When fools rush in: How to survive a Jo-Jo storm

Morton salt - When it Rains It Pours-8x6
(from http://www.thisdayinquotes.com/2009/11/when-it-rains-it-pours-started-out-as_06.html)

There seems to be a social contagion with romance and attraction, and I have a strong suspicion that males have special sensors that alert them to females who just recently went on a date. Many of my friends and I have been through seasons of life in which we were tortured with an invasion of men who are great in some ways, but have preexisting conditions that make them unsuitable for the long haul. Lo, they’re suddenly all around you, like a heavily cologned swarm of brosquitos.

Initially this is all It’s raining men, Hallelujah! But quickly it becomes Poor poor pitiful me | Oh these boys won’t let me be | Lord have mercy on me | Woe woe is me!* What is a girl to do? Should you casually date one, some, or all Jo-Jo(s) indefinitely until Prince Perfecto** comes riding in? Is someone better than no one?

Pfft. Only if you want to ruin your life, bring shame to your family and community, and contribute to global warming! Please consider the following –

–  Opportunity Cost, yo If you’re out with Jo-Jo, Prince Perfecto may not pursue you because he’ll see that you’re taken. And he might even judge you a little for having a taste for Jo-Jo. And honestly.. can you blame him? Or, you’ll be so distracted that you won’t even notice or be emotionally available when he does put out “feelers” for your interest.

–  Remember the ghosts of Jo-Jos past I have a good amount of respect for most of the men I’ve dated, but there are some man-children who I’m … remorseful … to have ever dated. So if you’re asking​, “What do I have to lose by going on a few dates with this guy?” Galloswag sez, “Your dignity, woman!

–  Have a heart Even if you’re a rough and tough woman who can easily date without getting attached, that “fill-in” you’re dating may not share your vision for having no vision of a future with him. It’s pretty ru-ru and selfish to waste someone’s time. #JoJoFeelsMatter

–  Learn to live all by yourself   If you are intensely miserable by yourself, anyone will seem like an upgrade. But if you craft a full life of friends, adventure, and purpose, you’ll be much less tempted to accept someone’s attentions just because you need a distraction from your lamé life. YOLO, so make your solo L count.

–  Get an accountabuddy! Have a friend – I find older, married women especially helpful for this – whom you feel comfortable sharing your dating life with. Tell them what’s up, even when your dating life is a horror show. A few times, a major motivator for me to prevent a Jo-Jo-continuation was knowing that I would have to explain myself later to a woman I had deep respect for.

Get out of the Jo-Jo pond Sometimes we tally our catches, rank them, and then choose whoever is at the top. But don’t get tunnel vision and feel pressured into choosing between your currently available options. Sometimes “none of the above” is the right answer.

Not wasting time with Jo-Jos may not automatically cue the entrance of Prince Perfecto (who has apparently been in a deep coma from the moment you came of age), but I do promise it will help prevent your soul from being pummeled with upsettedness and futility in the meantime. Stay strong, my shimmering stars of singleness!

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This is how I see all of my single sistren. Try not to get to emotional! (pixabay  free images)

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*The Weather Girls and Linda Ronstadt, respectively.

**I actually mean Mr. Ideal, but Prince Perfecto is both an alliteration and rhymes with Jo-Jo and I couldn’t resist. #artisticlicense

No, God did *not* tell that guy He wants y’all to be together

[NOTE: I don’t harbor any ill will or contempt for the persons mentioned in the story below. But if someone has to go through these insane-o experiences, others might as well learn from them!]

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^How Sydney felt (smoochies to Pixabay for the free image)

So my friend* Sydney found herself in a situation a few years back in which (I believe) a well-intentioned but misguided Christian man was convinced that he and Sydney were supposed to be together. And she just wasn’t feelin’ those kinda feels. But then he played the “but I think this is God’s will,” card and Sydney panicked. She tortured the interwebs with search phrases like “does God want you to date someone you’re not attracted to?” or “is it possible that God will tell one person but not the other that he wants you to be together,” etc. etc. (Google be like “showing results for psychiatrists near you “) She grew agitated with God. Praying didn’t seem safe because she was so afraid God would confirm this .. coming together .. that turned her stomach.** It took several of her Christian mentors looking at her incredulously and saying “No! This guy is trying to manipulate you. to keep Sydney from having a major crises of faith. And lo and behold, they were correct. She is single and sassy to this day, y’all! *praise hands*

This wasn’t an isolated event, either – another friend of mine, Kelly, had a similar experience. Another (I believe) well-intentioned but misguided Christian man told her he knew God wanted them to be together AND she should break things off with her fiancé (At least Sydney was single. Geez laweez, Papa Cheese!). Fortunately for everyone, Kelly wasn’t impressed with his claims of divine guidance and held her ground. And lo and behold, now she’s happily married AND the insta-prophet — who was so spiritually arrogant he was willing to basically steal another dude’s betrothed — is now happily engaged to another woman.

So why tell you this? Certainly not to make single Christian men – or Christians generally – look like complete crazies, but to 1) ease the tortured mind of any girls who might be legit confused because someone is using the Holy Spirit to MANIPULATE THEM and 2) to admonish men who have used this this form of spiritual abuse to CHECK THEMSELVES (or if you have brochachos who do, CHECK YOUR BROCHACHOS).

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^This guy totes looks the part of a Blasphemous Bobby. (ty for the free image, pixabay!)

