“You’re lucky you got to know this stuff before having a boyfriend.”
I have wanted to write about this for a while now. More specifically, since that time when my dgroup planned and hosted a “Love Courtship and Marriage” dinner talk for singles. We prepared for over a month, and part of our prep included watching Andy Stanley’s video series: “The New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating”.
I love that series. Seriously. Andy is super hyper and engaging and so darn convincing, and his message very timely too. Very unforgettable. But not as unforgettable as the discussions we had following every message, nor what my dgroupmates told me after going through the entire series, which could basically be summed up into: “You’re lucky you got to know this stuff before having a boyfriend.”
Lucky Me! (So they say)
See, in a dgroup technically formed for singles, I was the only actual single member. As in unattached, not-in-an-exclusive-relationship, single member.
“You’re so lucky, Sarah.” So I am, I guess. The thing is, after hearing that, I couldn’t help but echo what Andy Stanley kept wondering in his messages: “Didn’t anybody tell them these things? Didn’t anybody ever set an example for them?”
And just as Andy arrived at the conclusion that “No, no one probably told them”, so did I arrive at the (for me, rather amazing) conclusion that perhaps, no one did actually tell them. No one actually set an example for them. No one guided them, told them the truth, warned them.
“So lucky, Sarah. You get to get it right when you finally get into a relationship,” is what they told me. And I thought to myself, yes, how lucky I am. But not just because I heard these messages by Andy. In fact, that was not the first time I’ve heard of these messages.
They Were that “Ate” to Me
I am so fortunate because I had older, mature people – single and married – who set examples for me. It’s a beautiful thing about our culture, I believe, that gives the older person the responsibility to set an example for the younger, for the panganay, the ate and the kuya to be models to the younger.
I had and have ates who showed me that a woman could be single, happy, dreamy and fulfilled. Ates whose identities are complete and full, even without a man.
Who waited and yes, had their dreams of marital felicity come true.
Who waited, and did not end up married, but still are fulfilled and happy beyond measure (and shows it!).
Who made mistakes, and owned up to their mistakes, finding their identity and meaning in the One.
And I had and have kuyas who showed and continue to show me that godly, wisdom-filled, faithful, gentlemanly, disciplined men do exist. (I was genuinely shocked when my dgroupmates told me emphatically that they had never met true, godly, gentlemen).
It tells a lot about our culture when we have all these messed up relationships and messed up people and no one warns the others. Or they do warn them, but in a poor, unconvincing, judgmental, myopic manner.
So to all of you who waited, thank you. To all the ates and kuyas who told me and who showed me, I am grateful. You inspire me, compel, remind and warn me to be that kind of “ate” too.
To all of you who are waiting
And of course, to all of you sisters and brothers who are in the process of waiting, I extend my (virtual) hand to you in solidarity and encouragement.
You have dreams, I know. Wishes and prayers seemingly endless, at times seemingly impossible. You are not alone.
Thank you for choosing this road. The world is in need of people who can show them that there is an alternative to what the world has to offer.
Again, thank you. 🙂