It does seem a bit odd, doesn’t it? How can I be writing a blog post about what I would want in a wife if I’m focused on the celibate life and am in the process of building a remote hermitage where I plan to spend the rest of my life in solitude?
Well, like most things that have to do with relationships and other people, it’s just a little complicated, right? Actually, if being honest, it’s less complicated than it is improbable. Given the state of the age and culture we are living in, the fact that secular people are having a difficult time finding someone they have a connection with, there is simply no way I would be able to find someone who could meet my expectations.
But, what does Paul say? “That which is impossible with man is possible with God” (Luke 18:27). So, I’m going to take this post to discuss a little bit about what has been going on in my personal life, where I see myself in the future, and what characteristics I would desire in a potential future mate.
Let’s jump into the impossible…..
Are You Rejecting Celibacy and a Solitary Vocation?
But, a little background might be in order here. For the last 13 years I’ve been celibate. The closest description of my state in life would be a protestant solitary who has been testing his monastic vocation in anticipation of professing private vows in the development of an idiorrhythmic rule of life. I liken my call to be a closer approximation to those of the early Desert Fathers, yet without the severe or extreme asceticism, more in like probably with Jovinian’s middle of the road proto-protestantism. I have considered and even spoken with several monasteries in the past but none have seemed a good or productive fit. I have purchased land with the goal of developing it into a productive hermitage where I had (and actually still have) every intention of spending the rest of my life alone.
But, like with many things in life, the human creature is a very complex and fascinating being. So often we don’t even recognize the needs or wants or desires we have within ourselves, let alone what God has desired and predestined for us. A month ago, if you had told me I would be contemplating, even actively praying for a wife, I would have said you were mad. But, it was about the beginning of March that I started to recognize an emotional, psychological, spiritual shift within me. I’m not really certain what the source of that shift was. Too often we see things like this as being the influence of the devil, when, in reality, it is just our natural, fleshly needs or wants coming to the surface. Other times, though, it is truly a work of the Holy Spirit, moving, healing, forming, preparing our minds, our hearts, our souls for something on the horizon.
The shift within me came rather abruptly, and I found myself suddenly thinking about what life would be like with a wife, if I were married, if even we started a family. Needless to say, I was a little shocked. After the dumpster fire that was my first marriage, I struck out 13 years ago, certain I would never be able to trust another human being again.
Of course, there have been temptations during that time. Certainly. But I classify them all as temptations (as in, of the devil and not from God) because 1. They were all initiated by non-believers 2. I was in no position spiritually, psychologically, or emotionally to even entertain such advances. In all, there have been four possible opportunities during that time. From simple kismet, such as with Amy (I changed her name) who works at a partnered company and who I used to speak with daily over the phone. Nothing has ever been said between us. Our relationship has remained strictly professional. But, I detect there could be something there if I were to pursue it. But, who really knows, right? I’m horrible with judging other peoples’ intentions or feelings or romantic signals.
Then there was Alley (another name changed) who was a supervisor on the custodial staff that cleaned our offices each week. When in the building I work in, she would always make a point to come in and talk with me. The chemistry between us (and her interest in me) was so apparent that even one of her employees brought it up one day, wanting to know if I was going to ask Alley out. I did not, and she subsequently moved out of state a few months later.
The third one was Mary (yeah, you guessed it, not her name). She was one of the employees who worked for our company and our interactions were always positive and quite entertaining. We laughed a lot with each other. Unfortunately, internal politics was not kind to Mary, and she abruptly found another job at a competitor and quit.
Up to this point, all three of these individuals had glaring red flags that made it pretty clear they were temptations that I should avoid. But, the last one I mention was not as clear to me at first. Shannon (yep, name changed) was hired at our company about 4 years ago. From the very first day we hit it off. She would often come in and chat with me during the day and would always touch me as we talked, either massaging my shoulders, scratching my back, or my head. She would often sit on the edge of my desk and put her feet up, no shoes on. Her feet were tiny, which played into her pixy-like quality that really just drove me mad. One day she even just nonchalantly came in and sat on my lap for a few exquisite moments to write something on a notepad.
But, to all these “signals” I was tone deaf. At the time I was thoroughly convinced that there was no possible future for me with another person, simply because such relationships are inherently full of risk with no real way to mitigate that risk. Sure, there are some ways. Taking a very long time in the courtship to get to know one another, a kind of discovery period, wearing down their insincerity through attrition. The problem with this is, it doesn’t actually work very well. My ex-wife lasted five years in her lies before they finally caught up to her. Plus, God does not allow for fence sitters. You are either all in or you are all out or you are illegitimate. The woman at the well is the perfect example of this. Jesus told her to get her husband and return. She replied, “I have no husband.” He said, “Rightly you say. For you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband.”
