American Christians can get really weird about romance. Just throwing that out there. As an American Christian, I feel I’m justified in saying that. As one who’s been really weird about romance, I feel I’m doubly justified in saying that! I don’t know how it goes in other countries, but I personally feel that, within American Christendom, we have a very strange culture when it comes to romance. If you’re a teenager or young adult within Christian culture then you probably feel this most perceptibly since it directly concerns your own pursuit of romance.
Have you ever taken a look at the books that are published in America on the subject of being a Christian and pursuing romance? If we based our behavior off the titles alone we would probably end up going crazy. There’s Debra Fileta’s play on words True Love Dates, the more enigmatic When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy, and let’s not forget the unendurably named series of “I [past-tense verb] dating [some degree of approval or disapproval]” titles. First it was Joshua Harris’ classic I Kissed Dating Goodbye, followed by Jeremy Clark’s I Gave Dating a Chance, succeeded again by the multi-part blog post “I Hugged Dating Hello.” For the love of goodness, end this madness! And these titles are just a few of many. The discouraging reality with Christian literature on pursuing romance is that much of it is contradictory. Many authors such as Harris and the Ludy’s advise people to get away from dating and pursue Courtship. Others such as Fileta and Clark say dating is great if you do it well. For following the same Lord, reading the same Scripture, and professing the same faith, American Christians sure come to a host of differing opinions when it comes to how to choose a mate.
It’s not much clearer when you leave the pundits to hear from the common people. One has only to hear a few conversations on romance within the average Christian college campus to find some curious persuasions. Many desiring to marry are “waiting on the Lord.” A few might be “waiting for their Boaz.” Others say you need to take initiative to build your love life. And what Christian college experience could be complete without meeting the intrepid suitor who emphatically affirms that “God is bringing us together?” You’ve gotta love that crazy Christian romance.
I started reading the Christian romance literature when I was a young teen. For about the last five years especially I’ve spent countless hours reading, studying, and considering the subjects of romance, attraction, and biblical matrimony. I’ve heard from everyone from the Christian proponents of romance-free betrothal to the secular pickup artists. I’ve waded through the confusion of opinions in print, and I’ve swum through the confusion of trying to work out my own love life in reality. I haven’t arrived yet, but I’ve learned quite a bit along this journey and come to feel less confused than when I started. I’ve changed perspectives, then changed perspectives again, been bitter and jaded, been discouraged and disheartened, been encouraged and optimistic. Through it all, I’m glad for the journey I’ve made and what I’ve learned, and I’m much more hopeful. I’ve also been able to adopt a more lighthearted outlook on our crazy Christian romance. Hence the reason why “romantic comedy” is in the title of this blog.
I want to share what I can from what I’ve learned so far. It seems that whenever I get into conversations with friends about this subject that people are glad to hear me share what I’ve learned (not to toot my own horn, but Honk Honk!). So if you’re trying to work out your own love life in our crazy Christian romantic culture, if you’re bitter and jaded, if you’re discouraged and disheartened, if you’re confused, if you’re hurt, if you’ve triumphed, if you’ve already found the love of your life, if you have wisdom to share with the rest of us, or if you just enjoy a good, meaningful conversation then this blog is for you. If others can get a leg up on the journey as a result of what I share here then I’ve accomplished my goal.
As time continues, I want to write about many different topics concerning the pursuit of romance as a modern American Christian including dating, Courtship, attraction, initiation, biblical instruction, and anything else relevant that comes to mind. But more than that I want to be able to write about the things that are most helpful for you! So please let me know what subjects you want to hear about. What have you wondered? What have you struggled with? What do you wish you knew sooner? I can’t say I have all the answers, but I’ve learned a good deal so far. If I don’t know the answer, maybe we’ll find it together! So please leave a comment below about what precise subject you’d like to hear about concerning Christian romance. Who knows, you could spark a future exciting edition of That Crazy Christian Romance! If you want to email privately, reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you want to be part of the coming conversations then be sure to click the Follow button!
Coming next time: Why Nice Guys (Might) Finish Last