Dating Christian Bookstores

I’ll be honest. There was a time in my life when this was my favorite place to go. I felt this urgency in my heart for guidance. I had never been one for much dating, never been in a serious relationship, mostly just went out a few times with guys I considered to be good friends. Why is this? Number one, I’ve always considered relationships with the opposite sex something not to be taken lightly. I had this plan to not ever get serious with someone unless I thought there was a pretty good chance that they were husband material. How I thought I could decipher such a thing, I am not sure. This thinking kept me from ever being in a serious relationship for some time, which I am very grateful for now. The heart is not something to mess around with. And number two, I never met any guys whom I thought were really all that great. I had ridiculously high standards. Hear me out, high standards are good, but mine were unachievable. Thinking back on it now, I believe that this happened thanks to my former best friend, Mr. Christian Bookstore.

I consumed books on relationships. I ate them like they were Krispy Kreme donuts, tasty and unhealthy, feeling a little shameful. I read books on being Dateable, being Marriable, and just about every Christian Chick-lit book written. Some of these books I am very grateful for (Robin Jones Gunn‘s writing about teenage girls played a major role in who I am today. Thank you Robin for being obedient to God’s call on your life!), while other books now make me want to gag a little. I learned that if I wanted to find the perfect man, I needed to be beautiful, an amazing Christian, and I needed to be totally in love with Jesus.

So I put forth a plan and I did what I could. I diminished my self-worth a little everyday when I fell short of what I considered to be beautiful according to Christian culture. In all these books, the women were the most beautiful girls in the world. Flawless. I’m looking to the Christian world…not even the world, world where beauty is hardly ever truly beautiful. I could not meet the standards I had gathered by these fictional Christian men. This was a total blow to my heart. I mean, there is only so much I can do in attempt to make myself more beautiful without undergoing the knife and completely transforming the person I was molded to be. This sucked.

Then came my failure at being an awesome Christian girl. This is what an awesome Christian girl is:

  1. Wake up at the crack of dawn and read half of the bible.
  2. Post scripture all around your house, in your car, in your bathroom, and hand out scripture to strangers on the street.
  3. Talk in a sweet voice as a Godly woman would, always saying the nicest things and lifting one another up in encouragement.
  4. Talk about how much you are in love with Jesus and call him your boyfriend.
  5. Never go out of the house without having perfect hair and makeup.

Obviously, NO. These things do not make you an awesome Christian woman. I’m pretty sure there is no such thing as an awesome Christian. There are, however, people who fear God and keep His commandments. This is what you want to be, not some fake person trying to live up to an unattainable stereotype. 

Then came the loving Jesus part. How do I do this? How do I love when I don’t even know what love is? The answer was easy. Everyone directed me to 1 Corinthians 13, but always summarized it up for me as love is kind. Be kind.

So after many years of wallowing in failure, I decided that maybe, just maybe a good place to go for guidance would be scripture. And this is what I found:

Here is the thing. I consumed book after book on this topic and the knowledge I have today is still the bare minimum. I never looked at the real source. Never looked to the truth. I wanted these books to tell me what to do and make it easy for me. Here is one thing that I am certain of: a Godly woman is not lazy. We got work to do! I recommend we spend a little less time trying to satisfy our emotional needs by filling our hearts with junk and spend more time fulfilling His purpose for our life in sharing the Gospel, reading the Word, and edifying one another.

Published in: on October 25, 2008 at 4:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

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