Now, there is no way for us to determine the legality of the Samaritan woman’s first five marriages. Jesus knew, of course, if each one of these five men had died and she had been each time released from her vow (1 Co 7:39) or if she had been put away by each man for legitimate reason or illegitimate ones (Matt 19:9). But he does not elaborate for our benefit. Simply put, he was aware of her previous marriages, and they were, assumably, legitimate marriages in the eyes of God. But the relationship she was involved in at the present time was certainly illegitimate in God’s eyes and her’s as well. “I have no husband,” was her response to his call.
All this to say, God does have a standard concerning marriage and his is an all-in standard. In fact, his standard is so extreme, the apostles wanted nothing to do with it, “If this is the way it is with a man and his wife, it is better not to marry” (Matt 19:10). I find it interesting that Jesus didn’t disagree with them. He didn’t make a point to argue for marriage. He simply replied, “Not everyone can accept this, only those to whom it has been given” (v11).
Marriage, as I understand it from the Bible, is not the bed of roses our culture tries to make it appear to be. It is actually the lesser of the two states of life, with celibacy and singleness being preferred by the apostles as illustrated above, and by Paul in his 1 Co 7 explanations and by Jesus here in Matthew 19 who makes no argument for one or the other, but simply lays out the facts. This is what marriage is intended to be before God. Matthew 19:5-6: “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate.” Every other addition to this is illegitimate.
Now, I say all this because the last temptation I mentioned here – Shannon – is still very much a temptation today. Of course, over the last three years, my lack of response to her “signaling” has been somewhat souring on her part. For awhile I think she really resented me for my apparent rejection. At one point she became extremely jealous of perceived attention on my part toward another co-worker (it was actually a complete misunderstanding on Shannon’s part). Today, our relationship is fraught with uneasy tension, as we both struggle to remain professional, while at the same time not wanting to feel any more rejected than we have to. It is the same for me as it is for her. It gets to the point for her that she’s obviously taken the hint that I’m not interested in pursuing a relationship. At the same time, I don’t want to risk it by asking her out for so many reasons. She could have easily moved on and is no longer interested. She may never have been interested in the first place and the “signals” I was reading were terribly misconstrued (I have a tendency to do that – one young woman I was pursuing for awhile years ago made the comment that there are certain men who, when she walks into a room and innocently smiles at them, they immediately jump to the conclusion that she wants to marry them. I’m that guy, so just keep that in mind).
But, the last month has been rather difficult for me because, suddenly, not only am I wrestling with my own inner demons concerning a potential desire or willingness or need that I’m maybe finally ready to commit to another person again (maybe it took 13 years of being alone to finally heal from my first marriage), but I’m faced with this immediate temptation of Shannon.
But. Yeah, there is a big, big but. Through all this dancing around with Shannon all these years, we’ve never actually had a non-work related conversation with each other. Neither of us have ever had the guts to piece the veil as it were, to take the risk of rejection and broach the subject. I’m so often been tempted to just casually say, “Hey, would you like to grab some dinner tonight?”
The “but” though was actually brought into view by COVID. When the pandemic became a thing, our company decided that everyone had to be vaccinated to continue working. I immediately submitted my religious exemption and it was expeditiously granted by our director. But, the vaccine requirement immediately demanded that Shannon and I have the conversation. She opted to finally get the vaccine because…..
She was not in any way religious.
This was kind of a shock for me since there were some hints here and there scattered throughout our conversations that intimated she might be. In fact, I kind of hoped she was a believer, even if she were just a cultural Christian, maybe a main-liner. Even a Catholic. I mean, the Bible doesn’t say I can’t marry a Christian Orthodox, it just prohibits me from marrying a non-believer.
But, I think she was just as surprised when we had that conversation and she found out that I was granted a religious exemption. I was religious. That opened the door to the discussion of me spending the last several years while employed at our company pursing my Master’s degree in theological studies and then also finishing my doctorate in Christian Philosophy.
This revelation was really for both of us I think a large wet blanket, smothering much of the coals that were slowly simmering just under the surface.
But, fast forward to a month ago, and now I’m experiencing these emotions and desires of maybe wanting a relationship with another person for the first time in 13 years, and here is a quite beautiful woman who at least at one time was presumably interested in pursing a relationship with me, and even the issue with “marriage” being easily brushed out of the way (after all there was no marriage ceremony in the Bible, the man just took the woman into his tent and fulfilled her week and they were married), since I doubt either one of us really want to officially tie the knot again with the state, but I think we could have one hell of a romance without it. No cohabitation. No intermingling of the finances. We both have great jobs. We both have 2 days off each week together. We both make good money (she actually makes much more than I do). It is potentially a relationship that could chart a course of pure bliss for the remainder of our lives. We could travel together. Enjoy each other’s company.
