Think of your future husband. Maybe you have someone in mind. Maybe he’s just a fuzzy blur waiting to be filled in. Maybe he’s a funny, quick-witted, life of the party type or athletic, straightforward, and friendly or even deep and romantic, the kind who feels at home in a coffee shop discussing life and literature.
Now picture yourself married to him. It’s Sunday morning. You’re sitting in a pew, or maybe teaching class or watching your kids in the nursery. Where is he? Behind the podium preaching? Leading singing? Is he a youth minister? Deacon? Teacher? Maybe he’s not big on public speaking but finds different ways to serve the congregation. Maybe he’s usually there, but today there was a big game or a lot of work to catch up on – he is the head of the family and needs to make sure you’re supported after all. Maybe he’s hardly ever there and only comes after a lot of begging on your part.
While I don’t know what you would want, I’m pretty sure I know which options you wouldn’t choose. After all, most good Christian girls want to be with a guy who loves her Lord the same way she does.
But I’ve seen a lot of girls – good, solid, faithful Christian girls – who do it anyways. Why? Lots of reasons, but it usually boils down to either “but I love him, and if I just give him a little more time…” or “I’m afraid if we break up he’ll fall away/never become a Christian.” Which are both legitimate, sincere concerns that come from a desire to not be responsible for losing someone else’s soul.
The opposite can happen too. I’ve seen it. Not nearly as often, but I’ve known faithful Christians who were brought to Christ through the example of a patient and loving spouse. I’ve grown up admiring and looking up to them – not because they’re pretty good for someone who converted later in life, but because they are incredible examples of the love, service, and compassion that God’s people should have. So yes, it happens. But not without work. These are the exceptions and not the rule.
We always seem to go to the Proverb 31 woman for examples of what the life of a woman of God should look like, and this doesn’t seem to be an exception. Look at her. She cleans! She works! She serves! She wakes up early TO work! She’s practically perfect in every way! It gets so easy to start to assume that she’s running the show.
Read verse 23. “Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.” I don’t know if he actually is an “elder of the land” or is just sitting there absorbing their knowledge. What I do know is that he’s there, choosing to be among wise men who are seeking to serve God. And I do know that what he is doing is counted in a list of attributes to her. All that she does is made possible in part because she is with someone who has the same desires as her and so he supports her in all she does.
Do you have a boyfriend? Or want one? Is the thought even crossing your mind? Will you settle for anything less than a Christian who loves God with all his heart? Those few exceptions I have known are all strong Christians and chose people who had already chosen to follow God, not people they hoped would someday change.
One of the greatest blessings and comforts we have in this life is to spend our life with someone we can trust to stand with, lead, and support us as Christians. It’s not worth giving up. No matter how much you believe you love him. No matter how much you think your faith won’t be impacted. No matter how much you hope he can change even though you know he doesn’t want to be the person you know you need.
It’s not worth it.