klee94 asked a question:
As a Christian woman who deeply cares about social justice issues, I find myself really despairing of finding a Christian guy who genuinely and actively cares about women’s rights, black rights, POC rights, etc. And all the while, my church culture pushes marriage and dating in my face pretty much every Sunday. I honestly sometimes feel like I won’t ever find the right, God-loving, guy and I’ve also been very fixated over my singleness. Any advice?
Hey dear friend, I think it’s tough to find anyone who cares deeply about social issues, or even worse, much of anything. Most people who appear to “care” are either antagonistic and constantly demonize the other side, or it’s very shallow and only for hogging attention. So when it comes to finding a friend with depth, it’s a long difficult search that can take a lifetime.
As far as your church culture goes, you can consider talking with your leaders about the over-emphasis on marriage — but regardless, please don’t let this shame you about yourself. Don’t trust me or your church or a blog or a romantic comedy to say anything about who you are or your decisions. And yes, singleness can be wonderful.
I want to gently encourage you to consider one thing. It’s possible you have a “Wishlist” for a guy that would be an impossible unrealistic standard, and you might inadvertently pressure a date to fit your mold. When he doesn’t, you’ll be constantly disappointed or you’ll belittle him. The “Wishlist” type of thinking is cute but dangerous. It revokes the capacity to accept that your partner could change, hence removing the agency of that person. I’m not saying you’re doing any of this, but it’s critical to reflect upon ourselves with such brutal honesty.
The thing is, everyone is uniquely wired unto themselves. No one, and I mean no one, will fit your dream guy, and even if he did, then life will change him into someone else over the course of time. You might even meet a guy who cares very deeply about social causes, but then every other area of his life is downright terrible.
The other issue here is that if I bank all my chips on this dream-person fitting my interests, then I’ll begin to idolize or even demonize the interests we share. In other words, if you actually do find a guy who’s really into your passions, like social justice, then you’ll be shaken if he changes his mind. You’ll be angry when he disagrees with particular things about justice. You’ll be pressured into maintaining a certain level of passion. You’ll be upset on days when he’s not “at your level.” You might ignore his other interests, or you’ll over-emphasize this one so much that you won’t be well-rounded enough to discover new areas of your own. Building on any one particular foundation outside the actual person is going to idolize and demonize them, because you’ll be too anchored to the trait you wanted. No one sets out to do this, but I see it happen all the time.
I had to let go of my idea of a “soul-mate” who fit my physical and moral preferences. The person you’ll be attracted to will be a million times more interesting than your “soul-mate” could ever be, because they’ll be a real whole person with their own thoughts and choices. While I do believe we should look for someone who’s compatible, I also think it’s enough if the guy you’re attracted to at least respects your passions even if he doesn’t fully understand them. And if you do both fall in love, he will come around to sharing the deepest parts of you, but only if you do not crush him with an unfair expectation of how he must meet them.
Here’s my wager. If you’re running after Christ and the way He has made you, that means you’ll be running in the circles of what God has called you to do. You’ll be a part of what God is doing on the earth. And perhaps in that mix, you’ll find someone running alongside you. You’ll find that while his specific ideas about social justice might be quite different than yours, that he still cares just as deeply, and it’s actually his little differences that will make you more well-rounded and whole as you chase God’s heart. Maybe this guy will turn out to be more than a friend, or maybe not. But our priority is that we’re going after God and His mission first, and everything else will flow from that fountain.
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