She is not a believer. And the Bible is pretty clear. “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? What communion has light with darkness?” (2 Co 6:14). And Paul again drives it home, “A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whomever she wishes, only in the Lord” (1 Co 7:39). And again, “Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?” (1 Co 9:5).
And why is there such a prohibition against interfaith marriages or marriages between a believer and a non-believer? We see this clearly in the OT prohibition against it, as Balaam sought to take advantage of. In Numbers 22-24 we see that Balaam was a prophet of God who was hired by the King of Moab to weaken the Israelites who were camped nearby. He did so by tempting them with the Moabite women, who in turn enticed them to worship their gods (Nu 22:1-5; 31:16). The Israelites were “yoked” with Baal of Peor, the god of the Moabites, and this is typically the outcome when a believer is married to a non-believer, their faith is in some way compromised.
Now, there is no way of knowing if this would actually occur if Shannon and I started dating or if we eventually chose to commit to a monogamous and loving, long-term relationship. There is a possibility that it could be something quite exquisite for both of us, and we could live the rest of our lives together in bliss.
But, I’ve had the last month to wrestle with these emotions I’ve been feeling, to work through them, to peel back the layers and the misdirections that often accompany the murkiness of our inner dialogue and psychological damage (and believe me, there is a tremendous amount of damage there to sort through). The reality is, I don’t want to settle for a great relationship on my own terms. I don’t want to build a relationship with Shannon out of mutual appreciation or physical gratification or comfort simply because we can, because by doing so I am forfeiting a potential relationship with a truly godly woman that is the helpmate God has chosen for me.
A relationship with Shannon will almost certainly guarantee we will never study the Bible together, that we will not have the same hopes and dreams (return of Christ), and will ultimately be operating our relationship from a place of selfish fulfillment rather than selfless service to each other before God.
Basically, by not pursuing a possible relationship in the flesh with Shannon, I’m signaling to God that not only am I trusting him with my future, with the selection of my potential wife, but that anything other than his perfect will is not acceptable to me. I would rather remain celibate and single the rest of my life, knowing that this is a perfectly full expression of my life before God in faith and is actually a better choice than the best I could do building a quasi-marriage on my own with a non-believer.
Better Not to Marry
Intellectually, I do agree wholeheartedly with the disciples. If this is the way it is with a man and his wife, it is better not to marry. I concluded this after my first marriage fell apart, and I’ve been convinced of it again and again over the years as I watch other marriages fall apart around me. People seem to marry for the wrong reasons. They stay together for the wrong reasons. People lie to each other (and to themselves) constantly. They are cruel. And even the very best intentions seem to sour over time. I’ve watched cousins marry and get divorced, only to jump back into it again and then have affairs and get divorced again, only to wind up remarried and just as miserable as they were the first time around. I really never wanted that for myself. I waited until I was 29 before I finally married a woman, who I thought God had brought to me. Maybe he did. Maybe the marriage fell apart because I was unwilling at the time to die completely for her sake. Granted, there were many extenuating circumstances that needed to be dealt with, and, ultimately, my wife was not willing to deal with those issues. She had been living under the pretense of a lie for five years, playing a role that she was not really equipped to play. You can fake the outward aspects of a religion, but you can only fake the inner transformation of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling for so long before cracks begin to appear in the facade. To this day I’m still not certain there was anything I could have done that would have resulted in a different outcome than our split. It was pattern after all that my wife was repeating, pattern that was deeply engrained in her from her childhood, seared into her subconscious by trauma and physical and sexual abuse. At the crisis point, when I begged her to get help, to work with me on resolving our issues so we could stay together and fulfill our commitment and our vows before God, I never realized what must have been for her a terrifying ordeal. I was asking her to pull on a thread in her mind that if unraveled could have devastated her, wrecked the psychological plaster that she’d spent her entire life covering the shame and the guilt and the memories of what her mother did to her or allowed to be done to her.
It’s taken so many years for me to distance myself from my own pain and loss to get to the point where I could see her side of things. What it must have been like to be living a lie like that for so long, struggling to try and stay above water. Let’s face it, our marriage was difficult. It was difficult not only because of her psychological issues, but family really never made things easy for us. They were always pulling and demanding and judging and criticizing everything we did, no matter what we did. It was a mess and the spiritual battles we were having to endure did not help our relationship at all. As a mixed family, we never had the foundational days of just the two of us to imprint on each other, to form a strong bond. It was immediate how we were plunged into war. War with exes. War with inlaws. War with the culture. War with employers. It was never ending. And add to that a war that was raging in my wife’s head as she struggled to try and second guess what I wanted, so she could keep up the lie.
It must have been like drowning for five long years. Never quite able to catch a breath. Yet, still never going under either. I think back and wonder, “well, if I had just done this differently, or did that instead.” But, I really don’t think those things really mattered all that much. I think we were doomed from the start.
