Dear [Megan Trainor’s] Future Husband,
I was on my way home from work recently, listening to the radio and enjoying the refreshing breeze wafting through my window. The song that came on was one I hadn’t heard before; it had a fun sound to it and I found myself tapping my fingers and feeling a little more upbeat. In addition, I noticed immediately that the woman was singing about her future husband. Since I have a soft spot for songs written from women to their men, I thought to myself that I was probably going to like this new song from Megan Trainor. However, as I listened more and started paying attention to the words, I found myself confused and aghast at what was actually being said.
I’m wondering, Future Husband, if you thought the same thing when you heard it.
You see, Megan seems to have some pretty high standards for you. Of course, most women do when they’re looking for the man to say “I Do.” We want to be sure that he is responsible, loving, caring, trustworthy, and able to provide. Personality preferences will vary from girl to girl, but the general wishes remain the same: every woman wants a good man. And again, women’s idea of “good” may vary, but I would venture to say that the general consensus on the definition of good would include the qualities I listed above. I’m sure we could agree that a man who is a pushover, weak, or unable to lead isn’t the manliest man. Yet…. strangely enough, those seem to be the same qualities that Megan would like you to have.
I conclude this because I am unsure how a man can succumb to every one of her wishes (dare I say demands) and still maintain leadership and respect as the head of the home. I suppose it’s my mistake for forgetting that many women nowadays can’t fathom the idea of a man having leadership over her. We live in a world where women’s rights are being shoved down our throats at every media outlet, and “equality” is the focal point of conversations, picket lines, and social media debates. When it comes to marriage, it’s no different. It’s a fight that essentially revolves around the idea that a man owes a woman x-y-z, otherwise the woman deserves a better man. This logic wouldn’t be so flawed if it wasn’t so one-sided. It should go without saying that both husband and wife need to provide certain things for each other. But, by fighting for women to be powerful and dominant in every area including marriage, we are subsequently weakening our men.
Megan demonstrates this by saying, “Take me on a date, I deserve it, babe, And don’t forget the flowers every anniversary, ‘Cause if you’ll treat me right, I’ll be the perfect wife.” The attitude is that if you don’t do x-y-z for her (down to the specifics of what kind of gift you get her), only then will she be a good wife to you. I thought to myself, well maybe I’m taking it too literally, and maybe the rest of the song is different. But it goes on, “If you wanna get that special lovin’, Tell me I’m beautiful each and every night, After every fight, Just apologize, And maybe then I’ll let you try and rock my body right.” Again… the idea is that if you are perfect, let her win every argument, and tell her what she wants to hear, only then will you be deserving of her love. Only then will you be able to be on the receiving end.
Dear Future Husband… I am here to tell you that you are worth much more than that.
I am here to tell you that not every woman thinks this way.
And I sincerely hope that your relationship with your future wife will not be based on such superficial demands. If your marriage will be contingent on what you do or do not do for her, then I hope you find someone who sees you for more than your deeds, and accepts you with all of your shortcomings.
It saddens me that people think when a man dares to be a leader in the relationship, it means he is controlling and that his poor woman is subdued and unequal. It saddens me that so many women think submission means suppression. I’m not sure how we got so far away from the basics of true marriage: partnership, friendship, mutual respect, submission, and good leadership. Sir, if you find a woman that respects you and trusts you as her leader, then you have found a good woman. Of course if you abuse that power and treat it like a slavery where she has to obey your every command, then you are not worthy of that good woman. But if on the other hand, she has a character that is overpowering or disrespectful to your position or belittling, then I would advise you to look the other way.
Marriage is a partnership. It is a man being a good provider and leader, and a woman being a supportive and encouraging helpmate. It is not about who is greater than who. Just because you are a man does not mean you are better than her, and just because she is a woman does not mean she is a weakling who does not have a right to an opinion. And neither of you have a right to put unrealistic demands on each other. Marriage is about being one.
