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.