September 9, 2013

Have I McDreamied Myself Out of a McMarriage?


For those of you who have followed ABC’s hit series Grey’s Anatomy, you may have begun to identify two types of “desirable” men in the world: the McDreamys and the McSteamys.
The McDreamys are the tall, dark, and handsomes who are strong of jaw and quick of wit. With a headful of gorgeous locks, they are the men whose eyes smile long before their lips and who love as intensely as they work. They are the men whose crisp, blue eyes can pierce the darkness of any girl’s “dark and twisty” soul. McDreamys are the rescuers. They are the strong and devoted men who value love and commitment above all else.
The McSteamys, on the other hand, are the textbook definition of hotness personified. They have smoldering good looks, a withering gaze, and a brooding stance. They are the men who are lusty, worldly, and “bad to the bone.” You might think that you can rescue them from their shortcomings, but they are who they are…for better or for worse. McSteamys are the fantasy, and reality seems to pale in comparison. They are the ones who flatter us with their words and attentions, yet they move on as soon as the road gets rough.
Recently, I was taking inventory of my view of men. Having been a single woman until the age of 31, I tended to gravitate toward entertainment about people my age and in my stage of life (hey, who doesn’t?). Shows like Grey’s Anatomy, among others, catered to my demographic. Living a life buried in Christ, however, my “singledom” was sorely different than the one portrayed on the screen. My dreams included the Lord’s provision of a husband, serving side-by-side in ministry, and living a life dedicated to holiness. My means of finding said husband included prayer, Scripture reading, and authentic biblical community when it came to relationship-building with godly men. The longing of my heart was for the Lord to bring me aspiritually desirable man who loved God more than his own life and who would love me in the same way that Christ loves the Church. But in the pit of my sin-ridden soul, I felt a gnawing urge for “hotness,” a.k.a. physical attraction. I was concerned. Had I tainted my view of “desirability” by drinking the McKool-aid?
We have always been taught that men are visual beings—that they are driven by appearance and sex far more than their female counterparts. Now, this characteristic is not necessarily a bad thing. It is simply how God has chosen to design men (and believe you me—as a now married woman—to have a husband attracted to your physical beauty is a good thing!) However, I have realized that today’s women are becoming more and more sexualized and thus driven in the same visual ways thanks to the recreational media of the times.
How has this societal shift affected women? Well, when we meet a man who is striving for godliness beyond our wildest expectations, the thought that sometimes runs through our heads is “Hmmm…he’s just not that good-looking, though.” This obsession with outward appearance is something women have often begrudged in the male population; however, I am finding it encroaching into our own views as well. For many of us, our single female friends who do not know the Lord are seeking sexual prowess and getting with the “hot guys.” For them, it’s ALL about the McDreamys and the McSteamys. When we try to be a witness of Christ to them through single lifestyles of waiting on God’s best and staving off sex till marriage, we portray “otherness” to them—which is the very definition of holiness. However, when we reflect upon our own sinful natures (our flesh as it responds to the stimuli we feed it) our outward witness is often woefully out-of-balance with our innermost thoughts. We must continue to surrender our opinions of the men around us to God’s Word rather than send up the white flag imprinted with the question “Is he hot, or is he not?”
Why should we long for seemingly “more” than God’s best for us? God’s plan for Christian women includes godly husbands who seek after our Lord’s own heart. God’s best is exactly that—His BEST. In fact, the “more” to which I’m referring is merely more physically attractive “icing” on top of the husband cake. Take note: GOD will provide the icing. He is in the business of making the best-suited matches for His glory. The cake and it’s icing will be just as God intends for us to have. We must continue to check our flesh at the door and long for His best…not the McMeager relationships that we can contrive for ourselves.
In order to truly pursue marriage, we have to get into a marriage mindset. The Lord has ordained that two become one in order to bring more glory to Himself through that union. Marriage is the ultimate sanctifier: submitting one’s will for another in order to glorify Christ. We must rid ourselves of the “attraction expectation” golden calves we have built. Attraction is actually a choice, not a chance accident of fate. Those who say they have “fallen in love” with someone have usually done just that—fallen. Think about it: falling is never a good thing. Falling down, falling over, falling off—all connotations point to a happening that is accidental at best, and detrimental at worst. But growing into a committed, loving relationship…now that is a situation God will bless over time. Perfect hair, abs of steel, and pearly whites that go “ding” with a smile are not necessary for godly attraction. Having chosen attraction and grown love into a committed marriage myself, I firmly believe that God can bring strong, passionate, and even (dare I say it?) sexy attraction out of a commitment to His best.
We must put out of our minds what “might be” or what “could be” in the realm of physical attraction and accept what “is.” If we commit to waiting for God’s best man, we must be clear of when to STOP waiting. Therefore, if you meet a man who indeed loves the Lord and who will grow to love you in the same way that Christ loves the Church, you need to sit up and take notice. If you are both spending time in prayer, in God’s Word, and in accountable relationships within the Body of Christ…this could be it! If your goals for ministry are aligning, and God could truly be glorified by your union more than He could be in your single selves alone, allow God to be glorified in your union. Begin choosing attraction and growing the love!
Don’t let the worldly McIdeal ruin you. In fact, we need to begin distancing ourselves from these unwholesome, societal influences in order that we might set our sights aright again. God will bring a mate to the majority of people. When He brings one to you—and you choose to honor Him through that match—God’ll bring the heat! Do not forsake the marriage God has for you by continuing to wish for the seeming physical perfection you see on TV. For “charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Prov 31:30, NIV). Let us long for the same in our future husbands.

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