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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Marry a Man Who Loves Your Face

I have three daughters. Each is a precious gift from the Lord. Each is a treasure that I want some fortunate young man to discover and cherish. Marriage for them, I believe, is still a few years off but it isn’t too early to lay the foundation for that journey. And as a mom, I have a few ideas about the process. I have to help them in this next season of life. It’s a mother’s job. And God has entrusted me with it.

There are many ways to approach matrimony, and in our culture, we’ve seen a lot of them. Some produce total wrecks, and others, though the relationships themselves may be salvaged, are shaky ways to being such a lifelong covenant. You, like me, probably hold firmly that the absolute nonnegotiable for a couple is a shared commitment to Christ. Without that, it doesn’t even get to the first date. Christ must be the center. That’s a given.

But where does a girl go from there? I like lists; I think it’s great for a girl to have a list of qualities she would like in her future husband. Of course, she should differentiate between character essentials and other preferences. But what are the masculine traits that mark a man who will cherish her?

Here's a different perspective to ponder:  I want each of my daughters to marry a man who loves her face. Let me explain why. The entire human body reflects God’s handiwork, but nowhere is His image more evident than in the face. The eyes, ears, and mouth are the organs we use to interact with the world and the people in it; these are the tools of communication and relationship. The expressions of the face display the feelings; the face is a screen on which the emotions of life are played. The face usually reflects family genetics and tells something about heritage and ancestry. It is the first place parents look as they try to determine whom their newborn resembles, and it is the last view as the casket is closed on a beloved family member or friend. It is the symbol of unique personhood.

Our culture puts much emphasis on the body. From fashion to fitness to health, the focus is on a tight “this” and sculpted “that.” I do care that my daughters maintain the “temple” they’ve been given—after all, it’s the only one they’ll get. But if the body is the sole focus of a young man’s attraction, he need not apply for dating privileges; his approach to marriage is skewed. My prayer is that the men who pursue and win my girls will love them for the wondrous treasures they are, the total package — soul, spirit and body. Here’s how I’d say it to my daughters: 

            Make certain you marry a man who loves your face. Sure, he won’t be blind to the rest of you, but the plain truth is, your face will be the best-looking part of you in the years to come. You want a man who likes to look at you across the breakfast table every morning. You want a man who loves the woman shining back at him from your eyes. You need a man who adores your smile, and likes a portrait of your face to keep in his wallet or phone. A man who likes your face has his perspective right.

You see, bodies shrivel and sag, but the soul is evident in the face. It’s where your emotions are displayed and your affections are visible; it’s where you shine forth. And a man who loves your face and the woman reflected in it won’t have any trouble liking the rest of you as well.                     - VQ

Monday, January 13, 2014

His signature

If you want to get a reaction in the culture today, make a statement about gender distinction - in dress, roles or behavior. Then, step back and get a firm grip on your beliefs for they are going to be challenged. Even many Christians today are uncomfortable discussing the differences in men and women and how God created them to interact in the world and with each other.

I believe that the area of gender is a prime target of our Enemy. If he can confuse the issues, he can win some very important battles in our culture. Abuse and chauvinism and feminism and extremism and sinful, self-centered philosophies have contorted the general understanding of the glorious differences in maleness and femaleness. There is something of the radiance of our God in them, make no mistake. Man and woman were created to reflect His image from different points of view, both necessary, both valuable, both fascinating in their design.

To fully understand the world and ourselves in it, we must start with Him and His plan. We must know what this gender thing is all about. For if we do not have a clear vision of who we are and how we must behave, there is no foundation for all the future good we might accomplish. The self must be grounded and secure; that is the beginning of a healthy person.

Regardless of the whims of pundits and professors, the principles on which God created our world will not be changed. The very structure of human DNA is stamped either male or female; that is His signature and He is glad of it. We are His workmanship; oh, to discover the depth of glory in that fact!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

the best is yet to come

It's 2014.  I want to let God "write my story" as Steve Saint says. This year, I desire that to maintain a deeper surrender and let His grace be my strength.

As the kids head back to school, my oldest daughter back to her college campus and I return to work in the classroom, I realize again how precious are the everyday moments of our lives. Each and every hour is a gift from the One who gives us life and wants to work in us for our good and His glory.

I give thanks for the blessings of my father and mother, my brothers, my extended family who have been there for the ups and downs of my journey, my friends who extend love and encouragement and for the everyday "common" blessings of health, breath, a warm home, food to eat and clothing to wear.

He is good, all the time.  Let my realization of that not conjure up fear of possible trials to prove it, but instead remind me that, in His hands, I am where I am supposed to be and there is nothing that is greater than His love. No matter the fears I could indulge for my county or my children or whatever, I plan to make this my mantra for 2014 "The best is yet to come!" Because, from eternity's perspective, things can only get better!
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