The Great Husband War

For the first time (in my memory), my church did an entire afternoon programme focusing on singleness. Four people from the congregation sat on a panel and were asked questions about their life as a single person in the church. We then had a bigger discussion, in which people spoke about their experiences of trying to find a mate in church.

Whenever courtship and dating or topics surrounding it are discussed in church, it usually leads onto the same thing: the male: female ratio in our churches. There are roughly ten women to one man in church, and this leads to a lot of problems. Heartbreak is a major one. There are a small group of women who are evidently bitter that they’ve never been able to find a husband, even though they’ve been in the church for over ten years. It’s an inevitable problem: if there are so many women and so few men, the majority of the women are going to be left out. I suppose the realisation of this also worried me a little the other day. It has crossed my thoughts in the past that there may not be anyone there for me, even if I wanted there to be.

This struggle to find someone before all the eggs start vanishing can lead onto desperation, where a woman becomes infatuated with the first person who shows her attention (my friend mentioned this during the discussion in a not-so PC way and it caused a bit of upset).

There’s another problem that arises out of this imbalance, something much more sinister (in my opinion). Whenever what I’m about to say is mentioned, a lot of the men get upset, but I think this is because they don’t want to realise the truth. I speak of this “Sweet Shop” mentality that a lot of the “lucky few” have when it comes to women. They know they’re in a privileged position; they know there are women looking for a mate and they know they have plenty to choose from, so they exploit the system, damaging the outlook women have on men. I don’t know of any woman in church who hasn’t felt manipulated by a brother; he gives her all the attention and speaks to her about things that are inappropriate for friends and she finds out that she was one of many.

Amongst the youth, I’ve noticed guys do this a lot. Because everyone wants to be in a relationship, young men keep talking to young women about relationships in general and it gives the wrong impression. Nowadays I’m so weary whenever I meet a guy for the first time because they only ever want to talk about relationships. What do I want in a husband? What kind of family do I want? How do I feel when men do this or that? When this first happened to me, I generally thought the man in question was interested in me, before I happened to see on Facebook that he was with someone. Well that was good news.

Some of these guys lead women on unintentionally, but others are well aware of what they are doing; it’s fairly simple to guess how such questions will come across to the opposite sex. My friend’s mum warned me of these guys; she said that some of them do it because they want a general idea of what women want/like, and they’re simply phishing for information until they meet the woman they “really” want to be with.

This is a real shame, you know. Imagine how it looks. There are women, young and old, thinking: “if even the men in church are like this, is there any hope? Because they’re no different from the wastes out in the world.”

I’ll close with a quote from my girl Ellen:

To trifle with hearts is a crime of no small magnitude in the sight of a holy God. And yet some will show preference for young ladies and call out their affections, and then go their way and forget all about the words they have spoken and their effect. A new face attracts them, and they repeat the same words, devote to another the same attentions.

This disposition will reveal itself in the married life. The marriage relation does not always make the fickle mind firm, the wavering steadfast and true to principle. They tire of constancy, and unholy thoughts will manifest themselves in unholy actions. How essential it is, then, that the youth so gird up the loins of their mind and guard their conduct that Satan cannot beguile them from the path of uprightness.

The Adventist Home, pg 57

Just a little something to chew on. I really need to be wiser, before I get manipulated again. The person I spoke about the other day has really shown me that I need to slow down.

And think. I keep saying this but it’s true: God will provide (and gosh I’m so young, why am I worrying about this anyway???).

I don’t plan to join the Husband War any time soon—or ever.

Advertisements

Starting Again.

I’m so glad for another week.

Last week really was a nightmare. It started off by a wrong decision which meant I was in a situation that had me reprimanded by my friends. I ended up feeling really disappointed with myself and I couldn’t pray for a couple days because I had the burden of what I’d done just playing on my mind.

I also had university work that needed doing (which I still haven’t done) and the memory of my poor performance during my French Oral kept playing over in my head. Being Christmas Week meant a lot of rushing around and doing last-minute shopping and errands for people that had left it too late to get the presents themselves. It was a struggle from the start, but Wednesday was the worst. In fact, it was bloody awful.

I told a close friend that I had feelings for them. And even though I knew I was going to get turned down, it still hurt me more than I admitted—not just to him, but to myself. I moped around on Thursday like an idiot and I felt angry at him for not being clear enough about his own intentions. I wasn’t the only one who found his ignorance surrounding basic male-female interaction a little odd. Bottom line: he led me on. Overtly. And had no idea.

It wasn’t his fault, though. To be fair, I should have been thinking more clearly. I think we’ve all seen through my posts on this blog that I have very confusing and conflicting opinions about men and relationships and marriage and this is something that has caused me stress for a good three years. At 17-18 I actually had NO trust for the opposite sex; church was worse, because I saw a lot of old-fashioned gender stereotypes and borderline misogyny amongst the older men. These sentiments were passed down to their sons and it made me despair for young Christians. Because of these feelings, the few times I’ve had romantic feelings for a guy, it’s left me in a state of self-defeat. I felt this way VERY strongly with this friend of mine because I just couldn’t read him and I couldn’t really describe how I felt about him. I just knew that he was on my mind a lot. And it made me feel vulnerable.

So anyway, I got it out there. I was rejected in a round-a-bout way, but the message was clear anyway. It came with an apology as well. Ugh. We ended the phonecall like we always did, chatting nonsense and whatnot, and I thought I felt better once it was off my chest, but by the next morning I felt awful, as if I was nursing a hangover.

I’m really grateful for my sister, who gave me good advice about it. And two friends who are very dear to me. One of them knows how odd I feel about relaying my feelings to others so he waited patiently while I sat around his table and fiddled with my fingers. He gave me a big hug afterwards. My other friend made me feel a little better; opened my eyes a bit to the major differences between me and this guy—differences that would have caused problems. As in, my ‘radicalness’ 😀

So yeah, not a good week. I’m not going to give a Bible text here. I should, but it’s been a long day and I think it’s time for bed soon. I’ll just say this:

The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with God. Concentrate on that one before anything else, and He’ll provide you with everything else.

xXx