Opposites Attract

There are a lot of cliches spoken everyday that we take for truth — or situational truths that may be apt for certain circumstances. Ever wonder which of these sayings is true?

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Out of sight, out of mind.

Both can be said to justify specific circumstances, but both cannot in fact be absolutely true.

Another apparent paradox exists with these sayings…

Birds of a feather flock together.
Opposites attract.

I say “apparent” because while these both can apply to dating, they can also apply to friendships with the same sex, etc.

However, when it comes to finding a potential spouse, should you be looking for someone who is very much like you (in personality, interests, talents, vocation, and calling?), or should you look for an opposite?

I have never heard concrete, biblical guidance on this subject. But thanks to a book I just finished and the expository commentary of John MacArthur, I discovered this evening that we should, indeed, be looking for an opposite. Seriously, it’s in the Bible.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
– Genesis 2:18

According to Dr. Don Raunikar in his book Choosing God’s Best, “The Hebrew word translated ‘suitable’ literally means ‘opposite.’ God’s plan is to bring us a mate who can support us where we are weak and fill in the gaps where our own lives have holes.”

John MacArthur confirms this interpretation in his study Bible: “The words of this verse emphasize man’s need for a companion, a helper, and an equal. He was incomplete without someone to complement him in fulfilling the task of filling, multiplying, and taking dominion over the earth. This points to Adam’s inadequacy, not Eve’s insufficiency. Woman was made by God to meet man’s deficiency.”

So, someone like me shouldn’t be looking for someone who is identical to me — someone who has the same personality traits and interests. I should be looking for someone who would make a good companion and be strong in the areas that I am weak.

This brings up another cliche, though… You complete me. You always hear that you should not be trying to find someone to “complete” you, as you will be codependent. But what’s wrong with codependency? Is that not how God designed marriage? For two people to become one & depend on each other?

After my reading tonight, I no longer fear pursuing someone who is different from me.

Embarrassing Divorce Stat

AskMen (a totally secular publication) just released a story about 5 things you didn’t know about divorce. The first thing listed is this stat, which should make all evangelical Christians embarassed…

1- Born-again Christians have the highest divorce rate
The first thing you didn’t know about divorce is that some predictors of divorce need to be shouted from the mountain top.

A study by Barna Research Group found that the 33% divorce rate among born-again Christians, or evangelicals, was the highest among Christian denominations. Not surprisingly, these results met with a flood of criticism, much of which raised one of the most disputed questions in this field: What is the biggest predictor of divorce among the broader population, the most common of all the common denominators?

The answer generally depends on who you ask, but two predictors frequently mentioned are first, age at marriage and second, income — notably, couples under age 20 with an income under $25,000 have a very high risk of divorcing. Throw in a pregnancy, and they’re pretty much doomed.

Things Christians should learn from this… Marrying young is a recipe for a failed marriage. You should wait until you’re sure of your calling (ministry & vocation), and wait until you’re financially and emotionally stable enough to support a family.

Church Singles Groups

I’ve had a lot of exposure to a singles group lately, which I don’t attend, but have friends who do. I won’t mention the name of this group, but if you’re close to the situation, you can probably figure it out. I actually attended this group for a brief stint several years ago, but never connected with anyone there. I never thought the environment was truly very friendly.

The problem with singles groups is that whatever the group hopes to accomplish, the ultimate reason most people are there is to meet someone to date/marry. Whatever spiritual, outward-focused goals the group may have, the members have an overriding selfish goal for being there.

If the attendees were truly there for worship, then they would go to the normal church service. But they’re there to meet potential mates.

I noticed that the dynamics are different for the men and women who attend. The women, while still inwardly competing with one another, find strength in numbers. They huddle and form strong friendships with the other single women. This makes them a large pack and actually less approachable — which is ironic, because I assume they want to be approached.

The men, on the other hand, view all the other men as competition and want nothing to do with building close friendships with any of them. Depending on how desperate they are, they may give a token pleasantry to the other guys if cornered into a conversation, but some will be downright rude to you, if they see you as worthy competition.

Social times at these meetings closely resemble a situation in wildlife, where the lions (men) cirlce a pack of gazelles (women), in search of their prey. Since the women have formed these tight packs, it’s harder for the men to find a target. But when a gazelle breaks away from the pack, then several lions immediately descend on her.

I met several guys this weekend, who attend this group, and with one notable exception (a very friendly guy named Leo), most of the men seemed very reluctant to make my acquaintance. Instead of being greeted with a warm handshake, I was metaphorically peed upon by the “dominant” males.

Now I’m the last person to compete over a woman, and when I find myself in those situations, I’m totally content to walk away and wait to cross paths with another person not wrapped up in such dynamics. But I’m still fascinated to see such primitive behavior on display within modern day interactions.

I’ve concluded this weekend that it’s good that I’m not involved in this group and will stop going to their social functions.

It’s not that I’m not looking to meet my own potential mate. I would just like to do so while serving God in ministry. I don’t want to go to a meeting/event solely designed for the purpose of meeting someone. I want to meet someone through service — someone who shares my calling for evangelism and communication through new media. The only way I’m going to meet someone like that is by doing those things and seeing who I meet in the process.