Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Praying for Second Place

Handsome, dependable, provider, protector, humorous, fun-loving, romantic, spontaneous…

These are characteristics on most of our “hero search criteria” lists. Some of us may add ‘attends church’ or ‘spiritual’ as an afterthought. Okay, maybe you’re a good Christian girl and you listed it first. But did you add, ‘puts me second’? Yeah, me neither.

I found this meme on A Modern Day Ruth and it made me stop and think. Am I willing to be in second place? Could I actually pray for that position?

In many Christian romances I’ve read the heroine is the strong spiritual lead and the hero, big, strong strapping man that he is, may only be a nominal Christian or not one at all. I’ve always been uncomfortable with that premise. I mean, there’s a reason God tells us not to be unequally yoked.

Of course, in these Christian romances the guy always comes around—he may not have an obvious encounter with God, but he at least attends church with the heroine making everything hunky dory for that HEA.

I think this is a dangerous example for readers, especially young women starting out in life, but even seasoned women of a certain age can be deceived when our heart is racing and our toes are tingling.

Hey, he’s got hormones, too—lit for the chase. And with that razor focus on his goal he’ll make grand romantic gestures, like hiring a limo to whisk you away to the opera, followed by dinner at Ruth Chris. There will be bouquets of roses, hearts filled with chocolates, and, if it seems important to you, dates at church. Will any of these acts continue after the wedding? Certainly not every Friday night.
And that’s okay—grand romantic gestures are for special occasions.

But, our faith is for everyday. It’s the foundation of our life, our world view, the filter through which we sift decisions. Yet to him, church attendance was an opportunity to spend time with you, woo you. It’s no big deal.

So, when he wants to take spontaneous trips every weekend and you’re committed to teach a Sunday School class, you have a hard choice. Husband? God?

In My Sister’s Keeper, Nate, the control freak, resists submitting his emotions to God. Landon, in Exposed, struggles with PTSD and his ego, but ultimately, both these men seek God’s guidance in their everyday battles and in winning the heart of the heroine.

These are the type of heroes we want—strong men of faith who submit their lives to God so that we can confidently follow their leadership.

So mark spontaneity off the list. Whoa, not so fast—before that godly husband of yours makes the hotel reservations, he’ll arrange for your friend to cover your class.

Now that’s romance!