My mind kind of wandered today during the last hymn (which is one of my favourite hymns):
How sweet and awesome is the place
With Christ within the doors...

I'm not exactly sure what I usually picture when singing this hymn, but today (especially after communion), I was suddenly thinking of a bride coming to her husband. Sweet, yes, and also awesome -- tinged with a righteous dread. The picture was lovely. And as I thought about it, I realized that it's going to be hard for a man to live up to that picture which I have of Christ and His church.

Oh, I know that I'm a sinner. I don't deserve to be married to a perfect man (even if I could find one!)

But at the same time, I'm HIS. I belong to the God of the universe. My Father is the King of all creation... I'm not going to run off with some bozo. My Brother, my Betrothed, is the Conqueror of Death itself.

I began thinking of other standards which I have for men. So I'll go on, chancing the sort of response which Marion is given in The Music Man.
(I know all about your standards
And if you don't mind my sayin' so
There's not a man alive
Who could hope to measure up to that blend'a
Paul Bunyan, Saint Pat and Noah Webster
You've got concocted for yourself outta your Irish imagination,
Your Iowa stubbornness, and your liberry fulla' books!)

Other images of what my husband should be...
Mr. Darcy.

Mr. Darcy for steadfastness. Calvin for commitment to God's word. Merlin for enchantment. Luther for reformation. Aragorn for being the Ranger-King. Arthur for High-Kingness.

Aragorn, I think, most typifies all of the characteristics, because I think that he is the most Christlike.

So then I started thinking... I'm giving some guy quite the list of men to live up to. What do I need to be asking of myself?

Am I preparing myself to be Elizabeth Bennet? Do I have the spunk and lively wit? Am I cultivating that?
How about Idelette? Most of my knowledge of her comes from Edna Gerstner's book Idelette. Am I being that Godly?
If I want Merlin, am I ready to be Nimue, to have mysteries of my own? Our culture, I think, has gotten away from that -- with feminism and the devaluing of women. Victoria's Secret leaves no kind of secrets at all, and that's a shame.
Oh, and then Katerina Von Bora! How about THAT kind of spunk and commitment to God's Word? Am I there?
Can I be Arwen to Aragorn? That wise, that patient, and that willing to give up myself for him?
And Guinevere is along the lines of what NOT to do. Since I don't want to be the unfaithful queen, what am I doing to prepare my own heart to be steadfast? Am I learning faithfulness and integrity which would keep me far from such sin?

Am I learning the things which will make me an excellent wife? Am I learning to be the Bride of Christ? Yes, I have high standards for the man who I will marry.

But I also have high standards for myself. Because God does.

What are your standards?


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