Looking for The One- Episode 4: Give me a Sign

This post is part of my Looking for The One series, whose purpose is to help young Christians marry in the current cultural climate.

If you are a young Christian looking to marry, you are probably asking yourself one question more often than any other:

How can I tell if someone is a Christian looking to marry?

There is no easy answer to that, not anymore. A century ago that wasn’t the case; nearly every young unmarried person fit that description. Almost everyone was a Christian, and almost everyone was looking or expecting to get married. Nowadays many young single men and women aren’t Christian, and most of those who do profess to be Christians are really Churchians. And even if someone is Christian, that doesn’t mean they are looking to marry. Women, even Christian women, are delaying marriage. And many Christian men aren’t sure that marriage is something they are terribly interested in, either.

Unless you happen to hear someone mention aloud that they are a practicing Christian looking to marry (and that isn’t a terribly common occurrence in my experience), finding out the intentions of someone you are interested in demands more than it did before. If you are lucky then perhaps someone you are close to knows the person in question, and can fill you in. More likely you will have to do some investigating on your own to try and determine whether someone of the opposite sex is looking to marry. To speed up the process you can always try and enlist the herd, but that carries risks of its own, and has its own burdens that must be managed.

All of this takes time and effort. Time and effort that many young Christians might not have. Especially if you are trying to play the number game. What is needed is a short-cut, something that will signal to others that you are a Christian looking to marry. People need a sign that they aren’t alone, that others are walking the same path that they are. In the early days of the Church Christians used a fish symbol to inform one another that they were believers. I believe that something similar is required now, a sign to others that will let them know your identity and your goals. It would need to be visible and easily seen. This rules out a ring (which might also be confused with an engagement or wedding right) or bracelet. Instead, an amulet or necklace would work best, as that should be easily visible to most people.

While investigating and developing this post, I searched for similar amulets or pendants or necklaces in various cultures. Interestingly enough, a rather popular and recent game, Skyrim, uses something very similar to what I propose: An Amulet of Mara. Essentially, it is an amulet that when worn will let members of the opposite sex know that you are looking to marry.

Of course, assuming that the idea of wearing a necklace to signify an openness to marriage is adopted by many Christians, that leaves the question of what kind of symbol or pendant to use. One image that I found while searching the web which works is this one:

Christian-Marriage-Symbol

I like it because of the simplicity of what is conveyed. The use of a Staurogram style cross conveys Christianity, but in a way sufficiently different from most cross necklaces to make it easy to distinguish. The double enclosed rings symbolize marriage in the form of wedding bands. I would change this slightly, however, and leave both bands open at the opposite ends, to indicate that the the union is not complete. Rather, the person wearing the necklace is hoping to close the bands by finding a spouse.

This proposal would only work if it was adopted in a widespread manner, which unfortunately I don’t expect to happen any time soon. Even if it were adopted, it is questionable how much it would actually help young Christians looking to marry. Also, while it may start out as a sort of counter-cultural expression, there is always the possibility it could be co-opted by the general public. But given how dire the situation is at the moment, I think that doing something is better than doing nothing at all.

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13 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Marriage

13 responses to “Looking for The One- Episode 4: Give me a Sign

  1. Interesting. I’ve been considering buying a cross for a necklace and would get something like this.

    Also, in terms of counter culture, I think the time lag between it being used and it being stolen would be fairly large; especially if it was adopted by Catholics more the Protestants. America has a growing hatred of Catholics.

  2. @Leap of a Beta
    I would have thought that the entire West has a growing hatred of all things Christian, given the extent to which legislation is being passed which flies in the face of Christian teaching from all denominations.

  3. UK Fred
    Eh, I would say they have a hatred of all things Christian if said Christians are following the bible.

    There are simply enough Churchian people who ignore the bible for feel good positions that America seems to think I really CAN get along with Protestants right now, because they’re not the ‘crazy’ ones against abortion, gay marriage, etc

  4. There are many Protestants who are against those things, and they may even (still) be a majority (although not for long). But Protestant leadership is not united against those things like the Catholic Church is. The Enemy knows that (despite its flaws), the Catholic Church represents perhaps the biggest threat to their plans. After all, with a male-only hierarchy, long-enduring traditions and a billion members, there is a hidden strength which the Catholic Church still possesses. I think that the Enemy is worried what would happen if a pontiff were to decide to really fight them.

  5. Deep Strength

    A bit off topic:

    I’m up here in Alaska visiting some family. Most of the women here don’t go to university because there’s no need. Most of the men go into trade jobs such as fishing and whatnot. So most of the young women up here are married relatively young and have had a couple kids by 25.

    So if you have a job that allow you to live in a place like this, there is some opportunity for marriagable age women up here. Only problem is a relatively smaller population compared to everything else, but on the other hand there is significantly less obesity here since there’s a lot of nice nature trails and outdoor activities.

    I’m not sure if I would want to completely come up here and live, but it’s been a growing possibility in my mind.

    A bit on topic:

    Having something like this could be interesting I think, although it would have to be adopted en masse to have any sort of effect.

  6. That necklace is a very good idea.
    I normally would just look to see if the person is wearing a cross, and no wedding ring. Though of course that doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to marry in the near future. And here a lot of men here have stopped wearing their wedding rings on their hands, instead wearing it on a necklace. I don’t like it.

  7. Unfortunately, many people who wear cross necklaces, at least in the US, do so as a fashion statement. Not out of devotion or faith. In some circles the fish is coming back as a statement of Christian belief, because the cross has been hijacked by “popular culture.”

    As for wearing a wedding band on a necklace, it should only be done when you need your hands free of any obstruction.

  8. Deep Strength,

    Keep in mind the men outnumber the women 4 to 1 in Alaska. It’s still a place I’d consider migrating to if I already met someone elsewhere, but then again there’s cold, and then there’s ICEBOX. A man cave in Idaho is probably more down my alley. 😉

  9. Deep Strength

    @ Frank,

    Haha, yeah, the weather is unfortunate in the winter.

    There is a population skew towards the men though which is true, but I don’t think the men are necessarily looking for wives. Seems to me most of the men up here just come up for the summer work and then leave in the winter so it’s more of a seasonal thing. Of course, there’s lots of men also doing their own thing off in the woods somewhere.

  10. Deep Strength, one of these days I’m going to hit the Alaska Highway just to chalk it up as a bucket list experience. Views like these is what sells me: http://firstsliveone.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/alaskan-highway.jpg

    Now THAT’s a mountain.

  11. an observer

    That’s an awesome highway pic.

  12. Yes it was. The word awesome, much abused these days, applies there with full force.

  13. Deep Strength

    @ Frank

    The road from Anchorage to Seward is BEAUTFUL… about 2.5 or so hours of driving each way. Tons of mountains, forests, lakes, and everything in between. I don’t think were going to the Alaskan highway, but I definitely want to come back here and see everything again. It’s great.

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