Dec 10, 2007

Brothers and Sisters are We (?/!) – Part Two: Tickle Me Elmo Goes Berserk!


Well, I must sincerely apologize for taking so long in getting the rest of the series underway (hopefully I haven’t lost your interest with such a delay… but then again, if I had, you wouldn’t be reading this :). The end of the semester was quite busy and I have had lots of other “loose ends” to tie up. This next week will be a j-term… so sort of squished in-between right now. I was finally able to work out an organizational scheme that I am (somewhat) comfortable with. As of now, there will be a total of seven “parts,” the last of which is a requested topic. This particular post (part 2) is THE section that has given me the most trouble in trying to organize (and finally get typed) and is also a large chunk of the series. With that said, I am breaking Part 2 into two different posts so that it less overwhelming to the reader. So, the first half of Part 2, will address an overview of the particular issues and the male approaches. The second half will address the female reactions and a section on the reciprocation between the two sex’s actions and reactions. Please continue to pray for me as I seek to honor Christ in my thoughts and writings.

Previously in the Series:

*Preliminary: A Confession From the Heart
*Brothers and Sisters are We (?/!) – Part One: Intro and Background

Overview of the Issues

Ok, on to the issues… I would guess that the majority of the single men and women on campus are in their mid to late 20’s and marriage minded. Most are not satisfied being “a single person,” yet they are trying to trust in Christ and be content until they are able to meet someone. Sounds good right? I mean, you have young people, they are marriage minded, and they are trying to be content in Christ until then. So what’s the problem? Well, the simple answer is sin… but let’s take it a little further than that (otherwise this would be a very short post, and we can’t have that :). The most glaring issue is that, in terms of the Seminary, there are WAY more men than ladies. I don’t know the ratios or the specific numbers, but I don’t think that anyone could walk around the campus and believe there to be anywhere near an equal balance (again, in terms of the Seminary). This is an unnatural situation, an unnatural balance, a bubble in the middle of society.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of guys and relatively few ladies. I hate to put it in these terms, but it is simply a matter of supply and demand. There are too many guys after too few girls. This is a fact and should not be overlooked. Now, there is question as to whether or not a guy or girl should look at the seminary as the only (or even primary) place to look for someone. I think that it should not be the only place, but that will be addressed more in part four of this series. Also, the greater issue is that of sanctification in how we treat each other, aside from the question of dating and marriage. For now, let’s just say that though it is not the only place, it is the most “natural” place, since we are already here, and are somewhat like-minded. So, for the sake of argument, let’s say that within the confines of the seminary 2/3 of the single student population is male, leaving 1/3 of the single population female (why not arbitrary numbers, 98% of all statistics are made up anyway :). That means that 1/3 of the population has zero chance of finding a mate (b/c we do indeed believe in one man, one woman, for life). Well… if I were in that 2/3 population (hey look, I am), I’d be feeling pretty nervous about my chances, at least statistically.

Even beyond these simple statistics, there are other factors that further narrow “the field.” As Christians, we are to marry other Christians. As Christians who are called into ministry, it is a matter of wisdom to seek someone who is also called into ministry (this is probably the reason some tend to think only within the walls of the seminary). Other factors such as level of maturity, missions vs. stateside, and so on make the “playing field” even smaller. These are not absolutes, but should not be overlooked. Also, for Christians, marriage is for life, as mentioned above, which naturally makes people more cautious… it’s kind of a big decision. And I haven’t even mentioned basic personality and compatibility issues yet. Can you feel the field shrinking? From the ladies perspective, it may look pretty good… at least statistically, but we’ll address that a little bit later. From the guys’ perspective, after the qualifiers mentioned above, the already narrow field seems even narrower. This is the perfect breeding ground for desperation, which brings all sorts of problems. Now, before I continue, no, I am not saying all the guys here are desperate. I am simply saying that things are set up for it.

Ok, to get back to the supply and demand analogy, when the supply is limited and the demand is high, two basic things happen. First, competition among the buyers increases dramatically. Second, the sellers take advantage and the price also increases dramatically. Herein we have the two basic problems of the seminary dynamic. Everything else simply flows out of these two basic points in either a sinful or a sanctified manner. Now, yes, we have Christ and the Holy Spirit to help and lead us, but too often we try to do things on our own and too much from our own perspective.

