When I got into high school, I had a ridiculously low self-esteem. I had boyfriend after boyfriend who treated me like I wasn’t worth much and only wanted one thing. When I refused to give it up, I was cast aside for the next girl. As I went through my teenage years, I saw many examples of how sex was equated with love and I eventually gave in hoping that someone would love me the way I wanted to be loved. And it broke me. Luckily, I was smart- a straight-A student, so I had at least one way of gaining everyone’s approval, right?
As I fell in love with relationships like Noah and Allie from The Notebook, that was what I sought after. I wanted a man who would chase after me, who would go through every effort to make endless romantic gestures, and kiss me in the rain. That was the epitome of “true love” to me. But it was a lie.
When I met my husband, I was in the middle of low self-esteem and desperately trying to fit in. I wanted to be wanted. I just knew I’d marry a country boy my family would love. He would be a hopeless romantic, a football fanatic, and he would certainly play the guitar and dedicate songs to me because he’d love me so much. Will was nothing like that guy. Will was a city boy from way back. He’d rather have worn dress shoes and a suit than boots. He could not have cared less about sports and had no interest in music AT ALL. And I married him.
This man. He has taught me so much about life and love and God. He’s taught me what it truly means to be loved and accepted. Here are some of the lies I believed and what I’ve since learned.
IF YOU DON’T FIGHT THERE IS NO PASSION.
Not. True. I grew up in a family that yells. A LOT. My parents would get in screaming matches and slam doors growing up. It was normal for me. Then, as I watched movies and listened to music, I saw women pining for PASSION. Apparently, if he cared enough to fight and yell with you, he was passionate about you and your relationship. Fast forward to our first year of marriage. I was a BIG yeller. I still can be. I’m working on it. This man REFUSED to argue with me. REFUSED. I mean would leave the room quietly and say,”We will talk when you can act like an adult.” It infuriated me. Wasn’t he passionate about me? Didn’t he care?
Then, as he led me closer to God, I realized why this was a lie: Ephesians 5: 25-29 says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word. That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things (that she might be holy and faultless.) Eve so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the Church.”
IF HE WON’T CHASE AFTER YOU, HE DOESN’T REALLY CARE.
When we first got married, we’d get in a fight and I’d walk out and slam the door- then wait outside to see if he was coming after me. HE WAS NOT. Then, I’d be upset that he wasn’t coming after me. Didn’t he care if I left? He must not or he’d beg me not to go. He’d come running after me if he REALLY wanted me to stay. THAT IS A LIE.
Here’s what the Bible says: 1 Peter 3:1 “In like manner, you married women be submissive to your own husbands (subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them), so that even if any do not obey the Word of God, they may be won over, not by discussion, but by the Godly lives of their wives.”
I was NOT being submissive. I was being manipulative. And he was not going to be manipulated.
IF HE LOVES YOU, HE WILL BE VERY ROMANTIC.
HA! This could be the biggest lie I’ve learned. Listen, Superman wouldn’t know “romance” if it wore a name tag and punched him in the face. And you know what? I’m still learning to let go of that one. Society tells us that a man who loves us will show up to our job with a bouquet of roses, a guitar, and self-written song declaring his undying love that he does not love us. It’s not that he doesn’t WANT to be romantic. I swear, he would do anything I asked him to. It’s just that he literally hass no idea where to start or what to do to be romantic. Now, I will say that on occasion he brings home flowers. He texts me multiple time throughout the day to tell me he is thinking about me and he loves me. That in itself is AMAZING. What I’m talking about in reference to “romance” is a nice, romantic date. His idea of a romantic date is Applebee’s and a Superhero movie. Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE THAT DATE! And I love doing that with my best friend. But, it simply will not suffice for our wedding anniversary. And despite what the world says about romance and love, I have NEVER even had a chance to question his love for me because he shows me everyday when he goes to work to take care of us, when he comes straight home to spend time with us, when he snuggles up to me on the couch after the girls are in bed, when he texts me during the day, when he forgives me after I act a fool.
Here’s why this rumor is a BIG FAT LIE:
“He exclaimed, O my love, how beautiful you are! There is no flaw in you!” Song Of Solomon 4:7
(The author believed the best in his love. He saw her as the most beautiful of women, though she was not what society considered beautiful. He loved her. He saw the good in her. He just showed her repeatedly how he loved her and thought well of her. It doesn’t have to be a relationship like the movies. They’re movies, after all.)
Superman, thank you for being that man. Thank you for loving me in spite of my crazy and through it. Thank you for making me feel worthy and showing me that through Christ, I am worthy. Thank you for being the man I needed and still need and the man our girls need. I love you.
Ladies, especially young ladies, listen. Don’t let the world tell you what to look for in a man. Somehow, God saw fit to send me a husband to show me how much He loved me despite my flaws. He sent me a man who truly knew how to love like Jesus. And I count myself lucky everyday. Don’t settle. Don’t settle for worldly “romance” or sex or what society calls “passion.” Wait for the man who will show you the love of God. It’s amazing.