(One of our engagement pics in 2008)
When I was 22-years-old, I met the love of my life, Luke. My spunky Haitian graduate school roommate singlehandedly set us up. Daily she would say to me, “You have got to meet this boy in my class; he’s so funny and cute.” Luke later told me that every class, our mutual friend would say to him, “You have got to meet my roommate; she’s so cute and fun.” Apparently she was a genius because we really are perfect for each other.
Luke is an introvert with lot of “class clown” in him. I have always had a thing for “class clowns.” I am an extrovert who likes to laugh and have fun, probably to a default. Luke loved Jesus when we met, but he had just enough of a “bad boy” vibe for me to want to drop all my studies and makeout with him all day everyday. He got me into just enough trouble to keep me interested, but not so much trouble that I lost my salvation. Looking back, Luke and I pursued each other, but I made the first move.
The first night Luke and I met we went dancing with a group of mutual friends at a local bar in Virginia Beach. Luke likes to tell everyone that we met at “Hot Tuna,” so he can watch me blush and frantically explain that we actually met on a Christian campus through my roommate. After all, I have a “good girl” reputation to maintain. After our first outing, Luke did not get my number but we did become friends on Myspace somehow. I was sure to put up my best pic and choose a really cool song to represent my page.
At the time I was a youth pastor at a small Presbyterian Church and Luke had told me the night that we met that he helped with his youth group back home in Pleasanton, California as a young adult. About two weeks after Luke and I had met, I didn’t hear a thing from my new crush, so it was obviously time to take matters into my own hands. My youth group was hosting a special dinner for at-risk women and youth, so I sent Luke a Myspace message and asked him if he wanted to help out. What better way for a woman in ministry to test the candidacy of a possible mate, right?
Luke responded within the hour, which I now find funny because he is not at all a social media kind of guy. He was obviously sitting by his computer for the last two weeks waiting for me to make a move. Luke agreed to come and of course I put him to work right away. He was a natural with the teens and his heart for the poor and broken was evident and real. After that night, Luke asked me out to ice cream, wined and dined me, and we pursued each other for a year before we got engaged (which is a whole other story about a woman putting a fire under a man’s butt).
The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood (CBMW) continues to claim that God has wired men to be pursuers and that this is their designed gender role, but cannot support such a claim with scripture. Sure, any Bible reader can find a story in the Bible in which a man pursued a woman, but we can also find stories in the Bible in which a woman pursued a man.
Let’s take the popular biblical figure Ruth for example.
One day Naomi said to Ruth, “My daughter, it’s time that I found a permanent home for you, so that you will be provided for. Boaz is a close relative of ours, and he’s been very kind by letting you gather grain with his young women. Tonight he will be winnowing barley at the threshing floor. Now do as I tell you—take a bath and put on perfume and dress in your nicest clothes. Then go to the threshing floor, but don’t let Boaz see you until he has finished eating and drinking. Be sure to notice where he lies down; then go and uncover his feet and lie down there. He will tell you what to do.“I will do everything you say,” Ruth replied. So she went down to the threshing floor that night and followed the instructions of her mother-in-law (Ruth 3:1-6).
This plan worked for Ruth and she ultimately scored herself one heck of a man! The CBMW continues to make biblical inaccuracies because they are desperate to keep women “in their place” and promote an unhealthy, patriarchal system that continues to enslave God’s daughters. Sure, there are some men who seem to be “wired to pursue,” but this is undoubtedly due to their personalities or upbringings – not necessarily because God designed them that way.
Complementarians continue to teach men and women in their twenties and thirties a rigid, boxy method that simply will not work for everyone in the 21st century way of doing life and any theology that does not work for everyone is just bad theology.
Recently I received this comment from one of my readers:
As a single, 30 -year old woman, it’s getting harder and harder for me to buy this belief system. I don’t follow complementarianism in any other area of my life. I live alone, I work in the secular field and the family I grew up in didn’t follow this model. But I walk into the church, and you tell me I have certain roles to fulfill, and I need to do this, this and this in order to get married? I sign up for a women’s discipleship group, and the the best thing you can tell me is that yoga pants are sinful? I “date” comp guys, but I am obviously not wife material. And they certainly don’t see me as good for anything else. Just a hard thing to buy.
Sadly, this reader is not alone. Many women are flocking to complementarian churches hoping that the right Christian man will “pursue” them because this is what they are “wired to do” only to find themselves alone and feeling like an inferior woman.
Dear sisters, maybe the man God has for you was not wired to make the first move. Perhaps you, my friend, were cut from the same cloth as Ruth and I were, and so many other strong and independent Christian women living in the year of 2015. I know you want to please God, but maybe it is not as difficult as complementarians are making it out to be. There is no biblical formula to love finding you. Sometimes it is as simple as seeing a man you want, throwing caution to the wind, and going after him with every move you have got!
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
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