So I received some feedback on my last post, and I felt it necessary to respond publicly in case other people had similar questions. I fear that I wasn’t as clear as I had wanted to be.
Just so you know (not that you need to know), I had a mini-panic attack after I posted the aforementioned blog post. I felt that perhaps I have or I am revealing too much of myself – and for what benefit? There’s a lot of “me” on this blog and on social media. A lot. What ever happened to privacy? What ever happened to being “mysterious”? Then I thought, “Being religious isn’t what scare men away – it may be your blog posts.” Everyone else seems to be able to keep their facades intact and deal with their issues privately and professionally. However, as I told a friend two nights ago, I’ve never managed to bleed neatly. I still struggle with this whole public vulnerability thing. But here I am. There I go being painfully transparent again…
Anyways, one lawyer messaged me on LinkedIn and said:
Hi Simone, I just read your blog on the challenges of dating as a Christian lady. It is a nice read up. However, I have some serious concerns with it. Are you telling me that there are no Christian men that are ready to date girls without asking for sex or cohabiting with their girlfriends in present day Canada and even in Seven Day Adventist? I am a married Christian guy and I didn’t have premarital sex before marriage. And two of my best friends didn’t have premarital sex as well. We and our wives were even virgins till we married. Also, you seems to place more emphasis on sex as the only reason people date each other. That might be slightly true for those that are not Christians, but it is definitely beyond sex for Christian men. I don’t know your experiences, but you actually lumped Christian men with the ungodly – which is not fair 🙂
Thank you for reading my article! Comments and feedback are always appreciated. As for your questions:
“Are you telling me that there are no Christian men that are ready to date girls without asking for sex or cohabiting with their girlfriends in present day Canada and even in Seven Day Adventist?”
No. I’m just saying that the dating pool would be larger, understandably, and that dating would be different (and perhaps easier). And, surprisingly, many “Christian” men do expect their girlfriend to “put out.” I also know that there are Christian men (somewhere out there, but they do exist, although they seem to be few and far between) who are trying to holy lives. I’m not among those women who say that there are no good guys. 🙂
Sex is obviously not the only reason why people date each other. But in today’s culture — a culture that believes in immediate gratification and doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage — sex definitely is one of the biggest reasons (or, at the very least, it seems so).
In my experience, Christian men and “ungodly” men often resemble one another. 🙂 But to be fair, no, I would expect different behaviour from a Christian man.
The article was focusing more on me and barriers to being coupled, and was not to be taken as a statement on men in general.
I also met with a good friend at Second Cup tonight. We talked about my most recent blog post and she had questions for me. With her permission I decided to turn our convo into this blog post.
She felt that I was drawing a false dichotomy between, “Living in Christ and not being affected by sin” vs. “the life of ‘sinners’” which she said was weird because I’m not like that in real life. She felt that I was saying that, “because I’m with Jesus I’m not gonna get pregnant.”
It is true that Christian women have children out of wedlock too. Some Christian men beat their wives. I’m not saying that my life is perfect and sin-free because I’m a Christian. Far from it (unfortunately). What I am saying is that if I were not a Christian, or if I didn’t hold Christ to such high esteem in my life, the chances of me being sexually active and potentially being pregnant would be greatly increased.
Do I use religion as a filter? Yes and no. Of the men who have shown interest, I don’t go all “1844” on them and immediately ask if they have accepted Christ as their Lord and personal Savior. I’m also not saying that I would not talk to a guy if he weren’t a Christian. I will and I have. I just know that it won’t go far. I don’t wanna date someone knowing, right off the bat, that it won’t go anywhere.
Another friend commented and said that she didn’t think that religion has anything to do with being partnerned. I speak for myself, and for me, it does.
The point that I was trying to bring out, but that perhaps wasn’t clear, is that Jesus is a big part of my life and is responsible for the way that I live my life – heck, Jesus is my life. The same friend with whom I met tonight knows that for several weeks this year, I refused to talk to Jesus. I was at a point in my life where I couldn’t. She’d playfully tease me and say, “Are you still mad at Jesus? Are you and Jesus on speaking terms yet?” But my silence with God was short-lived because I don’t know how to live my life without prayer. After living a life in full dependence on God for every need, I found it hard to suddenly not depend on Him. After talking to Him throughout the day for years, I found it hard not to acknowledge Him. I’d often find myself silently praying a quick prayer (for help, protection etc.), only to remember that I’m supposed to be mad at Him. That’s just one example.
