It is a little known fact* that the ‘e’ in ‘eHarmony’ stands for ‘Edwards’. Jonathan Edwards, to the surprise of many, is a great companion for young women seeking a worthy life partner. He should be, of course. He had a slew of daughters himself (one named Jerusha, just like a ‘famed’ 21st century Bradenton pastor I know).
I have told my daughters that all men are liars. I exempt none. My particular sample here is, of course, men who are seeking a girl. They will so present themselves so as to be acceptable to the women they seek. In so doing, they will present themselves in ways that may be wildly tangent to reality. We will, as guys, shade and construct the truth in order to make ourselves acceptable. Guys just cannot be trusted.
You can argue with my cynicism if you like, but that is not the main point here.
A Christian women will want, or at least will express her intention to want, a Christian guy. If she is particularly attractive, and her standards become known, there will be a veritable revival in Christian profession among men occurring like a wake around her. Suddenly guys who have not seen the inside of a church in a decade are professing a dear acquaintance with Christianity.
Revivals, we all know, can have spurious ‘converts’. So, when a young lady is faced with a most certainly Christian young man, according to his own profession, how will she, and her father with her, determine the genuine nature, or hypocrisy, of his faith?
Exactly the question Jonathan Edwards sought out to answer in his treatise on the Religious Affections. Okay, maybe not with dating in mind. But the application works nonetheless.
So, as a community service, and to assist all the searching and eligible, but vulnerable young women out there, (and as the last entry in my posts on this book) I direct all to whom this applies to my posts (summarized here). If you don’t have the time, or the patience, for all of that (though telling some guys that you can’t come with him to the movies because you are reading Jonathan Edwards could have quite an alluring impact), I give this one simple assessment of the whole.
The clearest evidence of whether a guy is telling you the truth regarding his ‘profession’ of Christianity will be in his practice, not his words. The genuine guy will seek as a rule to conform his practice to Scripture, and this conformity will be the rule of his life over time. He will not simply be a ‘good man’ who is ‘good to me’. he will be a man whose desire it will be obey Jesus.
Such men are, sadly, rare. (And those that there are are also remarkably blind, overlooking a slew of good, godly, beautiful, available Christian girls. That is the subject for another day.)
So, ladies, look through the veneer of a supposed ‘profession’ of faith, which may be no more than a profession of desire. Listen closely to Mr. Edwards, and you will be in the end a much happier woman.
*because I just made it up.
6 thoughts on “Jonathan Edwards Dating Service”
The title intrigued me and drew me in so that I read the entire post.Good thoughts; look forward to what you have to say about men.
What an intriguing application of Edwards! As the mother of young men, even I must concur with your wisdom and experience regarding men. And (taking a bit of a rabbit trail) shouldn’t young people, who are considering lasting relationships, bring that other person around their family and their church body, and seek the advice of those wiser and more experienced than themselves? We have had a couple of experiences when women in our church started going with men whom I didn’t trust as far as I could spit them (and that wasn’t far!) In one case, the young woman listened to the advice of others, but in her desire to get married, she didn’t introduce her next beau, and then married him, and divorced him in a year. In the second case, the woman did not want opinions of anyone else, and married the man, and he left her within a year.I am not saying that fellowship and family can help us avoid every heart-break, but we ought to take serious advantage of the collective wisdom God has given us there! And it is the job of the young women (and men) to ask.
Very wise. And yet I just spoke yesterday with an amazing young man whose romantic interest sought to do all that and then her parents rejected the young man. I think you might be aware of similar such situations where godly young men are suspect for all the wrong reasons! Families and communities must not turn their wisdom into a weapon for micro-control.
Ah, yes. Taking God’s good gifts and using them as weapons against one another…and unless I exercise a great deal of restraint, I will be off on another rabbit trail…
Great Post, Randy.A lot of good insights. I must confess that I find myself guilty of the charges: both putting on the veneer to win a girl as well as being blind to the good around me. I mentioned a while back that I have given up reading Edwards, but I guess in this regard, though he’s dead, he still speaks to me.Tom
“. . .godly young men are suspect for all the wrong reasons! Families and communities must not turn their wisdom into a weapon for micro-control.”Isn’t it sad? And ugly? Unfortunately, I’ve seen that. . .
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