"Someday, I want you to say to me the words I heard you say to Ashley Wilks: 'I love you.'"
"That's something you'll never hear from me, Captain Butler, as long as you live!"
"How could she do it? How could she choose Ashley over Rhett...Please!!"
Okay, how many of we girls have watched "Gone with the Wind" and just loved to hate Scarlett's immaturity? She's young and inexperienced (as was I when I first saw the movie). I mean, who, after seeing Mr. Rhett Butler (okay, Clark Gable) at the bottom of those stairs wouldn't be smitten with him? He's tall, devastatingly handsome, full of charisma, and rich. I, like a lot of women have been attracted to these qualities, and have loved to hate Scarlett for being so blind. Look at how much alike they were, and look at everything he could give her.
So, who hasn't seen "Gone With the Wind"... anybody? One afternoon, this legendary classic struck a chord concerning character, and how we women can discern it in a man. Even if you haven't seen the movie, you probably know of the infamous trio: Scarlett O'Hara, Rhett Butler, and Ashley Wilks. Scarlett learns that Ashley is engaged to Melanie Hamilton, and is convinced that he loves her instead. She schemes to find her way into his arms, believing she should have him for herself, while the ever charming Rhett has made up his mind that Scarlett is the only woman for him-- and he isn't shy about showing it. He lavishes attention on her and courts her vigorously.
So, ladies, how many of us have believed that Scarlett was foolish-- even stupid? How many of us have dreamed of having Rhett for ourselves? Really? Are you sure? Is it possible that maturity causes a woman to be attracted to different things in a man? Does the kind of maturity that comes with being a Christian woman influence what we feel is attractive in a man? Which man would you rather attract? Lets look at each of their personalities individually...
Rhett Butler is described as being "A nasty dog, with a most terrible reputation." He tells Scarlett that she is "no lady," and he does not hold this against her. He describes himself and Scarlett as "Bad lots, both of us-- but able to look things in the eyes and call them by their right names." He is a blocade runner (in the Civil War torn south) for profit, and profit only. He is not accepted by any family in his hometown of Charleston-- not even his own. When asked whether he believes in the cause, his reply is "I believe in Rhett Butler-- he's the only cause I know; the rest doesn't mean much to me.
Ashley Wilks, by contrat, is a Civil War major. He's responsable for a fleet of men he has no desire to take to war, however, his sense of honor and duty (though called foolish by some),leads him to go into battle. He marries Melanie because she is like him and part of his blood. While so many are patriotic about war, Wilks says that "most of the miseries of the world were caused by war; and when the wars were over, no one ever new what they were about." He recognizes Scarlett's childish desire in wanting to mary him..."You're so young (...) you don't know what marriage means." He tells her that she has all the passion for life that he does not; but that this truth would never sustain a marriage for a couple with that many differences. Later, when she throws herself at him, tempting him to kiss her and run away with her, he exposes he juvinile desires: "You're sick and tired; that's why you're talking this way." He tells her he will not leave his wife and child to partake in what she wants to give him.
As easy as it is for most of us to say we'd adore being romanced by Rhett, many of us are much better suited to an Ashley. This truth, that the Lord brought to me once, made me cringe at first... How could this be? Is it possible that wisdom causes us to be attracted to different things? To take it a little further, how can we as Christian women choose which sort of man we want to attract?
The Bible calls it the Fruit of the Spirit (Galations 5:22-25). This speaks of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control. First Corinthians chapter 13, gives the qualities of an enduring love, and also speaks of growing up..."When I was a child, I spoke and reasoned as a child; but when I became a man, I put away the childish things." (vs. 11). Remembering whom we belong to is also a huge help. Scripture says we are bought with a price and Holy Spirit sealed (2nd Tim. 8-9).
Ladies, can you demonstrate these qualities in yourselves? These, coupled with a gentle and quiet spirit are pleasing to the Lord, and therefore, will be pleasing to a man centered in him (Proverbs 4:4) Be centered in Christ, and thank him for showing you wisdom, and aim for a man who is also. Are you suited to an Ashley?
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