Boy Meets Girl

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When I think of first becoming aware of girls, my mind goes back to about the sixth grade at Chelsea High School. So in this post, I’ll be talking strictly about heterosexual attraction. Her name was Lisa and she sat behind me. I tried to toss little wads of paper down the front of her dress. Yes, it was all innocent fascination. I didn’t even know what sex was at that point. It was 1973 and the topic of sex wasn’t what it is today. Needless to say, I spent most of the class talking to her. As I got older and entered high school, it seemed that every guy was supposed to have a girlfriend. Boys would talk about who they thought the prettiest girls were. Because every boy was supposed to go for a certain “type.” Football players got first bids. Girls talked about who they were “going” with. I never quite figured all of that out. But I did find certain girls more attractive than others and went out of my way to be in their proximity. What really bothered me though was that it seemed the prettiest girls were going with the baddest boys and doing the baddest things. Sometimes I feel I should have spent more time with the girls who didn’t turn my head.

In college, everything that I suspected in high school turned out to be true. Frat hangouts every weekend, beer keg parties in the library, and girls wearing more skin than clothes. So, these are the new rules? Now I’m glad I commuted. I didn’t have time to think about all that extra fun. What I found sort of odd was that some girls who I didn’t find particularly attractive were attracted to me. Because in my mind I thought the only ones who would talk to me were the ones I thought were cute. I just thought girls could read all of that stuff. For instance, there was a girl named Cynthia in my sophomore statistics class. She was very and even sat next to me. But she seemed very plain. No glitz and glamor. I’m not sure if my eyes were conditioned to see beauty in an artificial way or if it was the college atmosphere where girls were expected to sparkle for all the guys. But looking back, many times I think to myself “Duh, John, what were you thinking? That girl was meant for you.”

I don’t know if this is true for all guys, but my perception of beauty changed as I got older. My elementary school fascination turned to sexual desire. But I thought it was just me. So embarrassing. Over the years, my desire turned to longing. And my longing turned to despair. In a way, the coin was flipped. The girls who dressed up to get boys attention and who I thought were attractive in my younger days no longer looked so attractive. They started to look artificial. The more makeup they put on and skin they showed, the more I felt it was all an act. However, the plain Janes looked prettier and prettier. Just a smile and willingness to talk to me became very, very beautiful. “I’ll look at your hair tomorrow. Just talk to me right now.” I grew up in an age without computers or internet. No texting and no googling. If I wanted to talk to a girl, I got her number and called. Ah, the good old days. So simple. That was back when boys and girls actually talked to each other, when you could hear the other person’s voice, when you could see their smile, when you could read body language.

Today I find beauty in all girls of all ages. Yes, I still appreciate physical beauty. But I feel it’s been way overrated. My preference went from petite brunettes to finding every girl attractive. And now that I’m an older guy, that is very . . . awkward. The girls who were old enough to be my mother yesterday are now too young to say hello to, because it might be “inappropriate.” Girls that I find attractive today have mothers I dated in college. There should be a new English word invented to describe that. Yes, I’m content with the celibate lifestyle. But now that I can look back on my life and how God has “changed” my vision, I can say without question that human desire for social interaction for outweighs sexual desire. I know that’s true for me. And from talking to other older singles, I think it’s true for all of us. Think twice before you deny a phone number or turn and walk away from someone. Because, chances are, they will still be around when you get old. They will remember how you reacted to them. How you were not there when they needed a friend. Will you still have dignity? Guys, I know she looks hot right now and you may want a piece of her. But remember that more than likely she will be somebody’s wife one day, and you may not be her husband. Her husband may be your boss. Would you want someone trying to get a piece of your wife today? I think it’s a paradox that our sexual desire seems to be greatest when we’re young, but at the same time our sexuality forces us to think long term.

The bottom line is that everything we do and don’t do is more important than we think. The competition of yesterday and superficial nature of sexual attraction eventually gives way to universal attraction, human kindness, to just a walk in the park. By universal attraction, I mean that if you live long enough and remain chaste, you will be drawn to nearly every member of the opposite sex. But if you remain focused on God, he will help put things in perspective for you and sex will become far less important than you thought it was. Young men, the short skirts of today will eventually become not so attractive and a smile will turn your head a lot faster than a pair of curvy legs. So concentrate more on whom she really is. What are her passions? Do you want to wake up to a pair of legs or someone to help get your kids to school? Young ladies, the chiseled muscles of today will eventually become not so attractive and the guy available to change your tire will turn your head a lot faster than ripped abs. His sports car will look very lame. I’ll throw this in as well: Remember that guys talk and gossip just as much as women. Over the age of 20-30, good guys tend to hang out with other good guys at work and in church. They talk about girls. They talk about the good girls. And they talk about the easy girls. Older guys talk about the younger girls with attitude problems. They talk about parents. You really don’t need to add or take away anything from yourself to get the right guy’s attention. I would even say that the more you change, the more likely it is that you get the attention of the wrong kind of guys. See be yourself. If you think it takes a certain weight and dress size, what does that say about the authenticity of his attraction? Do you think guys should be ranking girls according to their waist and chest size? Do you think girls should be ranking guys according to their muscle mass? Let me give you a hint: What difference will it make when you’re 70 years old and praying that your bones don’t ache so bad that you can’t up the next morning?

