Eugene Cho

cute gals

It was intended to be a humorous post – a post you write because I had nothing better to share and everyone likes the occasional humor on their blog.  So, I shared “a joke” called “Cute Guys” couple days ago and well, it brought out some interesting comments, emails, and potential threats.

In all seriousness, what it conveyed to me is that we don’t talk enough about dating, courtship, marriage, sex, and healthy relationships.  Last year, I very much enjoyed teaching a six week series entitled, God’s Ethics of Intimacy, and attempted to cover those and other juicy topics.  Well, at least I enjoyed it.  I invested two Sundays on Dating & Courtship and you can listen to the sermons here:  Part I and Part II.   I’ll write another post tomorrow or early next week about Dating & Courtship – not because I’m an expert – but because these are questions I personally wrestled with in the past, and questions I wrestle with now as I seek to give godly and wise counsel to the people I seek to pastor, shepherd, and guide.

But let me say this about the Single Men at Quest since they’re under scrutiny for not taking initiative They are good guys with good hearts.  Only twice in the past seven years since Quest Church’s inception have I had to confront a dude [and eventually ask them to leave] for being an arse, deceiver, and manipulator.  They’re clearly not perfect [just like their pastor] but they are good men seeking to live their lives honorably – including in the area of dating and courtship.  If it was as simple as asking a woman out on a date…then, everybody would be dating everybody. 

Having a room full [or in this case, a church] full of cute guys and cute gals don’t automatically equate chemistry, connections, relationships, marriages, and Happy Ever After.  So, while we need to take initiative, I’d also put in a vote for the virtue of “patience.”  Good things are happening in our church community as evidenced by good friendships.  And good friendships will, at times, lead to good and healthy relationships. Let’s not Kiss Dating Goodbye but we should agree:  Kiss Reckless Dating Goodbye.

Thoughts? 

And as we do dialogue, I am sharing [with permission] an incredible entry shared a single woman at our church – on her blog, The Secret Life of Daydreams [umm, not so secret anymore].  I very much appreciated her vulnerability and courage.  It’s a good word – for both men and women. 

Pastor Eugene wrote a blog post this week on guys and dating at Quest. I have now officially been given the classification of “QSW”-Quest Single Woman. In this post, he relates a joke from a friend of mine at Quest about the lack of, shall we say, prospects at Quest. He also calls on the QSM (Quest Single Man) population to step up their game.

Now, I don’t think that all the cute guys at Quest are visitors, as the joke went. On the contrary, I think that there are plenty of cute QSMs. I find many of them attractive in myriad ways. As a matter of fact, there are very few guys at Quest that I wouldn’t date.

But I understand the sentiment behind the joke. In my two and a half years at Quest, I have NEVER been asked out. And just this past week I have had more than one conversation with other QSW friends who have expressed the same frustration, to the point where one friend called the situation “hopeless”.

Somehow I think in our determination to not be like the church across the bridge, we have missed the truth that it is perfectly reasonable to date people at church as long as we do it with honesty, integrity, and character. No, church should not be a meet market, but where better to find people that share your values then at the church you call home?

There has been quite the discussion on PE’s post. I would like to answer a couple of comments, if I may. One guy asked about girls initiating, asking guys out instead of expecting the guys to do all the work. While I can understand that question, allow me to share my personal feelings on this.

There are times I have come close to asking a guy out. I have liked guys and known that they were oblivious and thought that perhaps, if I made a move, they would see the light and we would go from there. I mean, I would make a kickass girlfriend. Seriously, I don’t say that lightly. I have my issues, my faults and my baggage, but I also seek honesty and openness in relationship, and I love to have fun. I know that we are all broken people but we can find beauty in accepting each other as we are and finding the unique ways that God has created us.

But I’ve also been told that I am intimidating, and that this is why guys don’t ask me out. I don’t really know why I am intimidating-I am not the most beautiful, or the most intelligent, or the most accomplished girl at Quest. Perhaps it is because I lead things-C group, ministry, worship. Perhaps it is because I am…well…not petite. But I would really really really love it if a guy would want me enough to get over my intimidation factor and pursue me. That’s my own personal relationship need. Otherwise, I guess I would always feel that I had to convince the guy, or perhaps intimidate him, into liking me. I don’t want that. I want to be wanted.

