As The Nightingale and I walked through the woods and spoke of passion, purity and men … when she asked me, “Do you have someone to hold you accountable?”
My heart leapt.
Monday, I was ruminating this past weekend with Stone
as I drove, running errands here and there. I sat at the red light, waiting … watched the vehicles turning left in front of me …. I turned right onto Skinner Mill Road and thought about different aspects of the weekend … challenges … temptations …. whether to be transparent with her … how to share what the weekend held …. what God was speaking into my life …. when
the phone in my lap gave notification of a text.
As I am thinking her name and pondering God ….
I received a text from her.
“If I write to you about the “I want to make you weak” statement, will that be alright?”
*knife through the heart*
Of course, it would be okay for God to use your fingers to type His words into my distorted world.
Yes, I yearn to hear His direction … leading …
I know this is a confirmation of the thoughts in my head
and will probably be much more than I can take in.
I prepare to be torn apart
(in the best kind of way).
The day ticks by. *crickets*
And Tuesday comes.
Joy and Glory both ask, “Have you heard from Sarah?” I’ve already told them that she is going to write to me. I want Joy to know it is hard. I want her to see it walked out. Glory … already knows … a young woman with a boyfriend of over a year. They both, at different times, ask me the question and each responds similarly: “Oh, Mama. This is going to be big.” I agree.
Last night, Sarah writes … and sends.
And I share.
Because, her words are truth … they are wise and
are not as painful as I had anticipated.
Praise be to God for His confirmation, encouragement and direction.
She is twenty-six. She has been married for a year. She is wise and wonderful, zealous and whimsical, lyrical and intense ….
and she is but a child when compared to my nearing-fifty persona …
her old-soul fitted into a young body.
And yet, God uses her ….
and tender heart
to draw me to Him.
I share her words of richness, depth and wisdom.
May her words richly bless you and challenge your life as a woman, girlfriend, spouse, lover ….
to a higher place of accountability, encouragement and strength.
(She references THIS past blog post where I wrote that I “wanted to make him weak”
and this one about being Irresistible)
She writes ……
“I know what you meant. I have even said some version of it before to Richard; I know it’s crossed my mind many many times. And these are thoughts and not condemnations.
You said you want to be irresistible. I read that blog when it first was posted, and I am re-reading it now. In recent admitting, you said you wanted to make him weak. I hear your heart cries in both these things and let me just say your heart is not bad. God lives there. Your heart aches for a love that was denied you, aches for attentiveness and to be chosen with great rejoicing. You want your worth to be realized. You want to be loved as God loves His church, with sacrificial love and relentless pursuit.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be loved the way God meant love to be carried out. Enter the great “but”.
But. I caution you. I caution you in thinking that being irresistible or causing a man to become weak over his love for you is a way to fulfill those good desires.
In my journal that spanned 8-17-10 – 1-24-11, I found myself frustrated and heartbroken over Richard’s struggle to remain sexually pure in his thought life. I wanted to become the object of his desire. I wanted to fill up the room, distract him from other women, instead of the other way around. I wanted him to not be able to help himself, in every holy way, but to want me the way the temptation to want them can be so invasive. I wanted to invade his thoughts in equal and greater measure than any temptation. Pages and pages of my journal during that time frame were spent bemoaning the effects of misunderstanding his mind and my own worth. I didn’t understand that he was fighting for me, for us, for purity. All this aside: Richard loves me and fights to protect himself from the snares of every lie that would so easily entangle him. And I should be on my face, thankful that I am beloved and chosen by a warrior rather than infatuated with by some dog who cannot control himself or his impulses.”
I want to be resistible because I want him to be a man who is strong. I want to be beloved and served and honored. I don’t want to manipulate him with my wiles or my attributes. I don’t know that I want to be irresistible anymore, and not because I’ve accepted that I don’t have the butt of a college freshman. More to the point – being irresistible doesn’t communicate love to me. It breaches the holy and robs God of something that is rightly His: worship. That sort of “love” is more akin to idolatry. God will not honor that. God will not grow that. If you dig deep into that want to be irresistible, I would be very surprised if, buried down at its heart, there was not a root of self-worship. God revealed my own to me. I saw it for what it was. It was my savage heart’s fighting tooth and nail to feel affirmed and worthy, to feel desired, to be realized and valued. It was, and still is, a struggle. I want to dominate the topic of his thought life, the centerfold of his heart. I want to know I’ve been missed. I want to know that he thinks of me throughout the day. Some of these desires are normal and healthy (we ought to communicate sweetness to one another frequently) but the larger portion and the sheer proportion of them makes me see there is something else at work, here. Recently, the song that Celine Dion sang waaayyy back when “I Want You to Need Me” sums up how the flesh wants to be lifted up and worshiped:
I want to be the face you see when you close your eyes / I want to be the touch you need every single night
I want to be your fantasy / And be your reality / And everything between
I want you to need me / Like the air you breathe / I want you to feel me / In everything
I want you to see me / In your every dream / The way that I taste you feel you breathe you need you
I want you to need me / Like I need you
.I want to be the eyes that look deep into your soul / I want to be the world to you / I just want it all
I want to be your deepest kiss / The answer to your every wish / I’m all you ever need
More than you could know / And I need you / To never never let me go
And I need to be deep inside your heart / I just want to be everywhere you are….