Jesus is embedded into the very fabric of my life. Jesus is my life (fortunately or unfortunately).
Except for perhaps a few exceptions, my closest friends are Christians. This is not a coincidence. I connect better and more intimately with people who share the same faith and who are on the same journey. I simply don’t connect with non-Christians in the same way. It’s not that I don’t try. It just feels like we’re on two different wavelengths. In fact, I’ve witnessed, this very week actually, that people — theists and atheists alike — will unconsciously play up their religiosity or spiritual connection in an effort to connect with me or relate to me.
I grew up overhearing my father interceding for me and my siblings in his bedroom. I grew up going to church on most Sabbaths as a family. I grew up watching my parents study their Sabbath school lesson together in the morning (or, more accurately, Mom reading the lesson study aloud while Dad was half asleep). I grew up with a father who would call for family worship. I want at least the same for my children, should I chose to have them. So, when I envision my little Adventist home, where we have family worship on Friday nights and go to church on Sabbaths, I need a partner who is all in. I wouldn’t feel comfortable marrying a pew warmer, or someone who just tolerates my religiosity.
So if a man wanted to be a part of my life, he’d have to already have Jesus in his life. I don’t see how it would work otherwise. Jesus is such a huge part of my way of life that they couldn’t penetrate even if I wanted them to.
Even if I wanted him and tried to incorporate him into my life, he still wouldn’t fit. He wouldn’t understand me. He wouldn’t understand why I do the things I do. He wouldn’t get me on a deeper level. He wouldn’t know or understand what makes me tick. I can’t be intimately joined to anyone who doesn’t believe in God. It’s not so much that I would not allow it, but more so that it would not be possible, because although we may click intellectually, physically and emotionally, there are other deeper, more significant layers (spiritually) that he wouldn’t have access to.
So even if I met someone who was not a Christian or tried to allow someone who is not a Christian into my life, it wouldn’t happen. It couldn’t happen, as much as I would want to or try to make it work — not because I wouldn’t let it, but because it is not possible.
My friend and I also talked about the “I choose Jesus” refrain at the end of my last blog post. She asked me about my expectations with regards to a man. She asked me if “he has to be Jesus.” She said that of course Jesus won’t disappoint you, but any man you meet will. I totally understand that and expect that.
It reminded me of an episode of a TV show on BET that focused on finding a man for Chili, who used to be a member of the singing group TLC. She was telling her friend Missy Elliot that she wanted a man who was tall, dark, handsome, didn’t eat pork, and he had to be “packing” (for those unfamiliar with the reference, she meant that he had to have sufficient penis length to satisfy her). Missy Elliot laughed and said that Chili might as well just marry Jesus, because He’s the only person who has all that she is looking for (I don’t know about that penis part though).
I don’t expect my partner to be Jesus, but l wouldn’t mind if he was like Jesus. All I want is a man who is pursuing God, or at least trying to. All I want is a man who is on a similar journey. It doesn’t mean that he won’t swear, or struggle with pornography, or have had a few sexual partners, or drink on occasion, or have bad credit. I just want someone who’s sincerely trying and sincerely interested in spiritual matters…
…and be a baptized Seventh-day Adventist in good and regular standing by the time we reach the altar. 😉
I’m not looking for/asking for/hoping for/silently pining for a man who is perfect, because I’m not perfect. Nor do I want some kind of eerie, creepy, super pious monk-like man who wants me to cover my hair and wear long skirts and give up listening to reggae.
To be absolutely fair and frank, religion may not even be the reason why I’m single. I fully admit that there may be other things about me, unbeknownst to me, that repel men, or, at the very least, do not attract very many of them. Then again I am also oblivious to anything that is not obvious. My sister tells me all the time that men are always trying to check me out, and another one of my male friends sometimes alludes to that one time when all of the men were clamouring to be my partner when we went salsa dancing.
I’ve kinda resigned myself to the idea that it’s just not my time, and that’s okay.
After some other… well, let’s call them “events”… of this week, I wonder if I even want to get married anyway. Sometimes I do, but many times I’m not so sure. We always think that the grass is greener on the other side. I’m reminded that my grass may not be what I want it to be, but it’s still green and I’m good.
Hopefully that clears things up a bit. 🙂