I’m not saying every girl is like that, although a lot of girls I talk to do desire to be pursued. Perhaps it is just how we are wired. But there are other girls I know at Quest that would be willing to ask a guy out, if they thought that he was actually interested in dating someone.

Another issue I see is that we all have some skewed view of what we want, who the perfect person is for us. We imagine a certain look, a certain personality, whatever it may be. And when we meet someone new, we compare them to our supposed ideal or “perfect match” and when they don’t measure up to the fantasy, we write them off. But I once met a guy who seemed to be the exact “ideal guy” I had imagined in college. And you know what? He was completely wrong for me. I’ve since learned to be more open to possibilities, open to take a chance on someone I might not have considered before, but who could turn out to be an amazing friend and/or partner in life.

But so far, no one has wanted to take that chance on me.

So to all the QSMs, this QSW (and most of my friends) would give you a chance, if you would take a chance on us. I can’t guarantee it will work out, and maybe at times it will be hard or awkward. But I hope you would find us worth the risk.

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48 Responses

  1. Just about every Asian American Christian guy just breathed a heavy sigh of relief. Because your blog here almost exposed them, almost exposed their flaccid, limp temperament when it comes to dating. For they confuse fear with patience; their “christian meekness” is nothing more than timidity disguised. But your blog, instead of outing them, gave them a way out. By characterizing them as “good guys with good hearts” you rescued them in the very last second from being seen as they really are: spineless dudes, unwilling to put their neck (and reputation and fragile ego and …) on the dating line.

    Psst. “good guys with good hearts” = “safe guys with boring personalities.” That’s how most women read it, that’s what most sistas say to each other in confidence. But i understand. you’re a pastor, so you have to spin things in nice, encouraging ways. But as an anonymous christian brother-sister-lay-pastor-nobody, let me just say that the call should not be one of further patience (really, how do you tell a turtle to slow down), but should be a call to arms. To get a move on, to be a little red-blooded, purposeful, deliberate, manly about saying: something about you intrigues me, would you like to have dinner with me for conversation and a chance to better get to know one another?

    Really, what’s wrong with that?
    Let’s kiss gutless-pathetic-tentative-limp dating goodbye.

    http://weblog.xanga.com/thecuttingtruth/555289752/the-impotent-asian-american-church.html

  2. Randall says:

    In the comments section of the “cute guys” post, Rachel responded to a question I posed:

    “Randall, you asked why, with all of the progress women have made in society, are men still expected to initiate. My honest opinion is this: I believe that women in general are beginning to realize how much the women’s movement messed up the biological and God-given roles of men and women and are ready for women to be women and men to be men again.”

    And I think she’s right. I can’t think of any specific examples right now but growing up in the 80’s, I received a lot of messages through movies and television about how men were all misogynist pigs, about how clueless we are about women’s needs, about how maybe the world is so screwed up today because men have been in charge all this time and so maybe it’s time to let women take the lead.

    This takes a toll on a guy’s psyche and I can’t help but wonder if there’s a generation of men out there who’ve grown up with a very damaged view of manhood – men who don’t know what it is to “be a man” because all the old, familiar images of manhood were critiqued and ridiculed into oblivion. I mean, who can we point to today as an example of how a man should behave?

    I have lots more I want to say but I need to shower and get to work.

    On a completely different and unrelated note…it feels great to be writing again.

  3. DK says:

    I have to ask: is cuttingtruth one of the guys you had to confront and ask to leave? He sounds bitter. 🙂

  4. "Jane" says:

    Cutting Truth,
    Too funny but I checked out your Xanga and have to ask the question: I assumed you’re single, Asian, and in your 30s. Were you describing yourself?

  5. me says:

    cuttingtruth,

    nothing wrong with that all as long as you find that person interesting, “attractive,” intriguing, and [insert word] here. in that case, i would agree with your assessment that a dude is wimpy for not taking any action. but if you’re “courting” for the game, that would be reckless. if you’re datingn for the sake of dating, you’ll be labeled a “player” and no guy or gal wants to be labeled a player – thus explaining the awkwardness of social interaction in a public sphere. but if there’s interest and intrigue, i agree that we can take things too seriously as if one date = intent to marriage.

    and by the way, i wish we had more asian men at quest. it’s pretty diverse.

