How Do You Discern Godly Men?

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In a recent column titled “The Lost Art of Discernment,” (http://arleenspenceley.com/the-lost-art-of-discernment/#more-808) my friend Arleen Spenceley looked at some things women can do to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to finding Godly men to date. I thought it was very timely advice because we live in a world that has taken men completely out of the definition of chastity. I dare say you would find one in a thousand single men on the street that would agree to have even their name in proximity to the word, even the men who do live chaste lives. Why is that? It’s because men have to make a living in this “only the strong survive” world and chastity is inexplicably linked to weakness and something less of a man. Godly single men often feel isolated, that nobody relates to them, that they have been put in the same meat bucket as other men of the world. Actually, the world will define many Godly man as losers and loners. It’s up to you to define a successful man. More importantly, it’s up to you to validate and encourage these men. So ladies if the only guys who catch your eye are the life of the parties who seem to have an unending stream of friends, then you’re probably missing the Godly men.

If you think Mr. Ideal is financially successful and is raking in a six-figure salary, you’re also missing out on meeting Godly men. Don’t forget the guys working in factories and those wearing uniforms to keep you safe at night. And please don’t make the mistake of thinking you can separate a man’s religious life from his work life. That is not possible. What worth is a man of God going to have in this world today? Probably not much. Just how far is he willing to go to make sure his Christian beliefs line up with his work? For instance, if he’s a contractor, a contractor for what? Casinos? A doctor? Does his hospital perform abortions or in vitro fertilization? A science teacher? Does he teach evolution? A photographer? Does he cover same sex weddings? Has the guy ever had to take a lesser job because of his Christian standards? If you have your priorities where they should be, this “deficit” should fall into the positive column.

Pay attention to his ego. Is he a walking advertisement for himself and his business/service? Or is he able to make light of himself and give God credit for everything he’s accomplished in life? Does he give everybody he meets a business card? When he’s talking to you, does he have his cell phone turned off? If not, does he ignore it and all internet buzzes and beeps? Do you have his undivided attention? Or is he more concerned about losing a dollar? Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can change him after your married. Big mistake.

How is he with self control? Can he disagree with someone in a civilized manner without yelling and name calling? This should be one of the first signs you notice in a guy who is saving sex until marriage. Contrary to what many books and relationship gurus will tell you, it is not your job to draw the lines of intimacy in a relationship. It is not your job to say “no.” Rather, it’s the guys responsibility to not even go there to begin with. It’s also not his job to pursue you. It’s both of your jobs to respect each other and set aside the time it takes to get to know each other. If a pursuit is what your after, then you’ll probably end up no better than the nurse on General Hospital.

And this is probably one of the biggest – A lot of virtuous men do not like being compared . . . to anybody. That is especially true on internet dating sites. If a single guy does not have his profile online for all the world to see, do you hold that against him? If you see it as a negative, you’re missing out on a lot of Godly men because they are holding on to values that were part of this country during the Greatest Generation of men, those who lived during WWII and before. They know you cannot really meet a person online. It has to be face to face. Do you insist on exchanging emails and Facebook messages first? If you’re not willing to be step back in time with him when Christian values made up the fabric of this country, you’re missing out on a lot of Godly men. Are you disappointed when your online “vetting process” turns up little information on the guy or when you can’t find his name in headlines? You’re missing out on Godly men. A virtuous Christian man is not going to have the salacious stories your looking for. He’s going to be a blank slate. You can’t shop for a guy online like you shop for a dress – or even a job. A guy with no past. No story. No experience. Are yo dizzy yet? Are you prepared to meet a guy like that? One that’s looking for someone to trust him? To have an honest conversation? If not, then I suggest you stick with the online dating sites and compare salaries and golf club memberships.

I think the first step in any relationship is based on natural physical attraction. And that cannot be based on a mug shot on a computer screen. Yes, it can give you an idea. But it doesn’t communicate a fraction of what you’ll see by sitting down five minutes and having a cup of coffee. The more obstacles we put between us, including the internet, the further we get away from God’s original intention of attraction between male and female. And for a relationship to lead to a marriage, we must be able to temper the sparkling idealism we see through a prism, As St. John Paul II spoke of. We must be able to turn the prism in such a way that we see beyond the physical attraction and hormones of the moment. In photographic terms, I think of it as transforming a color picture into the stark reality of black and white. Many times what works in color falls flat in monochrome – no line, no form, no texture. So ladies, make sure that there is some redeeming value left when you look beyond away his colorful dance and see the truth underneath. Yes, it may be uncomfortable. But a Christian man who is truly interested in you will allow you to glimpse the stark reality of his soul.

