If You Want to Find Something Wrong With Me…
Updated: Oct 3, 2018
“Preferences will ROB you of paradise.”
My pastor declared it from the stage and my mouth fell.
How had I not heard it this way before? As much reading and writing as I do, it was so doggon simple, but so stinking profound. “Is that what it is?” I thought. “Do I not fit ‘their’ list of preferences? Do ‘they’ not fit mine? Can it really rob me of paradise?”
Per usual, we’re going there. Yes. Yes it can.
A synonym for preference is bias. A bias is also defined asprejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.
Personally, I have daddy issues. I’m an over achiever. A truth teller. I will make you uncomfortable. I’m a perfectionist. I can be awkward. I can be insensitive. I’m not a size 2. I’m 5’7. I get hangry. I’m impatient. I don’t always have something to say. Sometimes I have a bad attitude. And I really love to be right.
You WILL find more than one thing “wrong” with me by your definition IF that’s what you want to focus on. It’s rare to find arranged marriages and/or forced friendships, so it’s all going to begin and end with preferences. The unfortunate part is, let’s face it, we’re a largely shallow bunch.
Particularly in dating, we unconsciously and consciously have these mental lists of what we want and are looking for in our future spouses. We have impervious non-negotiables, and as much as we’d like to claim it…being an abiding believer just isn’t enough. Now, none of us would actually say that out loud because we’d realize how foul we sound.
But here’s where I personally get SCARED: We’ve developed a bad habit of allowing our preferences to dictate our decisions. In some cases, we even go as far as to find everything wrong with someone in hopes to feel better about ourselves for not being attracted to their character.
Most of our break-ups are a result of immaturity. It’s not often that I hear about ended dating relationships in the church for things like infidelity, being unequally yoked, or abuse. No. Usually it’s because someone “just didn’t know” or the passive “It’s not you, it’s me.”
Somewhere, the flame died, and that was a good enough reason to peace out.
Should I expect anything different though?
We’re sinners living in a broken world.
2. Dating is a made up space.
Please don’t read this article thinking that I’m scolding us for being messy. I’m merely writing to acknowledge where we are and encourage where we should want to be.
You and I are going to have to get to a place where we can say: I think he’s a great guy/girl but unfortunately I’m just not MORE attracted to the things God is attracted to right now. I can only hope that hearing ourselves say those last few words particularly out loud will stir some heart change.
Let’s talk about David. You know. The man after God’s own heart. The David in the “Jesus, Son of David” reference. Yea. Him.
“Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.” — 1 Samuel 16: 11–13
Now, let me see if I can “cliffs note” this:
Samuel comes to Bethlehem to find a king.
Jesse brings out all of his sons EXCEPT David, the one that keeps sheep…
God chooses David….the youngest ruddy one with beautiful eyes that is handsome.
Hmmm…I think I’d choose him too. But wait…a few verses before that, we see this:
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” — 1 Samuel 16:7
Ha! Did you read that first section and think? Hmmm…beautiful eyes…handsome — it’s a YES for me Jesus!
What about beautiful eyes, handsome, great character, and short? Are you still a yes? Guys: What about beautiful eyes, long hair, Godly woman, and chubby?
Confession: I am a complete stumbler here. This verse convicts me in a way that I don’t like. I read this verse and quickly realize, I am not MORE attracted to what God is attracted to. And that is OK…for now. Because here’s the fact friend: I can marry a GQ cover model today, and in 30 years, gravity will NOT be his friend! Something else has to keep me otherwise I’m going to swear the grass is greener on the other side.
Here’s what I know: there’s no face or physique pretty enough to cover up ugly character. And that’s not my problem. My problem has never been with the sinner, but with the sinner who makes camp in their sin. At what point in a relationship do we forget that we’re wretched sinners in need of grace too?
We want to scream “STILL WORTHY” when WE fail, but forget to whisper “still worthy” when someone else does too.
I’m not oblivious to the flesh nor am I discrediting desire. I’m just asking, how far and for how long do our preferences get to drive? And honestly… are their directions dependable?
Just a year ago I thought anything that was green and in liquid format was some form of poison. You absolutely could not convince me that it wasn’t just “hype.” Now I, at minimum, drink my greens for breakfast and have nearly doubled my servings of fruits and vegetables; all because I decided to drop a preference.
My mom refuses to eat Raising Canes because she swears all chicken strips are basic and have no taste. Preferences really can rob us of paradise…LOL. No, but seriously.
So again friends, I ask.
How far and for how long do preferences get to drive?
Jesus’s preference was not to die (Matthew 26:36–46). So much so that he was disturbed to the point of sweating blood. But He dropped his preference to submit to his fathers will…so that you and I could have literal paradise.
If you want to find something wrong with “me,” or anyone else, you will! Just make sure you don’t end up trading great for good. Pray before you play friends ;)