Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Where oh where have the reformed single women gone?

As a follow up to my post on "A hope deferred", several comments were made about dating outside of the Reformed faith. Now I respect both of the people that wrote these comments, but I have to respectfully disagree. Some of the distinctives of the Reformed faith are likely to cause a big issue in a marriage. For instance, what is to be done with the children in such a marriage when one parent believes in infant baptism and one doesn't? This could erupt into a huge argument.

Or even more so, on a less practical level, the doctrines of predestination or limited atonement? The majority of Christian women (outside the Reformed) find these to be flatly offensive. Indeed, they are hard doctrines to accept, although they are blatantly taught in the Bible. These are the very doctrines that make the Reformed faith so attractive though; they are the ones that finally remove all additions man tries to add to his salvation. Salvation then (finally) becomes all of God.

This means that dating a non-Reformed woman involves glossing over these doctrines at first and slowly bringing them up at a later point. First you are going to have to develop a relationship in which she will trust your lead because otherwise she'll just flatly reject them as offensive and be done with you. Forming this type of close relationship is hard enough without having the knowledge that it could all crumble to the ground later when this is brought up. Converting people (even people that are already Christians) to the Reformed faith is not easy; it is in fact a terribly long and painful process of slowly demolishing people's preconceived ideas and then constructing new ones. I've failed at this many more times than I've succeeded.

My other worry about dating outside the Reformed circle is that even if I was successful, I would never be free of the doubt that she had converted just because of me. It is amazing what people will do when they have another motive. This idea becomes especially apparent when you consider the situation where I've died in some freak accident. Will she continue to be Reformed and raise the children in such a manner? If she was only Reformed because of me, then probably not. How is it possible to tell if such a conversion is real or just a means to an end on her part? I submit that it is hard if not impossible.

Is it wrong to desire a wife that would be Reformed with or without me? That is the kind of woman I seek. One is knows the Lord and follows him whether I am there or not.

I don't think being upfront about it to begin with is a valid solution. Presenting it that way is going to sound awfully egotistical, she may rightful reject you as a stuck-up Reformed person. I can almost hear the conversation now.

I don't know, maybe I'm just lazing about the converting aspect, but dating outside the Reformed (I don't mean just the RCUS, but the Reformed--many denominations fit under this category) Church seems like playing with fire to me. It seems much better and safer to date a girl that is already Reformed, so you don't have to mess around with all this converting stuff. This sets the standards high, but then it also seems to create more depression in me when I consider the bleak number of Reformed single women...


At 9:57 AM, Anonymous The German said...

People aren't just that cut and dry. You will never know what will happen untill it does. Even if you do help a woman come to be reformed, was it really you that did the converting. I would say no. So to live with the doubt is stupid.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Swinder said...

I deleted your second comment because it was the same as the first...sorry Mr. German...

At 10:25 AM, Anonymous The German said...

swinder, I say, don't knock it till you try it. The wost thing that could happen is that you waste a little time. I would rather waste some time with someone than without. Really whats the difference, that time is lost eaither way.

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Swinder said...

What if I'm not wasting time without someone? I could get in a lot more quality time with my car or computer without "wasting" it on a girlfriend who isn't Reformed?


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