Response/Essay: Single and Complete? A proposed potential ‘idolatry’ of ‘vision’ September 2006

This is a response to a post by a friend – I assume that I ‘ran over’ the limit for posts (I seem to do that from time to time) and have thus tucked it way here with a link by which to both follow and reference it by. Comments are welcomed. This is not intended to be a compete and thorough treatment of the given issue (holes and gaps may remain in the presentation) but rather were thoughts ‘provoked in the instant’. Enjoy…

This blog is a response to:

I am humbled by your transparency and honesty. You; one who should have been destroyed – and yet you live, you; one who should be so embittered – and yet you remain so meek. There is truth in what your mother says, but like so much truth, the opposite is also true as well; and when we separate the poles from their rightful opposites – we make a lie: these things are only true together. You should find someone who has a vision for spirituality – but you should not base the acceptance/rejection based on those critiria alone.

It is my contention (articulated on occasions prior; sometimes in frustration – others as merely comments) that so many great Christian women keep their heads so high in the clouds that they reject guys who’s “visions” are different from their own. Great guys who would serve them and be faithful and relentlessly attentive husbands; they are kicked to the curb. The dire truth is that a number of women later then go for that guy “who matches that vision” only to wake up years later in a state of perpetual self-loathment, having found themselves both using and being used sexually and emotionally by wolves; which they themselves, to their greatest spiritual detriment, have become – to their immense horror – like-kind unto; continually fighting battles to remain chaste, hastened into ever increasing temptation and resultant consequences by elements of creation God put hence to be answered sooner in his wisdom then in the latter wisdom of their own.

A young woman in a group of people I ran with years ago became synonymous with the catchphrase she was always heard to spout off when the relationship issue and the fact that she was still single when many of her friends were married came up: I’m single, whole, unique, and complete in Christ. Though never to her face – she was endlessly lampooned and mocked for it’s glib and idle use. It was true – but it was removed from certain knowledge that she was not whole, and not complete – outside of that which she longed for regardless of her self-deluded ‘passion’ for singularity – her personal motto was a lie. I believe that the word of God is true – that our holiness adorns the word of God – I also believe that it is true that God sees us as one person when we are joined with another. To tell the world that you are “ok” not being ever joined to what you were created to be a part of is a relentless satanic lie. The desire to be married is a wholesome and beautiful desire that should reside within the hearts and minds of all God’s sons and daughters and should never be tritely dismissed or isolated from the whole of the human spiritual/physical life journey. A single person should seek marriage just like they seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit; it is promised, it is to be prepared for, it is to be sought, and when it comes, it is to be treated with the greatest of care – all the gifts that it comes with; they come with the greatest of responsibility, power, and resource. Vision is important – but it is both the spiritual and physical mind and heart of a prospective mate that you should focus on; for it is within the depths of these waters that you will immerse yourself and find your sustenance for mortal love’s thirst. We seek relationship with God and the Holy Spirit; and the vision that we have for life, ministry, and love flows from those same rocks through and by it. Being that marriage is itself the living metaphor in the natural of a great spiritual romance between God and his church in the spiritual – it is no travesty of wisdom to say the same; that we should seek one who has a great passion for God, root and grow ourselves in that fundamentally common root; and the natural outworking of that synergy will be purpose, vision, and destiny; both creatures beheld in unrelenting unity by their creator. If we place ‘purpose’ and ‘vision’ above relationship, either in our own lives or a real or proposed marital unity, we create an idol – just as we would if we sought the gifts of the baptism over the actuality of the baptism itself -the gifts come from the relationship act/effect of the instance of baptism, to revert the causal relationship of event/gift is idolatry; and idols will always be cast down; it is my contention that this is why so many Christian marriages fail, they are built upon foundations that had great notions but where critically flawed. It really is simple – look for someone who just loves God with all their heart and mind and be vulnerable; guys: observe, ponder, decide, pursue – gals; observe, ponder, decide, respond. It’s just that simple.

The catholic theologian Hans Urs Von Balthazar saw pervasive singleness within society as an eventual eschatological sign; that if more and more people either failed or averted themselves to the act of marriage, it was a potential sign of the impending doom of a society; impending doom in terms of the abruption of all human societal fabric and the immanent return of Christ; that if large numbers of people either cognitively or in terms unawares prepared themselves for their ‘real bridegroom’ rather then an earthly mate – it could only mean that God was coming back soon to take his bride. I agree with his notion – but also see the presence of a brokenness in terms of marriage and relationships within the church. The current societal desire to remain single does not come from a desire to be consecrated to God – as Von Balthazar would suggest it will eventually when the return of Christ is immanent – but rather finds it center of gravity more so in just plain pickiness. In a world where you can download almost any song ever written to your ipod and mix and juggle them in any matter that you wish; we have done the same to love. And being that love is more then just artistry and science – but vulnerability and acceptance we have removed ourselves from certain foundations from which we were never meant to be cleaved. The second coming of Christ does not seem to be around the corner – Only the second, third and on and on comings of despair and frustration in the love lives of many of God’s beloved people.

Just my two cents…well 50 cents, ok – buck and a quarter.