So, what happens when competition is high? People act crazy. Anyone remember the Tickle Me Elmo craziness? Sometimes, the same mentality enters here. The one perception mentioned before was that it can sometimes feel as if 3000 guys are after two girls. That is an obvious exaggeration, but points to the fact that it can feel that hopeless. Thus, when a guy finds someone he is interested in, he feels he must move quickly because she is bound to be taken soon if he doesn’t. Thus, guys rush forward in panic mode trying to beat “the rush.” Not all guys do this, many wait and try to be more cautious, but some do not. This desperation, again, not all guys, causes a lot of other really odd behaviors. Another thing to consider is that many of us have not dated a tremendous amount. To use myself as an example, as of now, I have only been on three individual dates in my life, and have never “dated.” Thus, despite the fact that I know how to talk to my sisters in Christ in the general context, I am totally clueless when it comes to the practice of dating. Add to that that every girl is different and has her own “proper method” and confusion abounds. It can sometimes seem that girls expect a guy to know exactly what to do and if he steps out of line from what she is expecting… he’s gone. Now, again, I realize not all do this, but it can seem that way. So, to some degree, you have guys that are in “Tickle Me Elmo” mode, who also don’t know the proper “currency” because they have never shopped before. This can be both sad and funny and causes many very misguided approaches.

Below I will address a few of the misguided approaches because I think that they contribute to the weirdness at a primary level. I can’t answer the chicken or the egg, so I can’t tell you beyond a doubt what happened first. However, for the sake of this post, we’ll say it starts with the supply and demand issue, moves to bad methods, then reactions to methods, then reactions to reactions and so on (thus, the whole reciprocal thing I referred to earlier).

Also, one more thought before addressing the particular approaches. Some guys simply don’t understand ladies at all. I mean, none of us truly does, but some guys have had little or no education or experience in how women think and feel. Thus, they sincerely don’t understand why a particular method would be offensive or frightening to a girl. It sounds absurd, but some guys really just don’t know. Then, some guys are just extremely gung-ho for one reason or another and move forward without any concern for her feelings or his own (it could be anything from hormones, to being told that “men just need to step up” – which will be addressed in part four). I call this the “warrior mode.” This should make sense to the men, but may not make sense to the women. Ladies, if you haven’t figured it out by now, men generally have the ability to separate actions from emotions. Most people do to some degree, but with most men it can be turned on and off (dare I use the cliché), like a switch. This is what gives us the boldness and the clear-headed thinking in crisis that typifies male leadership (again, I am not saying that these are hard-fast gender things so that no exceptions exist, but I think they are generally true). Some guys fall into both of the above categories.

Male Approaches and Related Problems

--Warrior Mode

Well, where to begin… there are so many. I guess the best place to start is with the “warrior mode” approach mentioned above. Sometimes a well-meaning guy goes into “warrior mode” and basically just walks right up to a girl, introduces himself, and then asks her out. This is actually the approach of some guys. My primary problem with this approach is that it is very selfish. He is just rushing in, not caring at all about her feelings, focused only on what he wants. Well, guys and girls are wired differently. Girls (generally) think about relationship and security first. Thus, by doing this, the guy is skipping some pretty major steps… like, who are you? Now, I am not a girl (yeah, I know, big newsflash :), so this is all hearsay, but my understanding is that she wants to know who you are. How can you ask her to go out if you don’t know anything about her? You must either have bad motives or simply be basing things on physical appearance. Thus, big surprise, she often says no. Well, from the guy’s perspective, he has been rejected, this is yet another girl that is not interested, and things seem even more hopeless. From the girl’s perspective, this is yet another creep who does not have the right motives and she feels, in some way small or large, violated by the encounter. Some handle it better than others and some don’t seem to mind at all (this actually works with some), but it seems that it is usually at least bothersome. Thus, she is more reluctant the next time a guy comes around. Let the complications begin.

