I don’t think I’ve really talked about my faith on this blog very much. I have, of course, alluded to it many times but to explicitly draw it out? Rarely so. I don’t know why this is the case, considering the fact this blog is read by limited group of people (usually) nor do I really seek to offend people who may not follow my particular faith. I like to think that I am respectful to those who may disagree with me on this regard but only hope that this respect is mutual. Often times, I find that general society, no matter how often ‘respect for differences’ is preached, Christianity is usually left out. Perhaps it is because it is seen as an archaic concept, a concept on which Canada or many Western countries were founded upon and therefore did not require the same level of demand for explicit respect. Anyways, I didn’t set out on this particular blog post to rant about this though reader, if you are inclined to vehemently disagree with my faith and perhaps inclined to ‘bash’ me for expressing them so publicly, this is my warning to you: that this particular post will draw upon my faith a great deal.
Let me start this blog post off with the following premise: aside from one person in high school, I have never dated a fellow Christian before. Yes that’s right; the girl that just posted a relatively lengthy disclaimer before this very post about her faith and such has never dabbled in ‘Christian dating’. The following are generalizations and I may offend you and you may disagree, but this what I’ve observed: a lot of Christian guys are limited. Limited in their perspectives as they have little desire to seek opinions and socially extend themselves outside of their happy little bubbles. It’s one thing to be gung ho about your faith which is great but I think it’s extremely important to reach out and really understand where others who differ from your opinion are coming from. For example, in political science, your argument is more or less negated if you have not observed/delved into the opinions of others concerning whatever issue you’re involved in/speaking upon. One viewpoint rarely captures all the necessary information required to formulate a sound opinion. So the above is a general, all-encapsulating reason as to why I haven’t dated a Christian before. It’s a big turn off to be so enclosed I guess.
But I digress, all that was, yes to set a damn premise. There, there, I know. Anyways, through my BFP, I’ve had a feel moments of …enlightenment? Mm.. that may be too strong a word but think of something along those lines. When people of different backgrounds, including different faiths, come together and start dating, there comes a time when certain things have to be hashed out. In my case, the ‘no sex’ talk comes up. Another issue, there’s a certain limitation as to how far the relationship can really go. I imagine that I want my kids to come with me to church, hang out with kiddies their own age, have them raised with certain values. Mind you, I’m not really talking about indoctrination (although I suppose you could argue otherwise and I, would argue back) because I imagine that my kids, no matter how I raise them in a particular faith, will make up their own minds as to whether they want to follow or not. I would argue though that the values set forth in the Christian faith aren’t bad by any means, rather, they act as pretty good guidelines. With this said, I wouldn’t want the father of the children to dispute this part of raising my kids which then leads me back to the limitations of a Christian/non-Christian relationship. If you are seeking something long term, then that dynamic will be very difficult to hash out and/or won’t work at all. After dating people who are non-Christians, I can safely say that I’ve had my fair share of ‘hashing out’ and I really don’t want to deal with that for the rest of my life.
However, with my sort of reformation in regards to relationships, I’m at a bit of a loss. Having never experienced what potential differences there may be in ‘Christian dating’, I am so lost. I’ve begun to really pray about what this really means and well, God answered. A couple days ago for cell group, we discussed what ‘love’ meant in the Christian context and how it would differ from the general societal understanding of it. I suppose in a very abstract way, ‘love’ in the former context means to bring out the best in the other person (that you’re in a relationship with) and the best for us to glorify God. Christians have the lofty-never-achievable-but-worth-pursuing goal of emulating who Jesus was because of our profound love and respect for what He did for us. His first and main priority was to bring glory to God. This in comparison to a more general societal understanding of love where we ‘glorify’ the other person.
This abstract idea was/is completely mind-blowing to me. Am I in a place for that? Mmm….probably not. I’m still in my early stages of really grasping this concept. Despite the fact that I may on some levels desire to pursue/be in a relationship with someone, the longevity of it will solely depend on whether I can support my partner in this pursuit and whether he can support me. Sure there are many other things I want in a SO (such as ability to rock a suit but rock a soft shell jacket and not squeal like a girl when we’re on a rock face..that’s my job :P) and I figure that God will set me up with a fellow who will meet my needs, but this one thing is the fundamental component of a Christian relationship. I imagine that there is so much more to learn..