A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Best Ones Are Already Taken

A lot of men like to complain about the fact that the "best ones are already taken." Well, it is true--in one very special sense. These women of which I speak are "already taken" by Christ. In a strange way they, who have already given their hearts to another, are the only ones men should be pursuing. Other women have given their hearts to romance novels, the American Dream, living it up, the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, or the pride of life (1 John 2:16). Many times, men are far from number one in a woman's life. So at best, a woman who has Christ as #1 will put her husband at #2, and not dead last (as is the case with not a few husbands).

You might retort, "But I've met a lot of Christian women who claim to put Christ first and they still treat me like dirt." Yes? And your point is? Do we need to rehash matters about the state of our churches today? Needless to say, religiosity, cultural conservatism, and the such like are not reliable metrics of spiritual maturity. Take the most conservative, Bible-believing congregation you like and compare them to the Pharisees. How will they fare? The Pharisees were moralistic (Luke 15:2), zealous about studying the Scriptures (John 5:39), and zealous about following the Law (Acts 22:3). You see, there many are who zealous for God's word and yet are not zealous to walk in intimacy with the One who authored it. Are they led by reliance upon God, Christ, and the Spirit? Or they led by their self-righteous expertise in knowing doctrine and performing religious acts? Now you know why so many conservative churches are utterly dead. They have forsaken their first love (Revelation 2:4) and have become country clubs for suburbanites.

Some would assert that Christian men "have no excuse" and that there are "plenty of women to go around" in our churches today. Those who assert this are looking at the matter though the eyes of man, not through spiritual lenses. The Bible is clear about the kind of woman a man should date or marry (Proverbs 31:30; 1 Peter 3:1-6). This simplifies the picking and rejecting to a great extent. It has to do with one's attitude, not a flurry of religious activity or putting up a front. It has to do with the heart, not the backside and where it is planted on Sunday morning.

So you see, when religious leaders tell me that I need to find a wife that helps me "glorify God" or helps me perform "kingdom work," I think they often do not know what they are asking for. They may think of church buildings, programs, funded ministries, grandiose missions, professional clergy, filled church nurseries, filled pews, filled coffers, good times ahead for their man-made denomination, middle-class values, a return to the 1950s in the general culture, or whatever. Being Spirit-filled does not equate to any of this. And being married to a Spirit-filled woman does not equate to any of this. It does look a lot like what one reads in 1 Corinthians 13.

The Christian man who has turned his back on the dating scene is not to be consumed with bitterness, selfish anger, vengefulness, or hate. But he doesn't need to bother with romance, either. True, he is called to love women as his neighbors (Mark 12:33) or as his sisters in Christ (1 Timothy 5:2), but he is also called not to cast his pearls before the swine (Matthew 7:6). Quite frankly, a lot of woman are acting like swine because their souls are in spiritual bondage to the Enemy. This includes a lot of churchgoing women who are deceived by their own religiosity.

I have said many times that a Christian man has no Biblical obligation whatsoever to date or marry. Now, it may be that God may individually lead a man to marry and put a desire in that man for a wife, but that is God's private work in somebody's personal life, not dogma to be bound on the body of Christ (Proverbs 18:22; 1 Corinthians 7:25a). The Scriptures still grants men the right to refuse to marry (1 Corinthians 7:37).

What I'm getting to is this: A Christian man doesn't have to worry about what people think about his singleness if he is not even surrounded by Spirit-filled women in the first place. If he finds a woman filled with the Spirit, and if he is filled with the Spirit, there will be very little holding each of them back if the Lord is pleased to have them together. The two of them won't need a "mandate" and won't have much use for pretense and stratagems. Love has a way of accomplishing what coercion cannot.

25 comments:

Elusive Wapiti said...

A great post, Anakin.

I really do feel for the single men and women in the Church these days.

So dispiriting for those, the majority of men and women who feel called to marry, to be so unsuccessful at separating the wheat from the chaff.

Roy Scott Movrich said...

EW, there is a riposte, albeit somewhat sarcastic, to these well-meaning dabblers/meddlers.

Simply state that if God has no mandate for you in the arena of marriage, why should they, mere mortals, claim to know better than God about what's good for your life?!

Gets them and shuts them up every single time!

Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life said...

Of course having your wife ranking you as #2 in her life means if she ever gets a thought in her head about #1 that disagrees with your understanding of God, it means you can rapidly find yourself on the outside of her heart looking in.

Nothing like theological differences to drive a huge wedge between a man and his wife.

Honestly I think Christianity causes more relationship troubles than it cures. Which is part of the reason I left the church et al.

Kathy Farrelly said...

"If he finds a woman filled with the Spirit, and if he is filled with the Spirit, there will be very little holding each of them back if the Lord is pleased to have them together. The two of them won't need a "mandate" and won't have much use for pretense and stratagems. Love has a way of accomplishing what coercion cannot."

Well said Anakin!

Triton said...

Love the photo. AK-74 ftw.

The Christian man who has turned his back on the dating scene is not to be consumed with bitterness, selfish anger, vengefulness, or hate.

Those feelings are inevitable:

Matt 24:12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold

All we can do is "endure unto the end".

J. Durden said...

I am wary of Christianity not because of the Bible but because of the Christians, and that has been my experience my entire life. I grew up raised on the bible and recited it like nobody's business and adopted many of its morals for my own personal life, but I've been "agnostic" for many years. Maybe I will return one day to "true faith," but I don't even know if that's an accurate term. I don't know if I ever had true faith to begin with, and faith is notoriously hard for men of reason.

wombatty said...

Love has a way of accomplishing what coercion cannot.

But what are those women who find themselves unable to evoke love in a man to do? Write books & blogposts promoting a mandate would be an option, I suppose.

