After watching one of my favorite TV shows – “Say Yes To the Dress” – I feel God gave me an AMAZING truth or insight into contentment with who you are dating. Surprisingly, it came from the mouth of a male, homosexual wedding dress advisor. I figured, “What in the world can God teach me about heterosexual love from a gay man?” But the truth that he said was so beautiful to me!
There was a lady who was obviously a perfectionist. She had been to many wedding dress boutiques looking for the “Perfect Dress”. She knew this boutique had to be good because it had its own TV program, so she probably figured that would be her last stop. After trying on perhaps a dozen or so dresses at this particular store, she disappointedly realized that this would likely not be the case. So this is when the profound truth came in.
The gay guy told her something to the effect of, “Sweetie, there will ALWAYS be a better dress out there. But if you keep looking for this “Perfect Dress”, you’ll never be ready in time for your wedding. You have to stop looking at some point and be content with what you chose.”
WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!!
I loved that! And this is why. I notice that in America, we tend to want THE BEST. We want the best cellphones, the best laptops, the nicest shoes, a degree from the most prestigious university, the most “Coke-bottle-y” wife, the most sexually-gratifying husband, the most impressive and well-behaved kids, the nicest careers, the biggest homes, so forth and so on. In America, BIGGER IS BETTER! We stay in constant competition coveting our neighbors’ thises, thats, and those others. We are rarely – if ever – content with whatever we have at the present moment. So why is this?
The reason I feel that we are not satisfied with what we have is that we fear that we will be “locked in” with something below average or average when/if something above average were to come along. For example, many men are afraid to commit to an attractive 26-year old who’s in shape JUST IN CASE a drop-dead gorgeous 23-year old with an amazing body walks by who would give them the time of day. I mean, who wants to be “stuck” with someone “lesser than” when you can have someone “greater than or equal to”?
But this is a foolish way to live if you ask me. And I say it is foolish because you will never have ANYTHING if you have a mindset of waiting for something “greater than” to come along. For instance, suppose you really wanted the iPhone 3G, but then held off because you knew that in a year the 3GS would come out and you didn’t to be “behind” with the older model. So you wait until the 3GS comes out, but then you hold off yet longer because you knew that in a year the 4G would come out. You would miss two whole years of enjoying an AMAZING phone. (I have an iPhone 3G, and it is pretty amazing.) I wish I had had it sooner. But I’d have never gotten to enjoy it for all these months had I kept waiting for “the next best thing”.
The same thing happens with romantic relationships. We are perhaps ALL guilty of this. How many of you ladies have met a GREAT guy that you turned down for a silly reason? I’m not speaking great as in great looks, wealth, and charm, but just great in that he treats you right and loves the Lord and has a good heart? MOST WOMEN HAVE been approached by this type of guy whether they will admit it or not. Most (if not all) of the women reading this note have been approached by a great guy. So why are many of us still single? I’m glad you asked! Most of us are still single because we “rationalized” in our heads, “Well, if I can pull this nice guy, what’s to stop me from pulling that cuter guy over there?” So we don’t “settle” for a good guy because we say, “There’s someone better than him out there I can probably get too.” This is not the way to go about dating in my opinion because there will ALWAYS be a cuter, richer, more muscular, funnier, smarter guy out there! The world is filled with cute, rich, muscular, funny, and smart guys – and, oh yes, all those qualities can sometimes be found in the SAME person! So even if you did find a guy with all those qualities, I can guarantee you that if you live in a large city, you will find a guy “greater than” him! So will you just keep dumping the current for the next best thing?
I saw a very intriguing movie on Sci-Fi/Sy-Fy. I forgot most of the movie, but one scene has stuck with me for years. In the scene there were at least two men driving through a desert, and they saw this young woman walking on the side of the road. I guess they had pulled over to see if she needed a ride. She told them that she was on a search for the most sexually-gratifying guy in the WHOLE WORLD to be/sleep with. She had slept with MANY, MANY, MANY men because the truth was that she couldn’t know if they were good in bed until/unless she slept with them and found out for herself. So this lady was what we would call “run through”. She was DESPERATELY looking for the best lover, and she even asked the men in the car would they sleep with her so that she could see if they were the best. So this lady was willing to sleep with up to 2 billion men to see who was the best in bed! (Just imagine how many STDs she picked up and spread out!)
