In this fourth and final installment of the Wonder Woman-inspired, Warrior Woman series, I want to talk about the hardest part of being her: fighting alone.
My favorite part in the film happens in No Man’s Land. Diana runs out into battle and she’s dodging bullets left and right. The enemy realizes that she’s not stopping so they throw down more fire on her. Suddenly she is pinned down with bullets sparking off her shield like fireworks and not a sole around to help her advance in the fight. In that moment, she is helpless.
Images credited to the film “Wonder Woman”, Gal Gadot. Warner Brothers, 2017.
I mentioned this idea in the first blog in this series when I said:
The good news is that Diana isn’t left to fight alone. An Adam does show up for her. The point, though, is that she was not dependent on him to live out her purpose in this world. In fact, sometimes she has to fight alone even when she has him (that’s a story for another day).
Diana did have a man there to fight with her. After her short period of loneliness, he sees her from the sidelines and says to his comrades, “she’s taking all the fire, boys, we have to help her.” He stormed in after her, guns blazing, into No Man’s Land where no man was said to get through it alive. He came to help her and fight with her against the enemy, and it was only after they were together that they were able to defeat the enemy’s hold on the land.
When we are alone, the emptiness fills us with despair. We are tempted to think this time in our life will be endless. We think we will die like this: alone, unseen, unknown, unloved. When we are single and lonely, we think the loneliness will be over when we have a man. We think, “if I just had my person, then I’d be happy”, but it doesn’t work that way.
Loneliness sinks its teeth into us when we are single, but it’s especially cruel when we are married.
Diana wasn’t alone in No Man’s Land. There were allied troops around her, but they were all afraid of storming the land. Even her person did not go with her into that decision at first. If the battlefield represents life and spiritual warfare, if every step Diana took alone represented a year a woman spends alone in a marriage, then this woman had a REALLY LONG TIME of working out life on her own. She was making decisions without him, cooking and cleaning without him, taking care of the kids without him, paying the bills without him, leading the family without him,…etc. Get the point? She had partnered with someone that wasn’t on the same playing field with her at all.
Her man might have been wearing the ring, but she was wearing the pants.
If you remember from the beginning of this series, the term Azer-Kenegdo is meant to refer to a woman in marriage and her purpose as it relates to her husband. I never stressed this before because the meaning of the term was so powerful towards women in general that I didn’t want us to be tempted to think it didn’t apply unless we were married. On the contrary, I believe all women are Azer-Kenegdo women called to love and fight for truth regardless of our relationship status. We are ultimately bearing the image of Christ to a broken world and we prepare ourselves to be with him again.
Being the bride of Christ is the ultimate relationship status for every woman.
Nevertheless, we are tempted to think that loneliness is a thing of the past for a married woman. Why, then, would a married woman still face fighting alone? One of my dearest mentors walked through this in her marriage.
Her husband cheated on her and abused her. She asked him to leave. They divorced. Years down the road, they both found God, healed their hurts, and got remarried. They like to tease that their divorce couldn’t stick. Ladies, it was much more calculating than that. My friend chose to give her husband to God, pray for him, and not speak a single ill word about him. That is HUGE!
I do not have a pretty love story to compare to that. I have swooned over more boys than I can count and filled dozens of journals with my hopeless opines. Yet, none of them panned out to be the elusive One.
I thought the One would find me in my teen years. I thought we’d marry and live a happy, long life together. That didn’t happen then, nor did it happen in my twenties. I am now in my thirties, and the man I love now may very well be the One, but that is yet to be determined.
When I look at him, I see the man he is meant to be. I see his kind, generous heart and the way he welcomes new people like long-acquainted friends. I see the way he uses his talents and money to help others even to the point of sacrifice. I see the people he blesses feeling a little closer to God because of him. I see him going into prayer like it is a battlefield where he can take and leave all his worries with God. I see the light of strength, hope, and faith in his eyes.
I see the man he was meant to be, not the man he is today.
It’s hard to love a man when he is weak and lost. In his weakened state, he is needy and abusive. He takes whatever you will give with little thankfulness, and he comes back for more. Wanting to love and help, we give again until we are so buried in hurt and debt we can’t possibly seem to climb out. We get ourselves in trouble trying to save our men.
Sometimes giving is needed, but sometimes we have to let our men fall. Sometimes we have to let them reach the end of their selfishness and pride before they will turn to, hear, and obey God.
The best gift we can give our broken men is our humility before God in prayer.
Whether we are married to them or just dating them, whether our man is a stubborn man–like mine–or just a missing man–like Diana’s–we have to turn our men over to God in prayer.
Like I said, my man is nothing if he isn’t stubborn, but God specializes in stubborn and missing hearts. Sometimes it takes drastic circumstances to get a man’s attention. The apostle Paul was so stubborn that God had to stop him in the middle of a road and blind him before he would see the truth (Acts 9). Peter, too, had a problem with anger and pride that he denied until he betrayed Christ (Matthew 26:33-35; Luke 22). Disciples James and John were brothers known for being hot-tempered when Christ met them. So much so, in fact, that they were called the “sons of thunder” (John 2:24-25).
Time with Christ changed these men. Most lived lives of strong faith and built up the early church. They intentionally turned from their selfish ways and chose to live fully aware of the spiritual fight we are in and participated in it. Though Foxe’s Book of Martyrs reports that most disciples died as martyrs, it is encouraging to know that one of the sons of thunder, John, lived to a ripe old age. His heart had been so changed from a life lived with Jesus that he earned a new nickname: the “Apostle of Love“.
“No pit is so deep or so dark that God is not deeper still.” –Corrie Ten Boom
God will never ask a woman to join herself to a man that does not share her faith (2 Cor. 6:14), but we can often find ourselves in relationships with men who say they believe like we do but are actually living lost and broken away from their full potential in Christ. When a man is broken and lost, we women must seek God on their behalf. We must pray for them and uphold Godly standards when we are with them. There has to be a limit to what we will do and what we will give. We cannot sin to please them, nor can we go bankrupt providing for their needs. Nevertheless, selfless love and kindness can point them towards Christ and the repairing of their hearts. Choosing to speak kind words instead of sharp, hurtful words is important. We have to resist our desire to hurt back. We have to show the love of Christ.
How can you show more kindness and compassion to the man in your life?