Sunday, January 28, 2007

Relational Cultural Myths of Post Y2K: Part II

In my first entry regarding this topic, I shared the first three cultural myths presented by my pastor at Life on the Vine Church, David Fitch, regarding singleness and marriage. Here are the other four. If the first three myths dealt with more general issues of singleness and marriage in our culture and in the evangelical church, then the last four myths deal more specifically with issues related to dating and seeking relationships. As before, both the bold statements and the commentary beneath are pastor Fitch's words with some slight editing in the interest of better clarity and form.

Myth 4: I just haven't met the right one

...someday it will just click...

An indefatigable faith that the next one is just around the corner and will be the right one. but we go from one dating relationship to the next, each one short-circuiting. Could it be that the problem is with me, my character, my vision of marriage, what I am looking forward to and the reasons why I enter into a relationship. Could it be that I require the skills and character capable of trust, discernment, forgiveness, self-examination, speaking the truth in love, and self-knowledge in Christ. Could it be once I begin to see my own growth and examination as a central part of a relationship, not just "getting what I want," that the whole dynamics of a relationship change into what God intended. (Eph 5:25-27)

Myth 5:I'm attracted to him (her), it must be love...

"We are all attracted to someone naturally. It is why we choose person A over person B. There is this chemistry that is the natural basis for a relationship that must mean it is love and we will live happily ever after."

But we are attracted to and desire the things we place a high value upon, we place importance in, things we admire. Often times these things we value are scripted from foreign places and need to be examined. Our attractions and desires may be off, the result of sin both past and present. Once we examine these areas of our lives, we might find the ways we are attracted changing. For example, once we begin to cherish certain character traits that are Christian we may find our attractions changing. Once we examine our physical body scripts we may find the same. the fact is, attraction often is the outworking of commitment and can develop, grow, and flourish if one is open to it. It doesn't always have to happen this way, but it can and most often does in later ages. "...I pray that your love may grow more and more with knowledge and deeper perception..." (Phil 1:9

Myth 6: I'll just know

"I always had the blind faith that I would know when it was right. My heart would just know."

But the reality is that "the intuitive know" is a confusing mess these days because we have accumulated so much junk, so many scripts, so many emotions that we aren't even aware of. We need a place to come clean, be pure, and allow the cross to heal us and unite us towards his common purposes. (Rom 12:2)

Myth 7: I need a (wo)man with A, B, and C

"I'm looking for A, B, and C. I need a good sense of humor. I need someone that won't make me angry. I need someone that is smart and stimulating. I am attracted to someone who looks like. . ."

There certainly is the issue of complementarity and the sharing of gifts and humor. the reality, however, is that if we are not united for the right reasons, around purposes of God for a marriage, no complementary gifts or personality traits can sustain a relationship. Instead, these things can often fall into line if we are both committed to the same purpose in coming together in Christ. We often, therefore, do an analysis on the person as to what he or she can offer me, as if it is some horse trade, when in reality we would profit from looking for a companion on life's journey towards wholeness and the fulfilling of God's purposes in Christ for our lives. Out of a search for this commonality, each one's gifts and personality can come to the fore. (Eph 5:29)

That's all of them!

2 comments:

Strange said...

this is a great post with a very interesting perspective...thank you for sharing this...I know ever since i got married, certain single people always asks lots of questions, as though love and marriage was some secret code that needed to be cracked.

Gordon Hackman said...

Strange,

Thanks for stoping by and leaving a comment. I think it's true that many people feel that success in relationships and marriage are reducable to some kind of technique. It's evident in the flood of books concerning the topic in both the Christian and mainstream book market. I think it's a reflection of the way our society is so captivated by technology and by the idea of scientific/technological solutions for every problem or challenge. It appeals to our desire for absolute control over everything in our lives.