In the previous post we asked the question: are you building your romantic relationship to last? In response to that post, Velma pointed out in a comment that many women shy away from seeking a definite, long term commitment from a man for fear of being labelled as desperate and demanding. Do you agree with her observation?
A prominent landmark in Johannesburg is the bridge leading into Braamfontein that goes above the railway line. Every day thousands of vehicles go over that bridge, from rush hour to rush hour it stands, carrying buses and taxis and pedestrians. Every one of these follows the bridge where it leads, never fearing that it will collapse underneath them.
We trust bridges.
The inspection of bridges is mainly done using the human eye and ear. The inspector applies certain tests to various parts of the bridge, checking it for rust, cracks and fatigue . When a bridge is not inspected properly it becomes a danger to anyone who crosses it, bridges need to be checked.
And so does your man.
You need to check him. But not in the way that Angela describes in Why Did I Get Married Too. Remember that scene in the restaurant where she describes all the ways that she checks to make sure Marcus isn’t cheating on her? Absolutely crazy! That’s not what we are talking about here. Just as bridges are inspected to check if they can withstand massive weight and pressure, you need to check that your man has the character to carry the kind of relationship that you desire.
There is no such thing as a perfect man and the perfect couple is a myth perpetuated by Rom Coms. Even the father and mother of the faith, Abraham and Sarah, had some serious issues in their marriage. But, ultimately, their marriage was able to weather every storm because it was built to last. Their marriage highlights a number of questions that you can use to check the content of your man’s character, beginning with:
Can I follow him?
Their story begins at the tail end of Genesis 11. Her name is Sarai, his name is Abram. The Bible says that first they set out with Abram’s father from Ur to Haran. Then God told Abram to leave Haran and make his way to Canaan. Once he was in the land of Canaan, it was hit by a famine and he had to relocate to Egypt. That’s a lot of moving in 14 verses! Abram was moving from place to place and Sarai went with him wherever he went.
There is no indication that she tried to run away or to dissuade him from moving them around so much, the scripture just says, “He took his wife Sarai…” But her actions tell us that if she was asked the question “Can you follow him?” she would answer with a confident, “Yes!”
She trusted him.
Even two people who have a lot in common don’t agree about everything. In marriage, you are two different individuals coming together. It is obvious then that you will face situations where you will have to trust in your husband’s ability to hear from God and to make the right decisions. Think about Sarai and remember that God said, “Go!” to Abram and not to her. She had to trust that he wasn’t going mad or leading them to a place where they’d starve to death or be killed by strangers.
For a long time I struggled with the idea of having to trust a man but I had a conversation that really encouraged me. I was having coffee with a friend who is moving from South Africa to South America with her husband and children to settle there. Referring to her husband she said this, that I will never forget :
“I would follow him anywhere.”
The passion, the faith and the boldness of that statement- wow! Wow, because she is a strong, intelligent and capable woman. Wow, because a woman like her would not make that comment lightly. She literally trusts him with her life.
A man of character is firstly, one who is following and obeying Jesus and seeking His will above his own personal agenda.
Remember that Abraham was not motivated by selfish ambition; he took a step of faith in obedience to God’s call (Hebrews 11:8).
Check your man, is he an obedient follower of Jesus Christ? And as for trust: do you trust him with your life?
Look out for the next post where we’ll be looking at yet another question you can ask to figure out if your relationship is one that is built to last. Subscribe to the blog using your email to get new posts straight into your inbox!