Thursday, July 2, 2009
"Collect, Collect, Then Select"
Those are the four words that almost spelled my emotional doom since I first heard them several years ago. Collect, collect, then select..."admirers are for collecting and bragging about, guys (or girls) exist for your ego and comfort"...that is the real message behind this common quote. The idea appeals to the human heart easily, but it does nothing good in the long run.
For almost half of my life, I used to find pride in how guys would notice me and how even parents and grandparents would urge their family members to go after me. I liked the attention. In my highly social culture, I could feel the vanity factor. I enjoyed being desired and sought; I found value in the idea of being a prize to the guys, even if I never planned to give away that prize anytime soon. The more admirers, the more worth...that's what I believed.
So God started showing me things. The first guy I entertained extensively chose to be with someone else. When I thought others were being serious while I was flirting, I was informed that the other parties were merely just putting me down on the list of girls they've flirted. Someone the whole church encouraged to go after me would refuse to make a move for several years, but fell in love and became engaged within months of meeting the love of his life.
Some of these incidents hurt crazily. Some of them did not hurt at all. And yet...they all showed me one common thing.
What did I gain at all from having multiple guys seeking my attention or hand? Nothing. What purpose was there in knowing how to make a guy like me? Nothing, nothing at all.
I could groom and train myself to attract countless young men if I want to. I know what type of guy needs humor, what kind needs respect, what kind needs gentleness, and what kind needs just time. Sure, I could collect and collect and collect...but is there a point to it?
Instead of getting happiness and confidence...I got consequences.
Yes, I got to make the suitor-rejection speeches and letters that I had always rehearsed as a young girl. But they only brought me broken friendships. Yes, I got to receive gifts and attention and praises. But if even the friendships were lost, the memories were painful anyway.
Yes, I could collect the affections of multiple young men...but I could marry only one person at the end of the day. The ability to attract is not exactly a life-partner quality. When there are guys surrounding me, I might become a good prize, but I might not necessarily make a good wife. Having a range of admirers is not any kind of asset in my potential as a spouse. In fact, if the situations are handled poorly, such a background would actually make me a worse wife, a wife that is proud and attention-seeking.
I do understand that a person with many admirers (whether as a guy or a girl) probably has some reason to cause that situation. Appearances, skills, character, personality, or whatever...there must be something to attract people, and that something is the person's real asset. Assets do cause attraction...but attraction itself is not an asset.
So when I learn how to please the opposite gender, I should learn to serve my family and my future husband, not to attract potential admirers. When I work to improve myself, I should not focus on becoming the ultimate "admiree," but on becoming a godly wife, mother, teacher, or whatever God plans for me to be.
Collect, collect...collecting takes alot of time and effort. Why collect what I would never select? And if God is the One selecting for me, then it would be outright stupid of me to try to collect. My security lies with the Lover of My Soul, not with attention from the opposite gender. May my assets lie with Him and Him alone.