--The Machine Gun

The second approach, and one of the more damaging, is what I call the “machine gun” approach. Now, before addressing this, I have to admit that if we are using “gun” analogies… I am a sniper; I focus on one person, learn about them, and then decide whether or not to proceed. So I REALLY don’t understand this approach. Anyway, the machine gun approach is basically to take the above warrior mode and simply try it with as many girls as a guy finds attractive (or that he meets). They basically say “I’m going to ask out this number of girls today” and, at one level or another, they do so indiscriminately. Some even set quotas! The idea behind this approach is that eventually someone will say yes and at least they will have a shot and “who knows.” I have a friend or two who use this one (or at least have at one point or another). I am not intending to attack them; I just don’t see it as beneficial or honoring to Christ. Instead, I see it as cruel, damaging, and foolish (and I have told them so, though they don’t like my analogy).

--The Stalker

A third approach is where a young lady will check her campus mail and there’s a letter. Hey, someone cared enough to write… that’s good, right? Wrong… it is a letter from Creep (I can’t think of a more appropriate name). Creep writes something to the effect of “I’ve been watching you and you seem like a wonderful, Godly woman, but I’m nervous about meeting you, so if you are not dating anyone, would you meet me at…” can anyone say STALKER!!! I’ve had two close friends receive the same letter (no, I don’t mean the same type, I mean the same actual copied letter!). Personally, I think this guy deserves a sock or blanket party, depending on your persuasion. Now, I admit that this is an aberration, but it does happen (again, two of my personal friends!). I chose this story to introduce the idea of “the stalker.” Now, the stalker is not always quite so obvious, but is still quite harmful. Unfortunately, many of the guys that are stalkers don’t realize it (and if I am one, someone shoot me and put me out of my sisters’ misery).

Ok, now that I have introduced the stalker, what exactly does he look like? Well, if I knew the answer to that one, he wouldn’t be a stalker anymore ;). The stalker is a little bit difficult to define. The most basic or all-encompassing definition is that a stalker is one who uses “backdoor” approaches to girls and / or won’t leave them alone. Thus, the stalker could be anyone from the guy that “watches” or sends creepy mail / email, to the guy that uses false premises, to the guy that has been told a particular girl is not interested, but won’t leave her alone. I don’t want to take too much time on this one as this is already getting long enough (no matter how long they are, I never feel like I’ve been able to say all that I want to). One more note on the stalker though. I realize that every lady responds differently, so I don’t mean to put all of them in the same position, but, in general, when a girl says she is not interested… she means it (and if she doesn’t mean what she says, she has issues that she needs to deal with before the Lord and is not ready for a relationship anyway). I have heard a number of times where a guy is “after” a lady and she is honest with him, which may not be easy, and he just won’t give up, he keeps pressing the issue. Why? Well, perhaps one reason from his perspective is that guys are often taught that girls play “hard to get.” I don’t know how true this is or isn’t, but I know a number of sisters in Christ that mean what they say and “I’m not interested” is not negotiable and is not code for “try harder stupid” as espoused in the movie Hitch. Also, I realize that it may be hard for some ladies to be honest, but that is a matter of sanctification… you cannot and should not play games with people. Another possibility from his perspective is that he just doesn’t really care about her feelings. He is not seeking her, or her betterment, but his own desires. No matter what though, we are to be people of our word… we must let our yes be yes, and our no be no. Further, if a guy is actually interested in her, and not the idea of her, he will desire for her wishes to be honored, not his. This IS self-sacrificial love! Thus, if she says she is not interested, any response other than respecting her decision proves you to be unfit for a relationship. In the end, once again, the ladies are feeling attacked. It’s no wonder it seems like some of them are hiding!

--The Mole: Master of Insecurities

Ok, one more approach to address before switching to the ladies. I call this one the “Mole” or the “Gopher,” because, from the guy’s perspective, it reminds me of the game “Whack a Mole” and causes these guys to act as you would expect mole in that situation to act (some may remember playing this… you can still find it online or in some kid’s gaming places). Before I really begin defining this one, let me say that I believe this is the most common method in existence. I don’t know if it is different outside of Christian circles, but I see it all the time within Christian circles. Further, it is the method that I am the most familiar with because it was my default for many years. In the end it leaves both sides extremely frustrated and feeling quite desolate.

