One of the all times mysteries – as far as I’m concerned at least – is this concept of “boy meets girl”. Well, for a teenager, it’s much easier to just go for it as they are that age of exploring everything in life, risks are easier as they don’t really know what life truly has in store. The older one gets, the more the experiences, the hurts, the heartaches that taking the risk gets harder… And one is totally accustomed to their comfort zones, values and perspectives which includes tonnes of prejudices.
So here we are.. boy meets girl! Those days it was strictly face to face… then came the days of pen pals – how did they bridge with pen pals across the nations? Anyway the snail mail took what seemed forever and it would take months literally to correspond. Now the world is getting smaller or it seems that way with us making friends globally in mere instants.. Messages and responses (well if they are logged on or able to respond) are instant.. and here we will be tapping our fingers restlessly and impatiently waiting for a response! Come on, can’t we appreciate that we are no longer bound by snail mail and become a tad patient? LOL. Selfies, what a gift – we can know what the person is looking like at the very moment of our communication – as long as there is honesty and no deceit there that is!
Our comfort zones and values and perspectives and our dream partner often leads us to put someone in a box. We check their FB profile (age, ethnicity, background, religion, photos, what they do etc) and have a chat with them and then in an instant perhaps subconsciously put them in a box with largely stamped labels… BROTHER / SISTER or POTENTIAL PARTNER or NO FRIENDSHIP whatsoever. We have evaluated based on our earthly wisdom….
- What are the things you looked for / or are looking for in a partner?
- What is your basis?
It’s sad when we have put them in a ‘bro’ box and the bro doesn’t feel he fits into that box… Well, it’s even sadder when we have done our evaluation based on compatibility in our eyes and God has other plans! And then of course, it’s tough when we have put them in a potential partner compartment and are waiting for the other on to make the move (plucking the petals of a flower – will he? will he not?) or trying to read each sign to know what is that person wanting… wondering whether we have been put in any particular box by them!
Yet on the other hand, we may want to ‘test’ the authenticity of the person – now does that happen in the friendship stage or the dating stage ? Well any time before the ‘relationship’ stage I think would be best! Authenticity especially in the area of their faith declaration.. many would say that they are believers, that they love God.. but words and actions don’t necessarily go hand in hand and it takes times and opportunities to check that out.
- What choices are they making in life?
- What fruit of the Spirit is evident?
- Which acts of the fleshly nature are dominant?
Then there is the next question of who makes the first move… One group of thinkers would say, the man has to make the move and that if the man likes a girl, he would do the chase. Another group of thinkers would say that the woman can make the move. Cindi McMenamin writes of intiative in her article http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/relationships/10-things-men-secretly-love-about-their-wives.html:
“It was surprising to me how many husbands told me their wives were the ones who first initiated the relationship. …. Men, inherently, have a fear of rejection”
This actually makes sense as men do tend to be task oriented and not relationship motivated as such comparatively. They would like to protect but it is in general the woman who is relationship oriented. Is it then of any wonder that the Bible tells the man to love his wife while wives are not being told that. Wives tend to take over given the nurturing component and thus the Bible tells them to be submissive! Phew what a dilemma.. what balance is required in both situations!
Then of course, there is the man who does the chasing with the adrenalin rush of winning the trophy only to chuck it out and move on when they get the trophy as the next ‘trophy’ of getting the unattainable starts flashing in their eyes. And when the discarded trophy moves on, it tends to create interest again as it’s no longer possessed or owned by them.
The cautious man who is serious will tread carefully and will tend to retract until he is sure.. but the mixed signals can be really difficult for the female whose priority are relationships… Is it of any wonder as Scriptures do tell us that after the fall the wives are told that their desires will be for their husbands and that the husbands will rule over them… Of course when a female shows her love, a number of men take it as a weakness rather than see that that’s the way they are wired. Mind you, the man RULING is not God’s perfect plan but rather a result of SIN and the fall. It’s not what God wants of a couple.
So.. now what?? What do we do?!
I think of partner choices and how God did it… is it your way or is higher than your ways with no formulas attached?
God saw that it was NOT good for man to be alone. So He put Adam to sleep (maybe God felt he was going to protest if he knew what was to transpire next! LOL.. just joking), created Eve from Adam’s ribs out of all things (not from dust like He did with Adam)) and brought Eve to Adam.. He didn’t send Adam hunting for Eve. Adam, who had named all the creatures and seen there was none suitable for him (had a void perhaps), woke up from his sleep, was obviously astounded when he saw Eve and broke out in romantic poetry (which is lost in the translation from the Hebrew). The two became one – the ultimate union. But, mind you, that was in a perfect world before the fall!
Then we read of Abraham who saw a need for a partner for his son. I wonder what Isaac’s take was on finding a partner. Abraham sent his servant, he identified the girl, and she came willingly and immediately – even though her family wanted her to wait a while more. Isaac looked up from the fields, saw her, listened to what the servant had to say and married her. He loved her and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death – Genesis 24:67.
Ruth’s mother in law urged her to work in Boaz’s fields. And eventually told her to wash and perfume herself, put on her BEST clothes and to go to him. She told her to go where Boaz would be lying that night, uncover his feet and lie down. Goodness imagine the ‘forwardness’ and especially in that culture. Ruth was humble enough to submit and make her availability for marriage known to him through these actions and her words, “you are a kinsman-redeemer”. The godly man that he was, didn’t rest until the matter was settled that very day (Ruth 3).
Samson chose the right one for him from the Philistines and this was from the LORD (Judges 14). God rebuked (all?) other marriages that were of foreign wives. Solomon despite being the wisest man on earth was led astray by his choice in women. David let his eyes do the talking during the time of being irresponsible. Sin after sin followed to cover up, but thank God he repented and thus was called a man after God’s own heart.
Phew! God’s ways are surely higher than our ways.. So let’s not categorise into boxes or operate by rules and regulations or be bound by formulas… Let’s not stop or rebuke others either. However let’s continue to intercede for one another and encourage on another to spur on to be led by the Holy Spirit who is like the wind – we don’t know where He will be coming from or going… Are we able to surrender to His voice, and be led step by step??
Don’t throw caution to the wind but rather throw caution to the Holy Spirit!!!
God leads His people to step out of our comfort zones trusting in Him.. not in the known patterns or perceptions! Are you willing? Am I?