    DK: as far as i know…no.

  6. Alan Klug says:

    Having gone out with a few QSW over the past four years (including one that PE set me up with on a blind date), and also having relegated a QSW to a QMW, I can assure people that dating at Quest does happen. Heck, Lindsey and Nurbek met at my house during a Life Together party. That’s great you say, you can list one couple.

    I will say this: Four years ago, the women at my college Christian community got fed up, and “called out” the guys as being lame. The guys all had a common reaction, “wtf?” It didn’t help at all. And now, just three to four years later about 70% of those “lame” guys, “who never initiate” are married, and honestly, not to those girls. Happily, quite a few of those women are married too, and not to those guys. There were plenty of reasons, on both sides, why that happened.

    Obviously it makes sense that dating within your church community could be practical, but regardless of the size of your church, it’s a pretty small pool, and the risks of screwing something up with someone you see often further reduces the attraction. Ever had someone say they “never want to go out with you again”, and then have that person serve you communion the next week? I have. So, being strategic is key.

    And since no one asked, here are my five pointers for both men and women from an admitted tool (me):

    1. Ditch the sense of entitlement. Relationships aren’t a right, and they don’t fall out of the sky… both sides need to work to get one, and both need to work to keep them going. Prince Charming isn’t around the corner, and Gisele isn’t thinking about calling.
    2. Don’t expect to settle down as quickly if you make it clear to others that your career is a top, top priority and that you’ll be moving around for it, or in search of different jobs, or you just want to see what different places are like. Being transient and long-term relationships often seem like oil and water.
    3. Give it time. Many Questers have been in Seattle for short periods of time, and yet expect that they will be able to settle their own lives and find someone before they even switch their license plates.
    4. Broaden your scope. 500 people at Quest, maybe 50 of which come close to meeting your dating criteria. Certainly, I’m an ass, but out of the 15,000 people at college, there were probably about 20-30 I would have been interested in going on a first date with. Percentages are small. Get involved in your passions and hobbies. Serve in ways you care about, not necessarily connected to Quest.
    5. Singlehood is awesome. Enjoy it for what it is.

    And as a bonus, a potentially harsh sounding sixth point:

    If you went to SPU and graduated without being married or in a relationship (blessing to those who did), unlearn everything you picked up about dating. You will be happier. SPU, for all its strong points, is not reality. No where else will you experience that 2.5:1 girl to guy ratio, and all the garbage that dynamic (when intermingled with large-scale homogeneity and the “Christian” culture) creates. It hurts to see many good people, especially women, trapped by being round pegs in a mentality of square holes.

  7. Rachael says:

    Oh! I love this! I love these types of conversations. All very interesting.

    Randall, yes, that is exactly where I was leading with the first part of my comment to Cute Guys, but didn’t have time to really flush out my thoughts. Unfortunately, I still don’t, but wanted to at least offer this, from the “other side”, with a little historical thought thrown in.

    Disclaimer: It is not my intent to start a debate on feminism, only to provide insight from one particular woman on the subject of men and women, and their respective roles.

    Many mark the second wave of the feminist movement with the publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique in 1963, which focused on a study that Friedan conducted at Smith College (her alma mater) that showed that 89% of women regretted rushing into marriage and not putting their education to good use. Also during this time, The Presidental Commission of the Status of Women (1963) was created by the Kennedy administration, with Eleanor Roosevelet as its chair. The Commission issued a report that documented discriminated against women in “virtually every area of American life”. Employers started enforcing equal employement laws to protect women in the workplace, national women’s rights group were formed and education amendments were passed to provide women equal opportunities for sports and eduation. So, women were in a place where equal opportunities were being presented, discriminations were brought to life AND then rushed into the “summer/decades” of love, where both sexes began realizing that women were just as sexual as men. Roe v. Wade passed in 1973, which openly (and legally) gave women the right to want to have sex to just to have sex, not have sex to procreate. And, it took out the fear of getting pregnant.

