Friday, July 22, 2011
Exclusion Based on Religion – Part 1
So, when my wife left me in April of this year, my initial knee jerk reaction was, “that’s fine, I’ll just find me a new lady”, and I immediately signed up for Match.com. After all, I saw all the success from the commercials and heard nothing but positive things about the dating website. And it comes with a guarantee! It didn’t take long for me to realize that my decision to jump right back into dating was not only the wrong thing to do but it was probably a very dangerous thing to do. I reluctantly but wisely made the decision to work on myself and to let my heart heal before inviting someone else in to my life on that level of intimacy.
About the same time I made this decision, I heard Andy Stanley’s message series, The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating. The 2nd message of the series was directed at men exclusively and with the message, Andy introduced the one-year challenge. The challenge is to take a year off from dating or exploring new romantic relationships and to focus on self-improvement with the ultimate goal of becoming like the message series tag line, “Am I the person I am looking for is looking for?”
Equipped with a new outlook on my romantic future and the realization that one full year would easily be needed, I went back on Match.com and I changed my profile. I clearly state that I am in a transition stage and that I would like to make friends, Christian friends, with no expectation or desire to move into a romantic relationship. That being said, if I were to strike up a good friendship, I would not be opposed to seeing where it may lead when the time is appropriate.
It turns out that there are plenty of potential
dates friends in the same situation as me. And surprisingly enough, the honesty of my profile will often open up eyes and will persuade someone to enter a similar, take it slow, kind of journey. I still check my account daily and will find messages that are hauntingly similar to my story. I have struck up a couple of email, text, social media relationships but I have yet to meet anyone, in person, through the site, which is fine with me.
So far, I have only laid out the scene for what I really want to discuss in this blog entry . . . but being that what I have already written is its own little story, I will stop here and call this part 1. So stay tuned for part 2, where I will discuss the implications (my opinion only) of preferential dating, stereotyping, and excluding potential friends (mates) based on religious beliefs and how it relates to The Great Commandment &The Great Commission.
Deep stuff . . . right?