Janiro Hawkins II doesnâ€™t even know Iâ€™m about to shout him out like this, but I think men (especially black men) donâ€™t receive enough praise soâ€¦Janiro, get over it!
Last month, I went to his birthday party and he shared with me that aside from the other million jobs that he has (a full-time, Platinum Bound, the SEAs, the magazine, etc.) that he was taking up another one at night.
â€œWhat the heck, Janiro?â€ I said. â€œWhen are you going to get any sleep?â€
â€œItâ€™s just for six months or so,â€ he said in his casual, â€œJaniro-likeâ€, matter-of-fact kind of way. â€œMy wife wants to go back to school.â€
When Janiroâ€™s wife arrived, I didnâ€™t have any shame. I praised him in front of both of them. â€œGirl, you have such a good man. Heâ€™s such a good provider.â€
I remember when I went to their wedding. I knew Janiro well enough, but it wasnâ€™t until that party that I went from liking him to truly honoring him for being the godly husband that he is and for reminding me to set a standard and wait on God to manifest it. I wholeheartedly believe that Janiro knows Godâ€™s purpose for a husband to be willing to make that sacrifice to provide for his helpmate, but I also believe that there is something about Mrs. Hawkins that, like Jacob did for Rachel, makes Janiro want to work for her. Thereâ€™s something about her thatâ€™s worth it.
My interceding partner and I are doing a study right now on â€œasking, seeking and knockingâ€ when it comes to mate selection. It really opened my eyes when God led me to research what those words really mean, mostly because they are not gender-sensitive. So many women think that getting a husband requires no effort/action on our part, but there are so many references in the Bible when it did (Esther and Ruth, for example). We ALL are called to â€œask, seek and knockâ€, but what really hit me like a ton of bricks was when God took me to the verse that so often we women use out of context to justify why we need to sit around whining, nagging, twiddling our thumbs and being divas:
â€œHe who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.â€—Proverbs 18:22 (NKJV)
The three words that trip me out are â€œfindâ€, â€œgoodâ€ and â€œfavorâ€. Actually â€œwifeâ€ trips me out too, but Iâ€™ll get to that in a second.
How many times have you heard a girl say, â€œI ainâ€™t gonna do nothinâ€™. Itâ€™s his job to FIND meâ€? Shoot, if you were listening to me babble in the past on the issue, Iâ€™m sure you heard me say it at least once—in ignorance. Oh, but look at what the word means:
FIND: to come upon by chance; meet with; to locate, attain, or obtain by search or effort; to locate or recover (something lost or misplaced); to discover or perceive after consideration; to succeed in reaching; arrive at; to bring (oneself) to an awareness of what one truly wishes to be and do in life; come upon after searching; find the location of something that was missed or lost; make a discovery, make a new finding.
First of all, that means there is more than one way to find someone, right? Not necessarily will she be the girl youâ€™ve dated since high school; she may be the woman you just met at work (chance). Not necessarily will she be someone new; she may be your ex (recover). Not necessarily will she be the Coca-Cola bottle youâ€™ve always had a preference for; she may be â€œthickerâ€ than that (perceive after consideration). Not necessarily will she be a love at first sight; she may be the one who you realize sees/supports your vision (awareness of what one truly wants).
In other words, donâ€™t limit when or even how your â€œgood thingâ€ can come to you. Not knowing how to â€œfindâ€ her could cause you to miss out (which is why I provided the definitions).
That alone is revelatory enough, but letâ€™s go a little further.
According to Solomonâ€™s wisdom and Godâ€™s inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16), a man who â€œfindsâ€ a wife, finds something â€œgoodâ€:
GOOD: morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious; right; proper; fit; genuine; not counterfeit; reliable; dependable; responsible; kind, beneficent, or friendly; educated and refined; (WOW) financially sound or safe; not spoiled or tainted; free of distress or pain; comfortable; close or intimate; warm; competent or skillful; clever; socially proper; fertile; rich; loyal; attractive; advantageous; satisfactory for the purpose; remaining available to one
I donâ€™t know about you guys, but I look at a lot of marriages and I wonder if this check list even crossed the husbandâ€™s mind before getting married. I often tell people that a single woman (who desires to me married) greatest job is to make sure she is a GOOD WIFE when she is â€œfoundâ€. But being that I could be found â€œby chanceâ€ or â€œrecoveryâ€ or â€œafter considerationâ€ or (my personal favorite) â€œafter a man discovers what he truly wishes to be in lifeâ€ that means that I must ALWAYS be in wife preparation. I need to be morally excellent NOW. I need to be genuine (not perfect, but real) NOW. I need to be responsible NOW. I need to be educated NOW. I need to be financially sound NOW. I need to be unspoiled NOW. I need to be someone who is free of distress NOW. I need to be warm NOW. But what I love most about being â€œa good thingâ€ is that I am to be satisfactory for a manâ€™s purpose spiritually, professionally, relationally, intimately and otherwise. And, because I never really know how or when I will be found, I need to remain single (whole, complete, alone) so that when he comes, I am only available to only one; him (hey, you can get mad if you want to, but Iâ€™m just translating what the definition says).