All that to say, I think Paul is right. It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Just overall, as a general principle. Relationships, even the best ones, are messy and dangerous, and fraught with risk, and inherently prone to failure. You can do all the due diligence you want, do all the premarital counseling you could ask for, and none of it really matters in the end. I know marriages that were struck after only a few months of meeting and they lived happily together for the rest of their lives. Others, no matter the prearrangements, were dashed into the dustbin. Most marriages seem to settle somewhere in between.
And, as Paul states, marriage is really the alternative to the preferred state of singleness, “Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (1 Co 7:2). It’s really because of Tinder that marriage was instituted by God, or, at least the spirit that Tinder represents.
It’s certainly not what I’m wrestling with today. I’m in a struggle between two life choices. But, as Paul states, “I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God” (vs7). The most important question I need to answer, I think, is: Can I exercise self-control if I’m not married? This seems to be the driving factor for Paul in the estimation if someone should pursue a mate or remain as they are. “For it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (vs 9).
For my particular situation, I think the calculation might be a little different than what is typical. Personally, I am able or at least was able (for the last 13 years) to remain self-controlled, at least to a certain extent. I am a man. But, during those years I was not hindered by any permanent medical limitations or restrictions, and even if I were, medical advancement has provided several solutions to rectify. During those 13 years I was not driven out of my mind with lust or with loneliness or any kind of sense of loss or regret for the conclusions I came to. Instead, I was energized by my singleness, thrived in my solitude, and saw frequently the hardships that others experienced because of the poor or unhealthy relationships they subjected themselves to.
It has only been this last month that the emotional and spiritual calculus has shifted within me. And I’m not certain why that shift has occurred. Yet, still, despite the shift, it is not the same experience as I went through in my 20’s as a new believer. During those years I desperately wanted a wife, wanted to be in a relationship, wanted physical gratification. When temptation surfaced I had terrible impulse control and on more than one occasion found myself in a precarious position with people I should not be involved with. Those actions always, without fail, led to regret, shame, and were never nearly as satisfying as I had thought or hoped they would be.
Today, I somehow can sense a need or want (I’m not certain which), or even more so a “preparation” underway within me, as if switches are being flipped on inside my soul, inside my mind, allowing me to once again feel things, emotions, considerations that I haven’t felt since my divorce.
The desperate feeling of my 20’s, though, is nowhere to be found. Rather, it is as if I can see both sides of the coin simultaneously – a potential life as a husband and maybe even a father, and then another life as a solitary and recluse and idiorrhythmic monastic. If I’m really honest here, I would wager that this shift really has more to do with my relationship with God and my own, personal sanctification than it does with whether or not God will be soon bringing me a wife (or not).
As the emotions and needs and desires are confronted during the process, I’ve discovered that they are being organized and structured in such a way that there is less focus on the practical aspects so much as on the implicit implications that those emotions and feelings trigger regarding my level or ability to engage God in trust.
Do I really trust God with my life going forward? What if it means, sincerely, that I will never touch a woman again for the rest of my life – never be touched by one? How does that really make me feel? What is my response to that? How does that response reshape my relationship with him (regardless of his action)? Do I resent God in some way? I think there was a long time there that I did resent him for not protecting me from my ex-wife. I can remember, when I first met her, praying for his guidance, for a sign that she was the right person for me, praying that she would abandon her false beliefs and accept Christ. And, all those things she did. And I believed her. Yet, later – five years later – she finally confessed to me that she never did mean those things she said. She just said them so I would marry her. She never truly meant to honor the vows she professed before God at our wedding. She never really committed to our marriage being divorce free, that no matter how bad it might get, no matter what kind of issue arose, we would promise to always do everything we could to work through those issues. That was all a lie from the very beginning, and I think, at least subconsciously, I blamed God for allowing me to fall for it, allowing me to go through with it, knowing how it would all fall apart in the end.
So, now, today, after 13 years of isolation, I have to ask myself the question, “How much do I trust you, Lord?” Do I trust him to ask for a wife in the future? Do I trust him enough, that if he brings me a believing woman, I would be willing and able to step out in genuine faith, despite the past, and commit to her my entire life, die for her, work every day, every conscious moment, focused on what is best for her, what would make her fulfilled and happy and satisfied and loved? Because, really, marriage – at least a biblical marriage – has less to do with the two individuals and more to do with each individual’s relationship with God and how that marriage is used as a catalyst, as a fire, a hot iron to shape and mold the individual to resemble more of Christ and less of the flesh.
In the end, it is important, for a healthy marriage overall, to recognize its fleeting and impermanent nature. After all, marriage will end at death or at the resurrection. Our relationship with Christ does not.
