I Have a Secret Confession.
I’ve thought a lot about it over the years and need to get it out in the open. Once you hear it, you may call me crazy. You likely won’t understand what I mean, but it’s still true. I’ve talked with other warrior poets over the years and many of them agree with me.
Okay, okay. I won’t put it off any longer. Here’s my confession…
I don’t want to marry a church girl.
Whew! There, I said it.
A Little Background
I grew up in the church and was accustomed to the typical youth group culture where everyone flirted, paired off, and yet talked about saving themselves for their future spouses. It was the only thing I knew, having never seen anything different. But it didn’t sit right with me.
I didn’t date in high school and by the time I got into college, I was continually bombarded by friends and sweet grandmothers in the church who would point to someone and ask why I didn’t pursue Miss So-and-So.
Looking back, I guess it was merely another layer of the modern church culture — we need to push the single godly guy to pursue the damsel in distress. I mean, wouldn’t they just be perfect together?
My problem was, when I looked at Miss So-and-So, I wasn’t impressed or awestruck — she was just a “church girl.”
The Problem with Church Girls
Let me clarify something right up front — you should go to church. It is important to be in fellowship with other believers, sharing life, encouraging and exhorting one another, and pointing each other to Christ. Church is important.
Yet the problem with too many Christians is that we assume “punching the time clock” down at the church each week makes us righteous, spiritual, or holy. Yes, attending church is important, but it’s the life lived outside the church walls that really counts. We often talk spiritual but don’t live it. We esteem a victorious and godly life but fail to demonstrate it in our everyday life. We desire for Jesus to be at the center of our lives but instead allow the world to take center stage.
ATTENDING CHURCH IS IMPORTANT, BUT IT’S THE LIFE LIVED
OUTSIDE OF THE CHURCH WALLS THAT REALLY COUNTS.
I’ve met far too many women who go to church on Sunday but live however they want to throughout the week. There is a facade of godliness but a lack of spiritual fruit. Yes, there may be evidence of true spiritual life, but there is a lack of passion, hunger, and deep desperation for Jesus Christ.
You see, I don’t want to marry such a girl. It’s not that church girls are bad, I just don’t want to marry one.
The Girl I Want to Marry
The girl I want to marry doesn’t just go to church but actually lives the Christian life. She doesn’t simply esteem godliness, she exercises it. (See 1 Timothy 4:7b.) She doesn’t talk about wanting to spend time in God’s Word or in prayer, she continually does so. (See Psalm 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17.)
Here are thirteen characteristics I’ve noticed that mark a young woman as either being a “church girl” or a “set apart girl”:
Prayer is a duty
Takes her Bible to church
Embarrassed to tell others about Jesus
Draws attention to herself
Serves with selfish motives
Hints and flirts with guys
Uses clothing to manipulate
Nags, complains, & is nitpicky
Lives with fickleness & inconsistency
Lacks eternal perspective
Runs spiritual short sprints & fades out
Builds her life around herself
Is desperate for male attention
Set apart girl
Delights spending time in prayer
Longs to know Jesus more through His Word
Can’t help but share the Gospel
Draws the focus of others to Jesus
Serves from a motive of genuine love
Guards her heart & emotions
Dresses with beautiful modesty
Encourages, uplifts, & refreshes others
Lives with purpose & intention
Lives with eternal priorities
Runs with endurance the race set before her
Builds her life around Jesus alone
Waits for God to script her love story
I Can Clearly Remember the First Time I Saw the Girl I Wanted to Marry.
I can’t describe her physical attributes to you — how tall she is, what color of hair she has, or the style of clothing she wears, and so on. But I saw her, and I was captivated. For the first time, as I closed the book Set Apart Femininity, I had a clear picture of what she looked liked — I had caught a glimpse of my future wife.
I didn’t see her face but her life was a breathtaking picture of servant-hearted givenness. She wasn’t self-focused; rather, she was obsessed with and wrapped up in Jesus. She took no thought for herself but continually poured her strength out for others. She loved the Word of God, spending time reading, studying, and memorizing its truth. She wasn’t captured by culture but stood boldly for Jesus Christ. She was beautiful and stunning, not because she drew people’s attention to herself or wore revealing clothing — quite the opposite. She guarded her emotions, lived with decorum, had an alluring mystique about her, and lived with a confident, strong, and daring faith.
I DIDN’T SEE HER FACE BUT HER LIFE WAS A BREATHTAKING
PICTURE OF SERVANT-HEARTED GIVENNESS.
My future wife is a Christian. Not the modern variety nor the one who claims to be religious. My future wife is an authentic, victorious, obsessed, all-in, fully-given, set apart Christian girl. And I can’t wait to hold her hand at the front of the aisle and declare my love for her … and thank her for not merely being a “church girl.”