The world teaches that only one thing matters in dating — physical attraction. We LDS singles like to think of ourselves as being impervious to worldly influences, but the truth is a far cry from that fantasy.
What are we really trying to accomplish by engaging (pun intended) the dating process? If you know a higher purpose in dating than to create righteous families, I’m all ears. But seeing that the family is central to God’s plan, I don’t know how you can seek to live all the gospel of Jesus Christ without seeking to create your own righteous family.
Words just say but actions shout
It’s great to say “I believe” with words. It’s better to say “I believe” with actions. Many of our dating actions say we value fulfilling selfish desires or placating our own personal egos more than creating righteous families.
Some of you may not want to hear that, but I warned you when I published my philosophy that I would call it like I see it.
If we’re truly honest, we must admit that many of our dating choices aren’t really about creating righteous families. When we decide that other people are not worth befriending or even talking to because they don’t turn our hormonal engines on, our focus is clearly centered elsewhere. Same goes when we decide that the size of someone’s wallet should determine whether or not we get to know that person better.
Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.
As far as a list of qualities to seek in a companion, I think that says it all. Note that physical attraction is not on that list. Nor is a fat wallet. I’m not saying don’t consider those things. I’m saying give more weight to what matters more. Modern-day prophets have helped us know what matters more.
We should be looking for role models rather than supermodels.
That means two things: First, you should be a role model yourself. And second, you need to give others more of a chance.
Be a role model yourself
We all tend to attract to us the type of people we are deep inside. For example, drug addicts tend to have other drug addicts for friends. The list goes on and on. So if you want to have a role model in your life, you need to strive to be one yourself. That way your chances of attracting a role model will increase.
Give others more of a chance
CAUTION: As you strive to become more of a role model yourself, you will inevitably trip and fall flat on your face over and over again. Welcome to the human condition.
Guess what? Your companion is probably having a similar experience. You won’t likely see that just by observing outside appearances. The qualities referenced earlier in the Proclamation on the Family aren’t very discernible on the outside.
That means we all need to give others more of a chance.
Direction is more important than position. So our actions should give it greater weight. Yet too often our actions give greater weight to position. They say, “If you aren’t perfect enough right now, then you never will be.”
By filtering too soon in the process we discount many candidates who would make an excellent companion. We really are our own worst obstacle when we turn away others before we really know what we’re refusing.
Your focus determines your reality
Your focus determines your reality, so if you focus on feeding your own fantasies and unrealistic expectations of a marriage companion, your reality will lack significance and be filled with endless frustration, whether or not you attain your desires for marriage.
However, if you focus on being the best role model you can be, then your reality will be filled with other role models. And while like the Savior they may not appear to be desirable, one of those role models may be just what you're really looking for.
It’s high time we say with our actions and not just with words that we value role models over supermodels.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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