As I watched The Return of the King today a thought occurred to me: women make awful big sacrifices to be with the one they love. Arwen, the elf princess, gave up immortality in order to be with Aragorn, the man she loved. For Aragorn to honor the choice Arwen made he had to put aside the ranger and become the king he was born to be.
I am no expert in female psychology and so I am not going to delve into the choices women make in order to be with the man they love. It appears obvious to me that women give up many dreams that they have to be with a man who they believe loves them.
What I want to consider is how men can honor the choice women make to be with them. How can a single guy begin to honor the choice some lady will make in the future? How can a boyfriend honor the choice of the girl he has yet to commit to? How can a husband honor the choice of his wife to be with him until death?
Maybe being a single male without very much experience in romantic relationships I am not very qualified to write about this subject, but the more I think about it the more I believe it is something that we have to consider. It is time for men to respond nobly and honorably to the choices the woman in their lives make.
Single guys if we are going to honor the choice of our future wife we have to do at least these two things. First we have to find our identity. Our identity cannot come for the girl we are with, it has to come from a different source if we are going to love and lead her the way we need to. Second we must commit to purity. This isn't just about abstaining from sex before we are married, it is about how we treat women. Remember Jesus said that having lust in our hearts is the same as committing adultery. It is vital that we learn to respect the women around us. To honor our wives now we must respect all women.
Guys in a relationship but aren't married I believe it is vital for you do discover your identity. You will never be the man your wife needs you to be until you discover who you are. This might mean taking a break from your current relationship to do that, but it must be done. You also must guard the purity of the one you are with right now. Since you are not married so much of what you desire to do with her you cannot do. She is your sister in Christ and you must treat her as such. You have to be the man, even if she is willing to give you have to have the courage, the strength, and the love to say no. If you are going to honor the choice your future wife is going to make you have the responsibility to guard the purity of the woman you are with right now.
Married guys. She has already made the choice, and now you have the responsibility to live up to that choice she made. First this requires living out the roles in your life. So often as guys we put ourselves into one or two roles, but we neglect the others. Your wife doesn't just need a provider, but she needs a protector. She doesn't just need a lover, but she needs a friend. She doesn't just need a playmate, but she needs a partner. You need to be a leader, a lover, a helper, a listener, and when the time comes, a father. You also have the responsibility in helping her realize her God-given potential. To do anything less would be to dishonor the choice she made to love you. God created her with certain gifts and talents and He brought her through different experiences and pain so that she could do good works. As her partner it is up to you to help her realize the potential she has.
When a woman decides to love a man she chooses to join her dreams and goals with his. She is sacrificing a lot to make that choice. It is up to us not to let her regret the choice that she made.
And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God's word. ~ Ephesians 5:25-26 (NLT)
(It needs to be pointed out that I orginally wrote this post in January of 2005. I thought I would pull it out of retirement for a Valentines Day reflection).
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