So let me stop there. My motivation for even penning this in the first place is because I have some â€œplay brothersâ€ who are in a season where they are asking God for a wife. Their desire is what motivated me to write this. As I think of all, well most of them, the thing that have in common is that they are wonderful men with a weakness for women. That alone can jack up oneâ€™s discernment (because of course the Enemy would want to use whatâ€™s supposed to bless you to curse you), but after they shared some of their horror stories, I wonder how many qualities of â€œgoodâ€™ these gals actually had (yes, I know they have some issues too, ladies, but this is a letter to the fellas). I could go down a whole list of â€œWhat were you thinking?â€ responses Iâ€™ve had to their â€œShellie, can you believe she did/said such and suchâ€ but more than anything, since Proverbs 18:22 says that wives are to bring favor to a man, â€œplay brothersâ€, how is sleeping with you, phone stalking you, chasing you by land, air and sea, pimping you by making you their gigolos (i.e., buying you stuff all of the time) or stressing out helping you accomplish what God called you to do in this earth: FULFILL YOUR PURPOSE.
Iâ€™ll tell you what: As someone who is doing her own â€œasking, seeking and knockingâ€, if thereâ€™s one thing God keeps bringing to my mind is that with obedience comes revelation. Plainly put, some of this stuff has only come to me since I have taken a full and complete vow of abstinence; not just from sex (although if I can do it, YOU ALL CAN DO IT), but from premature intimacy as well—on any level.
When God said that to obey is better than to sacrifice (I Samuel 15:22), do you know that he meant? If you are obedient to doing things his way, you donâ€™t have to sacrifice your time, your energy, your emotions, your talent, your purpose when it comes to dealing with us women. Again, a wife is meant to BRING FAVOR, NOT DEPLETE YOU and since we are to have proper wife characteristics upon your arrival, a good way to weave out the counterfeits is by determining how much favor they bring into your world nowâ€¦right nowâ€¦at this very moment.
FAVOR: friendly or well-disposed regard; goodwill; the state of being approved or held in regard; excessive kindness or unfair partiality; preferential treatment; to deal with, treat, or use gently; on the side of; in support of; to one’s credit or advantage.
Even right now, as a single woman with male friends, I ask God to have them see me from a favorable position, which I will be honest with you, until recently, I never really thought about. Most certainly, because I now know that I am â€œa good thingâ€, Iâ€™m aware that Iâ€™m not called to be a helpmate to all, just one, but I do believe that personal relationships, when they are healthy, should set a standard. If I am to have faith that God can do exceedingly above all I could ask or think with my own future companion (Ephesians 3:20), then I have to show my FAITH by putting it to WORK now (James 2:17). If I want my â€œplay brothersâ€ to have a good woman and be able to detect/discern/desire good fruit (Galatians 5:22-23), I have to be loving, joyful, PEACEFUL, PATIENT, kind, good, FAITHFUL (to God and to myself), GENTLE and exhibit SELF-CONTROL (in word and deed) even in my casual relationships so that they can know that when God says that he can do above all that they can think of when it comes to what they want in a woman, he can—and will. Yes, if they do this wife search thing his way, itâ€™s possible. A good wife is not idealistic, but realistic for those who live in Godâ€™s kingdom and follow his rules:
â€œBut, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed].â€—I Corinthians 2:9 (AMP)
Just yesterday, I was telling my mom the moment I â€œfell in loveâ€ with Dr. Phil. A prostitute was on Oprahâ€™s show and she was crying about how much she wanted to stop. Dr. Philâ€™s response? â€œNo you donâ€™t. If you wanted to stop, you would.â€
Single fellas, itâ€™s easy to say you want a wife, a helpmate, a good thing but if you canâ€™t get a hold of your flesh, if youâ€™re still flirting around with counterfeits, if you are not open to letting God bring someone to complete his vision for your life and not just appease your eyesight (remember, God made sex so if youâ€™re obedient, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to how she looks anyway), I have to go with Dr. Phil on this one: NO YOU DONâ€™T. IF YOU DID, YOU WOULD ACT LIKE IT.
ASK, SEEK, KNOCK, my kings. I have no doubt in my Heavenly Father that you will be amazed with what youâ€™ll FIND.
Â©Shellie R. Warren/2007