So the choice is yours. You can either see your life as one of God’s beautiful creations along with all the natural sexuality he built into you or you can see yourself as a half dressed manikin that has to step on scales first to be weighed and then be decked out in the latest fashion hoopla. I choose to be myself. When a boy meets a girl, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

The young lady in the photo is my mom on her 78th birthday.

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Purity – Whose Responsibility Is It?

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The more I read what is being written about purity today, the more I think it has been assigned to one gender – Women. Women are supposed to set sexual boundaries, guard their hearts, guard their emotions, say no to the advances of men, dress modestly, passively wait until a man “pursues” her, and define the very meaning of chastity and purity. Who writes over 90% of all purity books and blogs? Women. But what about guys who are waiting until marriage to have sex? Or guys who have decided not to ever have sex? Does their opinion count? I would like for it to count more than it does today. Are the biblical standards for purity different for men and women? I don’t think so. I’m afraid all the emphasis on women’s purity only accomplishes one thing – It devalues pure men. Yes, preachers and religious leaders can say they’re both equally important. But that falls by the wayside when everything that is said and spoken about purity is from the woman’s point of view. Think about the world we would have today if it were as God designed it. All people having sexual relationships would be married and all single people would be virgins. Does it sound like a fantasy? If that’s the way God designed it, why are we content in playing by the rules of a lost world?

It’s my opinion that purity is just as much men’s responsibility as it is women’s and that this imbalance is one of the number one reasons single men have lost respect in this generation. Actually, I think purity is more our responsibility. Godly men do not push women sexually until they say no. Where’s the honor in that? There is none. It’s the most dishonorable thing a man can do. But we’ve got a world today that bestows honor on a man if he “scores” and doesn’t get a woman pregnant, if he pays for the abortion, and if he “does the right thing” and marries her. Godly men do not try to take something that is not theirs. I’ve always found it interesting that God made women’s bodies so that they are marked when then have sex the first time; either through breakage of the hymenal ring (with exceptions) or pregnancy. Men don’t have to worry about such visible consequences. Sometimes I think it would have been nice if God had designed men’s anatomy such that something changed when they had sex for the first time. But he didn’t. So our character defines our purity for the world to see. By that, I mean how you stand with God and everybody that knows you. Self-controlled men are content with what they have. They meet adversity head-on. They don’t take shortcuts. They don’t compromise their purity. They know what the pain of waiting is all about and honor the patience of Godly women who are waiting. Most of all, they understand the sacredness of sex and how it goes way beyond physical pleasure. They understand its permanent bond, the exclusive nature of marriage, and their own vulnerability. Likewise, men who have been called to celibacy understand their responsibility to all women and to those who are most vulnerable. Guys, we have just as much responsibility to keep our temples clean as women do. That means we don’t knock on the doors of other temples. That means we don’t run in and try to sample the cookies first, thinking we will never get caught. What you do in the backseat of a car may not become public knowledge. But that doesn’t mean God will not find out. He will.

Many parents today do not educate their children about human sexuality, especially daughters. They relinquish that responsibility to the streets, to the internet, to their friends, to the schools, and to other classmates. Just because they don’t know how valuable their sexuality is does not mean it’s something we should try to take advantage of. And may I make this strong suggestion: Please do not think of a woman’s body as a baseball field. It’s not something to play with. It’s not a game. Be thankful that she’s in your presence and talking to YOU. She could be with another man. How would you like her to hit your balls out of the park? Think about it. In the Old Testament, men were required to marry a virgin if they had sex with her. That should give you an idea of the importance God places on purity. So guys, it’s up to you. If you’re still waiting, I encourage you to strengthen that commitment. Do you want to see the images of past girlfriends every time you have sex with your wife in the future? Or do you want the only image to be that of your wife? Do you want your future wife to be content knowing she is your only one? Or do you want her to worry about you comparing her to women in your past? Are you going to impress your friends and have sex with the first girl that gives in? Would you rather be a street stud or a man of conviction and courage? Do you want to blend in with the crowd or do you want to stand out from the crowd? I encourage you to take back the responsibility for sexual purity that should have been ours in the first place. Whether you’re looking for a wife or content remaining unmarried, let’s show the world that real men are self-controlled and have just as much responsibility for sexual purity as women; that ladies in waiting are just half the story and that they should settle for nothing less than gentlemen in waiting.