A Sister’s Letter.
This is my heart for my brothers, and may you, dear reader, cherish these words as if they were from your own elder sister.
I am an elder sister to four brothers. The Lord has truly blessed me by giving me brothers who are amazing, hilarious, fun, strong, kind, tender, protective, intelligent, passionate, honest, and true. They are always there for my two sisters and I when we need to laugh,(or they teach us how to laugh at ourselves) to cry, to vent, to chat, or to simply be with when activities and words are not needed, nor wanted. They are our entertainers, our protectors, our best dates, our rescuers, our playmates, our partners-in-crime, and our best friends.
As we are entering a new season of our lives and the realm of romantic relationships has opened up, I want to share my heart with you concerning girls and the pursuit of a girl’s heart. Not only do you have to live with whomever you marry, but so do I and the rest of the family, and you KNOW how difficult it is to get the good favor of our family…(actually now that I think about it, is that even possible?!)
Many girls have a list of qualities that they want in a husband, but this is a list of the qualities you should have for your future wife, and a few things you should know along the way.
1. Trust God’s timing. He is the Author of Time, so why do we think our timing is better than His?
2. A godly man always waits. You lose nothing by waiting. A girl’s heart needs time and so does your heart. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder- so does time!
3. Allow the Lord to spend your season of singleness. Adam first stood before the Lord alone and so must you before He will bring a tailor-made bride into your life. (p.s. Eve also stood before the Lord alone before He gave her to Adam-singleness is of the Lord!)
4. Trust your family. They know you better than you know yourself. If they say a girl is not right for you, she is really not right for you.
5. Marry a girl who has a steady and deep walk with the Lord. A girl, who has set her hope upon the blood of Jesus, has displayed obedience to the Word of God, and is filled and directed by the Holy Spirit.
6. Marry a girl who does not cling to the idea of marriage. Our lives are not guaranteed day to day, and neither is marriage. If a girl sets her sights on marriage as the answer to her loneliness, she will come to ruin when the marriage ends whether by death or destruction. But a girl who finds her security and value solely in the Lord will not look to you to be her cure or her everything, and will be content being alone. Look for a girl who is joyful within her season of singleness for she will be a rare and precious gem in your life.
7. Find a girl that you love, but do not mistake love for feelings and common interests. Many say that they married their best friend, but as life teaches us, a best friend can change with the passing seasons of life. So find a girl whom you adore. For adoration is a fixed, deep, abiding affection for one that is outside of you. Many lovers have the butterflies, the obsession, the chemistry of what they call love, and some were the very best of friends for the equality of friendship brought them together, but dear brothers, both may marry without affection. Affectionate love-being the warm, tender, and abiding love for one-does not change with seasons, or circumstances, or time, or distance. It is an unselfish love for it loves disinterestedly. It is a relationship that does not need “work” for whenever you have this adoration or affection for someone, it does not matter how long it has been, or what has occurred in life, for when you greet that person that you adore, you pick up right where you left off and it is as if nothing has changed. It is a quiet love, this adoration, but it is a love that will last and will still laugh at your Goofy voice after 27 years of marriage.
8. Marry a girl who adores you. Do not marry a girl who is simply in love with you for her own sake, or for popularity, or incredible good looks, or for the security of a relationship. A girl who marries for her own sake is not a girl who will respect you or honor you, because she will always be more concerned with her own rights and will…in short, do not marry a selfish or prideful girl.
9. Always protect and cherish purity. Do so in your own life, a girl’s life, and in the relationship that the Lord gives you. But do not mistake innocence for purity. Purity is what the Lord gives when one has been transformed by the power of the Cross. Innocence is just the absence of knowledge or experience and while it is a good attribute, it speaks nothing and gives nothing. Purity speaks of Jesus, of truth, and power and gives light, and grace, and strength to those that choose to be pure in a world that is saturated with lust, perversion, and immorality. May your lives overflow with a purity that is found in the old bloody cross!
10. Marry a girl who has a heart ready for adventure and travels well. You can always tell the worth of a person by HOW they travel. (Are they patient, kind, and gracious when they are sleep deprived, starving, dirty, and just found that their plane was delayed or canceled and are being rerouted through Egypt…”)
Our family is unique in that we have traveled much for our ages. At least find someone who has been outside of Wisconsin, preferably outside of America. A well-traveled girl will appreciate the little things about you because you have been changed because of your travels. Vacations to Mexico do not count. In fact, I would be okay having sisters-in-law from other countries. And travel all that you can with your wife.
11. Marry a girl who deeply desires to be a wife and a mother. A girl who wants those two wonderful things is actually a girl who is satisfied in being a woman. She has accepted her God-given femininity and will not strive to be as a man or compete for a man’s role. A woman being a woman is beautiful, so do not marry a girl who feels the need to be show up the guys, or dress like a man. Watch how she treats her dad, her brothers, and her grandparents. How she treats the closest men in her life is how she will treat you someday. Is she honorable? Does she selflessly give of her time, and energy, and resources? Is she polite, mannered, and dignified in how she treats strangers, or is in public? You all know that a girl who burps or passes gas, or has potty humor will not be welcomed into this family under no circumstance. Is she a conversationalist? Does she dress well? A girl who is fashionable will always want to look her best no matter how her body changes through the years.
12. Be a man. A real man. The man that God created you to be means you need to be like Jesus. Stand up for the vulnerable, protect the weak and innocent, cherish life, walk humbly, act justly, trust and obey the Lord. Each one of you is going to be an incredible husband, (a part of me wants to clone certain aspects of each of you and make the perfect husband) and a wonderful father. Each of you is amazing with kids, and kind to those like Doris, and you always treat Molly, Sifu, and I with dignity and honor. Look to Jesus and live by His Spirit that you may be the man who is most like Jesus in our generation.
Sethy, Sam, Weeb, and Naolie,
Tilly, Sifu, and I will be forever grateful for your humor, strength, and vigilance in being our brothers.
With deep, abiding, and affectionate love,