The men you are attracted to are not the ones coming after you, and the men who are attracted to you are not the ones you wanna marry.
I can’t help but notice, that there is a missing demographic in the world around us. Its a universal truth, and sadly, it is the same in our churches as well. More single women, ready to marry – and lesser and lesser men, willing to marry them, or not available?- I don’t know.
I just said goodnight to a single friend of mine, who is single because of a marriage that did not work out. She still believes, and rightfully so, that she will find a guy someday, though practicality speaks otherwise. She’s in another country and says the phenomenon is universal. Camerin Courtney put it very well in her article “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (I’ve given the link at the end)
She asked me a very important question, “Joy are you really happy? Are you happy because you’re getting married, or happy because of the guy?”
Thankfully, as you all know, my answer was – “Happy because of the guy”
Then she responded, “I made that mistake. Never thought through about the guy, but was just happy to finally get married.”
I’ve had many single girls run up to me, all excited, saying “Yeh! You’re getting married finally.”
Honestly, I am happy about marrying Mark, and not just ecstatic about ‘marrying’. I know its late, but I was never desperate. Same thing was echoed by an eligible, single, bachelor the other day. “Joy, I’m happy being single right now. I am looking out, of course, am available but I am not dying to ‘be married.'” I was so happy to hear that. He did not say it in a proud kinda-way, that I’m happy, and I don’t-need-a-woman-types, but genuinely.
When I was single, I was lonely at times. But I did not cry out, “Lord, I’m lonely, give me a man.” Cos my Lord satisfied my soul – soul includes mind, will and emotions. He helped me to repair my damaged soul, restored my joy and my self-esteem, and I was happy with myself. No human being can satisfy the needs of our soul, forever. Some day the man will fall short of making you feel happy, cos may be he is also lonely, or simply human, and then what will you do?
You are ready to marry, not when you need someone to meet your need. You are ready to marry, when you are ready to love! Not puppy running-around-the-trees love, but true love. And that can only happen when you love yourself. It happened in my life. Jesus taught me to love me. “Love thy neighbor as you love yourself.” As you love yourself. How do you love yourself – in a healthy way, not self-obsessed.
Of course, we need companionship! And that is exactly what women are looking for today. But men think they are looking for something else, and they think they will fall short, and so they don’t try. Myles Munroe, in his sermon on ‘What Men Want’ put it so well – “What made your father a man does not exist today.” Earlier, the man was the sole bread winner of the family, and he took pride in providing completely for the wife and kids, and the woman took pride in the way he worked hard, and toiled, to put food on the table. Before technology kicked in, enabling women to do different types of work, men did all the hard physical-labor-work. Society, and women, measured men by how well they provide and protect their wives.
Then things changed. Women started to do the same jobs and after a while, even earning the same. Most men, the world over, according to Myles, are going through an identity crisis because they cannot understand their role in a woman’s life. The man does not know what makes him a man – its not just money, any more. I won’t go into detail but this was his summary.
Women are looking out for men, not just to provide money, (cos they also can go to Spencers and get it. They don’t have to till the land for it), but for men to provide companionship and love.
My single friend said the same thing “I’m just looking for a man to hang out with me. A companion”
Companion, not a medicine for loneliness.
Having said that, let me turn to my species now.
The single women, are doing the same things, looking in the same places, and expecting different results. The ones you are attracted to are not the ones coming after you, and the guys who are attracted to you don’t fit the bill.
(All these statements below are truly said by women I’ve met or known)
“I want the guy to earn double of what I’m earning. He should be able to give me all the luxuries my dad has given. That’s basic. I told the Lord about this, and I don’t want to compromise on that. I will wait.”
“I want him to play guitar, or sing. I want us to sing together.”
“I hate marrying younger guys. I don’t want to mother anybody.”
“That’s basic?” To give you the same standard of life like your dad gave you? You have told the Lord, and what did the Lord tell you about it? And you want the man to give you what your dad gave you, but tomorrow you detest it if he asks you to give him what his mother used to? (This woman I know is in her late late 30s.)
“Play guitar?” Dudette, that’s a skill, not a quality. Anyone can learn to play guitar if he goes for classes. Again, a skill required to make music, not make a marriage.
“Don’t want to marry younger guys” I once heard someone say this with so much disgust! If this were true, many of the girls I now know would still have been single. I appreciate one of my friends who took the initiative and proposed to a guy much younger, and today they both are happily married, and he is so glad she proposed then. We women like to take initiative in everything, in the next big event in church, in problem-solving issues at office … but not in our own personal lives?
Most of the singles I know have been roaming about in the same social circles for years, doing the same things, going to the same places, and expecting different results. What have you done differently in your attempt to find a mate? Some of us hate to register on a matrimonial site. One of my dearest friends found a guy on a matri, and found out he was related to someone in our church, though he did not attend the same church. They are super happy today.
Why am I writing all this? Because my heart goes out to all those single women, and a little for the men too, who are ready to marry, but are not finding anyone. I am extremely thrilled about my wedding, but this reality shoves up in my face everytime.
With all due respect, this is what basic looks like. Like how you need roti, kapda aur makaan to live, in the same way, can you list just 3 basic things you need in your life partner? Narrow down your one-page quality-list to the top three or even five.
I once got some good advice – “Look for the most important qualities, which are non-negotiable. The rest, we can adjust and manage.” Yes, the rest are the ones we must learn to manage and adjust.
I know one girl who had a second marriage with a great guy, but not even one percent as good looking as she is; and they both are so happy with a baby today. She cut off the ‘very good looking – very attracted to’ quality off her list. He is okay-looking, a pleasant personality, but you put the two together, they really don’t match. But they got together and made a wonderful home.
I know all singles are waiting, and waiting rightfully. But what are you doing while you wait? I plead you, please think about this.
And do post your answers to the following question,for my next article:
Do you think the church has played a very passive role in addressing the ‘singles issue’ ?
(Passive also includes only pray, and do nothing about it. I don’t even know one church that has recognized the need and has started a singles ministry – even a blog, or a newsletter, or anything at all. Very sad.)
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