Her name is Sarah  McCullough.  Even after she’s married, she’ll still be Sarah Mac to me.

I am a somewhat independent girl with the gifting of leadership.  Not only do I recognize it, but others recognize it, too.  I fit well in the business field, as I am “business minded” and pretty good with “adult” responsibilities. These things don’t intimidate me.  In fact, some excite me.  Crazy, I know.  It’s like the guy who LOVES math when you hate it (That’s funny… that’s Sarah’s soon-to-be Mr.).  Some are incredibly artsy fartsy and right-brained… and then you have us lefties.  Sarah is the same.

Now, having a disposition such as I can make reading the word “submission” in the Bible very uncomfortable.  Thoughts of having no say in matters, answering to someone all the time, following the man around and waiting on him hand and foot, etc. can appear in the brain.  Independence is threatened, and defense mode is instantly engaged.  Not good… for several reasons.  One, that’s not what that word means.  And two, that’s only half of the story – – only half of marriage.

You’ll see in almost all the same places that ask women to submit that men are being called out to love their wives like Christ loves the church.  Wow.  What a huge undertaking.  Can you fully grasp that?  Men – – love unconditionally, love freely, love intensely, love pursuingly, love forgivingly… the list goes on.  Every day Christians try to imitate Christ, so anyone, male or female, can understand the place the man is called to be as a husband.  Women – – isn’t it easy to hold a grudge, keep record of wrongs (because let’s face it, women remember everything and men can’t remember where they left their car keys), and then bring it up in a fight?  Yes, I know you hear me.  That’s not forgiving, and forgiving isn’t always our instinct.  It is Christ’s.  It should be man’s (not gender specific here!)…  And when we can submit to our husbands by honoring them, by respecting them, by affirming them (and not just by telling them how huge their muscles are, but how great they are as men and at providing and protecting), they will in turn love us.  And because they love us we will respect them, and it goes on and on.  It’s a circle.  We don’t respect our men to get love out of them, no no no.  We respect out of selflessness, expecting nothing, and when we do that they will give freely.  That is the beautiful and perfect picture of marriage.

Sarah is exactly like me.  In fact, we really should never have become friends, because two women who have the same strong leadership gifting, like us, as well as so many other giftings in common (piano, voice, beauty 🙂 , etc.) usually compete and can’t tolerate each other.  But it’s never been an issue with us.  We look nothing a like, she is younger than me, and we have really only been friends for maybe three years, but we are the same.  I understand the independence but recognize the “homemaker” in her.  I know the drive and ability in her to do well for herself and go far in a career, but understand the need for a partner and to be provided for and protected.  We know the strength and capability in ourselves, but desire to be the Proverbs wives for our men.  What a joy it is to have a friend who undestands me to the core and to be able to empathize and minister to someone when you understand exactly where they are!  And we probably love taking the names of our husbands a bit much, when most would be like it’s just a name… but to us it resembles so much more:  covenant, love, commitment, a deep connection in our heats and souls, a life with our best friend.  It says who we are:  wives… helpmates.  I would have “G”s and “Goins” all over my house if I had room.  And Sarah will, too, thanks to some of the gifts she’s already received (except they say “Grant”).  And then we’ll be even more a like…  we’ll both have houses full of “G”s.  🙂

Yep, Sarah is marrying Casey this weekend.  I cannot wait!  I had the privilege of doing music ministry in Mexico with Casey for a month in the summer of 2006, just shortly after they became a couple, and he already loved her so much even then.  I know this because he talked about it all the time!  I “put up” with it, though, because I was so happy for them.  You see, I had them pinned as perfect for each other months before that… and I just waited for them to realize there was more to their relationship than just friendship… 🙂

Sarah, thank you so much for being there for me and for standing up with me on my wedding day just six short months ago.  It is my pleasure, and I am so honored, to now do the same for you on your wedding day.  I love you dearly, friend.