Sunday, November 30, 2003
I've been thinking this evening, and while it may be drivel, I thought I'd put it out in the open. As one old saying has it, I'm going to run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes it. It may be a little jumbled, but then, so is my head right now.
I believe in some form of destiny. It may be Predestination, or something else, but the point is that I think that there are some things that are meant to happen. These things may not happen, but I think God is most glorified if they do. This ties in with things like talents and spiritual gifts; we're expected to use what we've been given for the glory of God, especially by giving everything we have to God. What we have belongs to God anyway, and we therefore have no right to it, but it seems to me that when we surrender things to God, He always gives them back, better than before.
One such thing is marriage. I'm a young guy; I obviously think about girls a lot. I think, and hope, my intentions are honorable (by this, I mean that they are seeking the will of God). Like everyone, I make mistakes and have lapses, but I think the overall trend is towards good rather than sin. Now, I think some people are meant to get married and raise a family. Others, for God's own mysterious reasons, are meant to remain single. I don't think that either is necessarily better or worse, but that each comes with its own benefits and trials. If I'm meant to eventually get married (I don't know whether I am or not, but it seems to me to be more pressing to develop beliefs about marrying than remaining single, as the latter is the current status quo, and so I can consider that more at my leisure), then I need to know why I'm doing it, what characteristics to look for in a girl, and the slightly more minor questions of when to do it and where to live.
I've been told by non-Christians and some liberal Christians that what I'm about to say is horribly sexist and awful. In my defense, I say that I honestly and truly try to respect women, and hold them in no less esteem than men. I do believe that the man is to be the head of the relationship and, later, the family. The woman is to be his helper. "Husband" literally means "master of the house," and he is the one who ultimately must make decisions. He may delegate authority, and he may choose to defer to his wife, but that is up to him. This doesn't make him better than the woman. It is a debt of servitude to the good of the wife and the family. The more expendable person is the husband; the wife is the more valuable part of the relationship. It's like my relationship as Rank Captain to my rank in marching band: I speak with the director and have authority over them to have them do my will (which, to be legitimate, must be the will of the one with authority over me), but I must also serve them by helping them solve and band-related problems, preparing their drill charts, and monitoring the position of the rank against other ranks during marching. I lead and am given authority, but my job is to serve my rank so that they may do the task given to them by the director, who is my superior and is the one from whom I take my instruction. Now, the girl I marry should be someone capable of helping me in doing God's work, but also someone who likewise depends on me to allow her to the work God has given to her. Essentially, the marriage allows us both to work better than if we were on our own (though, as I've mentioned, some people do better work on their own, and so marriage would hinder them).
Dating should be done with the view of better getting to know a person. Liberties should not be taken. Again: liberties should not be taken. Before you do something, think of your date as your sister in Christ, and consider whether you'd want another person doing what you're considering to your own sister. She may also someday be someone's wife: if you wouldn't want your own wife doing something with another man, consider whether or not you should do it with this girl. Now, getting to know the girl can take many turns. There is one girl I've known since high school, and we meet every few weeks for lunch to catch up and just talk. Another girl and I were in a tough class together a while ago, and so we periodically get together and just hang out. I have no intention of marrying either girl, and I don't do anything with them that would be dishonorable as I've tried to define it before. I'm simply friends with them. However, it may also be that as you get to know a girl, you discover that the two of you complement each other very well, and it may be that a marriage should be something to look into. If this happens, it's probably time to redouble your prayer life. We all want some of the benefits of marriage, such as companionship, sex, status, and other things, but it's easy to be hasty and try and ignore things which are trying to tell you to look elsewhere or to wait. There've been times when I've had crushes on girls, only to feel stupid when I realize that not only aren't they my type at all, but that I've really known this all along. Just because a pretty girl is friendly, and even interested in you, doesn't automatically mean that you two are compatible.
I feel like I've just posted something long, confusing, and condescending about something simple and obvious. I think it's helped to clarify my thoughts. I hope it helps you, but at the very least, I hope that it does no harm.