    For the purpose of time, let’s fast forward 10 years. The 1980s are categorically looked upon at the “Me Generation” – with women thrusting themselves into the workforce armed with shoulder pads (to make them appear more masculine) and hardened sense that they were owned this time. And yes, many, many, many messages were passed to men that told them – “nice try, but we’ll take over now”.

    And so, for 30-odd years, women have walked around this country thinking that they could be / had to be feminine and masculine at the same time, and you know what, I think we were wrong. Historically speaking, 30 years is not a long movement, and it is a pleasant surprise that it didn’t take us very long to figure out that men are supposed to be men and women are supposed to women. A simple thought, but gender roles have been quite skewed for the past few decades and I think that, especially in the secular world, people have forgotten what “man” and “woman” really look like. My perspective is this: the feminist movement forced women to believe and act like they could do it all and thus men were given the excuse (and/or forced) to “man down” and take a back seat while women tried to prove that they could fulfill the role of man and woman.

    THANKFULLY, statistics (I can provide them later, if needed) are proving that young women across the country are slowly but surely moving back to the desire and acceptance of just being women and not adding all the stress of being masculine on top of that. I’m not AT ALL saying that womanhood = marriage and motherhood, but I do think young women (22-27) are allowing themselves to be more feminine than, categorically speaking, the past couple generations have.

    (Just to provide some general data about me: my own fabulous mother has two advanced degrees, worked all through my childhood (and regrets it), and instilled a great, balanced (I think) sense of womanhood in my older sister and me.)

    Whew! What a mess.🙂

    Alan — I never considered myself to be a typical SPU girl and certainly still don’t 4 years after graduating. And yes, I agree, SPU is not reality. I actually think that SPU can cultivate a very dangerous sense of dating and marriage and roles of men and women. But that is a whole other can of worms.

  8. jim says:

    very interesting topic…best of luck to all single people in Quest.

    just remember…first, all should connect with God to provide that one special someone. I think that prayer should be specific to what type of person you are looking for. Than, as most of you have agreed, keep your minds opens, and look around. And don’t miss any chances. Maybe God has sent that special someone but you missed out on an opportunity because you were not open minded. I think being a hunter is more exciting than being preyed upon. Happy hunting!

  9. leochen says:

    I was a little ticked off at the anonymous “QSW” when I first read PE’s earlier entry. I was thinking, “if she thought that was funny, that’s a good reason she’s not getting any!!” So there. =)

    Seriously though, I want to add that it is not true that QSM are not asking girls out on dates. To list a few, Miles T. has a new gf, Mark T has a new gf, Erik H. had gone out with few girls recently and I’ve had done the same. The “dating scene” at Q is not as bleak as some people make it out to be. But I can guess why it might appears that way. As Alan said, when you do date in such a small community, one really do need to be careful not to screw something up, or worse, get a bad reputation. So we “date” quietly. Wait… I know what PE must be thinking now. I’m definitely not advocating that Christian men and women to court in secrecy, bypassing all the benefit of a caring and trusting community (aka “accountability.”) But when I meet someone and were just going to grab a beer or coffee with her, it’s quite pointless to make an announcement at C-group about it.

    Looking at the larger picture. I am enjoying life as a free man right now. I can skip town whenever I have a few days free from work. When I need to spend another $2700 on a new lens or $8000 on a new camera body, there is no wife to beg or starving children to apologize to. When I feel like staying late at work because I truly love and believe in my work on the ICU, no one is going to question my motive or wonder if she should wait up. No, I’m not advertising that I want to be alone for the rest of my life. But I hardly believe if one can’t live life to the fullest as a single person, how can he or she expect to in a relationship?

  10. 3mily says:

    I don’t know why everyone’s being so hard on the church across the bridge. I mean, if Quest’s stated goal was to reach 10, 000 members, we’d have to take some shortcuts to developing membership, too. Add one member and another member, marry, and in 9 months you may get a whole new member. The possibilities for growth are exponential.

