Men: Are you looking for a wife?
Put down the phone and look around
Recently Mike Rowe, famed host of Dirty Jobs and work advocate, speaking to FOX’s Tucker Carlson, bemoaned the fact that millions of young men are not working and not looking for a job. He further bemoaned the fact that young men spend an average of 2000 hours a year on screens—gaming, texting, scrolling through social media feeds, video chatting, browsing the internet, and watching or streaming movies, videos, or television shows.
Other outlets say many young people spend eight hours a day on devices.
That’s half of their day. With time sleeping, there’s little time left for personal relationships.
Covid exacerbated a growing problem especially in young men in their 20’s and early 30’s who don’t seem to have the drive or confidence to not just get a job but get married and start a family.
Scripture tells us in the first chapter of Genesis that it is not good for man (or woman) to be alone. Our natural instincts are to want to be with people, to love and to be loved.
The young ladies with our organization and those I encounter on a daily basis don’t want to be alone. They long to be married. Despite career success and a fulfilling social life, the overwhelming majority of women still want that intimate relationship with one person in a committed marriage relationship.
So what are they waiting for? Most women, even in today’s modern world are waiting for that guy, with the gift of gumption, to ask.
Despite the feminist mantras for equality at every level, most young women still prefer the traditional notion that the man pursues, and they respond to their advances.
But, what are advances? Well, the #MeToo movement appropriately clarified what they are not. Certainly not sexual harassment. That’s predatory. Appropriate advances mean that men work up the courage to ask a woman for dinner, lunch, or even just a cup of ubiquitous coffee in order to get to know them better. Note that sex does not figure into this equation. It’s just a meal and it’s not that hard.
Young women, in return, need to be willing to say “yes.” Give guys a chance.
I admit that much has changed since I met my husband years ago. But humans have not. I worry for the young men and women that rely on dating apps to create relationships to avoid the human contact involved in a relationship. My church is made up of about 90 percent Gen Z, yet I can’t help but notice on Sunday mornings row after row of self-segregated men and women. Why? I’ll bet any number of them are regularly swiping left and right, all the while wondering why they can’t meet someone special.
A recent episode of CNN’s This is Life with Lisa Ling had a disturbing story of a young woman who preferred a manufactured bot on her phone to communicating with her real-life new boyfriend.
An overreliance on our devices combined with the commercialization of dating has robbed both young men and young women of something important—human interaction.
Commercialized dating has also created false expectations.
Here’s the truth: For the past 12 years due to my job, I have been photographed in many settings and spent much time on social media. Depending on the lighting or filters the pictures can range from hideous to spectacular. Neither of those extremes are reality for anyone, nor does it take into account any honest context.
Every person is more than just their outward appearance. Character, sense of humor, intelligence, competence are a few things that play a role in how one experiences another. Those elements and others, over time, deeply color the way we feel about each other. This is not to suggest that physical attraction doesn’t matter but to say that it changes once we know one another.
Dating apps don’t do justice to things that matter most.
Dating and marriage are not to be feared, but to cherished as God’s design. Getting to know another human being in a deep way helps you understand human nature and the individual with whom you can share your most intimate secrets. Then, the union of one man and one woman and the two becoming one is an opportunity to grow in selflessness as you serve another person, that physical, spiritual, and emotional union that is a natural yearning.
But you won’t find that intimacy on your phone or through an app.
Here is my plea to both men and women. Put down your phone, look up and look around. Your church, your friend group, and your community is your pond to fish for a mate. Your chances of discerning over time someone’s character without the false stricture and ritual of “dating” are greatly improved through time, low pressure social engagement, and spiritual discernment.
Hear me out. Although it may feel safer to pursue via Hinge, is it? Isn’t it safer to fish out of the stocked pond of men and women who are actively seeking to live out their faith each Sunday in community? Isn’t it safer to get to know each other’s character over time as you work to feed the homeless or mentor inner-city kids?
It worked for me 28 years ago. Quit swiping and be brave and pay attention in church.
These daily articles have become part of my steady diet. —BarbaraSign up to receive the WORLD Opinions email newsletter each weekday for sound commentary from trusted voices.