Dating in 2022
The last time I actually went out on a date was back in 1995. I had just come home on leave from the military while transferring my duty station from Texas to Germany. I had 30 days of leave saved up and was spending it back home. One particular day, I hit up an old friend of my from high school and we headed over to the coast for the day. We stopped to see his mother. We checked out our old stomping grounds at the beach (where we and our friends used to go when we were in school and wanted to blow off some steam). As the day turned to lunchtime, we stopped in at a local pizza place and got some food.
While there, I remember catching the view of a quite beautiful young woman working there. She had, if I remember right, brown hair that went down about shoulder length. But, I think she had it pulled back in a pony tail (I like that). She was using a sweeper on the carpet and I watched her as she moved from booth to booth. She was slender and had a small, petite face….quite breathtaking. I think my buddy even made a comment about me staring.
After our lunch was over, I remember we got up and went to the counter for something and, out of the blue, I asked her if she had a boyfriend and (when she said no) if she would like to go to dinner with me sometime.
Keep in mind, this is not normal for me or for those who I socialized with in school. My buddy was out of his mind jealous of my boldness when we left the parlor. He couldn’t stop talking about it. And I did actually take her to dinner the next week. But, as with most things, her physical beauty was unmatched by everything but her immaturity. It’s odd, how you can meet someone and form an opinion about them instantly, only to be proved so wrong when you actually get to know them.
That was my last date.
Nine years later I would meet my wife and what we did in the time leading up to our marriage I do not consider dating but a courtship. There is certainly a difference. With dating everything is casual and often lead to one night stands. I had one of those once, though it was more like a half a stand and quite regrettable.
But, today, dating and even courtship (if people even do that anymore) is so different. Now everything is done on social media or online through an app. Do people even go to bars to pick up people anymore (I’ve never actually done that)? My ex-wife I met at work so I had her captive for an 8 hour shift where we could get to know each other without all the anxiety.
Even if God were actually calling me to remarry, I have no earthly idea where to even begin. Attempts in the past with online dating apps have been an utter failure. Plus, this has really became kind of a test for God (yes, God does sometimes want us to test him – not like the Israelites during their wanderings (Ps 78:56) but as he invites us to do with money and in our giving (Mal 3:10), he wants us to trust him, to lean on him, and he seems to find pleasure in giving us a life that is beyond our imagination (1 Co 2:9).
Dating sites seem too much like a relationship with Shannon. Trying desperately to get the fig leaves around me to hide the shame of my situation before God finds me. It’s too much like building a hut out of sticks next to the mansion he’s building for me in heaven and insisting, even in the afterlife, that my little hut with it’s dirt floor and it’s crooked door is better than that many roomed mansion on the hill.
So, as I progress through this season of new emotions and new feelings of want and need and ponder on what kind of provision God has prepared for me in the future both near and far, I step out not with human effort or putting the word out to my friends or coworkers that I’m looking to start dating again, but instead long to press these sentimentalities into ardent prayer and secretive prayer.
I know that a helpmate orchestrated completely by God is so beyond what I could possibly cobble together on my looks or by my quick banter (If I even have such a thing). And I want to test these things to see if they are actually real. Test the emotions, the desires, to see if they stand up under the weight of not adding profiles to online sites. Is this newfound desire for a wife truly from God? Will he actually bring about events to which we are introduced? Will he bring me the wife I pray for? Will I trust him enough for the provision he has so far provided up to now? At what point will I begin to doubt him? When will I determine, “Okay, now I no longer believe he will do this since he has not yet done it?” All too often people subconsciously negotiate with themselves into situations of their own doing and then claim it was God’s doing that did it. Of course, and God typically gets the blame in these situations when things go terribly wrong.
There is definitely a purpose to these new things in my life. These things were not present for the last 13 years. When I came home after work each day during that time I never thought, “I wish I had a wife to share this home with.” I never walked into my kitchen in the morning and wondered what it would feel like knowing that my wife was still asleep in the bedroom. Suddenly, these kind of thoughts are now coming to me, and I’m not yet certain I know why, since nothing really in my life has changed.
In reality, what I’m committing to is the desire for God to bring to me a wife supernaturally. Through kismet. Through divine providence. We will see what transpires over the course of the next days, weeks, months, and years.
Again, how long before I begin to doubt that God truly does answer prayer?
The Characteristics of the Perfect Wife
I’m actually quite fortunate that the Bible is quite clear on what a perfect wife actually looks like. This, of course, is partly found in Proverbs 31:10-31. What exactly does it say?
1. She is hard to find.
2. Her worth is costly (and that may not have to do with money but our self-sacrifice).
3. She is trustworthy (hard to find today).
4. She is a net positive to her husband and his pursuits (which should be tempered and directed by God).
5. She is overall a blessing to her husband and not a burden, not a source of drama, and not a drain on finances, on emotional wellbeing, or psychological stability. Also mentioned, this is long-term, consistent behavior on her part, not just the first few years before she stops trying and everything in the relationships becomes toxic and falls apart.
6. She’s industrious and a worker (and, yes, keeping the home is actually work and highly prized today because it is so freaking rare).
7. She is entrepreneurial, whether that be on her own projects or in conjunction with her husband’s work.
8. She is the opposite of lazy, rising early and making sure her household has everything they need.
9. She is a long-term builder of both finances and peace in her home.
10. She is practical and proactive, not only taking care of herself but making sure provisions are in place for possible future scenarios.
11. She is kind and she is generous.
12. Her husband has a good reputation (which I’m to assume is at least partly due to her integrity and her own reputation).
13. She is clothed in strength and honor (rather than relying on superficialities).
14. She speaks wisdom (most certainly to the benefit of her husband and family).
15. She is not idle (I would imagine that means she doesn’t play video games all night either).
16. Her children respect her.
17. Her husband respects her.
18. Most importantly, she fears the Lord and in that she has her being (not in her womanly charms or in deceit, or relying on her beauty).
Will the perfect wife necessarily have all these characteristics? Not necessarily. But I imagine she will be striving toward them. To me, this chapter, overall, screams substance. There is a real essence to a godly woman that nothing else can compare. She makes those around her better. She helps and supports her husband as he grows and becomes the man God desires him to be.
Of course, I have a list of my own as well.
1. She loves the Lord as much as I do.
2. She is kind and honest and sweet.
3. She is not disingenuous, and says what she means and means what she says (aka, she does not play mind games).
4. She is not in rebellion to her husband, to her gender, or to her God.
5. She is naturally an introvert but is also looking for a husband who can be her best friend, confidant, companion, provider, protector, and partner in life.
6. She loves studying the Bible, does so every day, and loves the idea of integrating reading and studying the Bible together as a couple every day.
7. She is fine with living on a fixed and limited income, and would rather have her husband at home 5 days a week rather than him gone all the time but a bank account full of money. She’s also frugal and a minimalist.
8. She loves the little house I have or the Eden Property and together we determine if we will sell Eden to finance the remodel of the house in town, or we take on the challenge and adventure of selling or remodeling and selling the house in town and sinking that money into the building of a paradise tiny house on the Eden property (the lot behind the tracks where there is a perfect site that has truly spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding mountains). She would also love the challenge of living in the tiny house, since it would be boat access only, and completely off grid (though solar is a possibility given that this lot has terrific southern exposure).
9. She loves the idea (and the reality) of gardening and would love turning our outdoor space into an Eden, where we work on it together. She’s also excited about the idea of homesteading the Eden property if we decide to sell the house in town and build a tiny house on the lake.
10. She loves staying at home and just spending time together watching tv or talking, but is also excited about trips to regional or even far away places for impromptu vacations.
11. She loves physical affection and has a similar appetite as her husband. She’s not psychologically traumatized by her past (but if she is, she’s at least willing to seek out help to work through it together). She loves her husband and is not afraid to show it and loves the idea that her husband loves her in return.
What Are the Chances?
I would wager my chances here that God is actually preparing me for a future wife is slim to none. Not that it is not in the realm of possibility for God to be able to do so. He has the means. He certainly has the knowledge. He not only knows this hypothetical woman that he created specifically for me but he also knows me better than I know myself. And that is primarily why I would not be surprised if this was not a mechanism by which God had chosen to prepare me to live the remainder of my life as a solitary.
God knows the kind of selfish man I am, deep down. He knows that my focus is entirely incorrect, and he certainly knows how I behave once I’m in the thick of it and there’s stress coming from all angles and nothing is as I assumed it would be. Then again, isn’t that the primary purpose of marriage – sanctification by fire? But, the reality of my situation is difficult to ignore. Jordan Peterson states that if a man finds that he is being rejected by all women then it’s not the fault of the women, it is the fault of the man. He needs to dress better. He needs to make more money. He needs to have a purpose and needs to get educated. Personally I disagree with all of this. But, the reality in my situation is rather difficult to ignore. I’m overweight. I have an unhealthy diet. I do not regularly exercise. I have a pessimistic personality. I live in a very small town in a depressed region where the weather is often gray and cold/cool (rather than 80 in the shade). I make very little at my job in relation to those around me, and I work part time purposefully and have no intention of increasing my hours. In fact, I purposefully live a minimalistic lifestyle and think leisure time, free time is far more valuable than money or things. All these issues contribute to my presentation as a less attractive potential spouse. One woman I dated back in my 20’s came out and told me, point blank, “You have no aspirations, you work at a car wash, make minimum wage, and wear shorts and a t-shirt.” What she was really saying was I don’t make enough money for her taste. We split up shortly after that and thankfully so. Once she revealed her true feelings about material possessions and things and the ability to spend money, I was happy to let her go. No. Actually, I was devastated. Devastated to discover she was not the person I thought she was and where she placed her values was altogether foreign to me.
