A while back, I stumbled upon a post on the Total Frat Move blog which described the “The Perfect Girlfriend.”  (FYI this is one of the most popular websites for college students.) Intrigued by the title and since I am passionate about women knowing their worth in Christ, I clicked on the link and found myself burning with righteous anger at the guy (I won’t call him a man) who would write such demeaning garbage about women. (I won’t do them the honor of including a link to the post because I don’t want to encourage this misogynistic rant.)

In his words, the “perfect girlfriend” would drink whiskey, give sex on demand, never gain weight, and never expect anything of him…ever. (I sincerely apologize for the language, but I gotta call out this ridiculous cheapening of women.) This was single handily the most narcissistic and demeaning piece I’ve ever read.

Honestly, I’m not sure if this guy wanted a girlfriend or a sex slave?

Mind you, these ramblings were from a frat star whose destiny is a receding hair line, beer belly, and a plethora of STDs. (If my anger sounds unChristian to you, then I highly suggest you read what God has to say to men who dishonor women and you’d know I’m being mild.) I also understand that his degraded view of women is the direct result of the porn-saturated world we live in, whereby a woman becomes an object to use rather than a person to adore.

But my concern is not about the dude who wrote the article. My priority in this post, and in life, is for women to know and believe the truth. What burned my biscuits wasn’t that the guy had the audacity to write such awful things about women, but that there are so many women out there who actually think this is okay. My heart breaks for the women who settle for a guy who treats her like an object to be used instead of a treasure to be cherished.

This is not okay.

We’ve gotten to the point in our Tinder/ Hook up culture that many girls consider it enough that a guy would “swipe right” to give her his nod of approval. Ladies, please hear me, you are worth more than a swipe!

You are worth more than a guy thinking you’re hot.

You are worth more than a hook up.

You are worth more than just being some guys cup holder.

I know deep inside women long for more— much more—women long to be cherished.  Until we start owning that fact we will always settle for less.

I think every woman reading this longs for more.

Deep within the heart of a woman, she desires to be chosen—for someone to love, honor, and cherish her . . . till death do they part. Intrinsic to a woman’s nature is the longing for covenant love. There’s a reason women flock to romantic comedies and little girls dress up as their favorite fairy-tale princesses—our souls were fashioned by a God who loves us sacrificially, who says we are worth fighting for. This love story is inscribed upon our very souls.  Perhaps this is why women love weddings so much.

Strip away the glitz and glamor, and a wedding is about one thing: a man laying down his life for his bride. The altar, the aisle, the witnesses, and the rings all point to a covenant. Traditional wedding vows contain three simple yet profoundly beautiful tokens of devotion: The groom stands before God and witnesses at an altar—biblically known as a place of sacrifice (a.k.a. death)—and commits to lay down his life in order to love, honor, and cherish his bride. This vow stands as a picture to the watching world of what Christ did for His bride, the Church. The Christian wedding vow is based in Scripture, where God reveals the mystery that Jesus’ sacrificial love is the model for Christian marriage.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:25–32, NASB

“Love, honor, and cherish . . .” Cherish is hands down my favorite word of the trio. Perhaps I like it because it is not abused and overused like its sister word, love. Nowadays people claim to fall in and out of love within the span of a thirty-minute reality TV show. The word cherish, on the other hand, still has weight. It stands apart as a word- picture of true love in action. To cherish something is to hold it in honor and to place a high value upon it.

Cherish is love wearing work boots.

This love is not the run-of-the-mill emotional love of chick-flick lore, but the love that seeks the best for the other, the covenant-keeping love that puts work behind the words. This is the high and holy calling that the Lord God places on a man who would be entrusted with one of His daughters.

This is sacrificial love.

A recent event taught me a great deal about the intrinsic connection between cherish and value. A week after my wedding, I packed up all my belongings to move from Houston to San Antonio to begin my new life with my husband. The wedding festivities now behind us, it was time to begin our real dance as husband and wife. Movers arrived, loaded box after box of my former single-girl life into a truck, and shipped it off to a storage unit. This move was huge. My whole life was swaddled in bubble wrap. After years of living solo, I’d collected many treasures— items that were especially valuable to me, ones I took special care to protect.

These were not valuable in the materialistic sense of the word, but treasures that held a special place in my heart. Over the years, as I’ve traveled the world in ministry, I’ve collected special objects that remind me of a particular place, person, or experience. While packing these items, I carefully wrapped each one before placing it into a box. Each box was then meticulously marked: Fragile: Handle with care. Breakable. Do not crush. I took this precaution because these objects were cherished.

A few weeks passed and we opened the storage unit to begin the painstaking process of unpacking. Once inside, I discovered the boxes that I had carefully marked Fragile: Handle with care were crushed. As I unpacked and surveyed the damage done by ignored instructions, I sensed God speaking a word to my heart.

“Marian, this is exactly how a generation of my daughters willingly treat themselves. They are my treasures that I paid the highest price to redeem. I cherish them, yet they ignore my instructions, and they are crushed. My heart breaks for their tears, their shame, and their brokenness. I long for them to be treated like treasures, yet they settle for so much less than my best.”

It was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 1 Peter 1:18–20

Ladies, please don’t miss the words “for your sake.” God, who is the ultimate authority, has spoken. You are more valuable than silver or gold, for He paid the highest possible price to rescue you. You were worth the death of the Son of God. When He speaks a commandment to you, He does so to bubble-wrap His treasure in order to protect you.

This is the heart of our heavenly Father, who longs for us to be cherished. He expects you to be honored. He expects your purity to be guarded. Most importantly, your heavenly Father expects a man to love you as Christ loves the church.

May I ask a tough question?

Do you expect the same for yourself?

My prayer in writing this passionate plea from my heart is that many women reading this would wake up and decide they are worth more, far more, than a swipe. You are worth a man who will sacrificially lay down his life at an altar for you. And if some frat star doesn’t think you’re a cool girlfriend because you don’t allow him to treat you like trash, then good riddance …you don’t need to waste another second with a guy who won’t honor you or treat you as God intended.

Trust me, there are real men, Godly men out there who will cherish you.

Sister, please don’t settle.

Much love,

Marian

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