Ok, so what is “the Mole.” Well, this approach is where a guy finds a girl (or girls) that he is interested in and, for reasons that will be discussed below, from time to time pops up out of his hole to “check things out.” Now, usually, the mole is more selective than the approaches mentioned above; but, given the right encouragement, will “pop out” for most anyone that is remotely close to what he is looking for. Ok, so why the mole analogy? It is simple. Like any frightened creature, “the Mole” is constantly concerned with self-preservation; its number one goal is to protect itself, the end. Thus, moles will constantly “peek out” or “pop out” to see who is there and whether or not they are “safe.” In other words, it I take the risk of coming out, will they hit me with a mallet?! Well, ultimately, there is only one way to see if “subject A” is going to hit you… and that is to come out, in plain sight, and wait to get hit! Since coming out of the hole this way is a BIG risk and not statistically conducive to self-preservation, it is NOT worth the risk. Though perhaps not explicitly so, moles think in terms of probabilities… some need a 100% guarantee, some 90, and so on. Each mole has his own “risk-benefit threshold.” Yet, moles want to be in a relationship, they are just scared. So what’s a mole supposed to do?! Quite often, they decide to stick up an ear, or an arm and then quickly withdraw it, in order to see whether a mallet will be used. After a time or two of doing this, watching carefully the whole time, they might stick out two arms and so on and so on… each time quickly withdrawing and waiting for the mallet to strike. After this, if he has not been hit, the mole will slowly come out of the hole, exposing himself for a moment, and then usually run right back in. Eventually, if the mole sees that he can trust “subject A,” he will come out and tentatively approach her.

So, what does this look like in real life? Well it takes any number of forms, but usually rests in overanalyzing. A guy that is doing this may seem to the girl to be very inconsistent. He will act interested (and the girl’s “spidey senses” will go off) and then all of a sudden, he will act very different. One moment he will act and speak as if he is going to ask her out or whatever, and the next, he is totally cold. He might go through a season of calling or emailing or whatever, and then all of a sudden stop (or at least dramatically decrease). He may be around her quite a bit, and then all of a sudden he can’t be found. Though there can be other legit reasons for this type of behavior, my suspicion is that it is usually due to “molehood.” In the case of the mole these behaviors are analogous to the paw, then the arm, then the two arms mentioned above. He is “testing the waters” so to speak to try and figure out if she is interested. If he feels that she is, he might risk a little more. If he feels that she is not, he will withdraw, always fearing the mallet is going to strike. Once he has reached his statistical threshold, he will come out of his hole. Some moles come out and stay out, while some dart right back in only to play this game again. The explanation is that (internally) one moment he is sure there must be interest on her part and the next he is sure there isn’t. He can’t move until he reaches his statistical threshold (and when I say can’t, I mean, he really and truly is “locked” in this mental and emotional hold). Thus, every single action, word, look, and so on, is micro-analyzed in order to determine whether or not she is interested. Also, the “tally” system is variable… in other words, “points” can be credited and debited. So, one time she says “hi” the moment she sees him… he then places “one point” in the mental “she likes me” column. The next time she hesitates… “one point” in the “she can’t stand me” column. Let me provide a short example. They meet one time and she greets him (+1) and as they talk, she avoids eye contact (-1), but seems interested in the conversation (+1). Then, a male friend walks up and she starts talking to him more than the guy (-1). Then she smiles, hits him on the shoulder and says thanks for the convo (+1), and then she leaves with the guy friend (-1). It should be really easy to see how confusing this simple scenario can become to a mole. The mole will then leave, analyzing every little detail trying to come up with an “accurate count,” which still may not reach his threshold. Unfortunately for him, she may have been very interested, but shy, and happened to have a test to study for (or she may have just been trying to be polite)… who knows! That’s just it… there is no good way out of this system until a level of trust has been established. Oh, and by the way ladies… in this case, the movie “Hitch” is probably pretty accurate… most guys love little things like a slap on the arm or whatever (any playful or soft physical touch is a good thing with most guys… melts our little hearts :).

