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This is to all the single girls in the Dallas area...and all around the world. What do you look for in a man? That's the question all teenage girls and women of all ages have heard since the time when boys no longer had "cooties" and they remembered to shower and use deodorant. For the ones who have taken the time to really think about it, that list of desirable character traits, eye and hair color, profession, clothing style, choice of music, and, most importantly, religion, is so long that it would take a miracle for that man to actually exist. Maybe some women think they aren't picky, but in their hearts they want that one man who is set apart from the rest, the one who is different from all others you've ever met. He is set apart and recognized by his strength of character and his quiet, unshakable faith, his honest heart and his respectful words, the one who seems to stand taller than all other men.
There are obviously other things that women appreciate in a man, of course: he opens your car door, is polite and respectful to everyone, especially you, and he treasures you and keeps your thoughts and feelings and secrets close to his heart. He's the one that doesn't consider women to be merely pieces of meat, to be leered at and judged only by appearance. There is so much of that in the world today, and it really is a tragic thing. God did not design us to be lovers of the flesh, but of the heart and the mind and the spirit. Men and women were made to love each other, not to overpower, to disrespect, to judge, to condescend, or to resent each other. Nothing destroys a relationship or marriage like resentment and anger. God tells it best in His perfect picture of love described in 1 Corinthians 13:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails...When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8a,11-13, NIV)
Isn't that powerful? God tells us that the greatest thing in the world is love. Love...what does that mean, anyway? Sometimes it's the little things that couples do: taking out the trash without being asked, leaving love notes and encouraging words, flowers for no reason, or turning off that football game or design show on tv so that people can learn to talk to each other again. It is also the big things in life and the sacrifices that are made in the name of love. Being selfless is a trying task for anyone, but when it is truly achieved, amazing things can happen. Lives and relationships are changed when people decide to change their perspectives. Suddenly the world does not revolve around you and your problems and your resentments and your anger; suddenly...life happens. And you'll never be the same again. Suddenly, God is the one helping you focus, not the other way around. It doesn't work that way. After your faith, relationships are at the very heart of mankind. Love and respect are absolutely crucial and undeniably indispensable.
Men and women, please respect each other, please love each other, and most of all, please keep Christ at the center of your marriages and relationships. God says that it is the man's responsibility, and, hopefully, his pleasure, to be the head of the household. It is an honor to have that responsibility, not a burden. Women, our part is to respect and obey the head of our households. But men, don't forget that the woman in your life is not someone that you're allowed to boss around or treat like a child, then claim that you have the right to be demanding or disrespectful. Yes, men are the head of the household, but it is also your part to love and cherish your wife and your soulmate. She is not a possession, but the love of your heart that God has given to you as a gift. Make it a pleasure for each of you to serve and respect and obey the other, so the roles that God has designed us to have can be happily and lovingly accomplished.
Be that man that is set apart, and stand taller than the rest.