By: Lanisha Porter
I’m the type of woman who most likely will prepare my very own vows for our special day because there’s so much I’ll have to tell you. First, I will tell you how year after year I’ve placed a deadbolt on the floodgate to my sea, so no one could trespass and go pearl-diving in the treasures that only belong to you. Occasion after occasion, I’ve carried myself in such a manner that you would be more than proud to make me the very reflection of you, as your wife. The world is a small town so maybe we have crossed paths, not knowing the inseparable link of destiny we would one day share. Maybe we share the same friends or run in the same circle of associates. Wherever you are, I know God has started a good work in you. I know because I have prayed that he has. I pray about you maybe as much as I pray for myself.
I pray constantly that as my purpose and life partner you are conscious, kind, considerate, and embody the abilities to head our household with wise leadership. I pray that you make a healthy, present, and responsible father for the seeds that will continue whatever legacy we start. When praying about you I get very detailed and I trust that God will fulfill those desires of my heart. However, like many women I wonder about your willingness to commit solely to me and be faithful, uninterrupted by sexual temptations. I know men are weak and are tempted in their flesh. Therefore, I’ve prayed heavily that you may come to me disciplined with willpower. Perhaps now you are a “YOLO” type of guy, and choose to live out your life through a series of sexual pleasures looking to find happiness, power, and/or contentment. If you haven’t already found that lower-lusts only offer temporary comforts, while severely cutting down on future opportunities, I trust that soon you will. It takes a rare breed of man—who has completely surrendered his worldly curiosities to the will of God—to be family-oriented without any side action, but I trust you to be that man. I trust you are disciplined. When the man is easily distracted it creates a breakdown in the all-important family unit and creates unstable homes, not conducive to healthy, or strong homes. If we don’t have a safe home for our children, they start off at a disadvantage and I’m sure it’ll take its toll on us as professionals also.
Speaking of professionals, I’m very ambitious if you haven’t already figured out. I left home at the tender age of 18, to go climb the ladder of success in New York, in the name of education. Truthfully, you never have to worry about me cheating on you with another man. However, I admit that at times your rival for my attention may be jerked between my passions, personal ambitions, and career. I’m the type of woman who wants it all….the professional success and personal success, but to be honest…I would choose to follow my dreams and abandon love if ever forced to. You see, aloneness isn’t a foreign thing to me in my life. I’m not afraid to stand in isolation because I know who my Father is. Through The Lord I have been led a long ways, and I’ve never depended on the company of others to feel validated in my existence. Also, I think it’s important for women to follow their dreams.
For many years, the woman’s identity was confined to marriage, and motherhood. Though both are very honorable and beautiful crowns to wear, I want my life to expand beyond that. I feel very strongly about the woman owning her power and having a choice in her own life. My attitudes are very firm and reflective in many of my behaviors. I bask in the freedoms I have to: dress how I want, attend church in whatever attire I prefer, drive myself around wherever, color my hair freely, manage my own bank accounts, attend school, vote, own my sexuality and so much more. I am very much a feminist in the sense I advocate for equality between men and women in the political, social and economic spheres of society. I know for you this could be a bit…unsettling. Well, luckily for you I’m learning to temper those attitudes. Not for the sake of your pride, but for the sovereign power of love. I’ve learned that when you enter a relationship with another person, it’s like a social contract that you must adhere to. In order for a relationship to be successful, you must give up certain individual freedoms in the name of love. I’ve realized that if I want longevity in a relationship or in marriage, I can’t constantly flaunt how independent I am and consistently challenge your manhood for the sake of feeling powerful myself.
In return, I expect for you to pack away your Macho Man attitudes. As my husband, I will commit to being your life partner, friend and wife. I do not take vows to be subservient to you, nor do I take vows to be dominated by you or feel smaller next to you. If you are hungry I will feed you; if you are sick I will go out of my way to care for you; if your means are limited I will pick up the tab. But understand, none of this is because I am your personal attendant or domestic servant. It’s all from a place of genuine consideration, love, care and respect. Speaking of being hungry and feeding you, I’m not really a cook. BUT, I am learning. Whenever I do cook, I am being coached by a YouTube video or step-by-step recipe stolen from Google. I’ve never really had to cook. It’s actually ironic that most men in my life have always cooked for me, given the gender-roles of our society. Being that I am making an effort to learn to cook, I hope I’m marrying the type of man who also knows how to cook for himself. If you’re hungry I hope that your hands will be just as willing to prepare a meal, as mine would be. We can even cook together.