In my own marriage, I have seen firsthand how the more I respect and submit to him, the more he is strengthened and empowered to lead us the right way. The more I encourage him rather than belittle him, the more love he gives to me in return. But it is not a matter of “If he does this, then I’ll do that.” There is no incentive other than to love him as he deserves to be loved, and as our God commands me to love him.
When Meghan told you in her song that she’ll be “sleeping on the left side of the bed,” and that you’ll “never see your family more than [hers]”, I’m curious if you are attracted to a woman who speaks like that to you. From my own experience with my husband, I would make the assumption that no man appreciates being disrespected with such selfishness. And since its fitting, just a personal side note on the sleeping topic: I have a certain preference on the side I sleep on too, but my husband prefers sleeping on the side that is closest to the bedroom door, for safety reasons. Similar to how he walks on the outer sidewalk and keeps me shielded from traffic. Regardless of what I want, I respect his desire to fulfill his role as our protector. I don’t consider him selfish and controlling; I consider him a good leader for thinking of my safety first, and therefore I respect him for that. Marriage is about compromise. Both husband and wife sharing each other’s lives and experiences. The wife Meghan says she will be seems like the sort of woman that men complain about in their marriages so often– a disrespectful, selfish, demanding woman who expects the world from him but does not contribute to his own needs. Harsh, I know.
I wonder if the tables were turned… and you wrote a song back to Meghan. And you told her, “Dear Future Wife, here’s a few things you’ll need to know if you wanna be my one and only all my life. Make me a hearty dinner every night; I deserve it, babe. And when I’m watching ball, you better leave me alone. I’ll need sex every night, or say goodbye to date night. Bring me a beer and you might get some kisses. Also you should know I’ll never watch a rom-com with you. Cause if you treat me right, I’ll be the perfect husband.”
Sounds pretty controlling, superficial, and unfair, doesn’t it? (Well since you’re a guy, you’re probably thinking ‘hey that sounds pretty nice.’ Ha.) But you get the idea. If any girl read that, odds are she would feel disrespected and aghast that you would put those demands on her and make such one-ended criteria. After all, what if she is a woman like Meghan, who mentions in her song that she never learned how to cook? What then, if she can’t live up to a few simple expectations? HOW DARE HE. HOW CAN HE EXPECT ME TO DO ALL THAT. WHAT ABOUT WHAT I WANT OR NEED? HE’S NOT A REAL MAN. A REAL MAN WOULD BE A GENTLEMAN AND SERVE ME AND BE THERE FOR ME. Yes. A real man would. But the man that Meghan thinks she wants is not that man.
Dear Future Husband… I know I touched on a lot of topics that could be broken down and spoken about for hours. But I wanted you to know that there is hope. Just because a celebrity tells the world how a man should be, does not mean she speaks for the world. Just because the media chooses to glorify her song rather than another does not mean anything other than that it proves the perpetual banner they are waving: women are strong, powerful, deserving, and a woman who gets what she wants and whose man does what she wants is the kind of woman we should all be. If that is the kind of woman that you want, than by all means, marry her and love her and be faithful to her.
But if you recognize the problem that I do with this, I would encourage you to seek your heart as to what a real woman is. All we talk about is the real man. But what about the husband who wants a good, real woman? Clearly culture has molded an image that is much different from what I believe God has called us women to be. I encourage you to read the Scriptures, or look back in history at some of the most incredible wives, whose heart and actions looked nothing like what the world demands now.
I hope you marry a woman who respects you, allows you to lead, supports you, and loves you un-conditionally. I hope your wife is compassionate, the strength behind your success, and gives to your needs as much as you give to her. Since you are Meghan’s Trainor’s future husband, I can only assume you will find her one day soon. And I hope that by then, this song will be a distant memory of a thought process that will have developed into one with more depth and intent. And that one day soon, she will be ready to be the wife that God has called us to be.