Thursday, June 01, 2006

lack of faith?

My flatmate and I are unsure of ourselves about this. Thus, we wanted to bring it up to see what others thought. While both of us have a number of friends who swear by it, we hesitate because it appears to lack faith in God's provision and providence.

Why could God not use technology to work His perfect wil, you ask?

good question.

But for now, she and I are completely hands off ... she swears that she would never resort to it ... even when she turns 30.

I'm a little more open-minded ... but not much.

I'm expecting a few anonymous comments out of this post. Few people like to admit they dabble in online dating services.

29 comments:

CraigS said...

Of course not! Why would it be?

ckhnat said...

My flatmate and I are unsure of ourselves about this. Thus, we wanted to bring it up to see what others thought. While both of us have a number of friends who swear by it, we hesitate because it appears to lack faith in God's provision and providence.

Why could God not use technology to work His perfect wil, you ask?

good question.

But for now, she and I are completely hands off ... she swears that she would never resort to it ... even when she turns 30.

I'm a little more open-minded.

I'm expecting a few anonymous comments out of this post. Few people like to admit they dabble in online dating services.

CraigS said...

By that theory, any pro-active effort at meeting a spouse is not trusting in God. God can use any and all means to accomplish His will.

It sounds like your friend's problem is the stigma rather than the biblical argument.

In one respect, I think God would approve of the honesty of this sort of thing, as opposed to all the confused flirting that happens currently.

Still, whatever floats your boat...

Priscilla said...

A young married couple moved in next door to us about 4 years ago. They hit it off with us pretty well and we quickly made friends. One day,shortly after meeting them, I said, "So, how did you two meet?" They looked at each other and just laughed. That piqued my curiosity. Turns out they met in a chat room. After coresponding for quite a while, they decided to meet in person. She drove to meet him in a restaurant in Northern PA...he drove from southern PA.

Her father about flipped out when he found out about it...had a full background check done on the guy. It was a BIG risk I'd say. You hear a lot of creepy stories. Luckily, this one turned out to be quite happy. They still live next door. In fact, we had a cookout with them the other night. What do you think of that story?

I don't know much about e-harmony. There is no Biblical argument against it...but I'd be nervous just because of the wierd stories that go on. I'm assuming you have to go through some sort of screening or background check thing?

G. F. McDowell said...

I don't buy the psychological pseudo-science behind it. If two people are inclined to want to marry, and both go to a service that is reputed far and wide for resulting in marriage hoping to marry, I think really what it does is forces both parties to get serious. What you get there is marriage-minded men.

Nixter said...

I can't say I would have jumped to do it when i was single but who knows, maybe I would have.
What about match making then? Is that not trusting either?

I don't think so and like Craig I believe that God can use whatever means to bring people together. Surely if he God is in control of every single thing in our lives, maybe that includes two Christain people meeting online or via a match make?

Nixter said...

PS I think there is wisdom too, and if people decide to do this, they should research who they go through and not just meet with anyone anywhere - Be wise and careful I say.

ckhnat said...

"marriage-minded" or "desperate"?

CraigS said...

"marriage-minded" or "desperate"?

Is everyone who is looking for a spouse desperate? I don't see it that way. It's a pretty horrible word, actually.

The "background" issue is interesting. It actually applies to *anyone* you meet over the net, not just potential spouses.

I've actually met *heaps* of people online, and then met them in person later. Rodeo and I met online before we met in person. Same with the Borg. And tonnes of people at SydAng.

Bit different being a guy, I imagine. I'm not worried about being attacked by some psycho or anything...

ckhnat said...

I know ... pretty horrible, isn't it. I didn't like typing it. But there it's out there making a splash. It's an argument that regularly comes up when discussing online dating.

Are the people who engage in it ... desperate? Were they unable to attain a mate in the more conventional ways? Or is it cowardice ... ? Are they hiding behind their computers, afraid to engage people in a relational in-person matter?

These are not my opinions of people who meet online. I'm just throwing out the questions. The jury is still out on this. Convince me that it's not desperate or cowardly.

Donners said...

ckhnat,

I think the important thing is not whether you use a dating service, but how you use it.

Will you present yourself honestly?

Will you conduct yourself well with the dates you are set up with?

Will you be careful in checking out your dates? (i.e to see that they have hearts devoted to God, are genuinely loving people)

I was set-up with my husband by people who had known us for a long time and thought we would be good for each other.

There is a difference bewteen being set-up by people who know and love you and a computer that is matching you according to someone elses profile, who may or may not be honest or trustworthy.

Just some thoughts...

Tom said...

Eharmony....is a waste of money.

ckhnat said...

precisely, amiel. my flatmate and i were discussing that very thing tonight. we appreciate the benefits that are offered within community. people who know you or know him. individuals who can vouch for the other. friends who love each the two people being set up and only want the best for them. ... etc.

CraigS said...

Yours is a cool set up story Amy - would be great if all relationships worked like that.

Sadly, the "set up" sometimes falls very painfully flat on its face...

ckhnat said...

as just happened with a close friend of mine. together, she and I have tried to brainstorm how any of this could have happened. I was not the one who set them up, but I was just as deceived and disappointed as the two friends that thought that she and the elligible young man would be a perfect match.

CraigS said...

Youch...

mike said...

ckhnat

I don't think that it's desperate or cowardly. While it's not something I'm personally comfortable with I don't think there are any good reasons why (if done with the right motives etc) it can't be totally fine.

I add a small caveat. It's down to the individual and how they present themselves in an honest an open way online. In other words making sure that their online persona is aligned with their face to face one. As an example I've seen too many toothless tigers. Really in-your-face rude online, but then wouldn't dare say stuff like that to your face.

