Sunday, October 4, 2009

Of Desire and Efficiency

Ok, so a week ago (yes, i know i promised to do better, get accustomed to blogging failure from me.) at the end of my post I said I hoped to touch on a disturbing trend amongst Christian males in the boy meets girl realm of dating... well here we go.

The men of our generation (and maybe every generation) have been bred to believe that results are almost all that matters. Results, I think, can be broken down into two chunks - what you got, and how you got it - or i might also call it getting what you want, and getting it as easily as possible. This has led to a bizarre form of results driven dating that is crippling the process of building real and meaningful relationships from both sides.

So lets start off with a little example from my life that I think everyone can probably understand and we'll go from there. I'm pretty good at math, let me just go ahead and tell you now, it will be important to the rest of this. Business calculus, Texas Tech. After the first class period I looked at the syllabus and said to myself "self, I'm pretty sure you can do all that, I think you should just show up for the tests and have at it" so I did. And you know what? I made an easy A in the class. From the outside, this sounds like a wonderful thing - but lets just take a quick look at some of the roots that go into it. In my actions I didn't demonstrate that my goal was to learn, to improve, or to gain applicable knowledge - I demonstrated that all I wanted was a grade and to move on. I slipped into results-driven class time. Do I feel bothered by that? No, but it's a really clear microcosm of my life at the time - and a lot of guys I see around me. We get we want (the grade) as easily as possible (the skipping) and move on as though it were a success.

Males are programmed to get what we want. Now, the skeptical girl (or guy) says "oh, we all know what guys want. Guys want to get some" But lets take a quick step off of that train for just a moment and look a little broader. Again, I'll probably just use myself as a focus point and suggest it applies to *most* males. Good Christian guys are looking for good christian girls. Standard practice. But I'd suggest there is an alarming lack of Christian male leadership in the church. Do I know several strong, firece, men of God? Sure. But they are in the vast minority. The majority of guys at Christian events are at best "neat christian guys" - either they have the heart, but a spirit of timidity, or they spiritually coast while they look good and do just enough to attract the Christian girls they "need" to - I frequently land in that second column so that's where this piece is going. I've always thought of it as guys who are pretending to be David (the Psalmist. Not anyone we know) but don't have the depth... or the courage... or the self-awareness... or the humility... you get the point.

Why have we developed this? For me, I know I want to marry a good (great) Christian girl. And, in an unexpected twist, that's exactly the issue here - I know you didn't see this moment coming. Issue number one is that what guys want is the wrong thing - I'm not sure if it's because of a perceived social pressure, stupidity, or that's just how humanity operates (a mix thereof). I want to marry a good Christian girl (make the grade) instead of build something that is really God-focused or truly God-honoring (learning the subject) so I do what it takes to date a good Christian girl - which due to the lack of competition on a spiritual plane, is really not much, pretty frequently. I go to church, I carry a Bible, a hold pseudo-spiritual conversations (even though I'd rather be proclaiming my own merits, I know this is a necessary step in the 'getting what I want' process), and eventually, I get a date, a girlfriend, a fiancee, and a marriage built on smoke and mirrors. Our issue is that we've lost our focus on being whole, and on being comfortable with who we are in God first, and that instead we've focused on things God can give us as the final goal. We want to be married to someone worth marrying, instead of being in a relationship that is undeniably beautiful in all capacities - spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, whatever-else-ical. So in lieu of doing what it takes to be whole, and to have what we really want, we skate our way through, avoid the obstacles that make us strong and real, and we accept a dim shadow of the glorious relationship that God has made available to us. Guys - figure out what you *really* want and then *really* pursue it. No more just trying to look good. No more feeling like you are good (because you refuse to allow yourself to be challenged). No more pursuing shadows when reality is right there. No more games. Find completeness, find what God really intended for you, and find something beautiful - it's the only thing worth having anyway. Girls - watch closely, push hard, and don't compromise. It doesn't take long to spot a fraud (wouldn't take too many hard questions to expose me most days of the week) and when you do - remember what they (we... I) are.


  1. Bravo, S. Quite the newfangled approach to an age old argument. It makes me wonder, however, how many strapping christian gentlemen would step forward to say, " yes. this is me. a wolf in sheep's clothing. a lion masquerading as a lamb." He certainly would be a fierce-some thing to behold. I do appreciate the emphasis on finding and pursing what you really want; not just what you think is right for now. People should embrace that... it can truly be empowering. But you have to be unafraid, fearless and confident that you'll eventually find what you are looking for. Without that unwavering faith in God and most importantly, in yourself, you'd be hard pressed to remain strong, courageous, and hopeful in your pursuit. Cheers, S. Your words are refreshing and real.

  2. Nice. Very well thought. I love the school analogy of school and the fact that you remind us that there is only one relationship we should be focused on pursuing and that's our relationship with God.

    I also like the fact that the words "Proverbs 31 Girl" were not mentioned, lol.

  3. That whole "find completeness" statement is the crux of the issue with guys. Completeness requires work and is sometimes painful because a guy has to learn to sacrifice some seemingly great things in order to get where he really needs to be.

    Guys expect completeness in a woman but they don't want to make the sacrifices to be complete themselves.