Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Earning" Love

I read today that 54-year-old Alec Baldwin is engaged to a 28-year-old woman. I've seen pictures of her on the internet and with my corrected eyesight I subjectively rate her a 10. How did a mid-century man catch a quarter-century woman?

When in my twenties I came upon the book, How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You by Leil Lowndes. (Fair warning: in her book she qualifies that absolute title.) It isn't a "Christian" book and some content prevents me from endorsing it. However, it opened my eyes.

Yes, Hollywood movies lie to us. So do fairy tales.

In her book Lowndes explains her equity horse trading principle when it comes to couples pairing up. Each person comes to the table with a set of assets, either tangible or intangible. For example, tangible assets can be money (inherited or earned), property, possessions, stocks and bonds, university degrees and powerful jobs. Intangible assets can be beauty/handsomeness, youth, common religious/ethical beliefs, native intelligence and personality.

Basically, the equity horse trading principle explains that people match up because both potential partners have consciously (or unconsciously) sized each other up and determined they are getting a good deal. Their assets, tangible and intangible, balance out.

Humanity does this every day. I don't know Alec Baldwin and his fiancee and I can't speak about their situation so instead I'll make a general statement: can you imagine a beautiful 28-year-old go for some "regular" 54-year-old John Q. Public?

Why do men want beautiful women?
Why do men want slender women?
Why do men want younger women?
(That's pretty much all many men ask for. Yeah, they're pretty shallow.)

Why do women want tall men (i.e. taller than they are)?
Why do women want financially secure/stable men?
Why do women want attractive men?
Why do women want physically fit men?
Why do women want younger men?
(& Etc. Women typically have more requirements.)

It's the equity horse trading principle at work. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble but this applies in the Christian dating world just as strongly as the secular world. Loving Jesus is a prerequisite for many believing singles but it isn't the only prerequisite. A person may be the Apostle Paul or Mother Teresa but that isn't gonna get 'em anywhere with most of the opposite sex if that's all they have going for them. Trust me on this.

How many times do you see an obvious couple in public and were astounded at how dissimilar they looked together? Probably not often. Maybe he is rich.

Is this depressing? Yes, it is, but it's the way it is. However, do we have to "earn" love from God, too? Thank God, no.
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 ESV)
While we were ugly and bankrupt with sin with nothing to bring to the table God loved us. God never sized us up and said, "I'll pass; there are plenty of fish in the sea." No, all of the fish of the sea were ugly and spiritually bankrupt but God said, "I choose them." Praise God!