He Said-She Said: When Looking Younger Isn't Helping
- Thursday, June 18, 2009
EDITOR’S NOTE: Each He Said-She Said column features a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you’ve got a question about anything related to living the single life, please CLICK HERE to submit (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: I'm a widower, 55 years of age, and I still get carded if ID is asked for—so you can imagine that I do not look my age. My problem is that I meet single women who love God, but who I can't relate to. If I meet a woman my age, she thinks I'm a lot younger than she is by my appearance and demeanor. If I meet younger women who are attracted to me, once I tell them my age they don't know what to do: either date me or fear the age difference and not date me. What am I to do about this? My intelligence and wisdom are where they should be at my age. But being single and a Christian man is hard sometimes, especially when you don't fit in according to your age or your youthful appearance and demeanor. I have searched the Bible for some answers as to what I can do. However, I haven't found any scriptures yet.
HE SAID: First of all, I hope you see your predicament as more of a “situational dilemma” than a severe crisis. In light of many serious problems people face today (financial, medical, professional or relational), I would not view looking younger than your years as one of them. Most people would consider it a blessing rather than a curse.
I do not say this to disparage your circumstance in any way. I find it complimentary when I am mistaken for appearing younger than I am. However, I understand the frustration that can arise when you are not able to fulfill your desire to date someone who is spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and (in this case) physically compatible with yourself.
One of the harms we face is the propensity to categorize people. We live in a world where we quickly and simply label (and judge) those we see and meet. We do it by ethnicity, profession, fashion, political inclination, appearance, age and even religious affiliation.
People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions (1 Samuel 16:7).
As Christians, we are not immune from—nor are we above—judging others (sadly enough). Oftentimes, we are seen as hypocritical in how we treat, care and love one another (or not) within our churches. We too may draw conclusions about a person with little communication or scrutinize whom we date by what we surmise by external appearances.
This may be due to a laziness of taking the time to get to know a person (or people group), lack of immediate interest, worry about what others may think or something totally different, but as a result we fail to live by and live up to God’s example.
God does not judge by external appearance (Galatians 2:6).
If we have our mind set on things above, God calls us to look and live beyond the external, no matter how difficult it may be.
As we all get older, we carry with us many experiences, memories, emotional hurts, and mistakes (a.k.a. baggage) of past relationships. It is a result of these that we often formulate our opinions, preferences and decisions in our future relationships.
In your situation, the only factor you have control of is yourself. Only you can determine the way you deal with, accept or react to other people and how you handle your relationships.
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