I said yesterday that there was something positive in this month's Touchstone Magazine for us to talk about. I don't know of anyone reading this blog who is actively "looking." And you know what I mean, don't you? :-/
Touchstone ran a symposium on dating, courtship & marriage this month with 4 of their familar authors. They called it:
If you have the time and inclination, do please read these 4 brief, brief articles and come back. I'll still be here.
If you subscribed to the paper mag, you saw one more little paragraph in blue halfway through the article. It said,
Dating and marriage being such crucial matters to our readers, single and parents alike, and of such importance to the health of the church and society, we invite readers to send responses to this forum, for possible publication in a future issue.
The responses should be written directly and concretely, no more than 400 words long, and received by October 26th. Please send them to me at editor [you know the symbol] touchstonemag [and this one too] c0m.
I may not be in a position to "look" right now. Life is complex like that. But look I do, and think on the subject I do. Here is what I will email to yon editor (if I have not worn out my welcome) after a little editing with you'uns help.
(And [Insert Exclamation of Amazement HERE] how do they expect me to say ANYTHING in 400 words. :-)
The history of God’s people is replete with "she was pleasing, so he married her." Every bit as surely, it is peppered with regrets in some of those marriages, though not all. This method, while exciting, seems a bit spotty in its execution. And while the full-blown arranged marriage is problematic, I need help. I know men and I can tell whether a man is faking pretty quickly, but put me across the coffee table from an eligible sweetheart with big hair, and I’m just another sucker.
I favor, and am actively advocating in my church, romantic introductions being initiated by selected elders (and this is key) across church and denominational boundaries. First, I need to talk to a wise, elder woman who has known my big-haired prospect much of her life, and who can make a wise recommendation to me. Second, I’m in a bit of a rub. My church has 80 people, none of them single ladies, and I am not leaving. I refuse to join a mega-church to meet chicks.
But what if my deaconness "Kathy" knew deaconness "Jane" at the nearby Presbyterian church, and regularly inquired whether there were any single women of X number of years in the faith, solid reputation, and willing to attend a church potluck to meet Codepoke? Both churches should profit.
Of importance to this idea are several details:
1) Jane and Kathy (or Dick or whomever) must be deacons of known reputation, filled with the Spirit and common sense.
2) Jane and Kathy must know about each other, and should really know each other personally if possible. I recommend coffee from time to time.
3) The churches must be nearby. Why not start to build relationships between churches via wise marriage? Can anyone think of a single negative to this happy possibility?
4) When the young lady (for example) begins to have doubts about the young man, she should be able to approach that man’s presenting deacon and express doubts about his reputation and possible intentions.
Even in my youth, I think I could have accepted the help of a caring deaconness gracefully. I ended up marrying a young lady of some reputation and character, but who apostasized. I’d bet Kathy would have steered me clear from day one. Hindsight reveals things to me she’d probably have seen from the start. Today I’d do better, but I covet wise counsel.
(And yes, it's exactly 400 words. I don't know how I cut it down so much!)