I wish someone wrote a book on the Christian approach to interacting with the opposite sex. I would probably buy it. Underline and high light it.. then throw it out due to frustration because of the ridiculousness of needing someone to explain something so basic. Sometimes, I wish interacting with the opposite sex as a single wasn’t so complicated like we’ve made it today in the Church.
Can I get an amen singles?
The word that comes to mind is awkward.
Where are the healthy friendships these days? We’re so busy analyzing our check lists in our heads and checking off if he/she has made the cut. It’s ridiculous. Frustrating. No one will ever make the cut with that mentality. It lacks in love, grace, mercy and compassion. Everything is so rushed these days. You say ‘hi.. my name is_____’ to a guy and all of a sudden you’re planning your wedding and he’s thinking about the wedding night. As all of these things loom in the back of one’s mind, you miss out on the possibility of a solid friendship unraveling.
Unhealthy pressure screws up so many relationships and friendships these days. Seriously. How can you be yourself when you’re pressured into being who the other person dreams you up to be in 10 years? I don’t understand how that even works. How can I be Sheryl.. and all that even encompasses.. when ‘Average Joe’ is too busy analyzing every argument and conversation we have? Can this be my wife in 10 years? Will she be a great mom? The guy doesn’t even know my favorite color or my favorite meal.. the things in my life that bring my heart joy and the things in my life that get me discouraged. That is pressure that is bound to make a person crumble.
Those are expectations that will never, ever get met.
Same thing with girls (guys are not the only ones with this issue!) — how can Average Joe simply be himself.. and still have room to grow when we as ladies spend so much time in our heads thinking: “umm.. he doesn’t know how to lead me perfectly now” .. “he doesn’t make _____ dollars to help support our future kids”? You don’t even know the basics of who he is .. what makes him laugh, what ticks him off, etc. This guy will never, ever make the cut.
You’re looking to him to fulfill things in your life that only Jesus can and should.
I’m not saying men and women should not have standards or expectations when it comes to finding their spouses. They absolutely should! In fact, in my opinion, one of the ways you know that you’re settling is when a man/woman doesn’t have a humble heart to grow or learn. When they think “my way is the only way” and “I am right” and “this is not worth the dialogue”.. those are all red flags in my head. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. I have seen this in so many people over the years. You can’t change people unless they desperately desire to change for the better. Men and women need to show grace and mercy when getting to know other singles. We’re all sinners being saved by grace. The same compassion that the Lord has shown to us, we need to give to others. Enjoy the journey of friendships as hard as it is sometimes.. it is through that journey that you will begin to see the true character of a person and how they deal with their struggles. Friends tend to extend more grace to other friends because they have not resolved in their heads that in order for me to continue talking to this person, they have to put a ring on it by this deadline and they have to meet certain expectations.. otherwise, they get the boot.
I’ve talked to more than a handful of women and men who have struggled with this over the past couple months. This is a serious problem in Christian circles today. It’s almost reassuring to hear that I’m not the only one who finds the dynamics of Christian men/women interacting awkward and not natural these days.
If we never looked to the right or left and compared our lives with others, do you think we would rush our lives as much as we do? Probably not. Everywhere I go it’s the same tune playing. I’m pretty sure I have written many tunes based off this and blogged many o’ stories about this crippling issue. Every time it has left me exhausted and more frustrated then when I began. Friends, trust the Lord with your hearts (I’m preaching to myself..and as soon as I click submit, I will probably read this blog out loud to reassure myself!) and don’t rush His timing in your lives. Please don’t. Take time to get to know the men and women He has placed in your lives. There aren’t coincidences to why people are in your life. Get to know them deeply. Make friends. Spread love. Sometimes those friendships will eventually lead to more and other times they could be used as a means of grace in your life for the season you’re in. Stop placing unattainable standards on others.. give people room to grow and learn.
Ultimately, none of this can be attained without a true and anchored satisfaction in Christ alone.