For the love of Chick Fil A, please no more Christian dating books

I   C A N N O T   T A K E   A N Y M O R E  C H R I S T I A N   B O O K S   A B O U T   D A T I N G.

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It’s too much y’all. (pixabay image, edited by moi) Also note that I didn’t include the Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller because that book is FIRE

Is it because my heart is hardened?

 

Is it because I’m living in sin and want to avoid conviction?

 

Is it because I am resistant to wisdom? 

 

No. It is for this simple reason — in no other area of Christian life have I seen Christian wisdom take such a phariseeical turn so quickly.

The authors are not necessarily to blame for this, but I think this is what happens — a Christian man/woman/couple figures out a way to date that seems in-line with the Christian faith. They then share their insights and wisdom from their own personal experiences. Christians read these books, and instead of seeing them for what they are –  musings by good but still-being-sanctified people – they see them as RULES that we all must follow, lest we be pegged as pagos. #pagopegged #ouch

But let’s all take a step back and get a little perspective — in biblio times, dating didn’t exist. You were a child, then boom you go through puberty, then boom you are married. This doesn’t mean that the Christian faith is irrelevant to how we date, but it does mean that pretty much any *specific* dating advice is just that – advice from humans – not the Word of God.

So let’s not perpetuate self-righteousness and phariseeism by acting as if the compilation of some Christian dude’s musings on dating is The Way the Truth and the Life. There is probably wisdom in many Christian books on dating, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that if you don’t follow that author’s recommendations you are rebelling against the God of the universe. For example – In Single, Dating, Engaged, Married,* Ben Stuart talks about how he would always tell his now-wife Donna the next time he was going to contact her. He saw this as a sweet way to reduce her stress – she didn’t have to worry about if / when he was going to contact her, she already knew – “I’ll call you tomorrow.” I agree, that is sweet. Does that mean that if a guy doesn’t communicate like that to you, you should kick him to the curb? No! It’s a nice specific example of how Christian faith can play out IRL, but it is by no means a rule.

Side note 1 – many dating books are probably somewhat useful for high-schoolers who are still living with their parents, and truly have zero life experience to help them navigate dating with wisdom. But there are some dating practices that are absurd if not impossible when you are living on your own (e.g. the dude asking the Dad’s permission to date). So let’s recognize that not ALL Christians get married when they are 19, and what worked for a man dating his wife in undergrad may not be useful for a 29 year old woman.

Side note 2 – I’m also getting cranky with Christian women who assume they are entitled to impart their sage dating advice. I don’t owe it to you to spill all the beans of my romantic life just because we are both Christians, and frankly many of you haven’t earned the right to tell me what to do or hear the intimate details of my life and heart. If you are concerned about my dating choices, how ’bout you pray for the Spirit to convict me directly instead of appointing yourself as my accountability supervisor. I suggest with all the gentle love I can muster that you are just as likely to turn me into an anxious self-righteous snoot pants than to protect me from harm. Just sayin’. As the modern sage John Crist would say, “check your heart.”

I plan to approach dating with the freedom Christ gained for me, as captured by the idea “Everything is permissible, not everything is beneficial.”** Earlier this year I demoralized a dating decision and thought “I can date this person if I want. We could have wild sex every night and guess what.. I would still be a Christian. Jesus might be grieved, but he would still love me. Now, knowing this, do I want to? What would be the consequences?” And that actually led me to a healthy decision that was MY decision, not a half-hearted, dutiful response to the pressures of others.

Okay.. that’s all! Be free!

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*At least he talked about this in his Single | Dating | Engaged | Married sermons when he was preaching at Breakaway. I actually never read his book because I heard it was basically the written version of his sermons. 😀

**1 Corinthians 10:23

 

Lady may I?

In light of the recent sexual assault accusations against… basically every male in Hollywood … I wanted to say somethin’ very quickly to the (hopefully) majority of men who are not sexual predators and never want to be.

How ’bout you fellers start asking -and pausing an appropriate amount of time – before touching any extra-familial lady in any way that is more intimate than say… a handshake.

Even with something as low-key as a kiss, a simple, sweet, and respectful gesture is to ask first before you just go for it.

If you’re afraid that asking will make you seem timid or weak, or the whole experience will be less sexy or something, I beg to differ. The few times that guys have asked me for a smooch,  it was yowza yowz.*

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So hot 🔥🔥🔥

I bring up this suggestion because I am honestly scared for my heterosexual laddies who have been relying on the tried-and-untrue “read-her-signals” method to figure out when and what to do in a romantical situation. In the current dating climate, relying on your subjective interpretation of a woman’s  — who you probably barely know, I may add — “signals” isn’t just unwise or ungentlemanly— it’s downright assinine.

Anyway, I promised brevity and brev I shall be.

If you read any of this read this: I humbly ask you to humbly ask. You have everything to gain and practically nothing to lose… except a future sexual misconduct allegation. And in the meantime, you might make a few ladies feel valued and respected. Give it a try today!

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Of course there was one time when I said no, but it wasn’t as awkward as you might imagine.. and actually it ended up being much less awkward than it would have been if he had just gone for it. So you ask, and worst case scenario she says no and your ego wimpers a bit vs. you don’t ask, and worst case scenario you think everything’s great, then find out later that she told your entire social circle that you pressured her and made her feel icky.

 

 

 

The War on Hugs

I’m a southerner. I hug. I hug my family members, my friends, distant acquaintances, and dogs.

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See, even cats give full frontal hugs. It’s in nature,  therefore it’s natural, therefore it’s correct. #science #logic #irrefutable

It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I realized some people consider a full frontal hug not as a friendly greeting or farewell but as …. [cringe] a sensual* pressing/rubbing together of bodies.

And in a sad effort to avoid the possibility of sensuality, the ever-polular but lamé side hug was awkwardly birthed. Ayiyiyiyi. From my #gallopov, a side hug is a gesture that should be saved for probable rapists and TK-haters, not your platonic friends of the opposite sex.  The best outcome you can hope for with this pathetic hug sub is a mutual lat rub.**

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“Hmm isn’t it nice to rub lats, babe?”

But let’s turn back on the Main St of this post — good ol’ fashioned frontal hugs.

I don’t want to be naïve. I’m sure there are menz (and womenz?!) who legit get, ehh, “excited” by hugs. BUT, even if some do, does that mean all peeps should let those over-sexualized-get-their-thrills-however-they-can-folkz ruin this warm, platonic gesture for everyone?!

Cuz y’all… Pervos roam the Earth without restraint, mmkay? If we let them take our hugs away, soon handshakes will be fetishized. Then we’ll have to shift to tapping elbows as a greeting. (But of course that will need to be monitored closely, as the funny bone area can give some people intriguing sensations.) Where does it end??

At some point, we need to draw a line in the sand and stop letting the most pansexual of us drive our greeting norms. Let’s plant our feet, face each other squarely, and hug like decent humanz!

END THE WAR ON HUGS!!!

OOO,

Galloswag

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*I can’t say that word normally. Even in my head,  I always pronounce it “senthual” with a nervous lisp.

**Which SOME people really get off on. #nojudgeo