One subject that seems to show up a lot in the Christian manosphere when talking about Christian women is “The List.” You know, the long bullet-point list containing everything that a young Christian woman expects, nay, demands from a potential suitor. Unclear on the concept, or your memory fuzzy? Here is an example of such a list:
I have been very good this year, and I would really like it if you would bring me a husband who:
Is working to become just like Christ
Will love me just the way I am
Speaks several languages and plays several instruments
Will look past my inadequacies to see only my inner qualities
Will not be so carnally minded that he will care about the way I look
Isn’t interested in money
Can support me in the style I would like to be accustomed to
Is completely sold out for God
Will let me be myself
I know these are very righteous things to desire, and I have been patiently waiting and have not compromised my standards, so can you please reward my faithfulness now? Thank you.
This list is somewhat tongue in cheek, but I have seen similar lists like it before. So it isn’t completely out of line or uncommon. What is uncommon is the commentary which followed this list over at VisionaryDaughters:
Janey apparently hopes that her paragon of glowing character and accomplishments won’t mind that she is (apparently) shallow and materialistic, has qualities buried so deep there’s no danger of anyone ever finding them, is not-quite-sold-out for Christ herself… and is not interested in changing. But then, we don’t really want what we deserve, do we?
So, we make our wish lists and pray that we get Missionary Martyr Malibu Ken for Christmas. But what will we have to offer him? How are we preparing to be what he might need in a wife? How long are our lists of standards and requirements for ourselves?
The authoress of this post demonstrates an awareness of the reality of marriage that is nearly impossible to find in most Christian circles. While they may talk up the game of each spouse supposedly offering themselves to one another, it is almost always the case that the man must give, and accept whatever the woman is will to dole his way.
Our aspirations to be married to fine husbands are good; but then, that’s an aspiration that the Cinderellas and the ugly stepsisters of the world have always had in common. We need to step outside of our imaginary roles as the heroines of our own personal fairy tales, and ask ourselves: Which one am I? Why would the prince choose me?
If only more women asked themselves that final question, the world would be a better place.
The first moral of the story is that beauty is a treasure, but graciousness is priceless. Without it, nothing is possible; with it, one can do anything.
Ladies, we men are attracted to beauty, no doubt about it. We will do incredibly stupid things because of a beautiful woman. But graciousness, or to say it better, femininity, does more than merely attract us, it captivates us. Beauty might capture our eye, but femininity will capture our heart. We may do stupid things for a beautiful woman, but we will do courageous things for a feminine woman.
The reason why I have Ugly in the title in brackets is because not all of the tales of Cinderella involve “Ugly” step-sisters. In one story, “Aschenputtel”, the step-sisters are fair of face, but cruel of heart. And therein lies the lesson: The woman who captures the heart of the prince is not necessarily the most beautiful, but the sweetest, gentlest, kindest… the most feminine. What Cinderella had to offer the prince was something more than mere beauty, but a feminine grace which her step-sisters lacked
Update 2: I forgot to add virtuous to the list of qualities that the prince saw in Cinderella. While they are often linked, and found in the same women, it is not necessarily so.
Also, thanks to lovelyleblanc7 for the link.
Update 3: Haley over at Haley’s Halo has an example of something similar in action.