You will also be glad to find that your money will not mean much to me. This is said often but hardly ever meant. But I really mean it, baby. Here’s why: Firstly, you know at this point that you’re marrying a woman who will always have a stash of her own money put away (that she may or may not let you know about). Secondly, a man’s character means more to me than his bank roll. My father is one who I think is a world-class model of what it means to be a noble character, both in private and public. If someone needs rent paid he pays it; he goes to sporting events and is the cheerleader for the student who just lost a parent, or the one who never has someone in the stands rooting for them. He picks up the trash around the neighborhood, lends out the couch to the family member struggling to get on their feet and most importantly, he planted all his seeds with one woman. My father is a world-class man, however, all that he is and all that he deserves isn’t reflected in his annual salary. Growing up and seeing that all the “world-class men” don’t make six-figures quickly taught me not to write off the ones with lesser incomes. So in all actuality, your bank roll will not be the determining factor on whether I’ma roll with you or not. Nevertheless, you still have to hold up your side of all the financial responsibilities just as I do mine.
Over time I know life will punch us with challenges but I hope you are willing to stay bound to me through it ALL. That cord of destiny that links us, I pray that you never aim to break from its captivity. Right now I am a mere 128-pounds with a cute toned frame and slight curves. It’s easy to love that. But after I bear children and lightning marks have left their imprints, will you still love my body? It matters to me that you may be sensitive to the changes my body goes through and still love me the same. I too will return the same love to you. My love will not be discouraged through the times of your razor bumps, pot belly stomach or even in moments of poor hygiene.
Out of all the things to know about me, I want you to know you have a partner who knows perseverance. I know that in love we will be sure to see and experience the lows, the highs, and the in-betweens of each other’s hearts. But, when I get on your nerves, still love me. When I disagree with you, continue to love me. When I act unlovable, please stay close to me anyways. Please do not give in to the impulse to jump ship; please do not let outside influences advise you toward anger; please do not resort to extreme conclusions without communicating with me. Please have mercy and grace on me because I will be sure to mess up as your wife. I beg of you to not place that ring on my finger if you cannot persevere through the seasons of discomfort and turbulence. If your capacity to love cannot overlook my flaws and shortcomings do not pretend you can. Do not marry me hoping to grow into feelings you truly don’t have. I am preparing to love you as though 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 offers we should. The summer of 2015, I spent most of it learning about unconditional love and studying the word while going into prayer to ask God to show me how to love in a culture of lust and circumstantial love. Because of God, and the example of love he provides daily, I know about unconditional love. Even when you fail to stimulate me I will still love you.
The strength it has taken to stand the way I stand has been nothing short of hard. I spent many days curled in fetal positions exchanging my pain for sleep because I have been burnt too many times before. But even in all of that, my confidence outlined all that I hadn’t even become yet. So many men have mistaken for me a collector’s item and have opted to place me on a shelf and come back for me at their convenience. One time I actually did wait a little over two years, and that taught me the greatest lesson of all: never play Merry-Go-Round with a roll-coaster guy. In other words, never wait on a guy who has already missed his chance. You—Mr. Right—couldn’t have come in if I was occupying space for Mr. Wrong. Many men have agreed and respected me for being a good and rare woman, but hardly any wanted to honor me with the sacrifice of “right now.” Instead, they pulled a Bryson Tiller and sent up prayers to God asking that I may wait for them while they finished shopping around. After being shelved time after time, my faith did start to waiver. I wondered if it was better to be a “collector’s item” who gets pushed to the back of the shelf and gets attention later, or the “right-now item” crowded at the front of the shelf who got attention now.
