EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring 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 singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: I'm a single man in my mid-twenties. I come from a very conservative Christian community which was very polarized along educational lines; college was viewed very negatively by a large portion of my peers.
In contrast, I am extremely educated, and am finishing my doctorate in a technical field. I have noticed that although there are many young women I grew up with that I would consider eligible, most marry at their class and educational level. In fact, I have been rejected by fathers who chose men with high school diplomas for their daughters because they seemed to fit their subculture better than I did. On the other hand, I have known some ambitious women from these circles, but most have decided to go into full time missions overseas, or have eschewed their upbringings altogether.
Is this a common trend? I feel like I have a foot in both worlds, and there's really no way out!
Having grown up on the Left Coast, I don’t believe I had ever experienced this sort of trend out there, however now that I reside in the South and have traveled the nation extensively, I have seen pockets of areas where this can occur.
You would usually find them in smaller communities where the custom and tradition is to meet someone locally, marry and settle down in that same area.
I have met a number of multi-generational folks in my travels who have never really left the region they grew up and haven’t had much of a desire to do so. They seemed to prefer the simplicity, consistency and familiarity of where they were raised.
You, on the other hand, seem to have a more extensive life planned for yourself and your future.
Neither direction is necessarily right nor wrong, just different. The most important aspect for everyone is to just be true to who you are and to follow the direction YOU have been called. We oftentimes don’t know the direction, path or end point God is leading us to unless we give him the reigns to show us.
Many of your childhood friends may desire to (and feel they should) lead a lifestyle similar to the way they were raised in and see your future as one that is totally foreign and not enticing to them. That is the beauty of having the freedom and choices we do.
You have devoted yourself to higher education and have set your sights on a doctorate, and obviously have some plans and dreams for your life. Continue to walk that road and wait to see who God brings alongside of you on your journey.
Don’t try to live in both worlds, you will frustrate yourself to death and never reach the potential God has for you.
Live a life worthy of the calling you were given (Ephesians 4:1).
Personally I have not seen this trend among young adults in reference to educated men not being able to find a woman to date. I have seen it the other way around, even in my own life, due to being in full-time ministry. The stronger I have grown in the Lord, the harder I have found men to be equal to my passion (much less above mine). This has made dating very difficult. So should I stop growing so I can find a possible mate? Of course not, and neither should you. I think the answer to your question is geography.
My advice to all young and single adults is you can't wait at home for the Fedex man or woman to find love. Sure, it could happen, but the odds are low. You have to get out there and see and meet the world. Because of your small town and community of little options, you simply need to think about moving to a larger city that has tons of amazing churches with many wonderful young woman who love the Lord. The larger the city, the higher chance of churches who have a larger twenty-something population.
If you are serious about getting married, then start praying about moving. Do some research of different cities to find out more about the churches and young adults ministries. Depending on where you live, contact the pastor, let them know you praying about moving there. That you would like more information on their ministry. Then attend one of their events, start to develop some friends, and pray for God to open doors. Pray for God's will and God's best. Can God bring the woman of your dreams where you are? Sure. God can do anything. But he may also be using this situation to accomplish something even greater.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is ... Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of three books.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to email@example.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
Publication date: February 26, 2015