There’s something about the perfumes girls wear that makes me want a wife. I was walking through campus earlier today, trying to get to my first class that I was running late for, and then a girl happened to walk in front of me while I was downwind of her. For a brief moment, I caught a whiff of something beautiful and whatever I was focused on before drifted away with the wind. It’s hard to describe what I felt at that moment because it was a mad mix of things. But if there were one moment that would encapsulate all that I felt, it’d be merely laying on a couch cuddled up with a girl while watching a movie. She’d be nearly asleep and I’d be listening to her heart beat.
No, there isn’t anyone in particular that I have in mind when I picture this scene. And that’s the most frustrating part; I’m usually swept up with the idea of love rather than the actual thing. Thus far, thinking about it all has only made me all the more eager to find a wife, but with no one to really focus on, I don’t know what to do with that eagerness. It’s not an anxious sort of eagerness; it’s a deep, deep desire that’s hard to control. Looking off into the distance and sighing has really been the only remedy, but I know it’s only temporal.
Honestly, smelling that random girl’s perfume is only one moment where I’ve longed for a wife this year; every holiday season it’s difficult for me not to think of finding a girl to marry. I’ve been praying about it for a while now, and that seems to quell the feeling. But I think what I’ve found most helpful is thinking back to something Donald Miller mentions in one of his books. I can’t remember which one it was, but I remember him talking about Adam’s story. Yeah, there was that time Adam did nothing and humanity slipped into an inherent state of sin, but what Don was talking about came before that – even before Adam met Eve.
With the earth fresh and soft beneath his naked feet, Adam had the fresh new world in front of him with no distractions. No books to read, no papers to write, no cell phone ringing and beeping with activity, and no one to enjoy the brand new world with. He had no notion of a woman, which makes you wonder at his shock and stupor when he saw Eve for the first time. But before we get there, God had something Adam do that made him focus: He had him name the animals.
I imagine that had to be a tough job, really. And whether you believe this to be a metaphorical story or a literal story, the meaning is the same: God had Adam do the work He asked him to do and rocked his world with the creation of Eve. Adam wasn’t even conscious of his loneliness, but God was. So He told Adam to name the animals of the earth, to grab his focus into something constructive and positive, to capture his entire focus while God – I imagine with a grin on His face – devised a plan to surprise Adam with and give him the companion he needed.
About a month or so ago, I had breakfast with my former roommate, Kevin. We got to talking about girls, why they smell so good and all that, and right at the end he wrapped up Adam’s story with one piece of advice, “Keep naming animals.” This idea is challenging because on the one hand, I feel as though I’m surrendering my desire for a wife entirely, but on the other hand, it makes perfect sense.
In my short time in college, I’ve picked up on a common tendency with guys who have healthy relationships with their girlfriends or brides; they’re all doing something. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems as though the guys who do stuff with their lives get to come home to their wives. Sure, there are the deadbeats in the world who are technically “married,” but I don’t believe their marriages are very healthy. I want a healthy, strong, God-centered marriage; and that only seems possible if I do something.
There’s a Proverb that never really caught my attention before, but the other day, when I was again thinking about finding a wife, I came across 24:27; “Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.” I immediately thought of Adam naming animals, though I tried desperately to relate this to something like Luke 6:46-49. But God was telling me something else; focus on the work that He has called me to do and be prepared to be surprised.
No, I don’t think it’ll be like He surprised Adam; I am aware of my loneliness and the existence of girls. But it’ll still rock my world, as Eve did Adam’s. I imagine (and hope for) a girl will come into my world, cause me to sweat uncontrollably, give me asthma attacks by being there, and make me stutter. In a way, Eve kind of did that to Adam; saying “bone of my bones” doesn’t seem to be too romantic. I wonder if Adam walked away from that scene thinking “‘Bone of my bones’? Why did I say that?”
God’s got something up His sleeve, but in order to know what it is, I have to start out on something. John Eldridge says guys should be on an adventure before they invite a girl into their lives. I don’t know about “adventure,” but I believe we ought to be doing something with our lives before we try to bring a woman into the picture. “Prepare your work in the field,” seems to say, “Go out and do something,” and “after that build your house,” or as I heard it the other day, “And after that find a wife.”
Even as I write this post, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” popped up on my iTunes. It really isn’t helping. But sitting beside me is a stack of books that I must read and write from throughout this term. It’s the work God has called me to do and maybe, just maybe, somewhere along the way a woman will walk into my life and turn my world upside down. But I can’t work well with my mind daydreaming about that girl; I’ve got to roll up my sleeves and name some animals.