Online Reading (February 19, 2008)

Local Politics: Andy Wells compares city councilors to bubonic plague. Given how Andy has plagued St. john’s politics, is this actually a compliment?

Not so local politics: A mayor in Quebec tells people to move to Mexico if they don’t like snow removal in his town. (Given that there is no snow clearing for sidewalks in St. John’s, maybe they should move here)

Gun Control (or its opposite): Arizona legislators are dealing with arguments for allowing concealed carry of handguns at schools (K-12 and university).

Singles in Church: An article on CTsingles about being single in a family-oriented Church. All I can say is that I’m strangely glad I’m not alone.

Online Reading (November 21, 2007)

Iraq: Some Iraqis are returning home. (Note: this is a big deal if the beeb is actually reporting it).

Anglicans: Seems the Church of my birth is inching towards full schism. Unfortunately, neither side of the schism would be an acceptable choice of a Church for me (if you want reasons, you can buy me a coffee and we can talk).

Law: Defamation law too difficult for you here in North America (making you prove real harm, etc.?) Sue in the UK!

Freak Dancing: I may be officially old now, but I’m with Al Mohler on the concept of “Freak Dancing”.

Funny how no one wants it.

Being single as a 33 year old Christian man is usually a good gig. The Lord blesses me greatly in giving me good solid prayer time, and the ability to study scripture and read, and to have friendships with few restrictions. I’m available to people at a level that most men my age simply can’t be, because I have no family to take care of. I wouldn’t often be able to blog at midnight were a wife expecting me to come to bed, or if I had a child who wasn’t yet sleeping through the night (as I’d be grasping sleep wherever I could).

Often, when I think about it, I enjoy my life as a single poverty-stricken pastoral wannabe. That doesn’t mean I don’t keep my eyes out for Christian women who might be good marriage potential, but it’s not the controlling factor in my life.

I have to say that because the Christian climate is often hostile to being a single Christian guy, especially when I date selectively (I only ask out people who I believe would be good wives and mothers, and for whom I would be a positive part of their lives… the last time I even asked someone for a date was a year or so ago). But the story I get from around me is that men my age should be married. People point to the overwhelming preponderance of women in the church, and how I have no reason to be single. I’ve even had people tell me how I should find a wife soon. And I would, but I really don’t know anyone who’d meet my expectations who is also single. Additionally there’s the fact that I want to be a pastor, and most Churches see a single pastor guy as a danger of sexual sin, so my chances of work are actually diminished by the fact that I’m not married.

If all that weren’t enough, many single Christian women seem scared I’m going to get interested in them and ask them out. It makes some uncomfortable, and others go so far as to preventively tell me they aren’t interested, whether there’s any danger of me actually asking them out or not. I try to offset this by self-depricating humor about my understanding that women aren’t interested in me, but then people worry that I’m sitting in a corner at night bewailing the fact I’m not yet wed.

And then there’s the fact that I have parents who like to wonder when I’m going to “settle down”, and start producing grandkids for them.

All of this is before we add in the sexually charged culture, and the fact that I do sometimes succumb to the pressure and talk about my own singularity.

I don’t think my bride is around the corner (if indeed I ever marry), but I don’t think the pressures on me from both within and outside the Church are going to let up either.

Yet singleness is a gift, and a valuable one. The Lord has provided me a time to think and pray for others, to study his word, and to put to death the deeds of the flesh in my own life without worrying that the shrapnel of my spiritual battles will harm my family. And I know that whatever reason God has for not putting a wife into my life, it’s a good one.

Because in the end, contrary to some people’s thinking, my life isn’t about the propagation of the species, but about glorifying God. I pray that the Lord will strengthen me to glorify Him more, whether single or married.

G’night and God bless!

Online Reading, September 25, 2007

Science (?): Guys with deep voices have more kids (they are apparently more attractive too).

Politics: Danny Williams (Premier of my province) hopes to double the population of Newfoundland. Oh the fun of elections.

Blogs: Here’s why I’m a bad blogger (I don’t write every day)

Rant: Man this Driscoll guy can rant.

Online Reading, August 26, 2007

Movies: Jason Bourne as both evil and a Christian narrative. (isn’t eisegesis of cultural texts grand?)

Missions: The South Korean aid worker hostages in Afghanistan may get released.

Legalities: And people wonder why I never articled?

Relationships: Apparently, breaking up isn’t that bad. (ladies, if you want to leave you bf and date me, here’s your chance :-D.)

Romance Can’t Fulfill (it’s good, but it’s not God)

So, today I was rolling pennies (ah the joys of working retail), and watching a Gill Deacon rerun on the CBC (Yay, Public Broadcasting). This episode seemed to be focussed on the relationship thing, and despite the fact I wrote a bit on  it recently, I figured I should react openly to it (though now people may rightly call me “obsessed”)Probably the most objectionable part I found was the segment on the dating service for people already married (yes, you’re reading that correctly, a site dedicated to empowering philandering), called Ashley Madison. I feel bad giving the link there…

But when the interviewer asked its creator about the reason for the morality of it, he simply started to talk about feeling “unfulfilled” in marriage. Now, I’m not married, but I can guarantee that in any earthly relationship, at some point you’re going to feel unfulfilled because both members of any relationship besides the one with God are sinners.

The second segment, I believe, was a little more enlightening. It was about the Canadian documentary, lovable, which consists of interviews of several people who remain single/never marrieds in their 30s, 40s and 50s. It chronicles the sense of loss, and in some cases failure of being single at these ages and not wanting to be.

What was interesting to me was that the director seemed to hit the nail on the head when he alluded to the need for romance in relationships. He pointed out that there were often other things at play in most instances of romantic love, that can lead older singles to discount great people from the dating circle because they don’t give you the hormone charged high that you got in your teens and 20s. It’s an unrealistic high (that if you keep, will probably have you on Ashley Madison 10 years after successfully marrying).

To put it in religious terms, one of the most prevalent idols in modern times (and especially in my own life) seems to be the desire for romance rather than love and family. Romance is good and noble in its proper place, but it is not going to fulfill you (that’s Jesus’ job), and it isn’t even the center of a good marriage (Jesus is that too).

This is not to say that I don’t seek romance. Quite the opposite, I am even using online dating services like Plenty of Fish (free, but I don’t recommend it, there are a lot of nuts there….. like bloggers who talk to themselves in public), Christian Cafe (pay service that at least limits to self-described Christians, if you ever join it, send me a message, it’ll make me feel less like I’ve wasted my money), and eharmony (the cadillac of singles sites, but too rich for my blood beyond the trial period).

But in the end, as a single in my 30s (33 in 2 weeks), who desires a family greatly, it’s clear that Christ has to be the center, or I’ll end up following the world in placing too much on my wife and kids if God ever blesses me with them. It’s a hard struggle, but a necessary one, as no false gods will fill the role only the one true God can. In the end they are worthless in comparison to Him.