No one can honestly look at my situation and and not come away convinced that it would take a miracle to find a wife that would live in abject poverty, contend with my health issues, and also live in what many claim is a really boring part of the country.
Thankfully, though, God can do miracles. In fact, that is what I’m counting on, a supernatural connection. If I wanted to just date someone or just fine anyone to marry, I can do that online or I could call Shannon. But, that’s not really what I’m looking for.
If he does actually go through with this and answers my prayer, if God has truly prepared a helpmate for me that is comparable to me, then it will truly be a miracle. First, he will need to create her and this would have had to happen 20-50 years ago (I’m just throwing out this age range, I really have no idea how old she is). Then he would not only have to create her to such specificity, not only initially, but throughout her life she would have to go through unique experiences to prepare her for a future life as my wife.
Then God will need to, at the right moment (aka whichever moment he chooses), manipulate the surrounding events and individuals to the point that she and I actually cross paths. Does she live locally? Does she even currently live in my state? What about this country? How many years will I actually need to remain in waiting before he brings her to me?
On top of all these logistical nightmares, he simultaneously has to start working with me (and he actually already has). He’ll have to get me up and out of my hammock and somehow motivate me to clean and organize my house (which all winter I’ve failed to do). He’s going to need to work with me psychologically, mentally, and prepare me for the life coming. And once we cross paths, how is he going to get us to interact with each other? Will she be a new hire at work? Will her family move into the rental house next door to me? Will I reach for the same frozen pizza at the grocery store?
The reality is, the procurement of a woman fitting my criteria is a difficult one, and the fact that, because of our cultural gatekeepers today of social media that make it nearly impossible to get passed the first swipe left (or maybe it’s the fact that I have never really embraced the social media dating scene to begin with) doesn’t really make it any easier a feat. God has a great deal of heavy lifting if he does truly intend on bringing me a wife.
It will be quite fascinating to see what develops over the next several years in my life.
My personal opinion is that these newly rekindled emotions and desires are only a means to an end by the Holy Spirit, either to move me further along the trajectory of my own spiritual sanctification and relationship with Christ, or maybe it is in preparation for several new books I hope to write this year (or after I get settled into the Eden Property) and has very little to nothing to do with God preparing me to one day bring me a helpmate comparable to me.
I can say it is broadening my horizons a bit and is illustrating many more options and possible opportunities that I really need to consider before I just brush them off so hastily. First, there is potentially some benefit in finishing the remodel on my house before I sell it. With the housing market the way it currently is, and with prices projected to rise another 10% in 2022, it is very possible that spending this year (summer + next winter) while I’m putting the Eden Property through its paces (finger’s crossed), I can also spend 4 days a week at the house and put my disposable income into renovations. Much of what needs to be done I think I can do myself. There are a few plumbing issues that might require a plumber. But mostly it is siding, flooring, paneling, and ceiling tile. If I were to choose to live here long-term, I would also remove one of the walls in the smaller bedroom so it could be larger, it would also add a closet for the bedroom, plus an outside door, plus remove the hallway that is virtually useless. Second I would do a complete remodel on the bathroom. I would take out the back wall where the shower currently is, move it back and butt the shower up against the hot water heater (this would also solve the current plumbing problems). In the extra space provided, I would add a soak tub, and then finish the floor and ceiling and also the paneling.
Again, if I were living here, I would plant 3-4 fruit trees in the side yard, put ivy on the fence (I would really like to put blackberries on the fence line), and then put in planter boxes throughout the property. Hot plants in the front yard with the southern exposure, and cool crops on the side and then I would add a Japanese garden in the back yard. I would also take out the back window in the master bedroom, replacing it with French doors. I would also add either an additional head to the ductless heater or I would add an additional system to heat the back bedroom.
But, just a rough estimate, especially given the increases on all prices, this would probably come in around $10,000-$15,000 worth of supplies and repairs (not including the extra $7-$10k for the additional ductless unit). Additionally, given the location of the house, the lack of a foundation, even with the repairs, I bet it wouldn’t go for much more than $80k. After closing costs and real estate agent fees, I would net probably $40-$50k. My initial calculation is I can sell to a house flipper hopefully for $40k and just liquidate. That’s more than what I paid for the place, and I can use that money as a nest egg as I move to the lake full time.
If God were to bring me a wife comparable to me, depending on what she wanted to do, I think the best option would be to either sell the lake property as is ($40k) and use that money to remodel the house in town and live in town. When it’s just me, I do not mind living without a shower or having just an outdoor shower and no plumbing. But when you factor in a wife and possibly even kids, I think we would be much more comfortable at the house in town in the long run. There is not really much more that we could do at the lake that we couldn’t do in town, there is much more room at the house in town, and there are some creature comforts that would help keep the tranquility of the marriage. But, it would depend on what the wife would want to do as well.
