A Letter to My Young Sisters in Christ
My dear young sister in Christ Jesus,
You are so beautiful. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.
God made you just the way you are; he knew what he was doing. He designed you, he formed you, he intricately crafted you with the most skilled hands. He gave you your awesome personality, he gave you your cute smile, your bright eyes, the funny way you giggle, and he gave you your unique abilities and gifts. Your youthful enthusiasm is contagious; your eyes twinkle with wonder and bright hope, and your voice is full of kindness and love. He put all this together and created you. He made you to be an image bearer of Himself, the Creator of the universe. Yes you are flawed by sin, we all are. You have your bad days, I know. You have also done some not so nice things. Yet within you, God has planted something wonderful: The seed of faith. And he has watered it through the Word and Spirit. You have tasted the grace and love of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are a part of the bride, and that relationship means the world to you. Now, you desire to have a husband to share your passions with, to share the love of Christ with, and to grow old together with.
Yes, throughout the Scriptures, God, through the inspired authors, reveals to us that marriage is a truly beautiful thing. And it is! Oh my sister, what joy my marriage has brought to me! It is an institution designed to reflect the Gospel of grace, the relationship which Jesus has with his bride, us…His Church. If you have this relationship with Jesus, dear sister, it makes perfect sense then, that you would desire a husband to share life with, to laugh with, to struggle with, to work with, to play with, or, as the old form says, to love and to cherish.
Sometimes I have been asked the question, “What should I look for in a man?” Perhaps you, dear sister, are the one who asked. If not, perhaps you have still wondered. Maybe you are wondering if there is a perfect man out there. Well, you know that a perfect man does not exist on this earth, but you are still looking for a godly man to cleave to.
To raise kids with.
Did you know that the man you are looking for will love God more than he will ever love you? It is true, dear sister. The first and greatest commandment is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” You are looking for a man who lives and breathes this. He is consumed with his relationship with Jesus. And this all consuming passion and love, that relationship, pours out into every other area of his life, from work, to play, to church, and everything in between. The love of Jesus shines brightly from within him and manifests itself in love for others. Love for God, first and foremost, and love for others will be his mantra in life.
Dear sister, the wonderful thing about a man who is consumed with God’s love, is that he could be called a “Corinthians 13” man. Being consumed with God’s love means that, even though he may not attain all this perfectly, the pattern of his life shows that he is patient and kind, he will not envy or boast, he is not proud or rude, he is not self seeking or easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs, never delights in evil but rejoices in the truth, he always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres, never fails.
Did you know that the man you are looking for is also a Spiritual Leader? It’s true, dear sister. He may never aspire to be an elder in the Church, and he doesn’t need to be one, but your spiritual health will be directly impacted by him. He will be a rudder for your home, for good or ill. You are looking for a godly man who will lead and guide you; who will love you with a servant’s heart. The Puritans taught that the husband was the pastor of the home, and it is true. The Bible makes it clear that the man is the head, he is the resident elder and theologian. So, you do well to ask yourself if your potential love interest meets the criteria for elder laid out in 1 Timothy 3:
- Is he above reproach? Is he honest in all things? Does he have integrity?
- Is he a one-woman man? Does he avoid lust and pornography at all costs?
- Is he sober-minded, level headed and clear thinking?
- Is he self-controlled?
- Is he respectable?
- Is he hospitable? Does he open his home to others, does he care for others?
- Is he able to teach? Does he have a good grasp of biblical doctrine?.
- Is he a drunkard? How much does he drink? How often? Is he addicted to anything else? Cigarettes, drugs, porn…
- Is he violent or gentle?
- Is he quarrelsome? Does he always have to be right? Does he pick fights with people just because he can?
- Is he a lover of money? Does he work too much neglecting other things? Does he have much credit debt? How much?
These are all good things to consider.
Did you know that the man you are looking for is also a provider? He will provide for you not only spiritually and emotionally, but he will also provide for your daily needs. Dear sister, there is nothing wrong with women working outside the home, but it is God’s mandate that husband should bear the primary responsibility for the financial needs of the home. 1 Timothy 5:8 says that, “if a man fails to provide for his household, he is worse than an unbeliever”…and we are not to be yoked with unbelievers! The man you are looking for works hard at his daily calling, with care, with all his might, so that he might provide for his own daily bread, for his future wife and family, and for those in need.
Dear sister, you may be thinking to yourself, “No man will ever meet all this criteria. There has to be grace!” Yes, have grace, you will never find the perfect man, but at the same time please don’t play the fool. Beware of giving in to the emotions of your heart, they are strong and powerful. Jeremiah tells us that our hearts will deceive us! It says in Jeremiah 17:9 that, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Forgive my suddenly harsh tone, dear sister, but this is your life and I love you! The man you marry must walk with you hand in hand and lead you and your kids to the cross; you don’t need to be dragging him along hoping he will change. Seek out a godly man; not a make work project.
My dear beautiful sister, you are worth so much to me.
Yet, you are worth infinitely more to Jesus.
The cost he paid was great. He gave his life for yours. You are his. You are an image bearer of the Lord, with wonderful and unique gifts. You are a blessing to me and all those around you. I pray that one day you will find that godly man you are looking for, that “Corinthians 13” kind of man. Hold out for one. Hold out for the man who loves God more than he loves you. The one who will love you with a servant’s heart, the one who will provide for you spiritually, emotionally, and financially. A man who will walk hand in hand with you, gazing upon your beauty, having eyes only for you, who will promise to love and guide you faithfully, to maintain you, and to live with you in holiness, according to the holy gospel. Who will also promise never to forsake you, but to be true to you always, in good days and bad, in riches and poverty, in health and sickness, for as long as you both shall live. A man who not only makes promises, but a man who keeps them.
Please don’t be in a rush to marry.
Hold out for that man.
With much Love,