(the following refers briefly to the post from March 1, part 4 of this current series)
Valerie Oldfield. Our first encounter had been a near disaster. I had careened into her as I rode my bike wildly down a hill one day. She hit the ground as her papers and books and bag all flew upward in a cacophonous mess. As the dust settled and she found she was still alive, I and she soon realized that we were of a mind. Do you know what that is like? When you humiliate yourself completely in front of another person, and that other person pays you back with good humor and kindness?
I guess it's a gift.
Valerie extended this gift, and was herself a loyal friend from that day (how sad that I seem now to have lost her! Neither Facebook nor Twitter nor even LinkedIn have aided me in finding this vanished lady).
One day she invited me to a Sorority that had asked her to speak to the girls. I brought along my guitar, and with some trepidation walked into that room filled with the Beautiful. There wasn't one among them who couldn't participate in a Miss America pageant (and I didn't even own any makeup). It was scary.
They had asked Valerie to come speak to them about purity. You know, the old fashioned notion that human beings have the capacity to 'wait' for marriage? I know, it sounds like something that would NOT happen at a state university such as OSU. But I am so glad it did! I settled into a couch near the front, and looked up at Valerie as she gathered her notes and began.
As she spoke, she turned our focus toward Expectations pertaining to marriage. We all knew we expected a lot. All sorts of our hopes and dreams depended on it!
Valerie shared that just about every divorce occurs due to some form of unfulfilled expectations. Simple, right? Only I, and the beauties in that room, hadn't really thought of it in that light. We remembered uncomfortably our own lists of things we 'wanted in a man'. How could any man fulfill them all, and keep us satisfied? She asked the girls for examples of their own expectations.
- the right man must be willing to talk to us (whenever we want to talk to him)
- the right man must not get out of shape and needs muscles
- the right man must split the housework straight down, 50/50
- the right man must want to spend time with our friends
- the right man must bring home a substantial paycheck
- the right man must bring me flowers and nice presents and take me to dinner (no matter how much it all costs)
- the right man must get up with the baby and change diapers on demand
Good heavens. If they ever read our lists, they might possibly run screaming from the room.
Valerie ended the talk with the truth that there is Someone Who will fulfill every rightful expectation; that we can look to Him first, for all happiness and contentment; that our real commitment needs to be 'not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think' (Romans 12:3).
Valerie helped a great many of us that day, The girls gathered around her afterward with questions, stories, and requests for more. I feel sure that this one day made a difference, even just a small one, in the way those girls looked into their own futures.
But - I've sort of been wondering if those 'right' men all had lists of their own.. do you think? (uh-oh).
See you along the way!
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/uiowa/8043871846/">The University of Iowa Libraries</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mommypants/252340656/">Nikki McLeod</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>