    Excuse me, I have to go and read Systematic Theology to the 4 month-old Pastor Eugene’s dedicating this Sunday. 🙂

  11. Jennifer says:

    As much as it pains me to see some amazing men and women disconnect about dating, I am so very pleased that there is not a culture of “get married as soon as possible and start having lots of babies” at Quest. Marriage is good. Babies are good. But, I go to Q for a reason, and not the church across the bridge.

  12. Ben C says:

    Since this is anonymous except to Paster Eugene, I’ll put in my $.50.

    -There are a good number of beautiful women at Quest and the fact that they go to church makes them even more attractive than all those other girls I meet in clubs/lounges from the Mondrian SkyBar to Les Deux to your usual Belltown establishments. Why? Because ultimately I want to settle down with a good Christian woman that’s educated, well-traveled, nurturing, feisty and energetic, can make me better blah blah… else my mom will disown me.🙂

    -But church is not a place where I go to meet women. It’s a place I go to worship and praise and listen to the Good Word. I do not ever want to be the guy that asks girls out (even one) at church only to become known as the guy who asked that one girl out. It just makes things a little more complex and dirty unless by some indirect reason/happenstance out of my control situation gets me to actually share aconversation with the Quest woman. In other words, I love Quest and I don’t want to mess it up.

    I know the above points aren’t kosher, but it’s just how I’ve come to treat church. Plus, I’m almost hesitant to find THE ONE right now. I’m enjoying my bachelorhood and the certain freedoms it provides.

  13. Leah says:

    Wow. Quest people can throw down the discussion.🙂 Way to get it out there, folks.

    As a formerly QSW who has now been ‘relegated’ (seriously honey, relegated? it was a happy and mutual choice. you know you couldn’t resist my chainsaw toting ways.) to being a QMW, i thought of sharing a couple things. like alan, take it for what it’s worth, but as someone who was a QSW for about five years, might be worthwhile.

    QSW’s, you can ask a QSM out for coffee without sacrificing your femininity. it’s a small step, lets you get to know someone better, and doesn’t mean you’re less a girl. if you feel you just can’t because you’re waiting, you might be waiting awhile. i’ve asked guys out for coffee (in the past), and let me assure you i have never felt less a woman because of it, and some guys find it flattering. after that, initiation is up to both of you. both parties have to take responsibility for communicating clearly where they’re at and how they’re feeling because neither QSW’s nor QSM’s are mind readers. give each other some grace.

    QSM’s: if you’ve been hurt by rejection in the past, on behalf of my gender, i apologize. i hope you can get to the place where you feel like you can ask again, because someday the right someone is going to say ‘yes’. my now QMM asked. initiated. prompted the famed ‘dtr’, and was rewarded for his efforts. was he scared? yeah. did i have to step up to the plate and communicate how i was feeling too? yeah. were we both risking rejection? yeah. but life is risk and sometimes it’s very, very worth it.

    single people, this sounds like crap, but enjoy life. enjoy your friendships. live the way you feel called to live, because it’s in living out that passion that you’ll find someone with a similar heart.

    ultimately, it’s my prayer that men and women are able to honor God and each other through respectful dating. through allowing the opportunity to get to know one another without the pressure of being on the marriage path (unless that’s where you’re at, and then be open about it). through honest communication of how they’re feeling and where they’re at in life.

    we are blessed at quest with tons of fabulous single men and women. thank you all for being a huge part of what makes our community so amazing.🙂

  14. me says:

    SPU not reality…wait a minute.
    You telling me that Ring by Spring isn’t reality?

  15. David says:

    Very interesting stuff. I would definitely agree with PE’s statement:

    “Having a room full [or in this case, a church] full of cute guys and cute gals don’t automatically equate chemistry, connections, relationships, marriages, and Happy Ever After”

    I also think Alan and Leo’s posts make some great points. For the record I’ve been on dates with two QSW but I agree that the relatively small size of the church and the desire to protect the feelings of people you respect and value makes discretion very important. Also the concept of a date or dating comes with different expectations for different people that complicates things. It would be nice if there were different words for asking someone out on a small d date (coffee, hang out, non exclusive, non committal) vs a capital D Date (dinner on a weekend, really like, intent to pursue). In the past 5 years since I graduated from college there have been lots of girls that I would have liked to ask out on a date, but only a few (maybe around 1 per year) that I was so amazed by that I pursued and only one that resulted in a serious relationship of several months. I guess what I’m saying is I would love to ask more people out but I don’t think many girls would be flattered by “Will you go out with me just for fun even though I don’t forsee the potential for a long term relationship (although of course its possible)?”

