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Ask any committed Asian American female Christian what she’s looking for in a potential husband, chances are she’ll say something like: he’s got to be a Christian.  And I don’t mean just any kind of Christian.  He’s gotta be the real deal, have Christ really be the center of his life.  His spirituality has got to be his core, not just window dressing . . . etc. etc.

 

To which I say: baloney.  Truth is, while AA Christian women may want a guy who’s got all the accoutrements of religion, they don’t really want a guy who’s all-out for God.  Specifically, Christian women are scared off by SMIMs – Single Men in Ministry.

 

I used to be quite the catch.  When I was working in corporate America, when I was raking in the mullahs, when I attended bible studies after work still decked out in my suit and tie, I drew quite the crowd.  Oh, the looks I got.  Oh the sanctified flirtations thrown by my way.  Church retreats were bliss for me – a hundred different ways I would receive attention, a little look there, a little smile here.  Some were more blatant than others.  She wanted to pray with me, she said.  Just the two of us.  Walking around the lake.  After lights out.  Then there was the carpooling.  All kinds of sanctimonious shenanigans and tomfooleries committed in order to ride with me.  I was a super-star.

 

And then I felt the call to ministry.  And then I attended seminary.  And then, quite suddenly, I was driving to retreats alone (or with a couple of deadbeat church guys).  Nobody wanted to pray alone with me anymore, forget about walking around lakes at night.  Suddenly, I was getting almost no attention at all.  Overnight, I’d turned from sensation to invisible.  What happened?  Was I getting a receding hairline?  Was I getting a potbelly?

 

I was getting an M.Div.  That’s what happened.  Nothing will deflate a guy’s stock faster than entering ministry.

 

I’m not bitter at my loss of popularity.  I’m not resentful that my voicemail and email volume has markedly decreased.  I’m not offended that I somehow went from Prince William to William Hung.  Truth is, I kind of expected it.

 

But I bristle when Christian women denounce single Christian men as being shallow and superficial because men supposedly just go for looks.  Hey, sistas, you’re just as superficial – looks may not do it for you, but your heart moves to the $.  So, please, take out the plank first before you judge.

 

And I also bristle whenever I hear the he’s got to be the real-deal Christian spiel.  Because you don’t really want the real deal, the SMIMs do you?  It’s party-speak, the kind of opinion which will earn you a certain cache as a spiritual woman.  But be honest now: all else being equal, who is more attractive to you:

 

Jerry Yang (assuming he’s a Christian) or Tom Hsieh (assuming he’s a “better” Christian)?

 

(p.s. in case you were wondering, that’s not me in the photo above.  I’m much better looking.)

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8 Comments

  1. Give us a little more credit.

    Thanks,
    Judgmental and Money-seeking but Being Progressively Sanctified Sista

  2. Word. Shoot, most of the sisters I know are God-loving and radical! The sister who commented before me, her I am not sure of but the ones I know definitely are!

  3. I am a brother and the sisters I know are God-loving and radical, unlike the “sistas” you mentioned in your article. Give them more credit and let’s not forgot how judgmental we are. Maybe we need to take out the plank in our eye before we try to take the speck out of theirs. Men are one of the reasons why girls are so insecure about physical image…The “sista” who responded before me, she needs prayer.

  4. I don’t think it’s just the $$ most women are looking for, but rather the comfort & protection that we crave from any man. From personal experience, I know of a plethora of women who dig men in ministry — usually, these are women who share similar callings and who are probably better suited for said single men.

  5. Cuttingtruth – There’s a lot of baggage that comes from the superficial Christianity we’ve come to know about in Asian American churches. I grew up in one. Have you met sisters who would die for Jesus? I have. Your knowledge about this is as wide as the circle of people you focus on and the experiences you have. What are the values of these girls who were all over you anyways? Are they committed to looking for a godly man? Probably not. They were attracted to you initially but what do they think of you after getting to know you better, I don’t know.
    If they were attracted to you for your image, why would you continue to want that?

    Even sisters who say they want a man with a heart for Jesus may also wants good looks or other superficial qualities to go with that heart. There’s nothing wrong with that. We weigh all qualities. If you dig, we’ll reveal that looks or money are important too. They may not be #1 but maybe further down the list of priorities. It’s a delicate balance of what we look for. But you’re right, check our who we choose and that should reveal what our hearts desire (if we’re not settling).

    The godly sisters who are looking for godly men are not winking at you or make moves on you. They have a quieter spirit who are praying about their mate and getting to know their brothers.

  6. Hrmmmm…This explains a lot.

  7. Don’t blame the ministry… It’s your attitude on the web! I’ve just read a bunch of your blog entries and comments on other people’s sites and it just SOUNDS LIKE you are synical, defensive, self-obsorbed and arrogant. I’m sure you have many great charactors also and really want to be a good person, but by your writings, you are shetting a terrible light on yourself. You might have an urge to bring to awareness the “other point of view” on many of the subjects that faces the Chrisian community, but because you approach them from such negative angle all the time, after a while, people just don’t take your words seriously anymore. People just write you off as a jerk. I’m sure you have much to contribute. But there are better ways to phrase your ideas.

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