Tuesday, January 31, 2012

...and I Knew He was the One - {Guest Post by Triple Braided}

I am so excited to invite Brenda Rodgers to be the first post in: "...and I Knew He was the One"
(Just a reminder the link-up is up)
Please Welcome
Brenda Rodgers writer of
Beautiful Mommy Feet!

Last week I read an article on Kyria’s Culture Blog entitled “Why Young Men Aren’t Manning Up?” The article discusses the reasons why men now-a-days seem to have a prolonged state of adolescence and refuse to “Man Up” while all the women sit around wondering where all the good men have gone – as if they are mature, adult women ready for responsibility and family and "womaning up" at age 22, I will add. And it got me asking myself,

At 22 years of age, did I “woman up”?

Photo Credit: Creative Commons: Victoria Garcia

Around this age a lot of women (I would really say most women) begin to think about marriage. If it wasn’t on the radar before, then it is now. There is a heightened awareness for the need to find a husband. I have found this to be true for the career-minded, want-to-conquer-the-world woman and the woman who’s desire is to be a homemaker. It doesn’t matter. I was determined to get my Master’s degree before getting married, so I went into the Master’s program a year after college, but that does not mean that I was not keenly aware of the fact that I better start looking. Because there was that underlying sense – that ever small fear – that I might just end up alone. So I started looking.

But was I really ready?

At 35 years old I still envy strong, young Christian couples who are firm in their faith, secure in their roles as men and women, and commit to marriage out of sacrificial love for one another because that was not me. And I suspect that even though the majority of women think they are ready for marriage and desire marriage at an early age, it is not them either – truly.

After being married for only three and half years, I can tell you the one thing I learned only two short weeks in: Marriage is a daily laying down of your life for another person – every day, day in and day out, selflessly.

At 22 years old (and even years beyond), I was not concerned about laying down my life for anyone. I was concerned about being lonely, having someone share the work load, wanting children, fulfilling my desire to be a homemaker, the wedding I had been planning for years, and decorating a home. My mind was filled with everything that would make me more content and secure and happy.

Not once did I think about uniting with someone to become more like Christ or creating a legacy for future generations or being used to fulfill a greater purpose in another person’s life.

With this mindset did I help the men I dated to “man up”, or did I just assist them in staying 22?

First of all, I didn’t give them a reason to want to “man up” as is mentioned in Jonathan Sprowl’s article. The expectations I had for a man were way above anything he could live up to because most of the time I was asking him to fill a void in my heart that only God can fill. My expectations were for him to fulfill the fairy tale not a calling.

If a man I was dating was not ready to pursue me like a man is supposed to, that was o.k. I would help him along by calling just one more time at night or reminding him that Valentine’s Day is coming up or sending him an email just to say “hey” in the middle of the day. I made it easy for him believing myself that I was not worth the work of pursuing.

My world became wrapped up in this other person – to the point of idolatry – and I became easily accessible. I let go of my interests and friends to keep this man close by. Life was easy for him. He had me when he wanted me and when he did not he could let me go knowing that I would be there waiting when he was ready for me again.

All of this kept him from having to be a man. He didn’t have to pursue and fight and conquer to win his princess. He already had her.

So he stayed 22. And I stayed 22, too. He suffered from no need to “man up”, and I allowed not “womaning up” to sabotage my true desires.

It is easy for me to think back and get angry at the men I dated not "manning up". But what if I had been a different woman? Well, either they would have gone on their way without me, leaving me with some emotional pain, no doubt, but as the woman God called me to be - a woman of integrity, sold out in surrender to Him, or they might, just might, have been persuaded to "man up".

We can't point fingers at our fellow brothers in Christ until we first examine ourselves.

Are there areas that you need to "woman up"?

May I encourage you to first "delight in the Lord".
Pursue Him above all else.
This is the ultimate "womaning up".

After years as a single woman chasing after marriage instead of chasing after Jesus, Brenda considers herself a “Recovering Single”.  Now her passion is to help single women findpeace in God as they use their single years to grow their relationship with Himand prepare for marriage.  She alsoencourages married women to create authentic relationships with single women inorder to mentor and disciple them during this season of their lives.  Brenda writes about singleness, marriage, andlife with Jesus on her blog TripleBraided.  She and her husband havebeen married for almost four years.

I'm sure Brenda would love to hear from you! You can find her at:  http://www.triplebraidedlife.com/ also on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/triplebraided

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