Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
Recently several people asked why it’s been so long since I’ve written a blog about the dating life of my good friend Ron. That’s a good question, especially since my blogs about Ron usually get a far bigger response than when I try to write about profound, deeply spiritual topics.
Like most bloggers, I want to be taken seriously. My goal is to change lives, not just entertain. So it’s a bit irritating when everyone just wants to hear about Ron and his ineptitude in finding a wife.
Another reason for my silence about Ron is that he actually quit dating for a while. Tired of heartbreak and constant rejection, he told me he decided to follow the example of Adam in Genesis 2, simply “waiting for God to bring him a woman.”
But when he explained this approach to a pastor friend, the friend reminded Ron of Solomon’s words in Proverbs 18:22: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.”
“Notice, Ron,” the pastor told him with a chuckle, “it says ‘he who FINDS a wife.’ That means you can’t be passive. In order to find a wife, you need to be out there looking!”
After this conversation, Ron concluded that God was leading him to return to online dating.
“That’s fine, Ron,” I attempted to encourage him, “but what’s going to give you a better outcome than the numerous times you’ve tried that in the past?”
Ron acknowledged that his prior ventures into online dating had been disastrous. Yet he explained that he was confident in the new strategy he had this time.
“Jim, I’ve figured out what I was doing wrong,” Ron told me quite earnestly. “I was dating without having a clear vision of what I was looking for.”
“I thought you were looking for wife, Ron!” I replied jokingly. “Don’t you think it was pretty clear what you were seeking?”
“You don’t understand, Jim,” Ron retorted. “Sure I was looking for a wife, but I didn’t have a checklist of the qualities she needed to have. Without a written checklist, how could I have ever known if I found the right person?”
As so often happens when I talk with Ron, I was having a hard time restraining my laughter.
“So…let me get this straight, Ron,” I tried to reason with him, “this time you’re going to find the woman of your dreams and avoid more heartbreak – all because you’ve come up with a CHECKLIST?!”
As our conversation continued, I could tell I was getting nowhere with my friend, so I asked him to show me his checklist for the perfect woman. Knowing Ron’s reputation for being shallow in his dating relationships, I envisioned a checklist with items like these:
But to my surprise, none of those things were on Ron’s 12-point list. I had to admit that he must have spent a considerable amount of time pondering the kind of wife he was looking for:
When you look at Ron’s checklist, perhaps you think he’s setting a standard that’s much too high. Maybe you want to scream at him, “Ron, you idiot, where do you think you’ll ever find a woman like THAT in today’s world?”
However, a few months after entering the dating scene again, Ron announced to me that he had found a woman who met all 12 points on his checklist. He was thrilled…and I was amazed.
Could it be that Ron’s dating woes were finally going to come to an end? At long last, could there be a happy ending to this topsy-turvy journey?
Well, let’s just say relationships tend to be complicated…
It turned out that this woman had her OWN checklist for the ideal marriage partner. Can you guess what it said?
In contrast with Ron’s rather lengthy list of requirements, this woman’s criterion was quite simple. Instead of needing 12 qualities in order to pass her test, a suitor only had to have ONE: Her future husband must have a retirement account of a million dollars or more! Everything else was pretty much secondary if a man could pass that nonnegotiable financial threshold.
So how did this new episode in Ron’s story end? On the positive side, he had finally met the woman of his dreams. But there was just one problem: He wasn’t the man of her dreams. And he never would be until he could meet her million-dollar minimum.
As you can imagine, Ron was devastated. For several weeks, he couldn’t even talk about it.
Yet to my surprise, his optimism has now returned. So I inquired as to whether he has gotten rid of his checklist.
“Absolutely not,” he shook his head. “I just decided to add a 13th item! My new wife must be independently wealthy, so she never needs to worry about getting any money from me.”
So my friends, how do you think things will go in the next chapter of Ron’s dating life? Will his revised checklist work? What kind of advice can you offer that would make his journey smoother?