Friday, March 14, 2014

To Mr. Brett Shoemaker

Dear Brett,

I read your blog post to your future wife.  First of all, I have to say, you have an awesome name.  Secondly, your heart really seems to be in the right place.  You are well on your way to becoming a man of conviction with a whole lot of respect for women, so, kudos to you.  I am a bit older than you are and already someone's wife, so I had a few comments and constructive criticisms for you that I thought you might find useful. 

I have to say that I absolutely loved how you described beauty as being more than skin deep.  You are right!  We are beautiful because we are made in the image and likeness of God!  Too often women are told we are worthless because we don't look a certain way.  Thank you for standing up and speaking out against that.  However, your beautiful points here were undermined by saying that you would like for her to keep "her goodies" covered.  Calling a woman's body "her goodies" kind of indicates that a woman's body is meant to only be something pleasurable for a man to look at and use.  Also, comparing her body to a car makes her sound like an item to be used.  I know this wasn't your intention, but, with all of the messages out there towards women about how we need to act, dress, behave, etc... to attract a man, you really have to be careful in how you phrase things so that you don't add to this.  Also, inferring that she needs to stay covered strictly for your benefit makes it sound like her body is only worthwhile in how it relates to you.  In the future, I suggest emphasizing that you will also be making sure that you are dressing modestly to make sure that you are working equally as hard to keep your body veiled and saved for her.  Purity and modesty aren't just for women.  I suggest changing your wording to something like,"I would prefer if you veiled the holiness of your body, and I will do the same and wait to share it only with you."  That emphasizes that you are looking for a woman who is true to herself and also holding yourself accountable.

I think you should also be ready for a wife who never wanted to be a princess.  She may have grown up with only brothers and desperately wanted to be a superhero who saves other people.  She might not want to be rescued from anything.  Speaking from experience, she may rescue you just as much as you rescue her.  Also speaking from experience, she might pursue you.  Hey, she might already be pursuing you!  My life didn't go anywhere near like I expected it to.  Life is messy and full of surprises.  Be open to what God has in store for you, even if it isn't the Fairy Tale you imagine.

The part of the letter about how things won't always be good but you will get through with prayer and the grace of God was beautiful.  I also can't commend you enough for your comments about how you won't hold her past against her.  That shows a true maturity and desire to love someone unconditionally.  Kudos to you.

I hope that you find my comments useful and will use them to help make sure that women aren't marginalized or ever made to feel like their value comes from how a man, even her husband, perceives her.  I will say a few prayers for you and your future wife, and I wish you luck in finding her and on your future vocation.  Marriage is more wonderful than I can even describe, especially if you enter it with the maturity and respect you've alluded to in your letter.  May you continue to grow in faith and be the husband you obviously wish to be.

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