It seems to me that marriage-mandate theology is little more than a call for a 'bailout' for snotty, entitlement-minded princess types who are accustomed to getting their way. What do spoiled children do when they don't get their way? They throw at fit and demand that you give them what they want (and surely deserve, no doubt).

tannen said...

Good post AN. As I've been reading your and other stuff on this spectrum of issues over the last year, I've slowly noticed that all misguided marriage/gender role huffing and puffing may stem from a faulty theological view of what mankind's (and later on, the church's) relationship to the LORD was/should have been from the beginning. I need to think and read my bible heavily more on this, so I won't say more right now. Except that the church calling itself 'evangelical' has lost this overarching view and is therefore vomiting this legalism all over un- and never married Christians.

Coffers, haven't heard that word for a while, reminds me of, "as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs".

Triton, how can you tell, by the mag and flash supressor?

Commodore said...

Nice post, and I'll agree. I do have to chortle at the title though, reminds me of an old joke:

Women are like parking spaces...all the good ones are taken and all the rest are handicapped.

Anonymous said...

"The Bible is clear about the kind of woman a man should date or marry (Proverbs 31:30; 1 Peter 3:1-6). This simplifies the picking and rejecting to a great extent."

lol. You're assuming that the men rejecting the women who aren't yet taken are doing so on the grounds that those women aren't spiritual enough, by Prov 31/1 Peter 3 standards. As if that's the first thing that's on the average Christian guy's mind when he complains, "the **best** ones are already taken.

Come on fellas. Lose the halo already.

Amir Larijani said...

Anonymous says:
lol. You're assuming that the men rejecting the women who aren't yet taken are doing so on the grounds that those women aren't spiritual enough, by Prov 31/1 Peter 3 standards. As if that's the first thing that's on the average Christian guy's mind when he complains, "the **best** ones are already taken.

Come on fellas. Lose the halo already.


Anakin is correct, and so are you. Neither side is wearing halos on this one, although some--like myself--might fantasize about doing a HALO jump or two...

It is true, that the best mates--and this is for both sexes--get taken early. That should not take a rocket scientist to figure out.

If you do not find your mate by age 25, you may have to do some serious searching to find a good one. And it may take longer than you wanted.

Are there good ones out there? Yes. But they are scattered all over the place, and in churches of various denominations and not always in the place one would expect to find them. And the Church is not set up in a way that is conducive to helping singles find them.

Are the men looking for the Proverbs 31 woman? Yes, except the men generally forget about the "beauty is fleeting" part. LOL

Then again, it's not like the women are thinking in terms of "beauty is only skin deep" either.

Is it because the women are all feminists? No, although there are enough of such women to make the search difficult for the men.

Is it because the men are looking only for a woman with a heart for Jesus and the body of a porn star? No, although there are enough of such men to make the process difficult for the women.

Triton said...

Triton, how can you tell, by the mag and flash supressor?

Yep. The magazine has a slight curvature indicative of the 5.45 round, not the more pronounced curvature of the 7.62x39. And the muzzle brake is typical for the AK-74. You can get that style of brake for the AK-47, but it's most often seen on the -74.

Anonymous said...

Anakin,

When one is very serious about one's walk with God, it is even a more difficult thing to find a life partner who could possibly share one's commitment.

The single men I counsel have difficulty appreciating the mostly secular gold-diggers or "church ladies" (Carolyn McCulley comes to mind).

Being a serious and dedicated Christian is difficult. It can cost friendships, jobs, relationships, etc. However, one would think an equal number of Christian women would be as dedicated and serious about their faith as many single men are. Sadly, this is not the case; and very much why many single men are very lonely.

Your thoughts?

tannen said...

LOL Commodore! I've heard women say about my hometown that, "the only good men here are either gay or married" and were dead serious.

I'm neither gay nor married, so where does that leave me?

tannen said...

Thanks Triton! Looks like I still remember some of my Warsaw Pact weapons recognition classes.

Anonymous said...

"The single men I counsel have difficulty appreciating the mostly secular gold-diggers or "church ladies" (Carolyn McCulley comes to mind)."

It's called the "madonna/whore complex", a neurosis particularly common to "serious and dedicated" Christian men everywhere.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of Godly women who want to get married on a new site called www.marrywell.org. It was started by some folks from Focus on the Family. It is decidedly Christian and focused on forming marriages. Check it out.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a case of 'Gresham's law' to me.

John Smith said...

is "filled with the spirit" some kind of euphemism? seriously.

Anonymous said...

Past a certain age, it becomes pretty lame to complain that "the best one are taken"

Anonymous said...

Sometimes Christian men dismiss and blow off women who are not young and physically attractive enough for them. It works on both sides. In fact, sometimes I feel as if I am dismissed by Christian men because I am not a "church lady" and I am not thin, quiet and feminine.

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SavvyD said...

Both sexes are disheartened. There are men who would find a date if they asked. Hints don't help much. The criticisms don't help much. In any case, it seems to be because society is disjointed, medicated and isolated.

SavvyD said...

Oh, and that pic at the end is a hoot and a halF!!

lifeinlonglegs said...

"one would think an equal number of Christian women would be as dedicated and serious about their faith as many single men are. Sadly, this is not the case; and very much why many single men are very lonely."

I've heard women say the same thing in reverse. I think we've taken this [like everything else] into our own hands and have forgotten the power of prayer.

Ambiguity of gender roles have made men nervous to ask women out, as though women defined their manhood with a single rejection. We are looking too much to each other to define our worth instead of to God.

This, incidentally leads to inappropriate levels of investment in our marriage partners as well - dangerous investment of our identity in another person at the cost of [rather than coming out of] our relationship with God,