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

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5 Comments

  1. Thanks, Chris. This has been very insightful (if that’s even a proper word). I’m looking forward to next week’s post!

    Reply
  2. Jamy

     /  September 5, 2012

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and insights Chris! It was thought provoking. It is evident to see Christ displayed in your life, not an easy thing in this world!

    Reply
  3. micah

     /  May 6, 2013

    From a Christian man’s point of view, I think the Chris’ response are pretty pathetic.

    Here’s the deal….

    1. Men want to know what they are getting when they get into a relationship with a woman. This goes for emotional, spiritually, and sexually.

    Right now I can just imagine the eye rolls from some of the people out there. Listen, you have grow up and own your sexuality. It is a gift to us from God. Be an adult and use it that way. Learn to flirt. The last thing ANY man wants is to marry a platonic friend. I can’t tell you how many men (I’m 30) from my Church who are older than me come to me and tell me about the sexual issues with their wife.

    Many women shut their sexuality off which devoids them of their femininity. Notice in old Greek art work, Satan is not portrayed as a seductress, but as a neutral gendered person (think satan as portrayed in Passion of the Christ). To rob us our of masculinity and femininity is to make us non-people. Women and men need to learn how to communicate sexually in an wholesome and integrated way thats neither extreme of intercourse or complete physical avoidance — both are unhealthy.

    2. You are not a man if you can’t cook a solid breakfast, lunch, and dinner for yourself, keep a consistently clean house, plan a picnic with friends, design and keep a budget. No matter how Godly you say you are or how much you pray daily, if you can’t do this s***, you are not a man.

    3. Man up and stop worrying about what others think of you.

    Decide for yourself what you think about a topic, bible verse, dating, etc. God made YOU different from everyone else for a reason. Stand up for what YOU believe. Do the right thing because YOU believe it to be so. If you are at an age where you can be married, have sex, and bring about new life in the world, start acting like an adult.

    “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.” Stuff like this pisses me off. Get over it men — life does not revolve around women!

    More BS….

    “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.”

    Listen dude, if all the women in your church have time to do is worry about your dating life, you need to find a different church. You can put your ego to bed on this one. Life will go on just fine without you.

    As a man, this is another gem that really frustrates me…
    “As far as maturity level, that’s a pretty established scientific fact. Women just mature faster than men, especially emotionally. ”

    This is an escape clause which says “I have a reason not to grow up.” Women mature physically faster than men but by the time you are in your 20s, emotionally men and women are very capable of being emotionally on the same page.

    Every man has a voice inside himself that he has gathered from experience. Every time he listens to that voice and does what he thinks is the best thing to do in a situation, he genuinely learns something and the voice is changed. Every time that voice is unheard or a man follows another man’s voice, joy or pain may result, but HIS voice is never changed. God cares most about your insides, that voice of yours.

    4. Get honest with yourself!

    Do you think that girl wearing the flowered dress on a warm day is hot, tell her! Don’t be a creep, but stop denying what you saw and tell her you find her beautiful. Appreciating beauty is a skill — learn it! Learn to give others complements too. People enjoy things like this and what you’ll find is that the biggest gift isnt to them, but it is to your soul.

    We don’t wake up one day and say “Gee, I’m 100% happy with the life I have.” It takes time to integrate all the stuff that happens to is into a single coherent picture that God wants us to see. We have to deal with our baggage, admit our thoughts, learn to be intimate with other people. This doesnt happen overnight. We have to learn to be content in our circumstances — part of that is learning how to appreciate the beauty God gives us each day but we so often completely miss.

    Stop fighting against the things you don’t want to think or feel. Accept them as they are. We are tied to the things we fight against and the worth enemy to fight is the one we make up. Get 100% honest with yourself. You’ll be surprised at how much tension that releases and how quickly we get our relationship reconnected with God.

    5. Men, be the man you were when you were five.
    “Meanwhile, men can’t wait to get back to their football game with their buddies.” Yeah, most of us guys are brain dead idiots who watch football, wear beercan helmets and slobber over the GoDaddy commercials.

    “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”.”

    More excuses. You talked to girls all the time when you were 5. Nothing changed. At some point in your life, you decided (or moreso, you let someone decide for you) that talking to girls would make you “a player” or feel “hurt” because you got rejected once in the 6th grade by some b******* girl named Megan. Guess what, NO ONE CARES. Move on with your life!

    Overall, GO OUT AND BE THE MAN YOU THINK YOU SHOULD BE.

    Reply
    • Hi Micah,
      Thank you for your response. I can see that you put a lot of time into writing it.

      In regards to Chris, please keep in mind that Chris mentioned that he is not “every man”. His thoughts represent “a point of view”. So, I don’t think it’s fair to call his responses “pathetic”. Everyone may not agree with his take on things, but I think it’s important to respect his opinion.

      In regards to sex, I agree that we should embrace our sexuality. However, I believe that the fullest expression of sexuality should be reserved for marriage, which I’m not sure if that’s what you were implying.

      Either way, you had some really well-thought out responses. Some are quite challenging. 🙂 I appreciate the time you took to comment and share your thoughts. Thank you for dropping by my blog.

      Reply
  1. Chronicles of a single Christian Man Part 2 « Chronicles of a Single Christian Single

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