(With a title like that, I’m sure to have hits)
This is an idea which has been percolating in the back of my dendrites for a couple of weeks now. I guess it had a little to do with the fact we were involved in a wedding for a relative a short time ago. What has been bubbling there is the idea of how abused this topic is in our present culture. I can remember being a kid and hearing in hushed tones the shame of the girl and poor kid who didn’t have a father. I remember hearing jokes about shotgun weddings and realize that presently, such a concept does not even exist.
I may have stated it here before, so please excuse the repeat, but there was a Sunday School class I was asked to teach may moons ago. I was asked to teach it as the kids were sitting in the room. “So-in-so didn’t show up, here’s the book. Thanks.” I look at the book and see the lesson is about sex during dating. How’s that for a subject to teach without preparation? I closed the book. The lesson I brought was from the mindset of marriage and dating as originally intended – for better or worse. I began with the idea that dating was for a single purpose – to find a mate. I then segued into the idea of marriage and asked a question with an individual in mind. This person was a lady in a former church who was very pleasant. She was pretty and quite personable. She had a car wreck. For the rest of her life, her husband will have to kiss the scarred face. I didn’t tell them that story, but altered it slightly to – if your companion has a car wreck and is in a wheel-chair, are you ready to take care of them the rest of your life? If not, you have no business playing like you are choosing a mate and therefore have no business dating. I had a herd of deer in those philosophical headlights. Notice I avoided the entire subject of sex, and instead provided them with the background to be wiser in their initial behaviors. If one avoids at the the initial concepts, the final act is not an issue.
Contraception has been in existence for a short number of decades. Prior to that time, it was incumbent upon the female to choose wisely what man she had for copulation as this would be the individual to support her, or she risked a life of poverty and a population referring to her with hushed tones and labeling the child with a properly applied moniker. The proper result of sex kept the act in appropriate bounds. Once contraception was available, it was possible for this act with a low chance of child – pleasure without consequence. Has the removal of consequence helped or hurt our society? How many children grow up without the authority provided by the father figure? I have a slight memory of a Catholic stating their philosophical opposition to contraception is born out in the fact that this society went from contraception to euthanasia in 40 years. Once life is cheapened, and behavior is done for only pleasure, the actions toward others tend toward the low end of the scale.
Let me go back to an incident at a hospital where I worked many, many moons – well, never mind. I worked there during the last millennium. There was a homosexual there who was rather blatant about his orientation and fulfilled many, let’s say rather, all the concepts I learned from psychology class excepting the number of interactions per year. He did announce one Monday morning, “you heterosexuals, eat your heart out. Six times!” Now, I am married. We have sex. You know that because of the fact I note we are married. Any other details will not be learned because I don’t talk about it. That is a subject exclusively between my spouse and myself. There is the small possibility I might divulge something to a doctor if it has relevance to treatment. Otherwise, it is something private. Completely.
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
There is an exclusive club where sex is free and whatever is done is fine. That is marriage. All else is under the judgment of God. I say it that way with this reference so that it is known that God has more than homosexuals that He is against. It is not a free ride to do anything you want, unless you are married. Then the subject comes back to the philosophy more relative to the base concept of dating – is what you are doing for your own pleasure, or the pleasure of your partner? This homosexual worker I referenced made a statement one time along this line – he said that only a man could provide him pleasure, as only a man knew what felt good. I mulled on that statement and realized that one interpretation was that he wanted someone who could give him pleasure. Stated another way, “I want someone who understands better how to make me feel good.” Note the subject of the sentence. Note the object of the sentence. It is a self-seeking statement, not a giving one. It is a self-focused concept, not an other focused one.
Before marriage, this time, I went through a book used by spouseinbox in Sunday School. It described the former style of courting where the man would come to the woman’s house and seek time with her after going through her father, etc. It then contrasted dating where the individual would spend time with different individuals looking for their “match”. The step back observation of these is that in the courting, the man had to come to the family and provide for her. He was to show what he was bringing to the future family. In the dating format, there is a self-centered approach which says, “how do you make me feel?” Where each is trying to validate themselves from the other. The book further went on to describe how dating was training the individual towards divorce in that time was spent getting close to an individual before breaking up and beginning the process again.
The book was called Choosing God’s Best. I would recommend this to anyone considering looking for a mate. To give you a small photograph of how it worked for us, I had kidinbox at the time. I also was living in meager circumstance. We never really made a move to “date,” but rather started spending time together where spouseinbox would come over for supper that I would cook and spend the evening with myself and kidinbox. I had made up my mind that kidinbox was not an option and that whoever would come into my life would have to deal with this child. I also had limited resources, and home cooked was all I could afford as well, so it worked in two ways. I got to see how spouseinbox interacted with kidinbox and liked what I saw. Spouseinbox could give kidinbox a “look” and the meaning was transmitted and accepted. Further, spouseinbox backed up my decisions concerning kidinbox and we became a pair in those interactions. As for the parents, I decided to go and meet the parents and discover what family interactions were there. Remember that all of the behavior you see in your mate was started in a family. They may have altered here and there, but the base set of interactions were learned in a family and it is wise to seek that family to find out what potential life is lurking should you decide to take this individual.
In our case, I found a loving couple who liked high school football and working in their local church. Granted, I got a sideways glance (as I found out later that spouseinbox had not said anything about me as we really were not officially “dating”) as I walked into the business to say “hi”. They were polite and really curious why a stranger walked into the store. Thinking back, I would be too, especially without a hint of warning. Well, we are now married, and very happily so for several years. I am going to stop writing for the moment and get back to practicing music.