Bottom line, this approach stems from insecurities and trust issues. This can be due to many, many different things. Usually, it is due to insecurities related to acceptance… especially acceptance from females, but it can be from virtually any source. In these cases it could go back to attachment issues with the mother or other females in the past. It could be due to “getting burned” or simply inexperience. It could also be due to physical or emotional abuse (or both) in his history, or even simply being unappreciated and unpopular in school. Oh, and I say “simply,” but I do not mean to downplay that… that WAS me until sometime in high school. Anyway, the point is that it is a trust issue. Ultimately one that can only be resolved in Christ, where the guy sees himself as intrinsically valuable because Christ has declared him so, purchased him with His own blood, and indwelled him with the Spirit! Again, this is easy to say, but an entirely different thing to fully realize in our heart.

Even still, no matter how we are wired, it is not easy to hand someone a knife and expose your neck, so to speak. It is very difficult for some guys (and to some degree all) to separate “I’m not interested in you” from “you are not worthy.” Thus, she may be saying she is not interested in tall guys with dark hair, but he hears that he is unworthy, as if sub-human. Now, this is wrong thinking, but pride and ego twist things so that they appear as they are not (especially in the case of moles who have “value” issues anyway). I say it is wrong thinking for three reasons. First, because our value is in Christ and in Him alone! Second, because if that is what she is actually saying, then she has just proven herself to be the subject of her own statement and therefore unworthy of him. Third, and most importantly, we ought to thank Christ when this happens because even though it stinks from our perspective, it proves He is working in our lives. The fact that we all tend to forget, especially in relationships, is that Christ is in absolute control of our lives and if one girl says “no,” then that “no” is actually from God. He is saving you from what would be worse than the best plan, which He has already laid out and set in motion before the foundations of the world were laid!!! Now, I realize that this is comparatively easy to say and, in truth, harder to actually grasp. Nevertheless, it IS true!

Now that I have at least partially explained this approach, let me say that is it simply riddled with problems… way too many for me to deal with in any detail (those that know me are gasping in shock!). Nevertheless, let me address a few of the biggest ones. First, no one knows the intents of another person’s heart. In fact, individuals don’t even completely understand their own heart (Jer 17.9), so what hope do you have of indirectly figuring out another person’s heart?! Second, it is not the simple honesty that the Bible teaches us we are to have (Matt 5.37, among others). We are to be upfront, honest, and transparent. Transparency folks, that’s where it’s at! Unfortunately, all too often we are either ignorant of ourselves and thus cannot show ourselves, or we are ashamed of ourselves and therefore hide ourselves. Kierkegaard addresses this issue in-depth in his book, "The Sickness Unto Death.” Though I don’t agree with everything he says, on page 30, he says "…for the self is healthy and free from despair only when, precisely by having despaired, it rests transparently in God". Folks, we must see who we are in Christ, in order to be able to be genuine and transparent, first before Him, and then before others! Anything else is standing in our own strength… no wonder we hide in holes! Ok, finally, the biggest problem with this approach is that it forces the lady to truly be exposed first, something she is not supposed to have to do! Even though the exposure may be very brief and light, the fact is that the man, the supposed leader, is forcing the lady to “tip her hand” before he is willing to show his. He is indirectly forcing her, in one manner or another, to say “yes I am interested in you” before he admits his interest. I do not think there is anything inherently wrong with her choosing to do this, but I think there is something VERY wrong with her having to. Now, I realize that I disagree, in this case, with the “powers that be” on this campus. This will be treated more in depth in part 4 of the series and in part 7 of the series, the requested topic. Whatever the case, in all sincerity, I believe this section on the mole is precisely why “the powers” react the way they do and say some of the things they do, concerning singles and especially single men. Limited to this context, I agree with them that the men need to step up. However, this is a heart issue and must be addressed as such! (again, more discussion in part 4).

