This is the second in a series known as Looking for The One.
Last time, I covered the importance of location in finding a Christian spouse. Today the topic is the importance of numbers, in this case the number of Christian men or women you come into contact with. Simply put, the odds of you finding a Christian wife or husband is directly related to the number of unmarried Christian men or women that you meet in your search for a spouse. This comment from Deti over at Sunshinemary‘s blog is highly relevant:
Badger over at the Badgerhut a long time ago expounded a working hypothesis that, in practical terms, the average man or woman comes in contact with perhaps two, AT MOST three, individuals with whom s/he might be compatible and actually make a marriage work. My experience bears this out, actually. Of all the women I dated and/or knew before Mrs. deti, at least of the ones I got to know well enough to make a judgment, I met two women with whom I think I could have made a marriage work, and that I’m reasonably sure wouldn’t have ended in divorce. The first I met when I was 17. The second I met when I was 20.
IN the span of 45 years, that’s three marriageable women I’ve met. Three. in 45 years.
Ladies, you should think about this: Of all the men you’ve met, all the ones you’ve dated or even had sex with, how many of them are really compatible enough and have good enough character that you reasonably believe you could marry them and stay married to them? I bet it wouldn’t be more than 2 or 3, if you’re answering honestly.
Now, Deti’s comment was actually aimed at those who think they can do better and are holding out for a better man/woman to come down the line, but also serves to remind us that we only meet so many compatible people in our lives. Given the complexities and diversity of modern life, there are not going to be a whole lot of other people who we find ourselves compatible with. This rings especially true for devout Christians in an age where most Christians are now of the world and not in it, and where the Church is as often as not a force for evil as for good. If we want to bolster our chances of finding someone whom we can make into “Our One and Only,” we need as much contact with fellow Christians as possible. Well, fellow Christians of the opposite sex, that is.
Playing the numbers game
How do we increase the number of Christian men or women we meet? Well, to do that you must go to where Christian men and women are (Yes I know, easier said than done).
Churches– Let’s be honest, many churches in the USA today, and in most of the west, are bastions of “Churchianity”, a feminized and degenerate form of Christianity. But not all churches are like that, and there are many Christians inside those churches who resist Churchian doctrine. If your goal is to find a Christian spouse, a church is still the best place to look.
The reason I call this post the numbers game is because big numbers are to your advantage, including for churches. Your best bet is a church with sound doctrine, of course. But it isn’t always easy to tell if a church fits that bill. Even if you already have a sound doctrinal church, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there are other young Christians present who are husband or wife material. Even if there are, you should look elsewhere. Here is an action plan that I recommend to young Christians looking to get married:
1) Research to find all of the churches in your immediate geographic region that appear to demonstrate at least some similarity to your doctrinal choices. Many churches have webpages and an online presence now, so you should be able to find most of them using the web. I would suggest, at a minimum, looking for all the churches in a 50 mile radius of where you live. If you live in a more populated area and that leaves you with hundreds of choices, then perhaps you can narrow it a bit. But 50 miles might not be enough for those living in a less populated area, so consider larger search areas.
2) Map them out using something like Google maps, so you have an idea where they are distributed. Use different color markers or tokens or something to distinguish churches. You want to be able to change the markers afterward as well. The idea is notate how likely of a match a church is going to be, and then when you learn more update the marker afterward with what you learned.
3) Make a list of the churches you find, with the top of the list being those churches you think the best suited to find a spouse, and the bottom of the list being those least likely.
4) Visit a new church every week. That’s right, every week you need to visit a new church, starting with the top of your list and working your way down. After visiting each church, write up a quick review afterward and determine if it might be worth a further look. Assign each church a score, and update your map. Continue to work your way down the list as long as necessary.
5) On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day visit the two churches you thought might be best. Those days are important because sermons on those days tend to reveal the true nature of a church: whether it is doctrinally sound or whether it has become feminized.
6) Once you have found a half a dozen to a dozen churches that you think are solid prospects, you can return to them and begin active efforts to find a spouse.
Christian Universities- These represent another possible location where you might find young Christians inclined to, and worthy of, marriage. This is especially true for Christian women looking for a husband. Now, such universities are far less common than churches, so you likely won’t have many to go through on your list. But otherwise most of the same methods you would use to evaluate churches would apply for colleges as well, the main difference being how you interact with them. This area requires more thought, and plan on creating a separate post down the line about it.
Christian Ministries and Aid groups– Here we have another potential location to find young Christians. Once again, they are limited in number, so it should be easy to investigate all of the local ones properly.
Once you have narrowed down your search parameters, its time to play the game in earnest. Spend time at the half-dozen or so locations you rated highest and try and meet as many young Christians as possible. Remember, it is all about the numbers; the more the merrier as the saying goes. This is a long term project, one that may take you years, so be prepared to invest a lot of time and effort in it. If you aren’t having any success in your immediate geographic area, expand the radius of your search. Try out to a hundred miles or more, if need be. Think of it this way: If only 1 out of a 1000 young Christians is worthy and willing to be your husband or wife, then you need to meet a 1000 young Christians to have a chance of finding that potential wife or husband. Finding The One in this day and age will be a difficult quest. It is a long and narrow path that we as Christians have chosen to walk, and we need to keep that in mind.