If you know me well, then it probably does not surprise you that Meghan Trainor’s pop songs are frequently played tracks in my music library. (scroll down to continue reading post and/or play video for context)
If you are new here, you should know my love of girl-pop runs deep.(along with my love of show tunes, oldies, and 90s country..but that is for another post.) And more specific than female led pop songs, I sure do love a girl power pop anthem. (And I don’t discriminate. It could be a one hit wonder or a time tested classic.)
But at the risk of being a total buzz kill, I can’t help but question the attitude so many female pop songs project about what they expect from their man. The running theme goes something like this: the female is always right, the female deserves everything she wants, and the male is entirely responsible for her happiness. The female demands it, but the male gets little to no attention, love, or respect.
It’s easy to bash a man for chauvinism, but are we ladies holding ourselves accountable for what we do and say? And moreover, is there an attitude of our hearts that we perhaps need to examine? This may be tough to detect at first glance, but I think considering the natural state of our hearts, it is possible that we have some work to do on ourselves.
Dating is brutal.
My married friends have taught me a lot. (I wrote about those lessons here.)
But, between regulating the amount of food you can consume based on the elasticity of your Spanx ANNNND conducting a detailed Google person search between Tinder swipes, it can be a lot to manage. So I have heard.
Are we making it even harder on ourselves by thinking too much of ourselves to begin with? Before making demands on our men, we must first consider: What is our identity, and more importantly, WHO is our identity in?
I hope that as I near my 32nd birthday next month(September 26, I’m coming for ya!) that I have learned a few things. Just a few, so let’s not get carried away.
So, I am joining Meghan, and penning my own letter to ‘future husband.’ A letter that is less of what I expect from him, but more of a prayer and hope of what he can expect from me.
Dear future husband,
Here's a few things
You'll need to know if you wanna be
My one and only all my life…..
I LOVE YOU. No really, if you are my husband, that means we have both committed to each other forever-eveh, so like, you are badass. And hot. I think you are totally hot. This is the part where I could potential break into a Salt 'N' Peppa sampling of Whatta man.
You have been in my prayers for many years, future husband. Many of those prayers have been super self serving and totally dramatic..i.e.:
“Dear God, please send husband. Don’t let me die alone, only to be discovered a year later after my seventy- five cats have feasted on my decomposed body. In Jesus name. ”
But not all have… I pray that your first love is God. And not in an undefined and super generalized way. No. I pray that your first and deepest desire is to follow Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Not genie wish granter Jesus, not the get out of Hell for free because I read a track Jesus, and definitely not the impersonal flowery Hallmark card Jesus. No. I pray you know the Jesus that invites you into a relationship that guides and directs your every move. The Jesus, who is the Son of God, and points you to the Father everyday. The Jesus who lavishes you with grace, and restores you with His sacrificial love.
Next, you will be married to a sinner. Expect that from me. I will come with selfishness, pride, and jealousy—just to name a few. I am just as desperate for a Redeemer as you. My prayer is that we will continually point each other, as Jesus is pointing us, to our Heavenly Father. I will naturally look to you to and things other than God to give me my worth. But I will seek and pray to not put this responsibility on you. I want you to know that my identity is independent of you. Who I am stems from the woman God created and redeemed. I am first the daughter of a King:
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. (Colossians 2:6-7, 9-10)
But this in no way diminishes who we are together. In fact, it is a bonus. The covenant we share under God is for His glory and our identity in Him can be shown through our marriage, future husband. We may no longer be ‘single’ but our identity and mission should not change.
I don’t hide my crazy. And I hope you do not either. The last several years have been a shifting and reshaping in my life that includes drawing back the curtain on me. There have been times when I desperately tried to play a part I thought I was suppose to play, future husband. But that only leaves us empty, right? And definitely is not a course for discovering true identity. Messy is not pretty at first glance, and it has had a history of alerting ever bell and whistle in my body to “GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT!” I have often been so anxious to keep the ‘man behind the curtain’ that I failed to see what was really there. In myself. And in others. I am learning to just “give it a minute” though. And when I do, it’s amazing how that ‘messy’ can suddenly look more like authenticity. And wow, that is a beautiful thing.
And this feels like the best time to go ahead and let you know my entire family falls under this ‘mess’ category too. But this is how we handle it, just so you are not surprised:
Future husband, I do not know if you knew my dad or not. I talk about him a lot and often in present terms as though he is still alive. And then sometimes I never talk about him or rather, my words are harsh, resentful, and angry. I adored my father, and our relationship was very special. Future husband, I actually always dreamed of this song playing at our wedding during the ceremony or reception…I was never sure.
I will never get over his death, and his suicide will leave me with traces of confusion, doubt, and heartache. But you are my person. And you are my today and forever.
Future husband, I think Meghan and I are on the same wavelength with this next expectation:
“You got that 9 to 5
But, baby, so do I
So don't be thinking I'll be home and baking apple pies
I never learned to cook
But I can write a hook
Sing along with me
Sing-sing along with me”
Cooking in the kitchen is not one of my strengths. It is not a skill I have spent time developing, and to be quite honest, I am really okay with that. While some prayers concerning you have included specific request that you are on Chef’s Table or a season winner of Top Chef, I understand you may be coming to this with no better skills than I. So if that is the case, here is the expectation: Let’s try and make each other better. Loving someone has to be selfless. I can’t just expect you to “take me as I am.”okay maybe on the cooking,
but let’s broaden the point, shall we?
What is love?
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Love must be selfless and must be in motion. It can’t just stay. God’s spirit in us is active, and we are made to be constantly changing.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)
@@So let’s love each other into the people God created us to be.@@
I want you to challenge me to push onward and upward. And I want to do the same for you. This love may look like me cooking up your favorite dinner(doubtful, but hey aprons can be fun! Yeah I said that.) But this love, I expect, will also encourage you to challenge me to live as my best self: the woman God created me to be. That may look like you reminding me that I actually feel more like myself and love life more when I run or workout.
And, future husband, the hard times will come…we know that. Heck, hard times do not wait for marriage, we know that well too. I do not know who you are. We may have already met or you may be on down that yellow brick road I am on, and I just haven’t caught up to meet you yet. Remember, I take the long way.
I love you already, future husband. Oh and one more expectation: there will be lots of singing.
Or there may be no future husband at all. And that is okay, y’all! Seriously, that is OK!! If we accurately determine where or WHO our identity comes from, then we can live as women with unshaking worth and value. This inner rest and confidence yields a whole lot of peace and joy. The completeness we crave in this unsettled life will be filled by God in eternal restoration, but He invites us to live more settled with our Home in Him today!
Let’s get at it!