I can’t imagine growing up in my parents’ generation. If my father liked a girl, he actually had to, you know… get to know her. It sounds crazy. In today’s culture, we know nothing about the “getting to know her” phase. Instead of:
Boy meets girl.
Boy asks girl out.
Boy gets to know girl.
Boy and girl date or never speak again.
Boy sometimes (but not always) meets girl.
Boy initiates contact via Facebook.
Boy and girl Facebook the you-know-what out of each other.
Boy and girl hang out.
Boy and girl randomly know too much about the other person, but play it off as mere coincidence.
Boy judges girl because of risque spring break pictures from Cabo in 2007.
Girl judges boy because he doesn’t have 1 Corinthians 13 listed in his “favorite quotations.”
Boy and girl grow tired of each other, and cease contact, because the fun of getting to know someone is completely minimized.
Does surprise exist in relationships anymore? I don’t think so.
What happens above happens in many (if not most) circumstances. We’re so ready to meet and marry that we’re willing to forego any semblance of getting to know another person.
With the advent of social media, nothing is shrouded in secrecy. I mean… you can easily decipher whether “Mrs. Right” is the perfect match based upon a seven-second Facebook stalk or Twitter search, right?
You see, the problem is that we are so willing to see if our prospective wifey meets specific dating criteria, that we are willing to forego intimacy. It says in 1 Thessalonians 4 (MSG) that God wants you to live a pure life. Prior to that, Paul says:
We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance.
Paul is urging us to live a spirited dance of purity. And yes, the physical side is crucially important, but the mental side is paramount. We refuse to hear this, most times.
“As long as I’m keeping it in my pants, I’m good.”
And that’s a lie. You can marry yourself to someone in your mind if you’re not careful. You can date someone in your mind if you’re not careful. If you engage in the Facebook stalk, you’re asking to put this person under the microscope. There’s no purity there. You’re committing to somebody in your mind, or you’re leaving them for dead before they even know what’s hit them.
Embrace The Infatuation Phase
I’ve heard people rail against the infatuation phase, but really, I don’t think it’s all that bad. Sure, you might abandon all sense of self-control and go AWOL to your friends and family, but at the very least, the infatuation phase is honest.
The infatuation phase serves its’ purpose because despite the sheer amount of time spent together, it’s like one giant scavenger hunt. You’re finding something new about them, they’re finding something new about you. Repeat.
But that’s weird. And we don’t do that anymore, right? Because they could be awkward… or they might think you could be awkward. And it takes vulnerability to figure that out. So instead, we turn into miniature private eyes and seek to dissect everything about Mrs. Right before we even take our first walk together.
Make Her Worth The Wait
I’m preaching to myself here. Far too often, I’ve shelved great relationships with great women because they didn’t pass the test (whatever that means). Here and now, let’s commit to waiting. This seems way down the rabbit hole of what’s counter-cultural, but to see a different relationship you’re going to have to do something different. We need to keep our eyes on the prize: Jesus.
Find Jesus instead of the best possible version of her. Considering that our social media accounts are just highlight reels anyway, you’ll find that Jesus is the highlight reel God. The Bible is his immaculate Facebook. You’ll never find something about him that doesn’t meet your list of standards, because he is the standard. And I can guarantee you this:
You won’t care. The more you press in, the less she matters. And that’s not in an arrogant way, but in a “Jesus determines my love, so who cares what she did in Cabo” kind of way. It’s that simple.