I think her point might connect to gender based social norms. Why is it that we praise a man who is going to become a counselor, but catch our breath and pause when a man we know mentions that he is going to counseling for his own benefit? Why is emotional and mental health something that might be more acceptable for women? Is it? Really? Even if that is case, marriage is one of the hardest and best things that I have seen and as such it seems like it is one of those circumstances where it is okay to hold out for this quality. Personal, internal growth is one of my deepest values, and I hope that should be enough reason for me to wait for someone who can meet me in this place.
But is it? Other pressures and voices vie for my allegiance.You are getting older and there will be less opportunities out there. Don't back down from being yourself- you are only going to attract someone who isn't afraid of a strong woman if you are acting like a strong woman. But don't be too intimidating. Don't be too hard, or too soft. What, if anything, about this is available for compromise? Isn't marriage at least partly about compromise? All of those voices feel thin. They don't have the meat of the Spirit.
As deep calls to deep
Now you, who began with the Spirit, how do you think you can continue in your own strength?
Love one another deeply and from the heart
Do not lie to one another... since as member of the same body, you were called to peace
The Spirit challenges me and calls me forth in such a way that I have to be the most full version of myself in order to answer. These voices ask me to leave something substantive behind to "get a man." The voice of the Spirit calls me to bring all of myself and my values and to be transparent and honest with others. Listening to those other voices feels like a lie because they ask me to hide some of my fire, complexity, and fear. I think that I need to hang onto all of those things in order to honor the depth of the Christian life. So, yes, I think I do want to wait for a man who is capable of doing the work of marriage. And I think there is merit to the idea that the work of marriage-things like apologizing, owning and working through one's dysfunction, challenging others to be the best version of themselves- is more socially acceptable in women. What do you think?