This past summer I proposed to my girlfriend of six years. We’ve been together through high school, several years of distance throughout college, and now we’re tackling medical school. Being that we’ve been together for what we consider a very long time, I wanted to really show my heart in my proposal. So that’s exactly what I did. I wrote a spoken word tailored to her heart, her character, and the way she has impacted all of those in her path.
We shared our proposal video on Facebook and were overwhelmed with gratitude by the outpouring of love and blessings we received. As congratulations rolled into our inboxes there was one trend that stuck out… the impact that the words I had spoken had on young women.
My fiancé, Alli, and I at first thought nothing of it, but as the trend grew we felt a conviction building up inside of us that it should not be this way. I simply spoke to the heart and character of a woman I’ve had the blessing of doing life with for six years. Why was recognizing where God has gifted her, and actually speaking to that, seemingly heroic? The least I could do was identify and acknowledge her unique callings and potential that God has put on her life.
I found myself hesitant to write this. A man writing to women about possible offensive things in the reactive year of 2018… what could possible go wrong? But after much thought and conviction I knew I needed to.
Here’s what I desperately want to tell you ladies: you are worth more, so expect more.
Now hear me, I know it is a terribly hard time to be a Christian woman seeking a man of value, faith, and integrity. I also understand that the world we live in is filled to the brim with little boys disguised by a man’s body, an occupation, and facial hair. One of my deepest convictions in life is to impact a generation of men to rise up to and fulfill the role that God has called them to, but ladies… we need you.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. [Genesis 1:27]
My favorite preacher, Matt Chandler, puts it this way, “since the imago Dei [Image of God] is true, then you as a woman should view yourself as extremely valuable and should never treat yourself cheaply because you have been made in the image of God.”
Did you read that correctly? Because you are made in His image according to Genesis 1, you are extremely valuable. Do you see yourself as extremely valuable? What would your hypothetical barcode ring up as? The issue that I see in too many young women’s lives is that they allow themselves to belittle their own value and needs far too easily.
I think those closest to me would consider me a pretty productive and driven person. I rarely shy away from a challenge and enjoy seeing progress around me. I’m currently tackling medical school, running a business, and helping plan a wedding. Now I do not say that as a humble brag, what I am getting at is this… Even though I have an immense value for hard work and productivity, I still see that my heart has a natural bent towards the path of least resistance, and I have seen that in most men, make that humans, that I know.
The height at which you set the bar for your future husband, and any man that desires to pursue you, matters. If you set the bar one foot off the ground any little boy that can skip will make it over. A few feet? Same story. We LOVE the path of least resistance, it is engrained in our hearts. But with the right expectations, a full-grown man can and will jump higher. The little boy will go searching for a lower bar.
It is not wrong of you to expect a man to lean into your heart, to be attentive to your gifts, to be secure enough in himself to tell you you’re beautiful, and to strive to love you with his whole heart like Christ loves the church (though often times executed imperfectly.) The expectation need not be perfection, that is impossible, but the bar must be raised. I cannot stand hearing that chivalry is dead, or that ALL men are the same… it simply is not true. Those who say it often need to realize that they are fooling around in the kiddy pool, and it is time to dive into the deep end.
Raising the bar will require diligence and patience. The pool of prospects will be smaller. But you are worth it. God sees an immense amount of value in you as a woman. Nothing better exemplifies this than the fact that he chose Mary Magdalene to be the first to tell of his resurrection in John chapter 20, which was completely counterintuitive to the time period. You most likely will grow weary. You probably will desire a companion in your singleness. That is normal, but do not settle. Men that are striving to grow in their faith, learning to love, and seeking to grow alongside a companion for the long haul exist and they will be willing to jump if you raise the bar. If you need an example look no further than Boaz in the book of Ruth, a man of integrity, compassion, and love.
You as a woman play an integral part in helping boys become men through their expectations. Collectively raising the bar will help bring about a new generation of men, and we desperately need men willing to step into the roles God has created them for. Expect more, because you are worth more. Treat yourself like you are created in the image of God and expect men to do the same.
Raise the bar, wait for your Boaz.
- Quinn Rivera // Humbled Daily Co-founder, doctor in training and aspiring professional lover of life.