Sunday, March 05, 2006


Laying aside Hollywood dreams

It's six years and counting since I began to earnestly search for a suitable Christian wife. No, I haven't met her yet, or at least I don't think I have. It's not that single gals aren't out there. They are. I've written, spoken with, and visited dozens of them. My experience with each one of them was unique, but yet in practically all of them I observed something in common: the desire for romance. Call it what you will--chemistry, the spark, whatever--single Christian women seem to want it just as bad as their unbelieving sisters. With few exceptions, single gals seem to have an earnest desire to be swept off their feet in romantic bliss.

During my journey, I've also seen a few Christian singles manage to get un-single-fied and take on a spouse. You know what I've noticed about them? There's no lack of mutual affection between them, but that's not the main thing: without exception, they demonstrate a willingness to serve one another and work alongside one another. Instead of each party living to have his or her emotional needs met, they are striving to meet the true needs of the other party. To be sure there is romance that comes out of this, but it is so evident that the romance grows out of the serving rather than the serving being fueled by the romance. Perhaps this is the crucial reason why these folks managed to get married whereas so many singles haven't: they've come to understand that love is built upon duty rather than emotion.

My single brother or sister, please pay heed to this. Any thought you may have of building a God-honoring marriage on the foundation of emotional bliss is based on Hollywood or Harlequin fantasy instead of Scripture. If you want to continue looking for a knight in shining armor or a damsel in distress in your daydreams, go ahead, but don't confuse such fantasies with reality. Put aside your worldly notions about chemistry, spark, etc., and search the Scriptures to see what they teach about the roles of husband/father and wife/mother. Next, apply those teaching to yourself insofar as the role(s) to which you aspire, and prayerfully search for a person who embodies the qualities that would suit him/her for the role(s) he/she would fill. Looks and personality matter, I suppose, but spiritual like-mindedness and submissiveness matter so much more!

Although I often enjoy watching old Hollywood romances and comedies, I've learned to file their often-hackneyed plotlines under "worldly fantasy." I am determined to build a marriage on Scripture instead of Hollywood. How about you, Christian single? How about you?

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