We met John at Victory Bible College in Tulsa, OK. John is well known in our circle for his intellectualism, you can always count on him to give you food for thought. We love and appreciate his wisdom and are so excited you get to hear from such an amazing man who loves Jesus! – UNESCORTED
Hello to all the single folk, and the non-single folk that read this blog. My name is John Donaldson and it is both my pleasure and my privilege to be apart of what Jesus Christ is doing through UNESCORTED. I really believe in their mission to reach my sisters and brothers in the faith on this journey of singleness.
For anyone that doesn’t know me, I am not a guy that is easily excited about much at all. I often times feel like the odd one out in almost every crowd because of this fact. There have been times that I’ve even have entertained the possibility that it’s a serious problem, I’ll let you be the judge.
This last summer I got to go see the ocean for the first time in my life on a cruise ship. Now, anytime I would tell somebody I was going on said trip, they lit up like a Christmas tree and puked out the words “OH MY GOSH?! ARE YOU EXCITED?!”, to which I would respond something like, “I don’t know.. I guess..”. Weird right? Typically people would just be spinning and dancing around about it, but alas… that ain’t me. Don’t get me wrong, the thought of being on a huge ship going to Mexico with an all you can eat 24 hour buffet, pools, hot tubs, and a sandy beach was hecka appealing to my soul in a major way lol! But, for whatever reason I feel like I didn’t have the excitement I was supposed to.
Being the reflective person I am, I began to ask myself some questions as to why I am that way not just about the cruise, but most things in life. I finally narrowed it down to the source of a pivotal word called expectation. When asking other people why they were excited, I realized it was mostly because they had already imagined and mapped out emotionally, mentally, and physically, everything this trip was going to be. There expectations were high and mine were not. They knew how it would make them feel, and how intoxicating it would be to experience, conjuring up these soaring expectations that caused quite an excitement.
Then the parallel hit me…
Most of us as singles do the exact same thing! Every one of us have our own perversions and proclivities that are unique to us, but for the most part we can all identify (if we are to be honest) we have ALL have conjured up a list of expectations for something. We all have an area in our life where we have worshiped at this altar of “expectations.” These unrealistic and unhealthy expectations start off by us thinking: how it should turn out for us, what it will look like, and fantasizing about how it will make us feel, . . . we do this especially with finding a mate.
The culture of clichés in the Christian community unfortunately have made the list of unhealthy and unrealistic expectations drastically worse. I see men and women paint each other in these unrealistic and unhealthy expectations of how a “man of God” or a “woman of God” should be, and thats dangerous. I am under the belief that unhealthy and unrealistic expectations are precisely the reason why the divorce rate is higher in the Church than it is in the world. In the world the divorce rate is 50%, and yes you heard me correctly: the divorce rate in the church IS higher than that.
What does unrealistic and unhealthy expectations look like practically in every day life John? I’m so glad you asked, UNESCORTED, allow me to elaborate. I went to Bible school for a short time, and as you can imagine, it was an… interesting experience. But it provided me the opportunity to be surrounded by Christian young Adults. I commonly heard individuals – including myself – throw out well intended, innocent YET completely foolish statements like these:
“a TRUE man of God would never break a woman’s heart or ever disrespect her like that” or…
“a TRUE woman of God would never dress like this, or talk with you like that”,
“real Christians don’t even like sin, they don’t go to parties or struggle with sexual perversions”,
AND THEN, when I see people who have these expectations start to date, it only festers!!!! We only show the best part of ourselves to our boyfriends and girlfriends – and you know what that does? Validates our unhealthy and unrealistic expectations – and that is dangerous! How many times have I heard someone say, “He..is..that..man…. that I have been waiting on MY WHOLE LIFE!!!” Unfortunately, once the limelight dissolves his flaws inevitably appear. AND since he no longer looks like that “man of God” her expectations conjured up; she becomes hurt and disappointed. Time and time again I see people get divorced in the Christian community because of this reality.
We could continue on, but I think you get the point. Some of you might be wondering How do we stop this? How to we find a healthy way to dream about the real blessings in marriage but keep unhealthy and unrealistic expectations at bay? Well, one of the dopest things about UNESCORTED is that they bring issues to the light, so we cant #jointheconversation. What do YOU think the solution is? What are YOUR thoughts on how the church cultivates our expectation for marriage?
Next week I too will #JoinTheConversation and share some solutions the Lord laid on my heart.
Until then, #GodBlesssshhhYall #Mobn
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