Allow me just another moment to explain why I have gone so in-depth with the mole. Well, first, because there are SO many moles around us. Until about a year ago, I was one. Further, I have had TONS of conversations with guys who are. The saddest thing is that most moles don’t understand themselves in this respect. They rationalize and excuse and so on thinking this is normal and ok. In fact, I would venture to say that most moles are so convinced that this is normal, they don’t even realize they are moles. Most abused children don’t realize they are abused until someone tells them or they see that it is not normal, because to them, this is the only paradigm of life they know. My second reason is to get the guys who read this to reflect upon themselves and see where they are. Hopefully, they are just honest, upfront, and secure in Christ as that is the only way to be. However, many guys are not there. Guys, PLEASE look inward and figure out where you are and then stand before Christ asking for His help. You MUST realize that this is a “damaged” area from sin and needs to be healed, especially if you are headed into ministry. I would encourage you, if you find yourself in this position, to seek out a good counselor to help you see where your thinking has gone wrong. A good counselor should be able to help you sort through and figure out where the insecurities are coming from. From there, they can help you to realign your thinking, appropriately centered on Christ. The third reason for going so in-depth is to try, as best I can, to help the ladies understand that men are not the cold rocks they sometimes come off as. They have fears, emotions, and damaged emotions. I guess what I am trying to say is to pray for your brothers and if you see a mole, be as kind and understanding as you can be. Recognize that he is in need of healing and is not trying to frustrate you. Mostly, I am just trying to help you understand these behaviors. I have spent much time speaking to my female friends about this tendency in some guys and am saddened by how much frustration it causes them. Thus, back to the guys… you must heal so that you can properly lead!

The bottom line, the approaches mentioned above are not honoring to Christ, do not show love for our sisters in Christ, demonstrate a lack of faith in Christ, and, in my opinion, are sinful. Guys, we are called to lead, love, and care for the women in our lives, not freak them out and treat them as objects. I thank God for the many brothers that I know who show boundless love and concern for our sisters. Further, I am not claiming to be completely innocent, I am sure I have hurt some sisters along the way and it grieves me. To any I have hurt, please accept my apology and understand that it was not intentional.


Lisa of Longbourn said...

"As Christians who are called into ministry, it is a matter of wisdom to seek someone who is also called into ministry..."

I don't know about this statement. First, all Christians are called to some sort of ministry. Second, Eve was created to be a helper for Adam; her calling was found in the man to whom she was married. Third, people can be called to ministry without attending seminary.

I do see where it would be good for a man who believes God is calling him to missions in Uganda to seek a wife who is likewise willing to be an overseas missionary. And before a relationship gets serious, a girl should be forced to deal with whether she is willing to be the wife of: teacher, pastor, missionary, or whatever.

I try to avoid the statistics thing in my life. God is in control, and God has consistently shown in the Bible that He defies statistics, and also our expectations/plans.

I was reading the mole description thinking that it is similar to how I feel, as a girl. It was a relief to hear you agree that the girls are almost supposed to be like that, or waiting for the man to expose his interest first. The "moles" I have known don't think it's fair that they have to take the risk and the girl doesn't. But I truly believe God made men better equipped to take risks and initiative.

I'll confirm the hear-say. As a girl I really would prefer to know the person who wants to start a serious relationship with me, and to be considered because he actually knows me and has reason to believe we'd be a good team. Don't you have any non-romantic opportunities to get to know each other on campus?

Thanks for the post.
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

A-Hawk said...

Hey Lisa,

Let me first thank you once again for your participation. I perceive you to be a person of understanding. In this case, I think you misunderstand me. I am in agreement with what you said.

First, yes, all are called into ministry in the general sense, we are all ministers and thus involved in ministry. I am called to vocational ministry, specifically toward the pastorate and / or teaching, thus, I write with this presupposition. However, I have never believed it to be, nor do I intend to imply that it is any “better” a calling than any other. The simple fact is that we are to obey the Lord and that IS our calling. Second, when I make the statement about seeking someone called into ministry, I am not saying that she must, necessarily, have felt God would call her to be a pastor’s wife(or whatever) from the time she was two (or necessarily at all). What I was trying to say, you articulated well, so not sure what else to say without “copying.” However, I want to clarify a little. Part of what I was driving at was that the seminary is a natural “collection point” for those who are like-minded and dedicated to the Lord. I agree with you that she is to help him and that is her primary calling, but some are clearly not designed for the demands of ministry, thus, for the one called to ministry (in the sense that I defined it a moment ago), she is not the woman. That is more what I was driving at with that particular point. Third, I totally agree with you that seminary is not necessary. In fact, I was called into ministry and served before seminary (many here have). Seminary is a place that some people are called to help prepare for ministry. Though I do believe it to be a good idea, nowhere did I say, or intend to imply, that it is necessary in any way. It is difficult to adequately explain all that I wish to communicate sometimes (especially when the posts are so long already) and I assumed people would understand my intentions on this one. That said, thank you for pointing it out. Despite my efforts to avoid it, I think that I have just succeeded in copying you, though in different words. Again, I think we misunderstood each other and it is probably due to my not being clear enough… for that I apologize :)

