Monday, December 11, 2023

The Soapbox: It Takes Truth To Tango 3.0

Dear Reader, if you are just joining this series on our discussions of all things men and women, this is the wrap up where we will consider what goes into a modern relationship.

I am certainly no expert, highly untrained, and book learned rather than street wise on this subject. I have also been in the unique position of networking and befriending singles for the last few years, and was surprised to hear similar stories repeated frequently by long timers.

Worst case for the sincerest of men: I don’t know what to do after she agreed to the date. What if this or what if that?

Worst case for the unsuspecting women: I just don’t understand. It was going so well and we were perfect for each other for four whole days. After “fully knowing” one another, I never heard from him again.

I’m here to say it, because it needs to be said: Break the cycle!

Over and over again, the trap is set and people are falling for it. Men with no plan of long-term pursuit or no plan at all, for that matter, and women who have made themselves chattel on the open market.

In this age of consumerized spousal selection (AKA hook up until I have no choice but to commit), we know too much on the surface and we know very little at a deep level.

When I think of romantic pursuit, I am reminded of the octagonal parlor of my childhood home and the historical proposal that took place there in the late 1800s. Shy cousin Peter asked for the hand of my great-great grandmother’s cousin Mary.

Upon being presented with this female creature, he was so nervous on his one knee in the parlor that eventually became my bedroom, he fainted upon popping the question. I can’t tell you how many nights I drifted off to sleep in a canopy bed looking out the window through the oaks at the stars and I wondered if I would ever know a man like Peter. He stepped out of his comfort zone to get the girl of his dreams.

I also think about my grandparents whose Friday night date was taking a ride to the country store and buying glass bottled strawberry sodas from the dispenser. They did that as long as I can remember when I was just a little girl, unfastened, on the floorboard of the back seat. Looking up at those same stars through the window, I could hear them visiting, as we rode around the prairie to pass the time. Things were simple. They learned each other’s personality type over a lifetime of intimate data gathering.

Recently, Focus on the Family released a devotional that spoke to God’s creation of sex to be about far more than a physical act. It is the most vulnerable and powerful invitation to intimacy, requiring both the husband and wife to sacrifice for one another. It begins with unashamed honesty and ends with safekeeping of the heart of your beloved within the confines of God’s gift of marriage. Well tended, it is one of the most divine human expressions other than worship of the Creator.

Once, I cautiously agreed to dinner with a lovely tango dancer who was intelligent, kind, and humorous. I had him perfectly stereotyped as a Tango Dismissive Avoidant (DA), but I was proven wrong when his face became serious enough to ask me a deep question. I thought, “Oh Lord help me, he looks like he is about to propose.”

A pensive statement from across the table left his lips and found its way to my ears without him flinching when gave me his truth, “Brandi, you are an amazing woman, but I just want to be up front with you. You are too young for me.”

Upon hearing this, I was so excited that I tackled him to the ground and kissed him right on the mouth repeatedly. He called me young in this world of false eyelashes and liposuction! He was right! I WAS too young. This was the best date I ever had in my life! We walked away as friends and I was somewhat relieved to being just me again.

In all of this, we can take comfort that the Lord Himself is in pursuit of us in the way a lover chases after his beloved. He follows us not only on Twitter, but everywhere we go. He knows our routines and FB activity, when we sit and when we rise, our going out and lying down. The Lord Himself perceives our thoughts from afar. He is familiar with all of our ways. He hems us in, behind and before, even laying His hand on us like a shepherd with his sheep.

Resting in God while in the waiting place, even when it’s riddled with what some might call bloodthirsty men (or women), can be a precious time not to be wasted. We invite God to search us for our own offenses and to lead us in the way everlasting. He is the only “Forever” that will hold us for a lifetime, both here on earth and in the next life to come.

Don’t be discouraged. Don’t give up. Ladies, keep inviting. Men, keep pursuing. The Truth still stands. He who finds a wife finds a good thing. Someday, when the timing is perfect, you will see the truth that I was right.

Brandi Chambless
Brandi Chambless
Read Brandi's column each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette newspaper.

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