Chronicles of a single Christian Man Part 1

Guest Blogger: Chris

Since starting this blog, I’ve been able to talk to a number of people about their experiences with dating and marriage. Many of the people I’ve talked to have been women, but I thought it’d be really interesting to get a guy’s point of view about relationships.  So I approached my friend Chris about doing a guest post. He readily agreed. Then I quickly polled some of my friends to come up with some questions for him to answer.

So… let’s begin.

But don’t forget to check out his blog –Ramblings of a Seminary Student 

When I first got the questions on the minds of CS Woman’s curious readers, I have to admit I was a little overwhelmed.  I mean, who am I to answer for Christian men everywhere on such deeply personal topics?  Then I realized, I could just put a disclaimer up here and be safe!

Disclaimer: I am not every Christian man in existence.  I do not know everything on their minds.  These are only my feelings and observations and some of them are generalizations.

Ah!  Now that that’s out of the way, let me introduce myself.

Meet Chris

I was born in Austin, TX. But because my dad used to work for a large candy company (think “melts in your mouth, not in your hand”), I ended up moving around a lot.  I lived in a few cities in TX-Buda & Waco TX; Recife, Brazil; Brea, CA; Dublin, OH; and Chicago, IL.

I grew up “holiday catholic,” as I like to describe it. Basically, we went to church on Christmas and Easter. However, when I lived in Ohio, we attended more frequently because the church was only 2 blocks away from our house.  That’s where my interest in Christianity began.

Through high school I tried to impress a few girls with my “Christian-ness,” and God completely used it to draw me to Him.  In fact during my senior year of high school, I was saved through a close friend.  After a few years of volunteering in Youth Ministry, I realized it was my calling.  And that brings us to today, where I am a Youth Director for a medium-sized United Methodist Church and in Seminary studying to eventually become a Methodist Pastor.

All that to say, I didn’t grow up Christian and didn’t have Biblical values placed into me from a young age.  So once I became a Christian, I began voraciously reading everything I could on Christian dating/courting (whatever the popular term is now). In all, there was some good advice, but there was some advice that leads to problems I’m seeing in the questions that were sent my way.

For a while, I swung way too far towards the courtship model and then swung way too far towards the secular dating one. Now, I like to think that I’ve found a good resting place between “don’t touch a woman unless you’re going to marry her” versus “your body is a wonderland I want to explore”.

So here we go, marching into the dangerous land that is a man’s mind…

The Questions

Q1Why are there so many Christian women over 30? What’s happening to men? I’ve heard that it has been prophesied that God is raising up Christian women to do his work because men aren’t stepping up. Why are men not stepping up? Are men happy being single past 30? Why are they not maturing as Christians or as real men?

Whew!  Loaded question from the start.  Honestly, I think there are so many single Christian women over 30 precisely because there are so many single Christian men over 30.  Yes, I realize that was implied, but let me explain before the pitchforks come out.

I’m not sure about the whole “Christian men aren’t doing God’s work” concept.  I think it may be more that as a whole, it is more culturally acceptable for women to be doing this work than ever before in history.  This means God can more easily work through women than in the past.  Not to say He hasn’t done it before, it’s just easier now.  There’s plenty of His work to go around, trust me.

Now, as a Christian man who is not over 30, this is a subject I have to draw from other men.  I have a friend (who shall remain nameless to protect his identity) who turns 31 this year.  He has gone through cycles where he desperately wants to get married and then he goes through cycles where he is glad that he isn’t.  He even had a relationship recently where he could have proposed and been married by now, but it wasn’t right. He had to do the Godly thing and back out.

In this case, God just hasn’t put him and his bride together yet.  I know a previous guest poster touched on that. (Chronicles of a Newlywed Part 1 & Part 2)  So, sometimes, it’s just a timing thing.

However, sometimes there’s some spiritual and/or emotional maturing that needs to take place first.  In this case, part of the trouble is the culture that young men were raised in.  There’s a phenomenon going on right now where young men simply aren’t growing up, a la Ryan Lochte (Warning: Crude Language).

Society has created this “extended teenager syndrome” amongst young men where it is perfectly acceptable to sit around all day playing video games in your underwear eating two-day old pizza. Plus, as kids many of us were handed things and now we expect the same as adults.  Even employers have even commented on this.  Some have said that they don’t want to hire anyone from our generation because we feel entitled.

Seeing as young Christian men are still young men, they are not exempt from this epidemic.  Believe it or not, I was even captive to it for a while.  I still struggle with relapsing into “MommasBoyitis”.  So, how does that affect relationships?  Well, relationships take work and aren’t generally handed to us.  This leads men to be terrified even by the concept of asking a woman out.  It seems like a daunting task to pursue a woman, especially when there’s a risk of rejection.

And that leads us to our second question…

Q2. Men appear to be terrified to date Christian women. Are they intimidated by us, or are they not on the same maturity level? (Maybe because I’m 20, the guys in my age group are immature solely because of their age). In addition, what does he think is the cause of the gender imbalance in the church? There always seems to be more women than men.

Well, I can tell you that for a while, I was terrified to date a Christian woman.  After reading all the books out there that I could find, I had this perception that unless God literally dropped her in front of me wearing her Everlast chastity belt and the key appeared in my hand, it wasn’t meant to be.

I felt intimidated by the prospect of possibly hurting a child of God.  I didn’t want to offend Him by doing anything wrong. But what that really meant was… doing nothing was the best solution!  Right?!

Well, I now know that I had the wrong perception, but it’s the one I got from all that literature out there.  As I said in my introduction section, the books have a lot of great things to offer, but a good chunk of it may not apply to everyone. But it’s presented as if everyone should follow their model.

