Monday, March 25, 2013

"If I Ran the Zoo"

With all due apologies to Dr. Suess and the seriousness of the subject at hand, I just couldn't resist using that title.

Let me explain. A little over a month ago Shari Zook wrote a very short post entitled "PS". (look it up at  She stated that very few single ladies are single by choice and just wanted the men who happened to be reading to pass this on to their "compadres".

This prompted quite a few comments (mine included). I commented that I have some single guy friends who aren't necessarily single by choice either.  At the end of my comments I mentioned that I was having a brainstorm. How many single lady friends does she have, I asked. I've got three guys on my end, I said. Maybe we would be of some use in an "Abraham's servant" role here somewhere.

She commented back that I had a great idea. She has twenty-six, she said. She said she sees I will have to find some more men. She said she would supply the camels.

Which I have to admit was a very funny comeback. I laughed sitting at my computer for a long time. But really, I wasn't just joking. (read also her next post entitled "I Speak For the Trees", in which she spoke to the ladies; this generated lots of comments as well)

I have a few opinions of my own on the subject and since there is no one here to stop me I might just feel free to give them!

Let's get a few fundamentals down first:
1. Marriage is an exceedingly serious thing, so the contemplating thereof should not be taken lightly.
2. Marriage is not for everyone. A single person should NEVER be made to feel second-rate.
3. The falling-head-over-heels-in-love-with-your-soul-mate is overly hyped and over rated.

If you are a single person you may have a grandma or a biddy-hen aunt that feels its one of her highest duties to pester you about this subject. I think we would all agree that this usually isn't all that  helpful.

What about teasing? If done, it should be done VERY carefully. Looking back on my experience, (as a frightfully shy and slow to grow up skinny kid) if I was teased by my close friends who I knew loved and cared for me, it actually made me feel better about myself. That maybe I was worth teasing; like there was some room for possibilities in this area for me. But any teasing that comes from outside this close circle of friends is liable to be hurtful and crushing.

Know this couple? They met in a nursing home in 1976
And I've heard disparaging comments on how some couples meet. It seems like the "ideal" scenario is if you fall in love straight out of high school or the youth group. If that doesn't happen then maybe you should consider going to one of the Bible Schools. And if that doesn't work and you are getting older and desperate, you may want to consider going to SMBI, otherwise know as the "Shoe Factory". As in bringing the young people in, mending their souls first and then sending them out in pairs. And further down the line would be voluntary service, etc. etc.

That whole mentality really stinks in my book. I'd be willing to venture the relationships that begin at SMBI on the whole are quite a bit more stable than the "falling in love in high school"ones.

Do you need to wait until some romantic bombshell explodes in your consiousness before you move ahead in this area?? I say you better give it some thought beforehand, while you are still in your right mind.

What would be  wrong with a young single person (or not so young) making a simple, rational decision. That they would like to find a life's companion. (Ok Shari, I'll have to admit that in our culture the guys have the advantage here)

Now let's take it a step further. What would be wrong with second parties being a help in introducing singles who may not know each other at all? I know this does happen on occasion. But what if something was actually formally organized with this intent?

It could be called "The Eliezer Connection". It would work this way. Say I have a single friend that would like to be married. I also have connections with someone else who has some single friends of the opposite gender.

For example, I would say to my "connection friend" that I have a sincere, quiet, hard working young man and go on to give his character strengths (and maybe if there are any weaknesses, hey, we've all got them) and his interests. My "connection friend" would look over the possibilities among his aquiantances and we would get our heads together to see if we have a potential match. Up to this point the singles themselves would have zero involvement except to agree to allow "The Eliezer Connection" to do some homework.

At this point the Eliezer volunteers would go to the singles with a suggestion that they learn to know
 each other. And from this point they are on their own, realizing that the Eliezer people don't necessarily know the mind of God and that they are responsible to find this out for themselves.

Not romantic enough?? I have no idea what the ladies will say about this. I have this nagging vision of them tarring and feathering me and running me out to the edge of cyberspace somewhere.

Until then "The Eliezer Connection" is open for business!


  1. Would love to hear your thoughts on arranged marriages. We tend to frown on them and say that is outdated. But, they seem to work... At least the ones I have seen, which isn't many. But... I say you have a valid point... I have done this in the past, not to this scale, but tried to put certain people together to see if the sparks fly/flew. None ever did that know of...

  2. I have three unmarried female friends who are not local. I'm volunteering to be your connectiin friend!!

  3. You may be on to something--I mean, about being forcibly relocated to the outskirts of cyberspace. I would have great fun performing this Eliezer service for others, but I can't imagine allowing it to be performed for me by a disinterested third party. Perhaps matchmaking is like teasing--best kept within the closest circles, eh? In short, yes: Better book your reservations for the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. :)

  4. I think it's something to be considered, prayerfully and carefully. . . big emphasis on prayerfully.

    I know of one couple who was kind of 'egged on' to each other by others. Neither thought that they had a chance of a partner, and so they did get together, date, and finally marry. My impression always has been that it wasn't that happy of a marriage--I could be wrong--but that is my impression. Maybe they would have done better to not have "help"??

    Dunno. But there definitely should be some method of exposing single adults to each other in "plain" circles that is better than what we have currently, in my opinion.

    1. Hope Anne,
      I certainly agree with the prayerfully and carefully. I'm thinking of the attitude of Abraham's servant here. And as far as couples being "egged on" by others; that has a light and frivolous sound to me. (I'm trying to imagine Abraham's servant trying to "egg" Rebecca onto Isaac) Doesn't seem to fit that situation in my opinion. I think I was trying to suggest something with a good deal more depth also. And even if I'm in left field, it makes for good discussion!

  5. And I don't think you are in left field at all ....

  6. Well, this is where my website idea from my high-school days could come into play: It was called (and apparently someone else had the same idea if you go here).

  7. So Merl it's been about a year since this was written. I'm wondering at your success rate?