be clear: there is nothing wrong with a woman who is not a virgin. Now, I'd recommend that she be tested for STD's, but I cannot tell you what you should do after that. I can say that if you claim to love her unconditionally, then those words should be backed up by actions. A woman who is not a virgin is not different from you. You're not perfect, are you? You've made mistakes? Perhaps a few indiscretions and skeletons in the closet? Unfortunately, because a woman's body is physically changed when she has sex, there seems to be an unfair expectation that a woman worth marrying must be a virgin. A woman who previously had sex is NOT damaged goods.

She is as her Father made her. Precious. Something to be cherished.

The newlywed excitement and romance will last forever/a long time.

After all, that's love, right? No, it's passion for the person whom you love. It's an expression of joy and love, but it is not love itself. It's also not what is going to bring the two of you together.

According to stats I've read in multiple books and heard from several male mentors, the average length of the newlywed buzz is between one and three years. Funny thing is, I'm not seeing a lot of marriages even lasting long enough to get past the newlywed buzz these days. And they thought marriage was hard then...

I will be her Prince Charming; sweep her off her feet and...

And you'll erase all her insecurities, fight off all her demons, and make her feel safe 24/7? What are you... Jesus? Make no mistake, Paul tells the Church that husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church, but that doesn't mean that husbands should try to be the Christ for their wives. If we tried, we'd fail, and then things would really be awful because she's still the tortured little princess like Johanna from Sweeney Todd and you'll be the defeated man who never was what he tried to be... Like Shrek, kind of.

Now folks, there's probably a dozen more of these that you can think of. Some, if not a lot of them, apply to women in one way or another with a little tweaking of the wording. I just wanted to dispel a few of the prominent beliefs that young men of God have at one time or another in their life.

Amor omnia vincit,

Monday, May 23, 2011

Judge Me By The Size Of My Drama, Do You?

People, those of you outside of my inner circle, would like to think you know me. My inner circle doesn't even know everything about me yet and they are the ones who hear the most intimate details about my life. What people see, as I understand from their reactions, is someone who is a drama queen or a diva that has little to no bearing on reality. I challenge both the idea that I am a diva/drama queen and that I have little to no bearing on reality.

Firstly, I admit that I am emotionally high-strung at times. I can get very passionate about something without much provocation. Case and point, the death of Osama Bin Laden. I was so disturbed by the massive celebrations that were being covered in television news as well as various people on Facebook changing their profile pictures to the popular (but fake) picture of Osama's marred corpse. I was very relieved to know that this legendary figure who was responsible for the attack on 9/11 had been removed from the possibility of ever striking America again, but I was so overwhelmed by the things people were saying in their joyous reactions to the death of Osama that I reacted. How did I react? I was livid. I was so disgusted that I became infuriated with the carnal savagery of so many. I saw it as such a base level of immaturity, but when I look at it in hindsight so too was my reaction to them a very base act of immaturity.

Secondly, people who think they know me should not presume to. Ever since I began my Time of Consecration, God has been teaching and working through me on various levels. I'm not saying that I've got it all figured it out or anything. In fact, the more I learn the less I know and the more I realize that I have so much growing up to do. Thing is, most people know me as this ultra-conservative fundamentalist with quaint vestiges of traditional gentlemanly behavior embedded in my routine, but if you knew me as I am today you would know that I'm more akin to a Jesus-loving nature hippy. Heck, I'm evening doing my research so that I can become a bona fide vegetarian. The fact is, I look as the things I have said and done with such certainty that it was done by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and I am horrified. I am literally horrified to think that at one time I used to think that America was a God-fearing nation founded on Christian principles. I am horrified that I used to openly mock the LGBTQ community and that I thought I wasn't a racist because I wasn't calling black people rude names. I was wrong. Dead wrong.

While my physical teenage years are beyond me, but spiritually I feel like a teenager that is just starting to overcome all the angst and hormonal imbalance to give rise to some more insightful and well-developed thoughts, feelings, and perspectives on life. I'm going through so many spiritual changes; so much growing, stretching, bending, twisting, prodding, poking, cutting off, and removing of the old self that I am bound to make a fool of myself on more than one occasion. I'm prone to mistakes and this spiritual metamorphosis I'm going through isn't going to make me look any prettier for the cameras in the short term... However, because I am renewing my mind to be that of Christ's mind I no longer think of just the image I have upon Earth, but the image that God sees of me. It isn't the most important to me that you accept me as I go through this change, as I realize that some people just wont. What is important is that I offer you the chance to understand what's going on.

Speaking of what God sees... I don't care about this reality half as much as I do about God's reality. Frankly, I find this reality fascinating and exciting, but wholly unsatisfying in the long-run. When I put this reality in perspective as God sees, as He chooses to show me bits and pieces of His perspective; I begin to understand how truly this reality is without an understanding of how to live life God's way. So people say that I'm out of touch with reality, and in response I say, "Thank you for your kind words. It's nice to know you're seeing such an improvement in my lifestyle." Granted, that's a little bit of verbal judo, but the point is that I don't care if people think that I'm out of touch with reality. There will always be people out there criticizing me for something they don't like and many of them will probably be holding on to things of the past that didn't sit well with them. I know that I have made mistakes in the past, and I will make more mistakes in the future. The important thing for me is that I keep going, keep growing, and keep holding onto the values which have kept me sane enough for the past year.

Ready for the most insightful portion of this entry? I've noticed a few people in particular spending an awful lot of time criticizing me. I'd like to point out that if I'm such a diva/drama queen then I am not worth all the time and effort you put into ridiculing me. Therefore, I am either not a not a diva/drama queen and you simply have strong opinions (as I do) about the issues I bring up or I am one but you are equally immature for spending your time trolling me. I'll leave it up to you to decide which of those two is the case. I'd like to add here that there are others who have made legitimate efforts to offer some "tough love" correction, to whom I do not intend this paragraph to be directed at.

Interestingly enough, I was going to write about the expectations that many young men have of their future marriage relationships and crush all those silly but understandable misconceptions about marriage. Unfortunately for the one or two people who I told about this idea, I had a strong urge to write this other stuff instead. My apologies, the expectations thing will come later.

For Narnia!