I also didn’t want to be “that guy”.  You know, the one who dates all the women in his church and pits them against each other.  I specifically avoided dating within my church. Because I didn’t want to be seen as a “player” if it didn’t work out with one woman and I started seeing another one.

So what can you do about it?  Let men know you’re interested!  I’ll get into this more with our fourth question, but men can’t read minds.  He may be very interested in you, but be terrified that you aren’t. So, he does nothing.

If not for two friends who pushed me, I wouldn’t be with the wonderful woman of God I am with now.  One of them literally almost hit the “send” button on a message that my other friend helped me write!

As far as maturity level, that’s a pretty established scientific fact.  Women just mature faster than men, especially emotionally.  Couple that with the culture I talked about before, we have the disparity present now.  I know that my 22-year-old girlfriend is just as mature, if not more so, than I am in many areas of life. (I’m 25.) That being said, the reverse is also true.  But we’ll get into that on question three.

Gender imbalance is a constant problem in the church.  I’ve been taught that some of it traces back to how worship was performed in Monasteries (for men) and Convents (for women).  When the “modern” form of worship was brought into being (and I use modern loosely as it’s now thought of as “traditional”), it was essentially a modified version of what was done in the Convents. So, women naturally connect with it more than men.

That’s why, on any given Sunday morning, a man is more likely to think of church as “boring” than a woman.  This isn’t to say that men can’t connect, as they certainly do, it’s just more work for them (and as we established before, “work” is a four letter word to men in our generation).  I’m not trying to give men a copout or anything, but it’s true.  I searched for a direct reference to this, but couldn’t find it. But regardless of how the current style of worship came to be, the style of worships matters (just look at age ranges in your typical “traditional” church versus “contemporary” church) and it doesn’t always connect with men very well.

However, it’s not just the style of worship, especially with the more contemporary styles out there now, men simply tend to bond more over sports and games than potlucks and bible studies (though we love the free food).  Often, women view church as a social place, as well as a place of worship.  Meanwhile, men can’t wait to get back to their football game with their buddies.

Think about it, do you know of any men who’ve expressed an intense desire to join a book club instead of watching the latest sports event (and if they did, was a woman involved)?  It’s partly hardwired into us and it’s a problem the church needs to address (and is doing better at).

So yes, there are more women than men in the church. And yes, the men that are there may be as meek as a church mouse.  I think the best way we can overcome gender imbalance in the church and dating scene is to break free from misconceptions and bad ideas.  We also need to find ways to engage men and let women be more vocal about what they want instead of waiting for the man to “step up”.

*Stayed tuned for questions 3 & 4 in the Chronicles of a single Christian Man Part 2


A Guy’s Perspective…

Coming soon, Chronicles of a single Christian Woman will be getting an inside scoop about dating from the male perspective.


Hear This: Sounds of Brazil

Due to the generosity of my parents, I’ve had the opportunity to go to Brazil a few times.  On my first venture, my father and I took a short Portuguese course. In the class, we learned some phrases(Eu falo um pouco de Português) and learned some of the aspects of Brazilian culture.

However, in my family, no cultural exploration is complete unless you’ve had a chance to sample the music. So my father sampled  some of the best known musicians of Brazilian Jazz and passed on his findings to me.  And now I’m passing them on to you.

Meet Maria Rita…

Debunking The Myth of Signs & Wonders

If you ask enough married people to tell you their story of how they met “the one”, sooner or later you will come across the old adage “you just know”.

My question is did you “just know” or is “hindsight 20/20”?

I have a sneaking suspicion that if more people were honest, it’d be the latter.  How many married people, before they met their intended, thought they would marry a previous boyfriend/girlfriend/crush? Is it possible that with the passing of time it became obvious as to why a former flame was not destined to be “the one”?

Are people doing singles a disservice by encouraging us to rely on a funny feeling before we take a walk down the aisle (or even ask someone on a date/accept a date)?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that God isn’t big enough, mysterious enough,  or whatever enough to provide a sign. But, perhaps by giving vague directives, singles are being led off course.

Perhaps it’s better to give practical advice and guidelines instead of encouraging the notions of “let your heart be your guide”.  (Jeremiah 17:9)


Zac Efron* And The Rise Of The Cougar

Been There Done That: Dating A Younger Man

Verdict: Is age nothing but a number? It depends.

Even though I’ve essentially watched all of the High School Musical movies and I do enjoy the occasional Justin Bieber/Selena Gomez tune, I am not in denial about my age.

Before I turned 30, most of the men that I took interest in and the ones who seemed interested in me, tended to be older.  However, at times, the script has flipped.

Some of it makes sense, the older you get, the more likely it is that your peers are already married. So the people who share the same stage of life tend to be younger.

The Good:

  1. Being open to a younger man may give you more dating options.  Besides, it’s not completely fair to shut someone down just because of their age.
  2. You might meet a really good guy.

Although things did not work out with me and my younger guy, it was a pretty positive dating experience.

The Bad:

  1. Depending on how big the age gap is and where you are in life, you may be navigating two different life stages and possibly two different levels of maturity. Unfortunately, those differences can and may drive the two of you apart.
  2. He may still live at home.

If your boyfriend still lives at home, it can be hard to judge his character and/or life management skills. After all, how do you know if he can successfully take care of a future family, if he’s not currently managing his own household?

Disclaimer-There are valid reasons for why a man may be living at home. (e.g. taking care of a sick parent, saving money while trying to pay off student loans, temporarily unemployed, etc.) However, for some men, it’s a sign of arrested development.

So what say you?  Have you done it? If not, why not?

* Why Mr. Efron in the title? His post Musical work seems to consistently pair him with leading ladies who are some years his senior. (e.g. Me and Orson Welles, Lucky One, etc.)

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