By Dr. Harold Sala
Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are. Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned… 1 Corinthians 7:226-28
Some folks–both men and women–have hearts coated with Teflon, or an emotional substance of some kind which absolutely keeps them from bonding with anybody. They are nice people, too–women who are attractive with good personalities, and guys who are steady as a rock, with good jobs, clean-cut and–frankly, with the potential of making a pretty good husband. Honestly they would like to leave the ranks of singles and occasionally have social contact with members of the opposite sex, but most of the time they sit home, their phones so silent they can hear the creaking of the earth on its axis.
Whats wrong? What coats the heart with Teflon and keeps it from bonding with someone? There are a variety of reasons, but try some of these for size should you be in that growing army of singles the world over.
First there is the “Silent Cindy” complex or the “Bashful Bill” problem. For whatever reason, communication with a member of the opposite sex is difficult, almost impossible. Talk to a friend, and these candidates for a life of single solitude can talk until they have calluses on vocal cords and wind erosion on their teeth, but talk to a member of the opposite sex and they get laryngitis. How do you overcome this malady? Get people to talk about themselves. Hey, once you’ve learned that the favorite topic of conversation for most people is talking about #1, you never run out of things to say. “Tell me about yourself. What do you do for fun? What do you think about…?” You’re off and running.
Getting to know someone, really know that person, takes time and the willingness to be vulnerable–to be yourself, neither more nor less, and to let others see inside, sharing your feelings, your thoughts, and your ideas which are worth listening to.
Then there is the normal person whose blood pressure skyrockets when he has a social encounter with a possibility, and you would swear that this individual had been vaccinated with an old-fashioned phonograph needle. They talk non-stop. They go on and on, and after a while, their companion wants to go to the bathroom and crawl out a window and go home.
Another turn-off which coats the heart with Teflon is the “got-an-opinion-about everything” group who have the whole world figured out. It’s the Mr. Right who turns out to be Mr. Always Right. He’s often left alone. “I know that so-and-so is intelligent,” one young woman told me, “but it’s just that he has an opinion about everything.” This includes intolerance, prejudices, and strong likes and dislikes.
People who are very much in love with themselves, who fix their attention on their hair, their nails, their makeup, or their car and their looks tend to push others away who can’t stand the pretense and tinsel.
A closing thought: Never to be included in the “turn-off” list are the following: integrity, too-high-moral standards, commitment, respect, compassion, communication, thoughtfulness, kindness, and concern.
Yes, I know that well educated women seem to intimidate some men, but the answer is not “dumbing-down” to the level of mediocrity but to await God’s timing in your life. The bottom line is that it is far better to be in the will of God and single than married and out of the will of God. Be yourself and the Teflon coating will disappear, removed by the warmth of love, genuineness, and sincerity.
Recently a friend told me, “I read your book on singles three times and what helped me more than anything else was your saying that marriage doesn’t complete anybody. I’m complete right now and joyfully single.” Right.
Resource reading: 1 Corinthians 7: 25-35.