It’s a soul pornography, I think, this rush we have to fit every need and sit, abased, in our lethargy. To gain our fill on something that isn’t ours to own or hold, and to act surprised when it is taken from us. I talk about community and here I know I walk a fine line.
Because I love communing. I love giving and sharing and having all things in common. I love that.
But not at someone’s expense. And not, especially, when they are left at the end not knowing it was at their expense.
I talk about the tendency I see around in my single brothers and sisters, to give and take and cover and feed and encourage and fill the needs that, in some ways, were made to be filled by one man or one woman. It pains me to say it, because I love and long for Acts 3 in more ways than I can possibly say in this place. I long to go from house to house, breaking bread, sharing things in common, all for the good of the gospel, for the spreading of the word.
Instead, though, I find myself fat on the feast.
I’m not even sure how to say this, how to phrase it, what I know is this, though: If you are single and feeling it, feeling less than everything you think a man or woman wants in you, please know this: you weren’t designed to compete with a community of people who together embody the perfect person.
Brother, you cannot be tall, dark, handsome, handy with a wrench and a guitar, gentle and funny, the life of the party and the deep intellectual. You cannot be impassioned with a sense of mission and empowered with a trust fund eight zeroes long. You cannot dunk well and run marathons and counsel wisely and write treatises. You cannot be equipped with cooking skills and a twinkle in your eye and a maddening ability to salsa to any sort of music. You aren’t that good.
You’re just one man.
And you, sister, you’re not going to have a perfect golden tan and be a gorgeous blond, tall and petite at the same time. You cannot cook a delectable feast and give any guy a run for his money on the volleyball court. I dare you to be completely yourself, comfortable in any clothing and yet also look the part, perfectly coiffed for every occasion. You are not a good flirt as well as a humble communicator. You cannot love children and have read every classic written. You are not the most witty and it’s nearly impossible for you compete with the girl next to you, because you’ll never be like her. You aren’t that perfect.
You’re just one woman.
It’s soul pornography, what we’ve done, creating communities in which our every need is filled by ten or twelve women and men. Ryan, to fix the car; Jon, to swing dance with; Peter, to talk deeply to; and Mark, to shoot some hoops with. Becky, to cook the feast; Erin, to make you laugh; Beth, to give the pushback; and Sylvia, because she’s easy on the eyes.
You were meant to reflect one God. His character and personhood is the only perfection to be found. Only in your humble imitation of Him will your joy and His glory be shown through you.
Sister, you were not meant to fill a dozen dreams from a dozen men and Bro, you are most likely the perfect man the less perfect you are.
Community isn’t meant to illustrate the gospel, not fully. But marriage is.
Stop marrying the community and marry the person.