notes to a daughter {love letters}

i stumbled upon this the other day and it made me smile.  as a wedding gift to her daughter & son-in-law, author elisabeth elliot placed her book 'let me be a woman' into her daughter's hands on her wedding day. the book was subtitled 'notes on womanhood for valerie'.  i love reading notes from fathers to sons, mothers to daughters.  it's like watching the baton being passed from one generation to the next.

the book, written in 1970 as feminism was in full swing, was quite controversial for it's time as it provided instruction on femininity in marriage. still not a popular concept these days.

this collection of letters to her newly wed daughter is all about serving God through her calling as a wife.  i hadn't never thought about it that way before.   serving God by serving him.  at the beginning of our marriage, i confession, my soul goal was to convert steve into a little mini-me.  but in my heart of hearts, that's not really what i wanted or needed.  all is growing grace in love. this is why i love these letters so much...

you marry a sinner.  there is nobody else to marry. that ought to be obvious enough but when you love a man as you love yours it's easy to forget.  you forget for a while and then when something happens that ought to remind you, you find yourself wondering what's the matter, how could this happen, where did things go wrong?  they went wrong back in the garden of eden.  settle it once and for all, your husband is a son of adam.  acceptance of him - of all of him - includes acceptance of his being a sinner.  he is a fallen creature, in need of the same kind of redemption as the rest of us are in need of, and liable to all the temptations which are "common to man".

you marry not only a sinner but a man.  you marry a man not a woman.  strange how easy it seems to be for some women to expect their husbands to be women, to act like women, to do what is expected of women.  instead of what they are men, they act like men, they do what is expected of men and thus they do the unexpected.  they surprise their wives by being men and some wives wake up to the awful truth that it was not, in fact, a man that they wanted after all... the world cries for men who are strong in conviction, strong to lead, to stand, to suffer & shoulder the burden of manliness in a time when to do so will often bring contempt.

we are called to be women.  the fact that i am a woman does not make me a different kind of christian, but the fact that i am a christian does make me a different kind of woman.  {elisabeth elliot}

i can only hope to encourage my daughters & sons in their respective femininity & masculinity with the same conviction as elisabeth.  she is at the top of my life list of those that have inspired me {did you know she was widowed twice, married thrice? such a strong woman full of faith!}.

 steve is everything i never thought i needed & wanted. he is the perfect provision of God to me.  there are many great things that i find the provision of God in him... but this one thing i am very glad of... he has never shirked the burden of manliness. thank the Lord that He guides my feet along the path of life.  is there anything more fulfilling than finding your love & living out your calling passionately in grace?

"if you really want to motivate your man and communicate with him, as well as enjoy a fulfilling marriage with him and raise healthy kids with him, stop expecting him to act or think like a woman. he can't do that. nor should he." 
gary thomas, sacred influence

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