Boys and Girls: A Houseplant Manifesto

2:18 PM

I go crazy when people write articles about Christian dating/courtship/relationships and just make feel-good assertions without any substantiation.

As if God was like, "Hey so let's write down a bunch of rules to guide these earthlings, but DON'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT HOW TO MARRY AND REPLICATE, let's just leave them to figure it out; it'll be hilarious!"

Ah no.

Apparently He's really into everything we do, Holy and Transcendent though He is.

 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesusgiving thanks to God the Father through him.

So it doesn't take much cranial exertion to recognize that "dating" or "bizarre human courting rituals" (mere semantics) are included in this everything business the verse is talking about. 

It really oughta be approached with a good conscience, and all done for the glory of God.

You can usually tell when someone's like "Yay free-for-all, let's make up this dating stuff as we goooo!" versus "Whoakaynow, hold on there thumping-wicked-heart-o'-mine, you are not to be trusted!" versus "You licentious, depraved fools, don't you dare associate with the opposite sex! Cooties!" 

Frankly, as an emotional-hormonal-single-teenager I have no credentials in this area, but I have this thing called a conscience. It's kind of like a houseplant. If I sit on it to pretend it's not there it gets all shriveled and pathetic, but if I water it, it gets all large and hard to ignore. The water is--you guessed it--Scripture, so if I'm not in the Word you'll be able to tell by my houseplant. 
Anyway, this is what my houseplant says about Courtship/Dating/Guys.
My identity/worth doesn't depend on my relational status. (Rom. 8:38,39)
Which means I have really no need to be smooched on by someone just to make me feel better about myself. Thus being single and unsmooched is equally awesome. (1 Cor. 7:34)

Parents are clever about these things. (Eph 6:2)
Sometimes I'll go to my Dad and say "so, erm, ehe there's this guy, ahem, and well, what do you make of him?" And he'll ask really penetrating questions and give input that never even occurred to me, and I'm thinking, "note-to-self, this guy's worth listening to." 

Marriage is for a long, long time. (Matt. 19:5-6)
Why you would jump into a life-long commitment just because your brain is marinated in hormones is beyond me. Don't ignore red flags and the wise input of others.

Romance is for marriage (1 Cor. 7: 36-37)
Don't put off commitment by "mingling" to fill your emotional quota. Confession time: it's hard not to like hanging out with guys that make me laugh and pay attention to me. But I often wrestle with my motives; am I seeking their company because I love them and want to bless them-in-all-their-future-endeavors, or am I flattering them because I love myself? Love does not seek its own. 

Guys are fascinating and absolutely worth talking to. (1 Cor. 12)
So worth it
Seriously, so much is gained by godly friendship with spiritual brothers. No I don't mean buddy relationships where we call each other up, go for coffee and hold-hands-in-prayer nonsense.  Ask what Jesus is doing in their life and cheer them on! Confession time: I'm not always very wise in this area. Sometimes I label a guy as "safe" and then think we have license to share personal thoughts & "feelings". Facepalm. I'm a dweeb.

Looks and personality are superficial (1 Sam. 16:7)
This is not to say awkward ugliness is holy, rather that Godly character is what makes a marriage strong, not biceps and bravado. There's a certain physique that comes with being self-disciplined, but this can be counterfeited out of vanity= not attractive. 

Marriage isn't about me or "us" but about Him. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
If some fella comes along and says, "Hey, so I'm really excited about seeking God's kingdom first, and sheesh it's hard work, wanna help?" I'll be like "I'M IN!" 

Kids are kind of Fabulous and it's just what happens. (Psalm 127: 3-5)
This is a kid. Nuff said.
Sometimes I'm like "ACK stretch marks?!!" I mean come on, when I'm bawling my eyes out at my kid's graduation will I be thinking, "Man, I'd trade them any day for no stretch marks"? Marriage=babies. Yay! 

So anyway, whilst others sling mud over "patriarchal misogyny",  "cultship" and "serial dating", I'll just be over here watering my houseplant.

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