That was a fictional movie, but it reminds me of some of our mindsets in real life. We all know of a man who is of an age where he could be married. But because he’s waiting on the perfect woman, he will end up single at age 45. He’ll die an old bachelor because he’s waiting on THE BEST. Do you not know that THE BEST will eventually be OUTBESTED? Marilyn Monroe was a bad thang! She got unraveled and outdone. Elizabeth Taylor was gorgeous and vibrant. Now she’s old and outdone. Pam Grier b.k.a. “Foxy Brown” was a bad mama jama. Now she’s old and being forgotten by many. Halle Berry and Janet Jackson are still well-liked by many men. But as we all know, both of them are aging and the new generation of men are not even thinking of them in that way. Beyonce, Trina, Nicki Minaj, Lil’ Kim, Rihanna – and the list goes on and on – will ALL be old and wrinkly and/or dead someday. They will not be fine or talented forever. In less than a decade (if the world lasts that much longer) they will be has-beens. So what sense does it make to hold out for the baddest thing when even she someday will be a has-been?
I said all that to say this to the men. Men, I’ve given a new meaning to this phrase, but you will need to just leave well enough ALONE. Stop trying to find the baddest thang. Just get someone GOOD ENOUGH. Just get you someone decent and ask God to teach you how to love her! I think that is partly the reason why divorce rates are so high. No, not because the men settled too soon. But because the men never learned to leave well enough alone or to be content with GOOD ENOUGH. If you have a girlfriend who loves the Lord, who is respectful and loving, and who respects her outward appearance, you should be happy with her! Once you have her, don’t keep your eye open looking for someone who has those qualities, but also with D-Cups or with “good hair” or with great skills in the bedroom. Don’t go out looking for a little more than what she has because she’s fine just the way that she is! If you were fine with her when you decided to make it official, then you should be happy with her for the rest of your days.
It’s NOT Settling
This post is not at all about settling. That is a very different concept. Settling is when you stay with someone who you know is not good enough for you. But let me explain myself first! I do not think that anyone is BETTER than another person. We are all equal. I am not more important than anyone on the face of this earth. So when I say “not good enough for you”, I’m talking about you are a doctor, but your boyfriend is a drug dealer. I’m talking about you are a evangelist missionary, and your boyfriend is an abusive crack addict. I’m talking about you are a sweetheart who works hard everyday, and your boyfriend is unfaithful and unemployed and asking you to pay ALL HIS bills.
So now that I’ve given you the clarification of my view of settling out of the way, when I say “be content with what you have,” you know that they are not the same thing to me. We all probably know of a pastor who left his totally decent wife for his younger church secretary JUST because she had a nicer body and a cuter, younger face. His wife was a GREAT wife and mother, but because she wasn’t as fun as the younger woman, he leaves her. Staying with his wife would not have been considered settling. Staying with his wife would have been him being content.
I used to wonder why 42% of black women have NEVER BEEN MARRIED compared to 21% of white women. That’s TWICE AS MUCH, and blacks are only 13% of America’s population! And of course, the usual answer is that, “All the black men are marrying white women.” That is a lie. Most married couples you see have a husband and wife of the same race. Some might say, “Well, it’s because all the black men are gay or in jail.” That is another lie. Most black men you know are neither in jail nor gay (at least not that we know of!). The reason I say that more of SOME black women are single than SOME white women is because we won’t be content with who approached us because SOME black women think that some black are not “cool” enough. Some black women I know who are single don’t think that some of the black men who approach them look, act, dress, or talk like the black men they are eyeing in the media. I know that even if every black man did pair up with a black woman, there would still be 1.8 million single black women because they say black women outnumber black men anywho. So that is why I would not say that all black of us black women could all be matched up with a person of the same race. But what I am saying is that MANY – IF NOT MOST – of my readers who are black women HAVE been approached by a very decent black guy that they labeled as “lame, corny, a square, a goody-two shoes, a church boy,” etc. If you had taken their offer when you got one, you could have been happily married right now. But NO! You wanted to hold out for that NFL player, NBA player, rapper that you MIGHT can get BUT MOST LIKELY WILL NOT. And then you have the audacity to cry, “FOUL!” when that same “lame, corny, square, goody-two shoe church boy” gets with a white woman.
IF YOU CAN’T SAY “AMEN”, SAY “OUCH!”.