  16. Randall says:

    “Will you go out with me just for fun even though I don’t forsee the potential for a long term relationship (although of course its possible)?”

    I’m going to try this line one day…

  17. g says:

    Intra-church dating is a sticky subject… I guess my 2 cents would be that people can err both by too aggressive (asking out any living body that makes eye contact) or by being too passive (not saying anything even though you’re sincerely interested in someone).

    As Ben C. said, the primary purpose of church should be all about the worship of God and the preaching of the Word, so when we place the focus on any other activity (like dating) we need to step lightly.

    On another personal intra-church dating note: just about EVERYONE of my friends who is married chose to date / marry a girl from outside of our church (David can confirm this). Sometimes, that has nothing to do with dynamics on church dating and everything to do with the selection available at ones’ church… heh. Yeah, I had to go there…

  18. Rachael says:

    Leah, thank you for your reply; it’s always handy to hear from a QMW. 🙂

    Although I realize that you didn’t specifically respond to me, I want to comment on a couple things you said. I hope that I didn’t come across with the attitude that a woman might jeopardize her femininity if she asks someone out. I have too have asked guys out and it’s always turned out great. But, I do think that femininity can be jeopardized when women force themselves or feel like they are forced to be both masculine and feminine – especially in relationships and the workplace. I think that the feminist movement and the current response to the movement by both men and women have brought a couple really tricky questions: How do we deal with the fact that life may require you to not hold on to a “traditional” gender role? How do you hold on the mindset of “breadwinner” or “head-of-household” even if the roles of practical, day-to-day living are not so clear-cut?

  19. Rachael says:

    Also, because I realize that I’m having a very different conversation (on purpose, even if it is mostly with myself … haha) than the rest of the posts, I will say this about the “ideal” of meeting a “mate” at church: It’s annoying, just like it is in every other place on the planet. It’s risky for both sides and frustrating when other people make too big of a deal about it. I love being single. I love, love, love living alone. I also want to get married. From what I can tell right now, I don’t think my future husband goes to Quest. And that (as is the opposite) is just fine & dandy.

    Leah, I think you gave QSW some great advice. Thanks.

  20. Rebecca says:

    I think that while you can celebrate singleness all day long, and be content and joyful, that does not take away the deep desire for marriage. So yes, be happy and at peace with your surrent season. But you don’t have to deny that you may also be frustrated with it.

    I would not in any way advocate random dating en masse. It still needs to be purposeful and done with respect for the other person’s feelings. No, a girl doesn’t want to be asked out just for the sake of being asked out. There should be some actual attraction. And both people should approach a potential date with openness to both success and failure. And the community should be supportive in a non-gossiping way.

    Church should be a place where you seek community in all forms. So no, you don’t go to meet people like you would at a bar, and you do go to meet people to know them primarily as persons, not as possible spouses. But if you are a QSM and you meet a person and get to know them and find that they are pretty awesome, why wouldn’t you say, “hey, I have really enjoyed getting to know you and I would like to know you better. would you like to go out with me?” And if you are a QSW, wouldn’t you say, “I’d love to” or at least, “sure, I’d be open to that.”

    Open and honest communication, vulnerability, respect, and courage. This is what I am advocating.

  21. JB says:

    Great thread which inspires some thoughts:

    1. You guys (both genders) are extremely attractive. If you are not seeing it, check your own vision or maybe attitude. As an uninterested bystander: really people! You are cute. When PE’s sermons get a little too long I start to look around. Nice looking people! And I”m sorry to inform you that you are right now as cute as you will ever be, so enjoy it.

    2. I’ve been linking around to various blogs of QYPs. (Young persons. I feel like I’m your peer but I’m not a YP.) Wow, some really interesting people here! I’m so impressed by the interesting thoughts I read.

