Tuesday, September 13, 2011
"How Can I Be Sure She Is the Right One for Me?"
On the surface it sounds like a very fair question. When in a dating relationship that is getting serious, single males and females will fret, poll, stall, pray and count daisies to determine if their special someone is indeed their special someone.
I was reading on this topic from 2 different directions this week. First, it was part of a blog written by Sarah Jennings at Crosswalk.com. Second, it was mentioned in the book I'm reading titled, "Get Married. What Women Can Do To Help It Happen." Both writers point out that this question is directed at self. It is a selfish question.
Ms. Jennings was writing about the popular show, "The Bachelor." She wrote: In his book Love & Responsibility, Fr. Wojtyla explains these perplexing relationship failures. He explains that this notion that we're supposed to find someone to "complete us" is off course. You see, when we date a person with the primary goal of experiencing pleasure - or a sense of "fulfillment" - we're actually using that person. Sure, we may like the person. But we're still using them as a means to our end, our pleasure. And using a person is the opposite of loving them.
Not only does using a person fail to nurture true love, but Fr. Wojtyla insists that the "pleasure approach" is impractical because it is very difficult to predict who will bring us the maximum amount of personal pleasure long-term (I think the Bachelors would agree here!). Thus begins the cycle of serial monogamy as we hop from one high to the next.
So how do we find true love if we can't just look for the person who gives us the biggest high? It's not that we shouldn't enjoy our mates. Quite the contrary. But we need to start off on a different foot. Fr. Wojtyla shares that true love finds its beginnings when two human beings make a free will commitment to a good, the greatest good being God. He writes, "Love... is conditioned by the common attitude of people towards the same good, which they choose as their aim, and to which they subordinate themselves."
Why does this work? In joining another for good, the focus becomes less, "What can you do for me?" (which is self-centered) to "What can we do together to serve God?"
And that's basically what author Candice Watters wrote. She quoted pastor Michael Lawrence's article titled, "Stop Test-Driving Your Girlfriend." He wrote, The question frames the entire decision-making process in fundamentally self-oriented - if not downright selfish - terms. And it puts the woman on an extended trial to determine whether or not she meets your needs, fits with your personality, and satisfies your desires. It places you at the center of the process, in the role of a window-shopper, or consumer at a buffet. In this scenario you remain unexamined, unquestioned, and unassailable - sovereign in your tastes and preferences and judgments.
Couldn't have said it better myself! So, it's not so much about you, male or female. (Think opening line of The Purpose Driven Life.) It's about what the two of you can do together to fulfill your purposes here on earth.