All day long, I’ve been wanting to write out a post on what I considered a pretty serious subject. But when I got to my computer I thought, what the heck, it’s Friday night, I’m home and relaxing after taking my summer class final. So I thought I would instead share some (hopefully) light-hearted musings about a topic that has been close to my heart of late. Just consider me the jesting Jude.
Many reading this are probably aware that I have been widowed since 2004. My excursion into singleness (again!) has held a mixed bag of emotions and blessings. I admit, at times it is not easy being single especially when your desire is for something much different. I know that I am not alone and probably many reading this are in my same shoes. So here it goes.
I admit to having tried a couple of Christian dating sites. The first time was about 3 1/2 years ago and encountered one individual who would eventually become one of my best friends. He challenged me theologically, which caused me to think deeply about my why I believed what I believe and particularly my hermeneutics, which was very troubled at that time. His friendship would be the catalyst for my journey to DTS. I value both this journey and his on-going friendship. And I especially value the fact that I encountered someone so theologically astute in the sea of pop-culture devotees. For I have discovered that finding this on a Christian dating site is as rare as finding a Charismatic in a Lutheran church. He is happily married now, which I guess does give me hope.
Despite the outcome of my first foray, I swore I would never touch another dating site. Yet, some months back I heard an advertisement for a new dating site that claimed to be authentically Christian and different than the rest. My curiosity got the better of me and I signed up only to find that it was NOT authentically Christian nor were all the people on it. In fact, it was the same spoonful of fluff that other sites advertise as well.
I actually have a beef with these sites, not because I don’t see them as useful but because they falsely advertise. ‘Find your true love’, ‘love is just around the corner’, ‘we will find your soulmate’. The truth is this is deception and raises false hopes. The only thing you’ll find is maybe increased opportunity plus a whole lot of nonsense. You get the good, the bad, and the ugly no matter how authentically Christian it claims to be. For the less than discerning person, this can be devastating as they venture into this arena with the highest of hopes only to find them crash in no time flat, or worse and make themselves vulnerable to predators. And yes, there are predators who prey (not pray). I personally think such false advertisement is authentically Un-Christian.
And good luck for finding a mate from the heap. If you saw the line-up, I’d think you’d agree. I would also be interested to know the stats on how many permanent hook-ups theses sites produce. My guess is very slim. So my advice to any single regarding these sites is proceed with caution and don’t believe the hype. As for me, I’m signing off and besides, I have a whole lot of books to read PLUS a son to raise anyway.
My favorite though, is that I recently became aware of a site just for Calvinists. I thought, wow, its the site that chooses you. I wonder if you have to sign off on the Westminster Confession to join. I am just waiting for the Arminian counterpart to emerge called ‘Free Will Offerings’.
So what is a single to do? Nothing makes me scream louder than the misinterpreted and misapplied advice from 1 Corinthians 7 by those that would say it is better to be single, that marriage is a second rate substitute. If that is the case, then somebody please explain Song of Songs to me not to mention that God brought the first man and woman together and said ‘this is good’, which Jesus affirms in Matthew 19:4-6. Sure Paul says all should be like him, but he was also beaten. Do I want that too? Yep, it sure is wonderful sitting in a glass bowl watching how others are making themselves worse off.
And making themselves worse off sure has been all the rave in seminary. I can’t believe the number of hook-ups that have occurred, permanent ones leading to marriage. It makes me think that DTS has a covert operation called Dying To Snag. Ok, not really but just seems that way. I say that in all due respect. I do want to graduate, after all 🙂
But coveteousness should have no place for the single, that’s for sure. Contentment is key. And as I’ve cautioned before in my God as Husband post, God is not your husband but your loving heavenly Father. Any deficiencies in contentment must be honestly and openly shared with Him not as a surrogate spouse but as our provider, our shield, our strength, our strong tower, our Father. But to those people who have arrived at the pinnacle of contentment with no need for human interaction, please have pity on us mere mortal humans and stop suggesting that our faith is somehow deficient because we desire a mate. Please!
Desire is good but desiring God is better. Yes, trusting Him through it all, who sees our hearts, who knows our needs, who understands our pain. For some that is more severe than others. I don’t know why He grants happiness to some and while others can only wish. But I do know that He is good and His intentions towards His children are likewise. So if you are reading this and you are like me, single but wishing for something more, don’t despair, keep looking upwards and walking on whatever path He has orchestrated. And if you are married and reading this, enjoy your spouse. Give them lots of hugs and kisses and continually let them know that you appreciate them. Some of us can only dream.
Thanks for bearing with my ramblings. I promise to get back on task with the next post.