BougieLand, please take a
pew seat, we're going to have to go to church today. My good friends BB and Jayme have turned over matchmaking duties to their husbands. The husbands Mocha Dude and Mr. C have been cooking up a formula on what makes a match for Michele. They've learned a few things with their test runs this weekend:
Men who pronounce Michele like there's an A in it and it's a three syllable word "Ma-shell-el" - no bueno. That's just one of my quirks. I don't think Michele is an uncommon name. Respect me enough to pronounce it correctly.
The first question a man asks me cannot be - so why aren't you married yet?
And now we have discovered that if a brother wants to step to me on the biblical tip, he needs to be prepared to answer in kind. I shared a few conversations with a gentleman we'll call Barry. Barry did talk a good game. A little humor, a little banter, a little wit, a few serious getting to know you topics sprinkled in. Barry gave good phone.
Then Barry announced that he was sending an email he really wanted me to read and think about. I immediately thought "ruh-roh" what is it that you're sending in an email that you can't just say on the phone? Generally it's something you're worried about what reaction you're going to get. So when the email came with the title "What I'm really looking for" - I was already in a wary frame of mind.
He started out talking about his missing rib. [Sidebar: Men, please don't. We mean it.] And then went on to say that women today "have moved away from traditional morals and values" and he wants a "woman who understands what is to walk in faith with her man." He required "a Proverbs 31 woman" [yes he bolded and underlined] and would accept no less. He cut and paste the verses (just in case I was unfamiliar). For your reading pleasure and edification ladies and gents:
Hymn to a Good Wife Proverbs 31:10-31
A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than rubies.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn't worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things,
but you've outclassed them all!"
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!
I have nothing against Proverbs 31 - I think it's a great aspirational lesson when put into modern-day context. There are classes, workshops and entire movements dedicated to teaching ladies how to be a Proverbs 31 woman. But my question was this... If I'm to bring Proverbs 31 to the table, whatchu comin' with? So I sent him a text, "Are you willing to be an Ephesians 5 man?" He said, "I don't follow." I said, "Look at up."
Ephesians 5: Relationships
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage.
No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That's how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become "one flesh." This is a huge mystery, and I don't pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.
**crickets** As in, I haven't heard back from him. Mocha Dude informed me that Barry told him that my personality was "too confrontational" and I wasn't an "evolved Christian woman." Reading between the lines, no one ever challenged him after he presented the Proverbs? Seriously?
This is something I want both single men and women to get their heads around (and step their games up): Please know your market value and your expectations and be able to articulate them. But FURTHERMORE, mix a little realism in with your optimistically high standards. If I have aces showing, don't bluff me holding a pair of kings. Assume I have a full house and fold. For those that don't play poker, how many other analogies can I draw? Don't bring a knife to a gun fight. You only get free champagne in first class. You shouldn't put cubic zirconia in a platinum setting. Don't expect to eat if you didn't contribute to the meal. How are you expecting Wonder Woman and your cape ain't ready yet, Alfred?
Put plain - don't send a three page dissertation about what you expect and need from a woman if you're not willing to hold up your end. I call complete and total bullshiggity on that. According to Proverbs 31 - I'm up before dawn making flapjacks, gardening, helping the poor and scrubbing the hearth but you sir are radio silent on giving me my Christ-like love? For real though?
Now the Good Lord knows, I have a ways to walk to own my Proverbs-31-ness but before someone can hold that up as a standard he expects me to meet, he's gotta show me a hint of some Ephesians 5-ness about himself. What I mean is, if I'm going all in on my virtuous queenliness you gotta do more than sit on the throne to earn your crown, my king.
I was discussing this with BougieMom. She has several thoughts about the Proverbs 31 woman. She said, "The Proverbs 31 woman is an ideal that few ever get close to. She's supposed to be married, but I don't see how. She's doing a lot. I don't see how she has time to wash her face and breathe. Any man expecting a Proverbs 31 woman needs to have just come off the cross himself." That's 78-year old wisdom from a woman who was married for 40+ years.
As you may have noticed, receiving these verses got me a little heated. I've spoken at length on this blog at my frustration and ire with people (in this case men) who expect a Black Barbie with bangin' body, brains, bank, burn and bed skills to boot when they are sidewindin' in with a wink, a smile and nothing else. Possession of a penis nets you no points. Not up in here. Ditto to the cute chicks thinking that pretty entitles you to a princess complex. Cute don't last all day.
[Blogger's note: Contemplates additional rantings and ravings here, decides she's said enough] Woo-sah. Relax, relate, release. Talk back to me, bougies. What say you? It is still about being equally yoked right? How you gonna preach one part of the Bible and politely ignore the other? What's up with the sending of Bible verses and we haven't met yet? What part of the game is THIS?! I have questions for days but I'm going to let you all freestyle your thoughts, comments and insights on this one. The floor is yours.