In 2004 I married the man of my dreams. He was there for me, treated me like the princess I am, and loved me for who God created me to be. We have been through a lot together, which has challenged us and taught us who we are as husband and wife. I would have to say, one of the biggest lessons I have learned so far, would not only be learning who I am in Christ, but learning who my husband is in Christ. And, consequently, learning who he isn’t! As you may have guessed, this entry is from a lady’s point of view but is beneficial to anyone who wants a stronger relationship.
Over the last 9 years (we’ve been together 9 but married 8 in March of 2012), I have tried to make my husband a Boaz, a Joseph, a Barak, and an Abraham! Why? Because we heard one pastor, evangelist, preacher, teacher or another talk about who men are supposed to be. (Before I go on, these preachers all had valid points and I am not criticizing them or their teaching. I am, however, pointing out how wrongly the information can be applied!)
In turn, there have been numerous teachings about “waiting for your Boaz” to all the single ladies out there. Just as much, if not more so, than the teachings about who these men are supposed to be! So we heard a series about relationships and we hear about the leaders of the home and what slowly begins to happen is resentment and disappointment because my husband does not mirror the exact characteristics of any of these men! As much as I pushed, pulled, nit-picked, nagged, begged, and pleaded, my husband is not Boaz! Then, as I began to ask God why he sent me Ehud instead of Gideon (still trying to compare my husband), he began to show me a mirror. “Um, God? We’re talking about Joe. Not me!”
God began to have me look at the partners of the men I was trying to turn my husband into and the specific reason they were matched (married or not, they were put together for a specific purpose). I would like to share some of them with you today.
The first couple is the one used the most when looking at potential spouses. Why? Because, everyone wants a successful spouse. The Doctor, the Lawyer, the Astronaut, the Pastor, and the list goes on and on. (As a pastor’s kid, yes, there was a phase where we knew we were going to go to CBC or Evangel and find our ‘soul mate’! He had to be a pastor or evangelist, sing, play piano, and love kids!) However, Boaz was not exactly the first choice for Ruth. Remember, her first husband passed away, she was widowed, poor, and alone but she quietly, and humbly followed God. She worked hard doing manual labor to provide for herself and her mother-in-law! She kept her virtue, even when she had the opportunity to take what was rightfully hers. She continued to follow God and was noticed by Boaz. He was the wise business man, wealthy, powerful, and an upright, honorable man of God. He wasn’t looking for someone who would drain his resources but someone who would put them to good use and work hard to maintain them! Boaz was a leader! Yes, he sounds good but when you look in the mirror, do you really see Ruth? Some say yes but remember, there are other women with other characteristics God has created. We are not all Ruth.
The next couple is one I love to relate to. Why? Because she is strong, wise and a leader in her own right! Deborah and Barak are my favorite couple in the Bible because in their story, he does not leave her behind to wait. Even though they are not married (She is married to a man named Lappidoth), they still exemplify a couple who depend on each other in times of war and peace and are not threatened by the strength the other possesses! They are not power-hungry or drunk by glory-greed! They simply want the victory for God’s people! Deborah is a judge and a prophetess; a respected leader among her people. She could hear God clearly which meant she spent time with Him in prayer. She had people coming to her to settle disputes, which meant they respected her and thought her to be honest and fair. Barak was a military leader and even though he commanded thousands of men, the fact that he insisted on Deborah accompanying them does not show weakness but wisdom. Knowing that God heard her prayers and she heard God’s voice was, I’m sure, one of the deciding factors. He wanted to be sure to hear from God clearly with confirmation from ‘God’s girl’ to ensure victory!
Abraham and Sarah is another couple I love to see. We all know how Abraham was a great leader called by God. He would be the great spiritual leader of his day (not unlike Billy Grahm, or TD Jakes) that began a great thing. He was a friend of God (James 2:23), which meant not only did He hear God, God liked to spend time with Abraham! Sarah was a simple woman who, I believe, loved her husband. She was content to be his wife and run the house. However, when she wanted something, she pushed until she got it. Then, later she regretted it. Ladies, even if we are married to a great leader, we must respect their leadership and trust that they are following God’s instructions, even when things are not going the way we had envisioned them to go! In the end, consequences were had but God’s promise was fulfilled!
The last couple I want to point out, even though there are so many others, is Mary and Joseph. I studied them last because I did not want to compare myself to the simplicity of Mary. I wanted to be the great warrior, or the wife of a great leader. However, the greatest gift of all of these was given to Mary and Joseph. The simple, humble, pure girl, who was obedient to her parents, obedient to her husband, and obedient to God, got to see Jesus every day, hold Him, look into His eyes, and watch Him fulfill the will of the Father! Joseph, a man who loved his wife, worked hard to be a virtuous man of God living according to God’s laws, was also in alignment with what God wanted from a man of righteousness and integrity! He did not seek the fame and fortune but the nice house, successful business (enough to live comfortably), and the love of his family and God! These humble people won God’s favor through their sincerity and willingness to be used by God, no matter what that may look like, big or small.
In the end, I realized, my husband, Joe, is not Boaz. I am not a Ruth. He is not Barak. As much as I would like to be, I am not Deborah. He is not Abraham! I am certainly not Sarah. He is not Joseph (despite the name similarities) and I am not Mary, the mother of Jesus (again, despite being given the same name).
|Joe & Mary Runion|
I challenge you this week to allow God to show you who you are in Him. Allow Him to set the mirror in front of you to see the beautiful detailing and accents He has created in you. Then, allow Him to hold your husband/wife up for you to see the excellent work He is doing in their life. Why would anyone want to change that? God is a great God and His ideas are greater than ours (Isaiah 55:9), and they are always for our good (Romans 8:28). Be blessed!
· Ruth & Boaz (Ruth 4:1-22)
· Deborah & Barak (Judges 4 & 5, specifically Judges 4:8-10)
· Abraham & Sarah (Gen. 18:11-14)
· Mary & Joseph (Matthew 1:14-21