George Will’s New Evangelical Marriage Mandate

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-college-become-the-victims-of-progressivism/2014/06/06/e90e73b4-eb50-11e3-9f5c-9075d5508f0a_story.html

According to his article on June 6th in the Washington Post, George Will thinks all of America’s ethical problems are caused by singles who refuse to grow up and get married: “It (Obama administration) vows to excavate equities from the ambiguities of the hookup culture, this cocktail of hormones, alcohol and the faux sophistication of today’s prolonged adolescence of especially privileged young adults.” I assume he meant the hookup culture is the easiest moral ambiguity to identify becauase single adults are not hooked up with a current valid marriage license. Can we say “dumbed down” together? Not only are there scarce Christian equities left in the single hookup culture, there are scarce equities in the marriage/adultery/divorce culture as well. Is it only singles who are fueled by alcohol and hormones roaming free like cattle who are responsibile for the ambiguities of our ethical dilemma? No.

It’s interesting that he used the phrase “prolonged adolescence” because it was first coined by Southern Baptist Preachers to chastise the single adults in their churches for not getting married by a certain age. For example, in 2004 Albert Mohler (now president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY) wrote the following:

“Other problems are closely associated with this delay of marriage. Speaking to this group of Christian young people–an outstanding group of young Christian disciples and leaders–I pointed to what sociologists now describe as “extended adolescence”–a period of life that now is extended well into the twenties and even early thirties by many young adults, often young men, who have trouble making the transition to adulthood.”

And “prolonged adolescence” continues to be used to this day as a catch phrase for “sinful singles.” Hundreds of preachers use it every Sunday in their churches. Here’s another recent example from Jeff Medders. Notice that he has “prolonged adolescence” as a hashtag at the end of the article: http://cbmw.org/men/manhood/manhood-marred-the-peter-pan-syndrome/

What many people don’t realize is that when parents cede discipline and moral standards to high schools and colleges and even churches, they are extending the adolescence of every single American, married and unmarried; that they are trampling on the unalienable Rights that our Declaration of Independence sought to protect – Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. We have seen just how fast our liberties have disappeared during the Obama administration. When we allow the government and schools to define sexual standards, including what constitutes rape, we are turning our independence over to the federal government and to a regulatory state. We are becoming what the British tried to escape 238 years ago.

George Will’s article drew the most criticism though for this comment:

“Colleges and universities are being educated by Washington and are finding the experience excruciating. They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (“micro-aggressions,” often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate.”

If progressivism is defined in terms of social justice as opposed to Biblical truth and if it holds mankind’s knowledge superior to God’s wisdom, then any sort of victimhood status is to be coveted – whether you’re the victim of rape or the victim of robbery. Victims must have a regulatory state for protection. No standards are taught at home, so the government will set them for you. And the school’s definition of rape will depend on the genetics of a monkey during the last evolutionary process and the last opinion poll. What kind of track record does the government have with regards to sexual ethics? Would you like Bill Clinton to define rape for you? Would you like Anthony Weiner to define fidelity in marriage?

When you leave it up to politicians and society at large to set sexual standards, none will be set. At best, Christian standards will be replaced by communal “fairness” and public sentiment. George Will mentioned excavating equities. When you excavate something, you dig down into the earth. Since Christian values in America are no longer seen on the surface, I’m sure the Obama administration and those coming after him will take it upon themselves to dig up least common denominators to fit all. There could come a time when universities are allowed to report a 30% incidence of rape cases per year with no financial repercussions, as long as that is thte national average. There could come a time when three porn flicks in high school study hall is “fair,” as long as every student has an equal chance to view them. There could come a time when a blood alcohol level will determine if a girl was raped. “Sorry honey. We can’t press charges because your blood alcohol level was 0.365.” Why aren’t parents setting Christian standards at home? There are just as many married folks roaming free like cattle and living their lives in prolonged adolescence. Marriage does not solve anything. I challenge George Will to find a marriage mandate in the Bible or even define what marriage is.