What does a dating service have to do with a Christian? I know a good majority would argue that Christian faith and dating services have absolutely no common ground. Not two years ago, I was one of those people. Today, I must admit to having some serious doubts as to the lack of faith those Christians claim a person displays when utilizing a dating service. Is it proof of a lack of faith? Or is it actually a step of faith? There are people I know, respectable Christians, who have chosen to use eHarmony as a tool for finding a mate.
There are dozens of services, both brick-and-mortar and online establishments. There are scientists and mathematicians who have dedicated their lives to one purpose: to calculate the best formula for deciding an excellent romantic match. eHarmony is one such enterprise. The people I know who have chosen to join eHarmony will remain nameless simply because I think too many people are foolishly judgmental and I do not wish to give the ignorant any ammunition to slander wonderful people. My concern is mainly for the many wonderful women out there who have had little to no luck finding a quality Christian man among their peers.
It’s not that godly men do not exist… of course not. But I would dare say that the statistics do not lie when they tell us that there are more women in the Church than men. Statistically, women are at a disadvantage. Then you also have issues like a woman’s belief that she should trust in God to deliver a godly man to her doorstep. This belief system has been taught for several generations at least, resulting in the distorted teaching that for a woman to take even the slightest advancing step or display of interest toward a man is to prove distrust in God’s power, goodness, and purposes. While it is true that it is unhealthy for either a man or a woman to obsess about finding a mate, there is a significant difference between obsessive fear and concern.
A man who finds a wife finds a good thing. That is scriptural. To find a good thing means most often to first desire a good thing. And a man who finds is most often a man who searches. After all, he who seeks shall find, right? Now let’s consider woman. In the church above all other places, she faces a question of her identity. It is debated how involved a woman can be in this or that ministry, public service, etc. How is the husband to be head of the home if his wife is his boss, after all? Good question, and one worth much consideration… only not here. Just because we may find ourselves struggling to balance the delicate nature of male/female relationships does not mean that we must project these concerns onto the woman and refuse to allow her the opportunity to seek a husband.
In most cases, a woman proposing to a man would seem awkward to me, though I have heard of instances where this is even appropriate. Given even the objection that a forward woman is too controlling or powerful, it doesn’t explain why a woman should suffer to leave her fate up to men who may or may not even know she is interested or willing. Then there is the issue of availability. How many decent single men are available at your church? Five? Ten? Fifty? Perhaps so, though I would assume that the number is greatest within the ages of 21-26 and significantly drop off steadily afterwards. So you get your choice of many immature young men and very little else.
What if you are 30 years old and the closest you can get to a godly man is an eternal child? What if you are 40? 50? 60? Life throws so many curve balls at us that it is not uncommon to meet a woman who, for one reason or another, finds herself near or past her child bearing years and yet still without any marital prospects. Some women are fine with this. Hey, marriage isn’t for everyone. Some women prefer to dedicate their lives to service, ministry, work, or their families. These can be very honorable decisions. Some women ardently desire a husband, however, and we dare not force upon them the title of “spinster” simply because they did not find their spouses quickly or easily. Some women are shy and do not give much evidence of romantic interest ever. To these I feel sorry, for their own unintentional lack of public expression has contributed to their loneliness.
What is the answer? How is a woman older than 27 to find a decent man with whom she is compatible? eHarmony is a possible solution. In the period of one year, more than 33,000 eHarmony members were married. That is impressive. Of course, many of that number have or will divorce, sadly. That is a statistic which is true of any segment of the married population. Statistically, the majority do not honor their covenant committments forever. People choose the easy way out. It is more convenient to divorce than to resolve differences, insults, injuries, and betrayals. That is no excuse for not using a service like eHarmony…. (More to come)