Get Thee a Flawed Wife – A Letter of Encouragement—and Realism—to Christian Men Considering Marriage. by Lore Ferguson Wilbert
Overall, I’d say that the following essay is okay – not great, but okay – but I do differ somewhat from the author’s discussion about the “complementarity” of marriage. I do not believe that “men are from mars and women are from venus,” which the author seems to be implying. The author must be a gender complementarian. I am not.
…. My husband and I value marriage and singleness, so sometimes we end up encouraging our brothers toward a life of undistracted devotion for as long as they’re able and for the good of the kingdom.
But we also at times nudge one of our friends toward asking a girl out, help them process a break-up, or encourage one of them to more seriously consider the possibility of marriage with a “mere friend.” From the guys considering a relationship, we often hear refrains of hesitance: “Will we be good ministry partners?” or “Will she make a good pastor’s wife?” or “Will we be stronger as a couple than we are apart?”
For them and many other Christian young men, delayed marriage is common. The reasons are complicated and include (Link): unrealistic expectations, lack of confidence, (Link): a desire for financial security, aversion to commitment, general immaturity, or more simply, the inability to find or keep a compatible partner.
Anecdotally, at least, I’ve seen this trend in play, and so have my single female friends.
To the single men who are considering marriage and feeling hesitant, I issue this invitation from Elisabeth Elliot’s Let Me Be a Woman: You do not marry a ministry partner; you marry a person. You do not marry someone like another man’s wife; you marry your wife. You do not marry someone like you; you marry a unique woman. And you do not marry someone perfect, you marry a sinner.
…You marry a human.
Even if the “right” wife stands before you on your wedding day, there is no guarantee that her “rightness for the job” will continue or that yours will. You do not marry the perfect combination of preference, attraction, and giftedness.
Rather, you marry a particular person. Both women and men are complex people made in the image of an unendingly complex God.
We are bodies in need of food, water, and shelter and in want of health, happiness, and sex. We are minds and hearts and histories, hurts and joys and more.
When we marry, we do so understanding that our spouse’s fittedness for a particular task will be challenged by sickness, poverty, confusion, depression, childbirth, unemployment, sadness, passion, fear, and more.
Paul’s words to the church at Ephesus say, in essence, that as much as we care for our own bodies, we must be willing to care also for the body of our spouse. We cannot disassociate their humanness from marriage. Instead, we are called to value their whole personhood, flaws and all.
…You marry a husband/wife.
We marry someone who has covenanted with us through sickness, health, wealth, poverty, and more, “until death do us part.”
Their fittedness for marriage—which we imagine on our wedding day—will morph every day for the rest of our lives. Their passions will wax and wane, their fears will ebb and flow, their attractiveness will rise and fall, and their abilities will come and go.