Secretly, I wanted to hate all men because they were all the same, I felt. I know all of them didn’t intend to hurt me, but they did because they all chose to save me for later instead of now. I knew deep down inside, I should’ve been somewhat grateful that they at least had the decency to be honest with me, even when it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. For a while I thought I wanted all the men I had ever been involved with to simply be honest with me, and that’s what I demanded. Many of them complied. But truth is, I wanted them not to be honest, but I wanted them to be different. That way their truths could never hurt me.
Any who, the most persuasive ones left me with very promising sentiments about coming back and making me their wives, starting families, and being power couples but covertly, I declined the offer to be shelved. I would nod and smile, but deep down inside I had already checked out from the dream. I declined to be postponed, rescheduled, delayed, hampered, put in storage, or deferred as if I was theirs! If I was so rare and beautiful, why not give me the attention I deserved and nurture it with their best attention, loyalty and love right now. From all the “not-right-now”s I’ve been fed all my womanhood, I would’ve thought all the men that have crossed my path have worked in God’s time factory. Truthfully, my heart should be jaded but my heart still overflows with optimism, despite past relationships and disappointments. After every loss, as much as I didn’t want to, I had to open my heart back up unless I would’ve missed you. I could’ve stayed tightly closed in a bud—afraid to blossom—but I would’ve never known why I got it wrong so many times.
For a moment in time, I decided that I just would never marry. Not because I didn’t want a husband, but because that was my mechanism for keeping myself safe. I figured once I healed I would retreat to a place of solitude that could transcend any hurt I’ve ever known. I would avoid marriage, dates and new guys looking my way. I was determined to never be interrupted by pain again. Although, the reality of the matter is I was settling to admit to defeat; I was taking the easy way out. I didn’t want to be bitter but I didn’t want to be stupid with my heart so I proceeded forward with courage and caution. So just know, because of old pain, my wisdom has become plentiful; and as a wife…your wife, I will be strong enough for you to lean on; I will be wise enough for you to seek counsel from; I will be fun enough for you to laugh with. I have not come this far to meltdown emptyhanded. I want a love so electrifying, pure and enduring that the energy of it could windmill one thousand blades. In order to achieve that love, I need you to be willing to suffer through the adversities found in the climb with me. Be confident in knowing I am worth it. You may have fears about what you will be missing once we seal the deal but stand in faith that you are marrying a tremendously special woman.
I look forward to our day but know you are marrying a woman who means business. As my reflection, my partner, and my husband I will hold you accountable but it will be worth it. As my husband, it will be both easy and hard. Easy because I will not judge you on a spectrum of how much money you can make, how many muscles you have, how big your ego is, or even your aesthetics. Your wife is not attracted to the cultural idea of maleness that most women have been conditioned to seek. Truthfully, I’m not even looking to you for ultimate happiness; I anticipate that you will disappoint me but I come ready to have mercy on you in those times. Because of my Father, sent through Jesus Christ, I wear the greatest and most virtuous crown of all as His daughter, and that is more important to me than your ring. If you feel offended by that, perhaps you have not submitted to God in the way you need to to lead as my husband. And you see, this is why it will be hard to be my husband at times; because I hold you accountable and I ask the hard questions that others shy away from because they require you to dig deep. Comparatively, I ask that you do not look to me for your ultimate happiness. If you are basing our marriage on how great of an ornament I will be then I will fail you. I don’t want to do my make-up each day for you, and I don’t want my marriage to be a series of pageants competing for your eye. If so, your excitement will die, I will be exhausted and ultimately the marriage will fail. Alternatively, please judge me on a spectrum of my character, my kindness toward others, the willingness of my hands to do work, my resiliency to still gleam with hope after brutal disappointment, my intelligence and the spirit I have for The Lord.
I’m a lot I know…but I just had to let you know. Possibly you can relate to and echo everything I have said above…maybe women are “shelving” you too. Or maybe, you are the guy I don’t like and fall in line with the ones mentioned above that do the “shelving.” But until I meet you, you will continue to be in my prayers, and my thoughts. I now know that there’s nothing else I can do to make myself more available for you. There’s also nothing more you can do. Everything now is just a matter of having patience and a matter of having learned all the lessons we need to in order to be ready for that moment. And please know, everything I ask of you, I too am working on in myself. That way, when we finally fall in spiritual alignment the symmetry of destiny will be undeniable.
Welcome to my views from this horizon!