© Copyright 2009, 2011 by Joel R. Hall – All Rights Reserved
Relationships, speaking specifically of the dating / potential mate kind, are strange and frightening creatures. Almost everyone wants to be in one, but almost no one knows how to go about finding the “right” person. One of the most frustrating aspects of looking for Mr./Mrs. Right, is that we live in a world that teaches all the wrong ways of going about it. When I was a teen, I couldn’t understand why the girls I liked never seemed to be interested in me and the ones I wasn’t particularly interested in were gaga about me. I couldn’t understand it. I was constantly wondering what was wrong with me. Why didn’t the girls I liked like me back? What was I doing wrong? Some of these girls acted like I didn’t even exist. Arrrgh! It was SO frustrating.
I would go out of my way to dress in the “coolest” way possible. I’d try different colognes, new deodorant, new hair style, etc. Nothing! Nada! I just wasn’t getting anywhere with them. Some of them were down right cruel. I even had one girl, a fellow gymnast at the time, inform me “Come on. It’s not like you’re date bait or anything.” Wow. Was I really THAT ugly?
Looking back on the whole thing now, I realize that this experience is common to members of both genders. We want to fit in so bad; to belong; to have someone to love that validates us. So we go out of our way to attract the attention of the “special” person that looks so good or even just seems so cool or fun.
The problem with that approach is that our eyes deceive us. We see someone that LOOKS good and feel attracted to them. They may even exhibit a kind and friendly personality…but that is really just another way of LOOKING good. Of course, if they think you LOOK good, they will go out of their way to “notice” you, so we are tempted to “polish up” our APPEARANCE in the hope of being “good” enough for them. What a total waste of time and effort! Don’t be lured into playing this game. It’s not worth it. Even if you succeed, you fail, because all you end up with is someone so SELF absorbed, that you had to change your appearance to attract their notice: to be “good” enough. Is that what you want? Do you really want to be in a relationship with a SELF ABSORBED, SHALLOW NITWIT that isn’t capable of looking past outward appearances long enough to see the magnificent, vibrant, beautiful person that you are? Why? Why in the world would you WANT to torture yourself that way?
More importantly, how many magnificent, vibrant, beautiful persons are you ignoring while you are wasting your time trying to get noticed by Captain Shallow?
The truth about relationships is that very, very few people ever REALLY pay attention to the things that REALLY matter when looking for someone to love. It is human nature to be dazzled by the polished and shiny 1 carat cubic zirconium and totally overlook the 10 carrot diamond in the rough.
If you have fallen into this trap yourself, please do not take this as criticism. You are yourself at least a diamond in the rough with the hand of the Master lovingly polishing you, slowly, but surely, revealing the brilliance of the Son shining through. Please don’t believe the lie that the whole world bandies about: the myth of the knight in shining armor destined to ride up on a white steed and whisk the fair, sweet damsel away…provided she is a lovely enough damsel. What a load of tripe!!!! The “knight” of myth is just a shallow, self absorbed coward looking to validate himself by claiming the highest “prize” he can: a prize that he will abandon as soon as he finds a better “catch”. It makes me wanna PUKE!!!!!!!!!!
That is NO BASIS for a true, loving relationship. That’s why there are so many broken homes and shattered lives. You would be better off to live your entire life on a deserted island with nothing more than a loyal dog, cat, or even hamster, then to waste even one second of your life going out of your way to attract someone’s attention by changing your appearance. If they can not see your beauty the way you are, they’re not worth a second thought.
Now, having said that, let me address the notion of dressing up to make you feel better about yourself. The world has that one bass ackward as well. If “looking better in the mirror”, meaning more closely matching the world’s definition of physical beauty, makes you feel better about yourself, then you are basing your self worth on a very shaky foundation indeed. Admittedly, “looking good” can indeed help you to FEEL BETTER about yourself, for a while. But it is also a two edged sword that can pierce you to the heart. We ALL want to be accepted. We ALL want to “fit in”. But the world is a very fickle master. One second you’re “in”, the next…see ya.
Not so with the Eternal One. He whispers to us, quietly and continuously, that we are His beloved. He cries over our inner turmoil and fear whenever we let our eyes deceive us: making us believe that we are not beautiful. If we will only let Him, He will give us new eyes (let those who have eyes to see…) that will allow us to see ourselves as He sees us: His beautiful, precious gems. There is not one thing that we can do to improve upon His handiwork. In fact, any effort we undertake to do so on our own power is destined to do exactly the opposite. It would be like moving into a mansion and redecorating it with vinyl furniture and cheap wallpaper. Ugh!!!!!!!
Now, that doesn’t mean I’m against good grooming. Perish the thought. We must adorn the temple (our bodies) in a manner befitting the residence of the King. I’m all for letting our external appearance reflect the inner radiance implanted within by the Holy Spirit. This illustrates the difference between the shallowness of the world and the depth and beauty of the Spirit.
The world entices you to gain a sense (not the essence, but a sense) of self worth by dressing up the outside in order to increase your sales value in the “market place” of romance. This is slavery! It is a fear based system that judges you and demands that you “sell” yourself!
On the other hand, the Spirit reveals to you the intrinsic value given you at the moment you were created: a value so great that you were redeemed from slavery by the blood of Yeshua. He has freed you from the chains of slavery. Do not willingly relinquish that freedom. Do NOT believe the lies! Seek the Truth.
Only when you no longer NEED to be in a “relationship” are you ready to CHOOSE to be in one. Love Him to learn to truly love yourself so that you can then learn to truly love your neighbor. Then, and only then, consider the possibility of entering into a “relationship”. This is the TRUE secret to happiness in this life.
P.s. Yes, there are those “lucky” few that rarely, if ever, experience being ignored or not wanted. (They may get a small taste now and then, but don’t really know what it’s like to be “average”.) I’ve also come to realize that the “lucky” ones are really the unfortunate ones. They never learn, or only when age has robbed them of their physical beauty, that a pleasing appearance does not bring happiness. In a way, it’s very similar to what Jesus said about the rich. “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle then for a rich man to enter heaven.” You see, it doesn’t matter what kind of “riches” He was referring to. What He was saying was that having too much success, especially easy, unearned success, by the standards of the world can prevent you from seeking God’s riches and THAT is a true tragedy.
For a follow up article, please read Relationships – Part II
© Copyright 2009, 2011 by Joel R. Hall – All Rights Reserved