As far as the statistics comment, if you think I am not trusting God’s sovereignty, you definitely misunderstood me. Perhaps for one reason or another you have an aversion to statistics. I am an analytical person, so they help me reason through things and explain them. Of course, God defies statistics… the fact that any of us ends up married proves that one; and the fact of life itself does too ;)

As to the moles, thanks for your encouragement. I do believe that it is natural and ok for women to act that way, provided they are not dishonest (withholding versus deceiving). For the man, I think that the mole is a role-reversal and that those that feel that way haven’t embraced what it is to be a man of God (or may not really understand). I say this with caution and love though, because, as I mentioned, it is usually due to emotional damage and many are not even aware.

As far as the opportunities on campus… no, aside from random meetings or small groups of friends, there is no community on campus. I don’t have my outline with me at the moment, so I can’t say exactly where, but I will be addressing this later in the series

Sincerely, I thank you very much for your comments and your insights. I think that we misunderstood each other this time, but even if we disagree, please keep the comments coming… I can take it and truly appreciate your willingness to disagree :-)

In Christ,

Aaron Hawk
Ps 56:3

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Oh, perceptive I may be sometimes, but I've got to learn tact! I didn't mean to sound so critical. Mostly I was trying to add to the conversation. Sorry!

And in keeping with the tone of your essay, I wasn't accusing you of those things. I got the impression that you hinted a man ought not to assume his campus is the sum of his chances.

As for statistics, what I was saying is that I am drawn to them, and get discouraged by them. So I have to remember that statistics are not laid down for my guidance. God will take care of that. I also got the impression that as this was an essay on problems you recognized, you weren't agreeing with all the thought-lines or approaches you described. So I understand that you've got a more biblical comprehension of dating. Good for you.

You got me, caught the sovereignty of God topic, and like a faithful seminarian, reminded us you think theologically as well as about rubber balls split in two. What's your major/focus for pastoral studies?

I think our culture, not just your campus, is broken in that it doesn't provide reputable places/occasions for adults to meet without being a couple. We ought to fix it.

Though, I must say, as frequently as you referenced your upcoming (much anticipated) articles, I fear I'm stealing your points. In which case you can hardly be blamed for "copying." Blessings on your thoughts and writings.
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

A-Hawk said...

Ah… ha ha, I have to admit that I was a little surprised. I mean, I don’t know you aside from your writing, but it seemed inconsistent this time. No problem at all, and I am thankful for all feedback, especially things that add to the discussion. Also, thank you very much for the clarification in all points and your continued encouragement.

Yes, I admit that statistics can be very discouraging, so it is def good not to give them undue weight. Ha, George… well, a little inanity goes a long way… I’m working on another one… we’ll see if I can come up with a “Georgina.” As far as my studies, I just switched over to counseling this past semester. My undergrad was a VERY solid theology degree (go North Greenville University!!!), so I came here thinking I would continue, but felt like it is better stewardship of my time to switch (for the sake of my future congregation), and it’s more fun right now anyway. Pastoral ministry (+ teaching?) is the direction though, no shingles for me (hopefully ;).

Totally agree with you on the culture thing. Being an ignorant student, I don’t have a clue where I would begin in terms of culture… I really can’t think of anything off-hand that would meet those qualifications (I’m sure there have got to be some, but I’ll blame my lack of thought on the fact that it is 1:25 am).

No no, please don’t hesitate to leave any comments / points. Of course some of them may be better later on, but that is precisely the point of discussion (no pun intended) and you are allowed to repeat yourself (and trust me… before the series idea, this entire section and the next post were about 1 solid paragraph, so I have lots of points left… thus the series).

In Christ,

Aaron Hawk
Col. 2:6,7

A-Hawk said...

Hey guys, just letting you know the next part has been posted... sorry it took so long again :)