 

Blasphemous Bobbies: if God wants y’all to be together, it will happen. Don’t mistake your shouting hormones with the still, quiet voice of God Almighty. If you think that a girl you’re interested in is not responding to the Cupid nudge of the Holy Spirit, then I would strongly suggest praying that she would hear his voice directly &/or through her spiritual mentors. If it’s divinely ordered, I’m sure He can get the job done without your interference. As Matt Chandler pointed out – taking the Lord’s name in vain is more than saying “Oh my G*d!” but the heart behind the commandment [you shall not take the Lord’s name in vain] is that God will not be co-opted, and you will not use the authority of the Lord to flex power and manipulate and coerce others (12:45 – 13:00). So don’t vainly use God’s name to manipulate some bewildered Christian woman.

Bewildered Betties: although I’m not aware of any biblical precedent for this sort of thing, God is very clear that “[love] does not insist on its own way” (1 Cor 13:4). And if you read the juicy and provocative Song of Songs, it’s pretty clear that the bible celebrates being wildly attracted to your man. So I really, really doubt God will torture you with someone you genuinely find creepy. God is not a bully, and I don’t think he wants you to be with one, either. But neither does the Galloswag want to use the Lord’s name in vain (I mean, God did tell Hosea to marry a whore) so by all means, if you’re in this situation please talk to a lot of mentors. There is wisdom in many counselors (Prov 11:14), but make sure those counselors are legit.

So praise Jesus for fulfilling the Priesthood, Law, AND Prophets so He can communicate it directly to you… and will very likely NOT speak “a word” through Blasphemous Bobby that so conveniently fits his relationship agenda and violates yours.

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Hallelujer!

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

* 😉

**Sydney finally said [through gritted teeth] “I’ll do it if you want me too! But Father if there’s ANY other way, take this cup from me.. !”  And maybe that surrender is why God allowed all of those shenanigans. But the main point is, no one should subject anyone to this sort of soul torture.

 

Singles Conference Debunks Grace Myth

“Now, I am free to quickly judge instead of bothering with the drudgery of loving someone who has made mistakes.”

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Atlanta, GA – Thousands of Atlanta singles poured into Germinate Georgia Church this weekend to attend a conference on Singlehood, Dating, and Marriage by visiting pastor Rev. Bobby Jehosephat Murray. Intrigued by the enthusiastic tweets that had popped up on my twitter feed (“Revolutionary!” and “Murray on Fire! #SDMConference”), I loitered outside of Germinate Georgia Church on the night of the last session and was able to snag a few attendees for an interview.

Amanda Jackson, who drove all the way from Chattanooga TN to attend the conference, raved “Reverend Murray did an excellent job explaining how romantic relationships fall outside of the overarching message of Christianity. If I hadn’t attended the conference, I never would have understood these special exemptions.” Intrigued, I asked her to expand on this idea. “Well, I was always taught that Jesus’ death, life, and resurrection meant that I didn’t have to live in guilt and shame about my past, but could live in freedom. But Rev. Murray explained that while that’s mostly true for all other types of behaviors that hurt myself and others, there’s no true forgiveness for sexual sin. And, we should make sure that we frequently remind and judge each other for our past mistakes.”

She rolled up her sleeve excitedly, to show freshly inked tattoos that she had felt led to get after a particularly guilt-inducing conference session. I peered closely to read the delicate cursive in neat rows, surprised to find a list of juicy tidbits, such as “Made out in the backseat of C.S.’s car, 04/03/09” and “Allowed E.C. to cop a feel, 03/25/10”. Amanda continued glowingly “I got these to ensure that I never get cocky about where I stand in the family of God. Now if I ever start to feel free, or a good man starts to pursue me, I have an easy reminder of who I really am and how I don’t deserve any blessings.” An additional bonus, she added, was that now her brothers in Christ could quickly read through her past failures and save themselves from being tainted by her waywardness.

Amanda’s friend Dan Bowman, a friend of Amanda’s who attended the conference with her (they drove in separate cars), was particularly approving of his friend’s tattoos. “As a man who has protected himself from impurity my entire life, I was always a little bummed by the mainstream Christian message that my good works are like filthy rags to God– and that some philandering frat boy who literally decided to follow Jesus yesterday would have the same access to God and His blessings as I did. It never sat right with me.” Dan blew out his breath in exasperation. “But Rev. Murray was so encouraging. Now I know that my behavior has earned me the right to a flawless Christian woman as my wife.” He added, “It’s relieving to know that my hard work is worth something.”

Both Dan and Amanda agreed that another enlightening session had really relieved their anxieties about how to treat anyone they dated. “It was always so messy to try to figure out how to honor someone as a human being instead of just looking at them through the lens of their past,” chimed in Amanda. “Now, I am free to quickly judge instead of bothering with the drudgery of loving someone who has made mistakes.” When I asked them about how Rev. Murray explained the role of Mary Magdalene, Rahab the prostitute, Tamar and others, they both replied in unison, “Liberal propaganda.” Dan then offered me a gloved hand – kindly explaining he has a strict rule of no skin-to-skin contact with a female outside of his family – and he and Amanda headed off into the night (Amanda asked me to pointedly note that her Dad was also present).

For more information on this new theology, stay tuned for Rev. Murray’s new book “Sexual Sin: Debunking the grace myth” coming out this Spring.