Let me share one of my favorite untrue stories. A priest had two parrots. The parrots were also very devout. They prayed the rosary every day. The priest had an aunt who also had a parrot. But this parrot used to say only one thing: “Hi, my name’s Suzy, and I’m a swinger.” The priest told his aunt about his own parrots, who said the rosary all the time. He told her to bring her parrot to the rectory and his parrots would teach her parrot to say the rosary. The aunt agreed, and when she carried her parrot into the priest’s living room, sure enough, there were the priest’s parrots saying the rosary together. Her parrot immediately blurted out: “Hi, my name’s Suzy, and I’m a swinger.” At that point, one of the pastor’s parrots turned to the other and said, “O.K., Charlie, we can throw away the beads, our prayers have been answered!”
Newsweek (March 18, 1991) carried an article about dating. No one will ever really know what makes one person fall for another. What they found was that 32% met their “main squeeze”(1991 language) through friends or relatives; 5% met at church and only 1% met through a dating service. Twenty five years later, dating services are really growing.
The poll also found what some of the things were that attracted the couple to each other. Although 46% reported that personality was what first attracted them to their sweethearts, 33% said looks counted too. 20% of the female respondents thought their main squeeze looked like Tom Selleck (in 1990), and 21% of the males thought their sweethearts looked like Sally Field (in 1990 even though she still doesn’t look bad). For 70% it was not love at first sight. The love at first sight surprised me!
A dad said to his daughter’s boy friend, “The man who marries my daughter will get a prize.” “Okay,” said the boy, “but let me see the prize first.” “Marriage is not finding the person with whom you can live, but finding that person with whom you cannot live without.” I remember something Mal Elliott said to me one time when he was in the hospital towards the end of his life. Fran (his wife) had told me how they met and I said to Mal, “Why did you ask her to marry you?” He said, “I decided I couldn’t live without her.”
Samson was a great man, but Samson had one problem, women! Samson was a religious man and a good man – he lived a clean life. The problem was that he was always looking for that special person in the wrong places. Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. Timnah was in the heart of Philistine country. The Philistines worshiped the god Dagon. A half fish and half man image. When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.”
His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? In other words, “isn’t there someone of your own heritage and faith? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.”
An old puritan once wrote, “If you marry a child of the devil, you can expect to have trouble with your father-in-law.” Then he (Samson) went down and talked with the woman, and he liked her. There is a big difference between like and love. Like doesn’t make a marriage. Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to look at the lion’s carcass. In it was a swarm of bees and some honey, which he scooped out with his hands and ate as he went along. And Samson made a feast there, as was customary for bridegrooms. When he appeared, he was given thirty companions. “If you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have solved my riddle.” Samson’s wife was given to the friend who had attended him at his wedding.
An attractive young woman whose career necessitated a good deal of traveling was asked if she was ever bothered by uninvited male attention. She answered, “Never, I just say four words and immediately I am left alone.” “What are the four words?” She said, “I simply ask, ‘Are you a Christian?'” Why date someone that doesn’t share your faith, your values and have some of the desires in life that are important to you?
(Genesis 24:2-4) He said to the chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.” Abraham knows the importance of marrying someone who believes as you do. And the marriage lasted.
Paul writes (2 Corinthians 6:14) Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
Bottom line? Never date anyone who you know you would never marry.