My husband and I look back and laugh on our first conversation. He was flirtatious and I was idealistic.
As I look back, I can see why the “type” I’d imagined for years would never have worked. The intensity of my personality could only be borne by a man who both shared my values and had the confidence to soften my approach.
So why did we end up with each other, in all our teasing, door-slamming, outfit-matching way? Why didn’t our “types” work out?
1. At times, we both added to and strayed from God’s type.
God’s “type” of man or woman is very simple:
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
We get a little more detail from Paul about godly women in Titus in 2:3-5:
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
That’s really the sum of things on God’s end. You could add in the Psalm 12 man, the Proverbs 31 woman and a few other passages for additional guidelines, but there is one theme throughout God’s word: He’s concerned with the spirit, not the superficial.
The “types” my husband and I had before meeting one another were primarily based on superficial interests like appearance and hobbies. But as we learned to love each other, we realized common interests weren’t the point. We had common values; we wanted the same God-priorities. Our previous “types” added the unnecessary to those priorities, and sometimes strayed from God’s values completely.
God taught us through our relationship that His values were all we needed for a lasting love.
2. Before, we looked for a relationship instead of a friendship.
We both dated a few people before we met each other, but neither of us had ever dated a friend. Maybe we both tried to play it safe, afraid of what might happen; I know I was afraid of that kind of emotional intimacy. I didn’t want to let anyone close enough to see me for me. I was convinced that if any man got to know me that well, he’d see my selfishness and leave. But Josh didn’t do that.
Our friendship was a mutual understanding. I appreciated his gestures of kindness. Somehow he had a way of seeing my soul—the desires, the hopes, the goals and dreams, swooping in to make those dreams a reality.
When we tried to build relationships out of thin air, founded on hobbies, interests and superficial attraction, those relationships stumbled along shakily and eventually collapsed. They were weak. There was no backbone of friendship to sustain them. But out of our friendship developed a deeper relationship, and that relationship grew into love. His love was willing to see my selfishness for what it was and then see past it to my potential.
3. In the past, our own expectations (not God’s) were our measure for a mate.
In relationships, I had a few non-negotiables—some theological and personal standards I knew I needed in a future husband. I created my “type” on top of these basic qualifications. I really prayed over those non-negotiables and stood by them through my relationship with Josh. But it was the expectations I created in my mind—the ruffles and frills, so to speak—that needed to go. Things like dress, looks, hair color, hobbies and different tastes in music—these were superficial, not spiritual.
The expectations I had as a single woman were based on my imagination. I discovered that finding a man who liked ALL the same things I did and never disagreed with me was unrealistic! I learned that I could put neither God nor my future husband in a box.
So that’s what God gave me: an un-boxed man; an unexpected friend. God took apart my “type” and redefined it in the character of Josh. He loves God. He works hard. He loves me. Life with him is banana pancakes and push-up competitions. It’s “I love you, darling” at night and his voice reading the Bible while I put on my makeup.
He’s out of my box, but he’s God’s type—and that’s the only expectation we should have.
Read Phylicia’s original post here.