This is how I’ve decided to go about dating recently. Someday soon, I am going to be approached by a decent guy. Not a perfect guy. Not the BEST guy in the world. But just a decent guy. Of course, “decent” varies from person to person, but I know very well what MY idea of decent is. And if this decent guy has what I like and if I have what he likes and if God likes what we got together, then I will do what most people don’t really fool with nowadays – and that is COMMIT. If we hit it off and are compatible, we will COMMIT. That’s the thing we don’t think about nowadays. Well, let me give us SOME credit. We do commit actually. We COMMIT just so long as they are attractive. We COMMIT just as long as they have a charming personality. We COMMIT until someone else makes us happier. Well, guys, that is what COMMITTING is NOT. Committing is a very long-term concept. That means I’m STUCK with you like a mother is to her child. Like God is to us.
Lately, God has been teaching me about the words “faithful”, “committed”, “dedicated”, “devoted”, “loyal”, etc. He let me know that He is faithful to me even when I’ve been unfaithful to Him. He has never and will never cheat on me even when I cheat on Him by sinning. I want a relationship wherein me and my significant other will be faithful to one another. I mean, I’m only asking for a lifetime! Jesus said there is no marriage in heaven, so is 60 years of FAITHFUL, DEDICATION, DEVOTION, LOYALTY, AND COMMITMENT in a marriage too much to ask for in light of eternity? 🙂 Why look for perfection here on earth when the marriage will ONLY last a lifetime? Your husband/wife is only on loan until you or him/her die! So when you look at it that way, you don’t take it AS seriously. (Marriage is a VERY serious matter, don’t get me wrong. But when I say maybe we shouldn’t take it AS seriously, I mean that it’s not like we’re trying to find the BEST and PERFECT person to spend an ETERNITY with. Just a lifetime is all!)
So What Is “Good Enough” Comprised Of?
If you want to know what I think is a decent spouse, I would say someone who LOVES the Lord FIRST OF ALL because there is only SO MUCH HELL someone can put you through when they love the Lord like crazy. When you love the Lord like crazy, that should cut out emotional/mental/physical abuse, infidelity, unloving/hateful behavior, unforgiveness/bitterness, other sinful behaviors and attitudes, and therefore likely a higher risk of divorce. Keep in mind that I said loving the Lord like crazy – not that “I go to church on Sunday” mess; I’m talking about REALLY loves the Lord in their spirit and not just acting like they love the Lord through empty rituals.
After loving the Lord LIKE CRAZY, I say a decent person should just have respect for ALL humans. If your boyfriend talks crazy to the waitress on your date or talks crazy to his mom, he’ll likely not respect you either when you make him mad. Also, decency to me involves empathy – caring for your pain and sadness. If you cry and he just shrugs his shoulders and doesn’t make an attempt to see why you’re upset or doesn’t even try to console you, he might have an issue with emotional bonding or expression. Trust me, you do NOT want to spend 50+ years with someone who could care less if you’re going through chemo, a miscarriage, or some other emotionally-wrecking circumstance. A decent person will at least pray for or cry for you. Also, decency to me in a mate involves acceptance of who you really are. If your boyfriend treats you like a second-class citizen if you’re not wearing a full-face of make-up, false lashes, hair extensions, a push-up bra, and colored contacts, he does not, I repeat DOES NOT, accept YOU. (Rather, he is accepting of what you COULD have looked like had you been born with different DNA! He is merely accepting you had you been born DIFFERENTLY THAN HOW YOU REALLY WERE!)
This fifth quality that I think is a must-have in a relationship is one that doesn’t have much to do with one’s “decency”. Nevertheless, it is very important to me when it comes to relationships. You and the person ought to have something in common! Imagine a Satanic, drug-addicted, bisexual voodoo priestess who was raised in poverty, who is also a liberal Democrat, who is a very negative and mentally retarded who is dating a devout Christian pastor who was raised by millionaire parents who is a conservative Republican, who is very easy-going with a great sense of humor and an above average IQ, who went to Yale. Need I say more? Date someone you have at least the basics in common with. Of course, there are many other qualities to someone being decent, but these are the five most important ones to me right now. (I have more, but those are just the top five.)
So in short, guys. Get you somebody DECENT. Accept them as they are. APPRECIATE them for who God made them to be (and know that God creates pretty awesome people). Love them as we are to love our spouses. And BE CONTENT! Look no further. If you look any further, it will only lead to you looking a little MORE further, and then that will lead you to looking a LITTLE MORE further. Just stop it! Look no further! You are probably happy right where you are! Believe it or not, but you just might not be happier with “the greater than” or even “the equal to”. That “greater than” might leave you for a > or = to! I mean, if you thought that your chances were better with finding someone better, won’t this greater than think the same thing? S/he might leave you for someone they think is better than you. Please appreciate what you have IF it is good enough. Chances are that what you have is GOOD ENOUGH! So just leave well enough alone!