On Dating, Neediness, and Congregational Transformation
Lesson #1: How to get a date without being Brad Pitt
Do you remember that kid in high school, the one who wasn’t that good looking, who wasn’t that athletic, who didn’t have a great car, but who always seemed to have a date? Remember that kid? I’d like to say that I hated that kid, but I didn’t.
I liked him myself. He was fun to be around. The reason that kid had so many dates was because he (she, if you happen to remember her—I just happen to rememberhim) wasn’t worried about any of the stuff every other high school kid worries about. Ok. He wasn’t overly worried about any of that stuff. He was comfortable in his own skin.
That guy cared about his own appearance, but he’d made peace with what God gave him. He wasn’t always walking around, looking in the mirror, asking everybody, “Do I look ok?”
“Can you see that zit on my chin? Is it really noticeable?”
“Does my breath stink?”
Adolescence, almost by definition, is that time in life characterized by insecurity, self-consciousness, a constant pursuit of affirmation. To be an adolescent is to be, in a word . . . needy.
And anyone who seems not to be needy stands out. It’s hard not to be attracted to people like that because you quickly get the impression that they don’t need you to give them a sense of identity. That’s a huge burden off your back. Life is tough enough without being surrounded by people who constantly want you to cut their steak. My five year-old needs that.