So a few years ago after I realized that I was the problem and that I had basically no understanding of how female attraction worked – and I was screwing it up ten other ways, I called a mentor friend of mine and said, “Hey I’ve got big problems here.” He said, “Well fly out here and we’ll fix it.” Now I’ll admit I was a little fearful of this trip but hey I was desperate and I knew I was lost, so I booked the flight.
Basically we had an all day counseling session. I left with a lot of truths. But here was the overall premise. My friend said, “Look, you are a strong guy, and you’ve got a lot going for you. You’d make a great husband, everyone agrees with that. But you know what, there are a lot of people who would make a great President. The problem is most of them can’t get elected.”
I laughed, and cringed. It was an incredible insight. I think this is a huge problem for many of us single folks who feel like we are called to marriage. We want to be married. We want to have the “Christian” marriage that everyone keeps talking about, even though we understand that it will take work and sacrifice – we still desire it and think we are made for it. And the truth is many of us would make a great spouse – while of course always being a work in progress. The problem isn’t do we want to be married or would we be a good marriage partner. The problem is we don’t know how to get married – we can’t get elected.
The church community, including us singles, needs to step up in this area. We can talk all day about marriage and all the things not to do as a single person. And I want to re-emphasize that those things are indeed important. But I’m not sure that we do a lot to actually help people get married.
One time a pastor at our church was giving the one sermon on singleness I’ve heard him preach (sorry can’t help it). He actually was doing really well. Then he dropped this line, “Now some of you are just awkward (read unelectable). That’s ok, you just need to work on it. If you don’t know where you’re awkward come find me and I’ll tell you.” Now he actually had a great point that most pastors are afraid to say, but he wasn’t going to personally follow up with 1000 single people.
But in community we actually could work on this. And as single people we need to have the humility and frankly the bravery to work on this. We need to ask questions like, How do I come off to the opposite sex?, What type of people do I date and why?, Am I pursuable or do I have a huge wall up?, Am I afraid to commit?, What kind of first impression do I make?, Why am I so nervous to approach a girl I’m interested in?, and many more. We need to evaluate ourselves as well as ask others and let them speak into this. This is not a beat ourselves up moment. It’s a real talk moment.
The thing is there are actually honest answers to these questions. And the best part is you can change them. You really can. But if you don’t face them then you probably won’t. By the way all of this goes way beyond dating. The root answers to these questions come from our fears, sins, and woundedness, none of which come from God. They are affecting our lives in all sorts of ways. Jesus wants to grow and heal us from them, but we have to dive in with Him and His community.
So here is the question – Are you electable?
Doesn’t this present marriage as the Goal though (something wisely established in an earlier post as not the point)?The church’s job is not to help people get married nor should it be. Was Jesus “awkward” or unelectable because he remained single? I agree that we need to be a part of a community that will help us see our spiritual blindspots, but that goes for married folks too and has more to do with being fallen humans than single.
I can see where on it’s own it could read that way. But a couple of things. Not all singles are “unelectable” and just because you are single doesn’t mean you are. But there are, in my opinion, a lot of people who don’t know how to interact well with the opposite sex. I was there for several years. No one helped me.
If we don’t feel called to be single, then I think we have to ask why am I single. There can be lots of different answers to that. But I think the answer many times is people don’t know how to go about it. That to me is not a good reason to be single. Doesn’t make it wrong to be single per se, just saying we should be helping people that want to get married pursue that well, in the same way that we should be helping married people be married well.
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So, how do we make ourselves electable. I have come right out and asked several Christian people, and they suddenly seem like it just happened, or start spouting platitudes. I can change if I know what to change and how to do it. People tell me I’m handsome, and a good man, so I must have to learn something to make myself, as you call it, electable.
First off, remember just because you are single doesn’t mean you aren’t “electable”. I’m not making a universal statement here. What I’m getting at is that a lot of times guys don’t know how female attraction works and/or they don’t have confidence in themselves. So they end up being too nice or too desperate or too wishy washy. All of those are very unattractive. A lot of people who do get married never really thought about this but I think it’s always good to ask, what am I doing. For me, I could usually get the first date with anyone. I had trouble moving it forward if I really liked the person because I tried to hard and was too nice. That was just my issue. In general, I’d think more about how you interact and less about are you a good guy or good looking (which I don’t doubt you are).
Also – are you “campaigning”. In other words do you pursue and get rejected or are you just not really going after anyone? When you do pursue what happens? How does that interaction typically go?
I’ve tried to go at this some on here. You could probably search “attraction” and get several of the posts on this. Not saying I have all the answers – just trying to be helpful.
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