In our technologically advanced society and increasingly online "global village" I see online dating and the like gradually becoming more socially acceptable. For example at the moment I have friends who think I'm a "nerd" just because I have a blog. I see their attitude changing.

G. F. McDowell said...

Okay, okay, I was being somewhat diplomatic. I'll admit that I did their free "personality profile". Describing myself as a Calvinist was apparently not well received. No matches were found for me. eHarmony didn't get a plumb cent from me. I wasn't earlier trying to allude to a sense of desperation so much as the fact that both people involved want the match to work, and both have been shielded from unfavorable information. More than one happily married couple I've spoken to has perversely said it is a good thing they didn't know all of each others' faults on their wedding day; otherwise they may not have married. In my fraternity days, I watched a frat brother marry a woman who did not have a single redeeming quality. I am determined not to fall into that trap. How can I allow reason to win out over desperation and hormones (NOW I've said it!)? That is one area where the Church really can come in handy. When I have a good mentoring relationship with a godly older man, and my life is open to mature christian mens' instruction, the people who love me will do what I was too cowardly to do for my fraternity brother back in the day; intervene if necessary.

Debbie Maken, the manhater singleness author, used an Indian matchmaker after a while and finally found her husband online. I don't really know what that has to do with the rest of my comment, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Catherine said...

I don't know if I think eHarmony is a really great idea, but my very own mother suggested such a thing to me just two days ago. Evidently, she thinks I need it.

I wish I was kidding. (Actually, I wish that SHE had been kidding...)

Priscilla said...

"global village"...maybe they'll come up with on-line marriages next.

Bearbrass said...

Rather than betraying a lack of trust, using eHarmony probably displays incredible trust in God, if you believe he can use as frail a medium as the internet to help you meet a suitable partner!

More seriously, Bearbrass thinks there are two major practical problems with any online dating system like eHarmony, no matter how well run they are or pure the intentions of the participants are.

1) Internet interaction is not normal interaction. In bearbrass's experience, the quickest and most sure way to distort a relationship is to put it online. Online, even the most genuine and well meaning of people will behave and communicate differently. Online we are disinhibited, we say things we would never say face to face, and we say them flippantly. Even more importantly, all online communication is verbal. Yet when you meet the person, your communication will mostly be nonverbal, and you will have all your normal inhibitions. You might be able to overcome these barriers, but this will take time and effort, and I doubt the success rate would be very high.

2) What we look for in a mate is more qualitative than quantitative. Even if we are honest, and give the most detailed information to a service like eHarmony, it will still mostly be quantitative data, such as my height, my age, my educational institution, my degree, my profession, etc. etc. But the thing which I am attracted to in a female might be the way she smiles, or the way she does out of her way to make strangers feel welcome in social situations, or the way she can destroy a fallacious argument with a laugh and a witty comment. A girl with such qualities might be so attractive to me that it doesn't matter what denomination she is, where she lives, or what she does, I will be willing to do anything for her. But how the heck is a computer able to tell that about me, and find a girl like that for me?

Los Federales said...

You couldn't come to the jungles of the East poppin that game.
You won't survive get live catchin wreck is our thing.
Inhale the putrified aroma.
Breathe too deep and you'll wind up coma-
tose the king i'm hard like a fifth of vodka.
And bring your clique cuz i'm a hard rock knocka.

Anita said...

Theoretically, I don't have an objection to meeting a potential partener by proxy. You heaqr stories of mail-order brides in the Old West whose mairrages worked out--but in my own case, I would prefer not to enter into a relationship of as serious a depth as marraige through an internet match-maker.

Why? Is this because I the internet? No! Is this because I think meeting someone through a system that will find you another person with similar beliefs and interests is stupid or faithless? Is it because I think God cannot use the internet in a person's life? Absolutely and definately NOT! In fact, I have met people through the i-net who have been great influences for good in my life with their encouragement, their advice, their prayers and occasionally a well-placed laugh-bringer at a down moment.
Then why do I object to this system?
It is because, no matter how much I may want to believe in the truthfulness of those around me, their is always that lurking and very real possibility that some of these people are stalkers. In a world that allows for a cyber-village, there are cyber-criminals--people who will fake out a certain taste, appearance, personality etcetera on purpose to attract good-looking people of the other gender and do them harm. And I am not willing to mess with the possibility that, in this dishonest age, I could get matched to someone of this kind in a deeply emotional way.

I can take friendships online. I enjoy those, in fact--and there is a guy-freidn online who I have confirmation on through an offline source who I hope to meet and have a good conversation with face-to-face sometime this summer, if both our schedules allow. But I either have too much caution, or not enough foolhardiness, to go seek out a marraige partner point-blank through this medium.
-Anita

keeks62 said...

If I were single, I think I'd try it out. Why is it different than a friend fixing you up with someone, or a "chance" meeting any other way? I would definitely proceed with caution and take a lot of time to get to know the person. I'd feel safer having someone that knows the person give them a good recommendation. That's lost through the internet.

sajini said...

I think Arranged marriage is the way!! JUST KIDDING!!!!!!

ckhnat said...

I agree, Sajini.

I asked my parents to arrange my marriage, but they said no ...

sajini said...

Wow, my parents would be jumping for joy if i ever asked them to do that.

ckhnat said...

supposedly i have more prospects to choose from here than they have there ... "don't worry, sweetie. we trust your judgment."

i'm not worried about it though. the guys here are harmless. no one bothers me (much). if things keep going the way they are ... I'll be in Australia, January 2008 climbing into a small plane ready to go into the rural communities sharing the Gospel with and ministering to women along the way.

hmm ... or is that just me dreaming?

Being single allows for much flexibility ... why waste it?

mike said...

rofl asking your parents to marry you off.