It’s from the 90’s but it’s chock full of the stuff I’m talking about. This is not to say that you want all these things. But I have wanted them. And yet, when I look at the words, when I identify what I saying, I am not only grossed out by the level of co-dependence, but I realize that I am committing at least two serious sins. I am not only wanting to be worshiped (sin) but I am wanting a man to worship me (sin). I am robbing God from being worshiped and I am deeming myself worthy of such attention and desire. Not only that. And then, when I read this song, I see the song for how ridiculous, how unsustainable, how fruitless, how empty, how lustful, how … obsessive … that it really is. I could never love a man who would need me in this way, because it would mean he had forsaken God and lost his soul for a butt that would only fall farther the older I get. He would have forfeited. He would have lost. And for what? For flesh and bone. I want my husband to love my soul. I want him to value my eternal bits more than my breasts.
In reading through your blog about being irresistible, I notice that your desire for love from a man lines up with your love affair with God. Maybe it sounds foolish for me to say these things to you (after all, I’m only 26 and have not experienced your life firsthand) but it took me a long time to understand that the love letters I was writing to my husband before I met him … were not really written to my real husband. They were not written to any real person. They were written to the heart of the perfect Lover, a Man my husband cannot fully become on this earth. My God loves me in a way completely separately from the way my husband loves me. I had to become content with that. I had to learn that Richard is not able to fulfill all my longings to be loved in that way. Only the Lord can validate my worth, can pursue me as wild as the day is long. Surely, Richard ought to mirror certain aspects of God’s love, which is scriptural and true. But the fact is that our love affairs with our earthly husbands will never come close to the love of our heavenly Husband. It isn’t meant to. Until we go to glory, our love will be a reflection of that holy desire, that sacred romance. For the time being, I don’t want my feet to go down to death but to lead to life.
You mentioned “how does one learn what one is never taught?” I’ve learned a lot from women, but I’ve also gleaned a lot from the Proverbs. Look for verses that talk about good women, righteous women, women of wisdom. Don’t shy away from the ubiquitous Proverbial whore passages either – look at them; find your own flesh there; identify that there are moments where we play the harlot; repent; ask God to fine tune your desires. Check out books that focus on the women of the Bible. Learn from their characters.
Onto the weakness thing. Karen, you don’t want him to be weak – you want him to be there when you get home; you want him to desire your company and your loveliness; you want him to see your strengths and weaknesses; you want him to be attuned to your emotions; you want him to share your loves; you want him to cherish you; you want him to enjoy you; you want him to want you. There is nothing wrong with any of this. But you don’t want a weak man. You want a strong man, because love is an act of will, a sign of strength. A lesser man would not hold your gaze so well, would not honor you with truth. A weak man would fold, would bow to his own desires, would cave to your weakness and disaster could strike. I encourage and exhort you: build him up. Gird him up. Protect him from yourself. Protect your own wellspring. The truth is: you are wonderful and highly valuable as a human being, as an artist, as a writer, as a woman. You are beautiful in form and lyrical in speech. You have much to offer … and the man is not blind. Allow him to see you and to appreciate you without feeling invalidated by what you may interpret as neglect or indifference.
Proverbs 14:1 says that “A wise woman builds her house but a foolish woman tears it down.” I am not calling you foolish or destructive, but I am calling you to wisdom. You have an opportunity in your relationship – to contribute to the building up of a man’s heart, character, and life. Pour into his strength with deep respect and appreciation. Resist the urge to look for ways to draw him in; if this whole thing grows well, that part will come in time. Resist the urge to want him to need you as much as you need him or want you as much as you want him. Resist the urge to define your value in his eyes by how mushy he may – or may not – get when it’s time to say your goodbye’s. He sounds like a remarkable combination of a man. That he has, at least verbally, held his ground, and you to a standard, is admirable. Honor his strength, for strong men are in short supply. Submit to his strength, and steel yourself. (Not harden your heart, but guard against those lies that may come: “If he doesn’t move to touch you, he doesn’t want you.”) And when/if he is weak, be strong in his stead.
Goethe says “Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be, and he will become as he can and should be.” Your heart wants the pursuit of a Godly man, not a man who is out of control or out of his mind or drugged by lust or flimsy. Your heart wants shelter and stability and passion in its season. Sow into this. Guard Stone’s heart and your own.
I challenge you to not feel abandoned if you don’t turn the man to mush; praise the Lord! and enjoy the gentle growth that is there. I challenge you to not disregard his strength; praise the Lord! and learn to submit there, to rest there. I challenge you to leave certain aspects of love to the Lord, whose love is perfect and cannot be sullied; praise the Lord for the love we do have! and try not to compare. Your Husband (Isaiah 54) is “your Maker, the God of the whole earth” and He is intimately acquainted with you. You were fearfully and wonderfully made. As was Stone. If he is built upon the Rock that leads him onward, trust in that Rock to fill every need your ex-husband neglected and your current boyfriend is only just learning. Trust and obey.
And as my mountaineering husband shouts from the heights “Climb on!”
With deep respect,
She is so right. I do not want “to make him weak.”
Thank you, Lord, for a honing of my goal
and a richer, fuller, pure and just passion for my heart.
May I make he be s.t.r.o.n.g.e.r in my presence ….. not weaker.
God.is.sooooooo.good.to.me. Praise Him.