I’m bound to catch flak for this, but that’s fine by me. It’s no secret Christian dating is a soapbox of mine. I’ve been rebuked for my two-part dating post (1&2) before, and I’ve been told things akin to, “Jim, you’ll just see when you date someone,” or, “Good luck finding a girl!” That one’s especially encouraging. I’ve been laughed at, mocked, and even a Christian news source refused to publish my article because I’m a guy who writes about both men and women having problems. It’s, apparently, insensitive for a (single) guy to say a girl does something wrong.
Furthermore, what I rarely hear (i.e., I’ve only heard it once) is someone saying, “Jim, that’s not crazy.” It seems as though everyone thinks I’m crazy. The problem is simply that I don’t only write to rebuke men. Women (and, interestingly, some married men) find my position so odd because I say the system we have is broken (which, you’d think would be obvious given our broken world), and both sides need to reevaluate how we do dating. The rebuke of young men is certainly needed, but as I’ve argued elsewhere, there’s not much, proportionally speaking, rebuking women. But hey, maybe I am just crazy.
Nope. I’m not.
The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (which has put out some amazing stuff, you should check out their site) has recently posted two articles that go hand-in-hand. First, an article by JD Gunter which explores the problems with a ‘just talking’ stage before dating. At points, what he says falls into the ‘easier said than done’ category, but his overall effect is a great rebuke of guys shirking responsibility. To be sure, guys do shirk responsibility. This is a great read, and I will certainly be encouraging guys I know to read it.
The second article, though, is what I want to focus on. Trillia Newbell may be my vote for blogger of the week. After reading Gunter’s first piece, she wrote an unofficial ‘part two’. Gunter wrote about the dangers of “just talking” in respect to men, but Newbell showed how the same situation can be (in fact, she would say is) spurred on by a woman as well. First, I’ll just say I love her use of “it takes two to tango.” Responsibility isn’t as one sided as many perceive. Second, when I started reading Newbell, I expected what I call a pseudo-rebuke. These are posts, comments, or bits of conversation that “rebuke” women for not seeing the problem beforehand and bringing it to the guy’s attention. This is not a true rebuke, because really what’s being said is, “Girls, it’s his problem and you just didn’t see it.” Responsibility doesn’t land upon the woman’s shoulder, except in some slight way of not seeing/addressing a problem. In other words, the “rebuke” is one that gets the woman off the hook of responsibility in regards to the actual problem with a small, “oops, I messed up” slap on the wrist.
Newbell surprised me. Newbell blew me away. Newbell showed that I’m not crazy. Newbell did not write a pseudo-rebuke. Newbell showed how women contribute to the problem. Her use of the proverbs was masterful, and she spoke directly to the heart.
I came across these articles thanks to a good friend of mine, and she asked the question, “Is it better when these types of articles come in pairs?” Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes. Yes it is better, because it addresses both sides of the issue. Yes it is better, because it presents a full view of responsibility. Yes it is better, because it actually deals with the problem. The problem isn’t just men, and the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has vindicated me.
So to everyone who thinks I’m crazy, I present to you evidence of my sanity–at least on this topic.