Thursday, February 21, 2008

a man after God's own heart

It's been a while... Four months. Four months have flown by. I haven't had a lot to say. God's been good, though I must admit that at times I doubted if that was really the case. He always proves me wrong. :) I'm not going to go there right now. Maybe later. I do want to share some of my thoughts with you, though, on another subject... What does a woman mean when she says she's looking for a guy who is a spiritual leader? The question was posed to me recently by a guy friend who was looking for some insight from a female perspective, and while I am far from claiming that my answer is the answer every girl would give, it's the answer I would give. Here's what I wrote back to him:

A man who is a spiritual leader is, first of all, a man who is seeking and serving God with all of his heart and to the best of his ability long before the woman ever comes into the picture. He's not just doing it to get someone else's attention or because of someone else's influence on his life; he's doing it because it is fundamentally who he is. He's someone who loves God above all else and is pursuing God relentlessly, which will be obvious in his choice of activities, the way he treats people, how he takes care of himself (physically, emotionally, spiritually), and (in my opinion) how he dreams big dreams and allows God to lead him into them and fulfill them.

He will spend time developing his own relationship with God, and I'm not talking a pray-at-dinner-and-before-bedtime kind of relationship or a relationship where he only plays around at being a Christian when it's comfortable or useful for him. I'm talking a real relationship, in which he constantly seeks God for his company, searches to understand God's character more fully, embraces both the comfort and conflict that come with a deepening relationship, and makes a commitment for the long haul, no matter what. He will be honest, real, and genuine, whatever the situation may be, but he will always attempt to allow God to remain the director of his ways, even when it seems like there may be no reason to trust God. He will readily put himself and his own reputation on the line to fulfill the calling God has given him, not shrinking back from challenges and trials he meets but rising to the occasion because of the strength and ability God has given him. He will, in all things, remain humble and recognize that it is always God who is the one giving that strength and ability, as well as God doing the redeeming from sin and from a hopeless way of life and death.

He will love others with a friendly, kind, giving, and compassionate love, helping draw them into relationship with himself and his God. He will lead by acts of service, whether organized and public or more everyday and intimate. He will challenge other Christians to live their lives devoted to Christ and pursuing passionately the God who created them, loved them, lived for them, died for them, and called them into relationship with Himself.

He will challenge and encourage his wife (or girlfriend) to be this same kind of person and spiritual leader, loving her for her multi-faceted beauty as the created image of the Creator, loving her despite her imperfections and sin, loving her through her struggles (and by that I do mean loving her so intensely and genuinely that you bring her through her struggles, helping her conquer them, especially the struggles with her own self-image, which seems to be nearly universal among women), loving her for the person she has been, loving her for the person she is, loving her for the person she can be and helping encourage her as God forms her into that person.

He will join with his wife and his family of believers in the adventure God has set before him to change the world for the better by bringing news of Light and Life to those who do not have it. He will openly embrace whatever it is God sends his way, knowing that God's plans are meant to prosper him and not harm him, to give him hope and a future (Jer. 29:11), and he will delve into those plans wholeheartedly and with abandon, giving everything he has to the One who gave all for him.

I want to be this person too. And I want him to want me to be and push me to be this person. And while we'll both fall short, together we will be stronger than we could have been apart. Together we will see and know more of God than we could have alone. Together we will love and serve the One who has done nothing but love and serve us.


Anonymous said...

This is terrific. Spot on.

Quanda said...

Well said.

daddyO and honey said...

this is wonderful -- it is so helpful to know who you are looking for before you find them....thanks for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

Each time I read this, it makes me - as a woman and as your mother - cry because it is so beautiful! I am so thankful to God for sending this man into your life and so proud of you for waiting until God did! I love you both!!!