a few weeks ago, a good friend of mine told me that he thought i would be a difficult wife. when i asked him to elaborate, he floundered for a moment before mumbling something about me being high-maintenance (which he later retracted . . . and changed to medium-maintenance). on the heels of this conversation, another friend made a comment referencing something to the effect of ‘all women want a guy who is whipped’. my reply was- if by ‘whipped’ you mean someone who lets me get away with everything, and is a ‘yes, dear’ kind of guy, then you’re dead wrong. if by ‘whipped’ you mean a man who serves me in mutual submission, who adores me but challenges me to be a better woman, then you are absolutely correct!
this conversation has stayed with me . . . and i revisited it today. i was working on some things for school while sitting in the seminary office, and somehow one of the girls and i get onto the topic of unhealthy relationships. i remarked that i am sick of boys- i only want to date men from now on! i was asked to elaborate on that- what differentiates a boy from a man?
the list: (this is the general and partial list)
general maturity: wisdom, patience, knowing yourself, appropriate confidence
general stability: knowing what you want from life- and if you don’t have it now, have or be working on a plan of how to get there.
and even following that- tonight the same good friend from before was conferring with a couple of other friends about which of us would be heartbreakers and who would be the heartbroken. i got labeled a heartbreaker. not really sure how . . . but it did give us a chance as a group to revisit that earlier conversation. i mentioned that i had been told that i would be a ‘difficult wife’ and the other friend agreed. i really did want the opinion of these two guy friends, so i asked them what would make them say that? reasons given: i am not a ‘roll over and play dead’ kind of girl. i want a man who will grow a pair and be the leader he was created to be!! (when i said that . . . all hell broke loose. that was quoted as the number one reason that i would be difficult.) i was also told that i don’t back down easily and that i am sometimes too independent. i have dated guys who have been really easy to submit to; i’ve also dated guys where it was a struggle every moment!! i am a strong, independent, think-for-myself, driven, stubborn woman. and while these things make it difficult for me to find someone i feel is worth dating, it also weeds out the guys who aren’t up for a challenging adventure. my dad remarked to me one day a few years ago that my husband ‘would not always be happy, but he sure would be well fed, entertained, and fiercely loved.’ if i’m with a man who knows himself and who god has made him to be, its easy to submit to that kind of leadership. i don’t want a man who will let me go unchecked and unchallenged- call me out when i’m off base! and knowing the lord’s sense of humor, i’m sure i’ll end up with a man who is as stubborn as i am.
i am a handful- god knows! but although it takes me awhile to fall, i fall hard and deep. once i give my heart away, you’re kind of stuck with it. i love with fierce devotion and do everything- whether its love, fight, or make up- with my whole self. there are things i need to work on- things that the lord needs to soften in me and rough edges to smooth away- but i make no apologies for being me. i’m sure there is only one man on the planet who can handle this mess . . . and i know it won’t be easy, but i can say with confidence that it will be worth it. that man will be appreciated, celebrated, and adored. he will be fiercely loved, sweetly cared for, and able to rest securely in the knowledge that my heart is the safest place for him to rest.
difficult? yes. worth it? definitely.
addendum: relationships are like dancing.
my dear friend derrick asked me to dance on tuesday. i politely declined, reminding him that i am NOT a good dancer. he told me that it doesn’t matter if i can dance or not- because he can. and since the guy leads the dance, as long as he knows how to dance and is comfortable with leading, then it doesn’t matter if the girl can dance or not as long as she follows.
life lesson:as long as the man knows how to lead, everyone’s having a good time.
i don’t have to be a good dancer- as long as the guy knows how to dance and is willing to lead, i can still dance.