Personally, I think in a year, I will be living at the Eden property full time, with the house in town cleaned up and either up for sale or already sold, and I will be living a quiet and peaceful solitary life as a hermit monastic, hopefully, with these newly surfaced emotions and draw toward married life adequately processed and disposed of. But, it is quite possible that I could be living in town with Eden up for sale, blissfully married to the wife of my dreams, brought to me by a benevolant God who has only my best interests at heart.
Either way, I win.
Please consider supporting my writing, my unschooled studies, and my hermitic lifestyle by purchasing one or more of my books. I’m not supported by academia or have a lucrative corporate job – I’m just a mystical modern-day hermit trying to live out the life I believe God has called me to. So, any support you choose to provide is GREATLY appreciated.
Excerpt from Our Daughter:
“Okay, mom,” Randy said.
“You behave yourself and be nice. You’re lucky to have company while you wait for the doctors.”
The woman turned and started back the way she came.
“The nurse said it would be twenty or thirty more minutes, so we’ll eat quick and be back up here before they take you in, okay?”
“Sorry for him,” the woman said to Katie as she walked by.
As the woman left, Katie noticed the boy moving around again on the bed. Before she realized what was happening, the tiny lump disappeared and she could hear the faint sound of bare hands and feet on the tile floor.
He was low crawling under the beds toward her.
A moment later, Randy popped his head out from under the nearest hospital bed, craning his neck around to look up at her.
“Hello, there,” Katie said.
Randy disappeared back under the bed, the bed sheet draping down almost to the floor. Katie could still see three little fingers pressed to the tile.
“What are you here for?” Katie asked, readjusting her seat in the chair, trying to get the ache in her chest to lessen.
For whatever reason, the wheelchair was really uncomfortable.
“Why are – ”
Randy’s voice trailed off for a moment as he looked around.
“Why are you here?”
“I’m getting my leg fixed,” Katie said. “See?”
Randy poked his head back out from under the bed and looked at the leg she was pointing to.
“What’s wrong with it?”
“The doctor said it’s broken,” Katie said. “Shattered.”
“Can you feel it?” Randy asked, able to stay out from his hiding place.
“I can feel it, but it’s not too bad,” Katie said, then tapped the IV in her arm. “This thing is giving me medicine of some kind for the pain. At least that’s what the nurses said.”
“Why are you – ”
Randy stopped mid-sentence.
He scooted out from under the bed entirely and slowly crept over to er on all fours.
“What are you, some kind of spider?” Katie asked, giggling a little.
“What are you?” Randy echoed.
He was now only about a foot away from her chair and sat there, his legs folded up under him, gawking up at her.
“What are you staring at me for?”
“I’ve never – ”
Randy put out a hesitant hand and ever so gently touched her arm.
“Are you some kind of ghost?”
He looked around again.
“Are you – ”
He leaned in, talking in a whisper.
“Are you dead?”
A nurse came around the corner and stopped abruptly, spotting the empty bed in the far corner where Randy should have been.
“Randy Andrews,” the nurse said, her hands now on her hips. “You get right back into the bed and you stop playing around, please. They are ready for you in surgery.”
Katie watched as Randy scrambled on all fours under the beds and back up onto his, pulling the sheet back over top of himself again.
She started to ask him about his question, but couldn’t get the words out before his parents appeared at the door.
Katie sat there quietly, watching Randy stare back at her from under his sheet. She glanced over at his parents and the nurse, noticed Randy’s dad had no hair on the top of his head.
Are you dead?
What kind of question was that?
The snap of the wheel locks being disengaged on Randy’s hospital bed jarred Katie out of the confusion she was in.
The doctor she’d first seen was now at the door, waiting for Randy.
He was his surgeon.
They wheeled Randy out of the room, his parents following right behind, disappearing to the left, heading for his operating room.
The pre-op room was empty again.
Are you dead?
What kind of crazy question was that?
The nurse came back through the double doors.
“It won’t be long now,” she said.
Katie tried not to think about the dull ache growing just behind her sternum.
The nurse disappeared around the corner as Katie watched the double doors to the operating rooms slowly shut.
Buy my book Our Daughter and begin the adventure of a lifetime, as you uncover the mysteries behind Katie Cadora’s new life after the horrible accident that stole her mother away from her. Will she find sure footing again? Will the pain ever stop? Will she discover the secrets her new foster family are keeping from her? Is the boy’s question right? Is Katie Cadora actually dead?
But, trust me when I tell you, there are deceivers in our midsts! Get started in this bone chilling suspense novel right away and find out why….sometimes….you’re just better off DEAD!