Last week the college and career Sunday School teacher at our church (who has been teaching this age group for most of his adult life) invited the parents of these young people to his home to talk about boy-girl relationships, dating, courting, and marriage. He is gearing up to do a series on this subject in the next few months.
We had a great discussion, and I think we all agreed on a few things:
1. We care about the purity of our children.
2. Dating casually – just for fun and “physical sampling” as one mother put it – isn’t something any of us get super excited about. And our daughters aren’t necessarily looking to be physically sampled and discarded “just for fun” either.
3. Our daughters are looking for, and in many cases, are ready for—a “godly man” to nab them up and marry them.
4. Our sons are trying to figure out school, career, and whether or not to even talk to a girl lest she assume the wrong things about his intentions.
5. The most ideal way to get to know a future life partner is to become friends with that person first. Friendship that blossoms into love is a beautiful thing.
6. Guys and girls should be together in groups. A lot. Doing lots of things together. Talking. Mingling. Ministry. Building those friendships that lead to love.
It was a lot more involved than that, but there’s a summary for you. Here’s the interesting thing though…
Today I was talking to—someone (I promised not to give any names away because we have church members who read this blog), and he had been discussing this whole thing with some single Christian guys over the week end. These are your average, nice Christian guys, trying to live right and looking to get married someday.
But not to the nice girls at church.
Want to know why? I’ll give you a few very rough paraphrases, and you can draw your own conclusions.
“So many Christian girls want a “godly man.” I can never measure up to that. I will never be that perfect guy. I’m not even sure what that is.”
“I don’t want to feel judged all the time.”
“I stay away from anyone with a prairie skirt mentality – whether they are wearing one or not. I don’t live in that world. It’s prudish and unreal.”
“Most of the guys won’t go near most of the girls with a ten foot pole because they and their families are expecting someone amazing. We’re just average guys. None of those girls want us anyway.”
“So many of the home schooled girls have no real life experience. When they are finally exposed to different things in the real world, their reactions are not normal.”
It made me wonder. It made me wonder a lot. Because there are a lot of really incredible Christian single girls in churches all over this country getting older and older and older with no prospects in sight. And while it would be totally and utterly naive to pin any blame for that (if there is blame to be pinning) on this single reason, I do think it’s foolish not to consider that it could be one of the reasons.
You could react to this (as I most definitely would have three short years ago) by going, “WELL! I wouldn’t want my precious treasure marrying one of those nasty beasts anyway! So there!”
I don’t have an analysis of this right now. I’m just musing – remembering my own highfaluting attitudes hidden behind warm, pious smiles. I’m still prone to sneer, God help me in my depravity.
I’m not saying I want my daughter to marry the first male who wants her. We don’t have to be moronic. (Can you hear the sneer? Sigh.)
In light of the fact that at least two larger-than-life conservative Christian leaders in the past year have stepped down from ministry due to impropriety (to spin it kindly), I find it interesting that the belief system they perpetuated has left in its wake a lot of unmarried young people scared spitless to live imperfect lives.
Afraid to need Christ more than is necessary. Afraid to be real. Afraid to get messy. Afraid to be honest. Afraid to fail.
Afraid to love.
For more on this discussion, check out How to Silence Immature Young Men in Our Churches.