by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide
I found this next part confusing. Leah is the author, but spends most of the time talking about David. I’m pretty sure Leah is an actual person – not a Debi character – because bits of the story seem plausible.
David flew to Papua New Guinea for a two-month mission trip with orphans when he was 13 years old.
Did David go to Papau New Guinea to work with orphans OR take a group of orphans on a two-month mission trip to Papau New Guinea?
I have strong negative opinions about charity tourism. Kids need permanence, not a revolving cast of foreigners who appear for a few months then disappear again. The kids have had enough loss in their lives; adding a new loss to get ChristianityBraggingPoints is twisted.
I’d be more impressed if he raised some money for the orphanage and sent it. Oh, and skipped the bragging.
He felt directed to start building businesses to support and serve orphans worldwide. He graduated with a finance degree, started his business and also volunteered with the youth at his church.
A non-ministry based career! YAY! They do exist!
Of course, you have to explain how it supports Christianity in a very direct, obvious manner.
Side note: Churches have more ministries than working with the kids, setting up socialization for unmarried adults, cooking for meetings and cleaning up…or they should. With his finance degree, David should be on the finance committee in the parish/congregation or helping people get debt-free, or something adult.
Side note 2: Each church should have a board of elders/finance committee/etc that produces one public budget per year. If your church doesn’t have this, you are at high risk for misappropriation of funds. We’re all human, so transparency is critical.
(Editor’s note: Yes, this does happen. It happened at my old church. The pastor plundered the church monies and then quit. Now he’s at another church, likely to repeat the same behavior.)
As far as dating, David didn’t look to the left or right. “If she wasn’t marriage material, why date her?” He was already honoring his future wife while many of his friends were dating around all through high school, college and afterwards.
David couldn’t know if any girls were marriage material if he wasn’t looking left or right.
Humility is a virtue that is missing in this story. We’re on the second humblebrag in 50 words.
My husband and I both dated other people before we met each other. I cared about how he treated his previous girlfriends because that was a glimpse into his character.
After 27 years of waiting, David was the first guy I took to church, the first guy I took to a wedding and the first guy I brought home to Thanksgiving dinner. Each “first” was like a special present I saved for him. Once you realize a man is going to be your husband, you will wish you had not given any guy in your past any attention at all.
Ok, now Leah’s diving into the absurd. She’s stated that she doesn’t date, didn’t date and now magically KNOWS that everyone else who dated is wracked with regret.
There are also some HUGE problems with this “first” time as a gift mantra.
Problem One: Awesome firsts that you can’t anticipate
I grew up in the city. One of my favorite things on the farm has been watching calves be born. It’s such a magical process. I will sit somewhere out of the way and laugh with sheer joy at the first minutes of a calf’s life. My husband grew up watching this and sharing it with me has allowed him to see the whole process with fresh eyes.
Tell me: How could I have predicted this? How could he?
Problem Two: Idolization of first times
Apply the same logic to child-rearing
Since the first time is the only time that counts, my parents took me to the museum once as a child. We went to the zoo once. We watched one movie. We went to one play. We played at each playground once.
It’s that stupid when you apply it to
FYI: I went to all of those – minus the playground – on dates with men who I did not marry. Going with my husband is absolutely awesome because he’s awesome.
Problem Three: Widows, Widowers and Divorced Persons
Do these people become taboo? Have substandard second marriages due to using up all the “firsts” on their previous marriage?
What a hurtful idea.
When I met David’s friends, they all said the same thing: “Leah, you have the greatest guy in the whole world! David has waited for you for a long time – we tried to set him up, but he wouldn’t even give other girls the time of day. You must be one special girl!” How awesome that David honored me all those years! I felt like a celebrity.
Weirdly enough, I had NEARLY the EXACT same things said to me when Nico introduced me to people! Just cut out “we tried to set him up….of day.”
Plus, that bit is rather rude toward the other girls…or is a veiled warning that David is an oddball.
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8). Your single years are a unique opportunity for you to grow in your relationship with the Lord, preparing you to enter marriage with a solid faith, so you won’t have to totally depend on your spouse for your faith.
I have no idea how you would depend on your spouse for your faith. That makes no sense at all.
Some of my sweetest times with the Lord were during my single years. Once you marry, you will never again have that complete, utter dependence on the Lord.
Leah must have had an idyllic – and probably short – marriage so far. Even in the best marriage, people will need to depend on the Lord because living with another human being can be deeply frustrating at time.
We all have friends that “cannot” be single – they must always have someone. But I would encourage you to relish these times with just you and the Lord.
It’s ironic that Leah and Debi keep harping on the extreme of people who cannot be alone without realizing that they advocate the harmful extreme of always being alone except for a future spouse.
“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, besides thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him” (Isaiah 64:4) When it is time to enter a relationship, you will know Him and be able to discern if this is His will.
Leah’s advocating discernment in relationships! I’m gonna hope that she means discerning if the relationship is healthy and productive for BOTH partners instead of the “mold yourself to him” method of the Pearls.
AntiPearl:The first time I sang in the church choir; two hundred people changed their religion.
Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide