I am righteously angry.
I'll tell you why in a minute. But first, some epic awesome:
One of my favorite moments in all of literature is from The Return of the King, when Éowyn rides forth to fight the Witch King of Angmar. He has mortally wounded her uncle, and as she approaches him, he warns, "Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shriveled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.”
That's some scary stuff right there.
A sword rang as it was drawn. "Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may."
"Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!"
Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel.
"But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him."
I think this blog post is over.
Kidding (though Tolkien is just that good). I recount that passage to highlight a point: men are not the only ones called to fight. To fight injustice. To fight sin.
To fight for their marriages.
Here's a way we can do just that.
Recently, this article has made the rounds within my circle of Facebook friends. I found it interesting, particularly because the women who posted it already have godly husbands who are "fighting for" them.
As I read "Fighting for my Wife", I began to wonder: what is it about this article that has captured the attention of over 2.5 million readers, to the point where many felt the need to repost to men who were already proving themselves worthy of the title? At the same time, I realized that some of the words in the post made my heart beat faster, and made me wish, in some unconscious part of me: "Wow, I wish my husband would think and talk about me that way."
While I'm fairly certain the author's intentions were good and pure when writing, he effectively created a list of "vows" in sort-of "dream man" fashion that, in my opinion, creates high, high, way-too-high expectations for each of our own husbands. Not that there shouldn't be any expectations in a marriage - if a man commits to treat you a certain way before God and others, you should both expect and help him to succeed (and forgive seventy times seven when he fails)!
But does your expectation require him to say of you (particularly on social media, where, let's be honest, we're writing for other people's eyes) that he "lives, laughs, sleeps with the real Wonder Woman?"
One of the vows was, "To get into the wilderness regularly. Not just with dudes, but with God." If you know my husband at all, you know this is the last thing he would add to a list of vows - not only does he not use the word "dudes," but he's not outdoors-y.
Does this make him any less of a man? Or make the author of the article any more of a man than him? If I start wishing that my guy would add that to his list of ambitions, I'm wishing for another man.
News flash: God says that's bad.
One of the lines that profoundly bothered me was the vow "to speak to her with a heavenly tone, and with words that make the angels cry with jealousy." Wait, what? That line was, um,
saccharine theologically shaky at best.
I'm not saying all this to hate on the author - indeed, I don't even know who he is. I'm saying this to highlight that, ladies, one way we can fight for our marriages is to fight expectations like the ones created by comparing our husbands to said anonymous author.
Our husband doesn't have to speak to us "with words that make the angels cry with jealousy" to be loving us well! Beware the whisper that says, "Don't you wish your husband would call you Wonder Woman?"
Maybe your husband shows you he loves you by working hard at his job, then saying "thank you" to you for doing yours (whether you're a stay-at-home mom, a soldier, or a doctor).
Maybe your husband loves you like Christ loves you when he decides to take you out to Olive Garden instead of saving the moolah for that new iPad he wants.
Maybe your husband whispers, "I love you" in the way he cares for the screaming children, even when he's tired and frustrated, so you can take a much-needed shower.
In any case, let us learn how our husbands say they love us instead of waiting for them to fulfill some Hollywood-movie fantasy we've constructed from all the bits and pieces of romance we've acquired over the years.
In the end, this has little to do with The Edges Collective, and everything to do with being content with what you have. While I'm not a fan of the article myself, perhaps the readers didn't find it as distasteful as I did; in fact, maybe they found it encouraging. I hope so. I just don't like the culture that holds men up to an unmeet-able standard that women pine over while women simultaneously expect to be loved just as they are.
I mean, I want to be loved just as I am, but so does my husband.