Question

If I had been an angel at the start of time

Would I now be lying in bed

with the Devil?

 

(I was reading the first chapter of Patriarchs and Prophets a few days ago (‘entitled Why was Sin Permitted?’) and it made me think about how flaky I am. I’m stubborn with some things, but a lot of the time I’m easily swayed—it’s my nature as a people pleaser. I’ve got myself into a lot of stupid situations because I felt bad about saying ‘no’ and didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings…. I asked myself the question: would I have stood for God during the war in Heaven, or  would I have been deceived by Lucifer’s words of discontent?

It was a scary thought for me, at least. Because I couldn’t answer it.) 

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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.

Eve and Gender Equality

It has been a few weeks since I updated this blog, mainly because of exams and coursework. It was really stressful; I’ve never felt so unprepared for an exam. No matter how much I revised, the information just wasn’t staying in my head, but I prayed and I would like to think I did well. God’s got it all under control.

In between exam papers, I’ve been reading Daughters of God by Ellen G White. She was one of the pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist church and is also our prophet. She was alive in the 1800s so I was rather skeptical about what she had to say about women. I always assumed that her views on gender roles would be old fashioned and anti-womanist, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what she has written. So far, my favourite quote has been her opening assessment of Eve:

God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided “an help meet for him”—a helper corresponding to him—one who was fitted to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love and sympathy. Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, not to be trampled under his feet as inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh she was his second self, showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that should exist in this relation.

I’ve heard similar sayings before, but I think it’s a positive sign that Sister White made this point. A lot of people in our church disagree with such things, believing that women should be beneath men, despite our own prophet saying differently. I have another quote from her that I would like to share with  you, probably tomorrow, regarding the Independent Woman.

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