“Brother, You’re Like a Six”

Another fantastic piece from Boundless.org:

In the world’s version of attraction, I’m a consumer, not a servant. I respond to attributes of yours that I like because of their potential to please me. Again, this is not malicious or evil — it’s just not how we’re primarily called to treat one another in Scripture. It’s not the Bible’s idea of love.

As for marriage, look back to the passage from Ephesians 5. Fundamentally, marriage is a beautiful (if distant) analogy of the way that Christ has perfectly loved and sacrificed for the church, and the way the church, His bride, responds to her Lord.

Marriage is incredibly fun; it’s also incredibly hard. For most people it is the greatest act of ministry and service to another person that they will ever undertake. Husbands are literally called to “give themselves up for” their wives. Wives are called to submit to, respect and serve their husbands “as to the Lord.” Though husbands and wives receive countless blessings from a biblical marriage, the very idea of biblical marriage describes an act — many acts — of love, service, sacrifice and ministry toward a sinful human being. According to Scripture, marriage is anything but a selfish endeavor. It is a ministry.

Read the full article at THIS LINK. I really enjoyed this one, and it brought up some key points that have bothered me recently as I’ve heard various viewpoints coming from courtship proponents. I have met many wonderful young men and women who desire to be married to godly spouses but can’t seem to find “the one.” Yet when I hear the laundry list of what they “require” from a spouse, I am no longer surprised that they are unmarried. Some of the things are so unreachable that a young woman would have to wait to marry a mature man of 50 or 60 to meet what she considers her “match!”

We need to remember that we are all sinners when we marry and that we are hardly perfect matches ourselves. When I look back at the woman my husband met and wooed 17 years ago, I’m still shocked that he saw anything in me. I was fresh out of “Christian feminism” and still very stubborn about some of my pet beliefs. My husband tells me he felt the same way about himself, wondering how on earth I’d agree to marry a 20-year-old “buck private” without a big bankroll or a high-paying job. 😉 Yet God has richly blessed our marriage, and we are in awe of His grace and mercy. Neither of us was a “perfect match,” but God is the perfect matchmaker, helping two sinners to grow together in love and commitment in spite of their failings. I pray young people (and their parents) can keep this in mind as they prayerfully seek marriage.

3 thoughts on ““Brother, You’re Like a Six”

  1. You’ve hit the nail on the head! I am not nececarily against the idea of courtship, but let me assure you, when my husband and I married we were FAR from courtship material. I can’t imagine any of these big courtship families with their big lists of ‘get to know you’ questions ever accepting either of us! My husband proposed to me minutes after I accepted Jesus (I knew God and by most other people was considered a christian, but my understanding because of previous abuse within the church and my childhood was skewed and unbiblical, especially in accepting that God loved ME. The day that finally clicked, it all made so much more sense, and I could finally, for the first time, accept Gods forgivness and grace. I can no longer consider myself to have been a christian before that point.)

    The woman he married was literally an infant in christ, with deep wounds and fresh scars from a very dificult, very ‘unsheltered’ life. I had a severe mental illness caused by my past that was, at the time, unmanaged and untreated, though it was getting better over time. I wasn’t pure, I wasn’t homemaking material (I set off the fire alarm in our hotel apartment the first night of our honeymoon by burning pasta! Did you know you could burn pasta?) Oh, did I mention I was legally blind, with a chance that I would become fully blind as time went on? Yeah, that’s a big one right there, pretty sure most of these people don’t envision ‘blind’ when they envision their future spouse. But I had passion, for life, for God, and for my husband. I had qualities that he saw stronger than all of my many flaws.

    He wasn’t perfect either. He grew up in the perfect family for courtship, homeschooled, 8 kids, worked in his dads business. But when we got engaged his dad’s business crashed in the GFC. My husband found himself in a line of work that has no future, with no qualifications for anything else, both unemployed and unemployable. He was immature, and the opposite of me, TOO sheltered. I remember him crying, frightened at the idea of working in a job with non-christians with no idea how to cope. He did have savings, which is how we were able to be married while he was unemployed, and make it through these first few years of intermittent and constantly changing employment as he tried to figure out where he wanted to be in life, and what God wanted from him. But he had flaws, he is about the messiest person ever and didn’t even realise it because his sisters always picked up after him. He struggles with emotion, not that he isn’t sensitive because he is, but his family never talked about emotion, and he struggled to understand and identify his. And yet despite all of this I could see a hardworking, deeply compassionate character. A man who would do anything for the people he loved.

    I can’t imagine most courtship families even allowing a first date with either of us. Neither of us were courtship material. My husband may have become courtship material with a few years growing up and a new job, but I don’t think I could ever meet the expectations, I was too broken, my past had ruined my purity in every way, and even my body was terribly imperfect.

    Anyone remember the story in the bible about the man God called to marry a prostitute? The man who, when she left, went and paid for her? I’ve been told by pastors that it was just a story to represent God and Israel (which it was as well) and could not have possibly happened in real life because what man in their right mind would do what that man did? Well, I can’t think of too many christian men that would, but I do know some athiests who would, and I know my husband did. You find me a single courtship family who would allow their son to do what that man in the bible did (who’s name I wish I could remember, but simply cannot). And yet that is how God loves Israel.

    Against many peoples better judgment, and the guidelines of courtship that say we should have all out ducks in a row before we even consider it, we married. It wasn’t easy, the day we announced our wedding date my parents announced their divorce (yet another mark against me, what courtship proponent would consider a daughter of divorce as a stable party in marriage? I supposedly would not have had good examples of marriage as a child.) But you kow what? We have been married almost 3 years, so we’re no experts yet but we’ve made it pretty far. We’ve had our ups and our downs and we’ve grown together through them. We have one beautiful daughter and one on the way, and I have come from my background to believe many of the conservative ideas my husband had, which are in line with websites like these. I was a secular homeschooler, and intend to homeschool my own children. We have made it through and are better for it, he has taught me and helped me to heal, and I have helped him in the transition to the real, adult world which, unfortunately, his parents never prepared him for. We share our strengths AND our flaws, and work through our sinful natures together.

    And where are all those nay-sayers who told us we shouldn’t marry, who told him I was not marriage material, who told me he needed to have a stable job and money, who told us both we were too young and needed time to grow up? Well, one (male) is still living at home with his parents, and despite a high paying job claims he cannot afford to move out, and has still never had a girlfriend. One, female, recently married after pulling out of her first engagment a couple of months before the wedding. and they’re now trying to handle being newlyweds at 30 and almost 40. The rest are still unmarried, without even a serious prospect of marriage in the past 3 years. Fine, that works for them, and it’s their choice, but frankly I’m happy where I am, raising my beautiful babies and learning to become what God wants me to be. Perhaps it’s better to something or someone who is less than perfect, than to have nothing or no one at all (not to say I ‘settled’ for my husband because I had to, just that I didn’t have expectations of perfection)

    And remember the pasta I burnt? An obvious sign that I was not fit to be a homemaker? Well now I can make my own pasta from scratch tyvm. 🙂


  2. abba12,

    Thanks for the reminder from the Bible – Hosea was the prophet whom God commanded to take a prostitute as his wife – very figurative of what Christ did for us on the cross, and of God’s faithfulness towards adulterous Israel. I praise God for stories such as this one in the Bible because they affirm that no level of sinfulness is beyond God’s redemption.

    I wish you all the very best in your marriage and with your family. May the Lord continue to ground you in Christ.

    To God be all glory.


  3. Yes, after reading this I do wonder if the courtship movement, in wanting to respond to all the problems with dating, is encouraging people to set the bar unrealistically high – both for the person they want to marry, and for themselves.


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