I spent the majority of my youth pastor years as a staunch anti-dating advocate. (the first part of my youth pastor career, I was 17, and dating, so I was pro-dating back then) The thing was, and is, teenagers are idiots. Go ahead and howl, idiot teenagers. In a couple of years you’ll agree with me. Teenagers are great at making terrible decisions, and with 100+ in our little “flock”, I guess we figured the easiest way to keep the hormones at bay was to strongly discourage dating. We did a lot of stuff wrong, but I’m not sure how much of this particular issue I’d change, if we did it all again.
I have made a reversal of sorts in recent years, as all of my youth group kids have quit being idiot teenagers and started being at least semi-responsible adults. And that is why I am telling them meet a nice girl and settle down.
I think this concept of “the one” has really hurt us, in the church. When I take my 5 year old to the Dollar Tree, sometimes I give him the option of choosing 1, and only 1, toy. He will walk back and forth for as long as I will let him, trying on a pirate hat, then swinging a plastic bat, dry-shooting a water gun, etc. At some point I have to say, enough. Just pick one. It’s agonizing. Listen, guys and girls: there are multiple people you could be blissfully happy and soulmated with, on this earth. The “one” is a myth.
I’m no expert, I mean, I got married when I was like, 12. But from my 32 years of life, I see some pretty clear issues. There is a SURPLUS of single Christian men and women. And I think a lot of people are holding back from engaging in friendship and getting-to-know-you because they have a list, and if they pick an inferior candidate, they will never be happy. Hogwash. There’s something to be said for arranged marriages. Stop looking for perfection and start seeing the beauty around you. She will be fat and he will be bald in 30 years, anyway, so maybe look a little deeper. Talk to people, get to know them and their humor and their passions and their pain. Sheesh. People are great. I have rarely met a person I didn’t love something about, once I talked to them enough.
This is kind of a rant, because I know plenty of single people that are awesome and waiting. I’m mostly talking to guys when I say quit being shallow and start seeing deeper, but I’m not just talking to guys.
So look around you, see the depth and the kindness and the character and the loveliness and ask someone to coffee. Worse case, you get shot down. Let me reassure you again, the “one” is a myth.
|Liz. Ask her out. She’s awesome.|