    3. Yup to Alan, Leo and Leah: enjoy who you are and what you are doing right now! Trust that it will all work out. What if you received a visit from yourself in the future and you were happy and married to someone you were crazy about. You would relax and enjoy your present, I think. So let go of the anxiety and do what you might not have time for later: learn a language, a sport, an instrument, travel, write that book. Someday you will think fondly of the days when you were all you had to think about.

    4. Rachael, I am not sure I understand your points on feminism, but I cringe when it seems like young women don’t fully appreciate all that the feminist movement did for them. So do my old codger girl friends. The shoulder pads weren’t to make us look more like men, they were to make our waists look smaller! Trust me, I was there. We didn’t want to be masculine, we just wanted equal opportunity and equal pay for equal work. (Which we didn’t get.) This from the perspective of an MBA in the Fortune 50 world. We still flirted like mad and waited for the men to ask us out.

    5. Leo, I am fascinated by this concept of a man asking his wife before buying expensive camera equipment. Maybe you could introduce this concept to Vince!🙂 .

    6. It’d be interesting to overlay the Myers-Briggs theory on the relationships conversation. Tells a lot about compatibility, how one sees the world, how one lives in the world and on and on. When you can identify those factors that are different among different people, you will be less frustrated by the differences.

    Let’s be careful out there. (‘nother 80s reference)

  22. Jane says:

    Okay, now, I’m really interested in visiting your church. I’ll be the one with the QSW on my forehead. j/k

  23. gaius says:

    i found cuttingtruth’s comments to have validity to them… i am also not surprised at a few comments to his posts that betray the passive-aggressiveness of some churchgoers (sadly, very prevalent in asian christians)… also, i think DK and Jane’s comments were written rather haphazardly… if you read cuttingtruth’s blog, you will learn that he is married, has children, and is studying in seminary… rather, their comments paint him as bitter and insinuate other negative things about him without any evidence…

    the reality that i have observed is that as an asian christian man, i have seen how the church can emasculate males and stunt their growth… i am not talking about some “macho” western moviestar version of masculinity, but authentic Christlike masculinity – strong yet tender, wise yet innocent, courageous but still submissive to God… sadly, the traits of “niceness” and false “meekness” have become cover-ups for passivity, cowardice, and weakness… all under the umbrella of Christian jargon… this is why Christian guys are often laughed at and despised, especially Asian ones…

  24. me says:

    gaius: again, you are joining others in making the mistake that quest is an asian-american church. it’s a very diverse community.

    but since you and cutting truth are speakng of asian christian men and their emasculation, sweeping generalizations just aren’t helpful. but then again, i’m wimpy.

    you seem to have read his blog thoroughly so i’m sure you’re more of an expert on him than i am. the last time i checked his blog, there’s no reference to his true identity. i find that to be ironic that a person is boldly speaking ‘cutting truth’ but doing it anonymously. but hey, it’s good stuff and i love his style of writing.

    i’ll tell the asian christian men at quest to grow some balls.

  25. sam says:

    gauis seens to be a advocate /friend of Mr cutting truth. A little self indulgence in his moniker. I think you two are mistaking passiveness with a person’s general makeup. Yes, there are times to grow some gonads and stand up for something. Remember, this whole discussion was brought up by a female’s statements, not by some dude complaining about not getting dates. God made us all different. We can’t expect all men to have the bravado to approach a female of interest at a moments thought. There are men out there that have issues and problems in approaching women. To label them as spineless and boring is not only mean spirited and ungracious, it lacks real foresight. I find it hard to believe that the person who wrote that does not have insecurities of his own. Words are cheap! I’m fairly positive there was a time where you, mr cutting edge was, in your words, gutless pertaining to a women. It appears you want men molded in your image. Well, your not God! Certain men will always have problems with the whole courtship/dating world. Instead of mocking them, maybe you could mentor and guide them, since you feel you are the voice of reason in the dating game. Once again, your words wreak of cheapness, like bad cologne.

  26. gaius says:

    eugene: my apologies for the lack of clarity in my comment. i never once thought that quest was an asian-american church. i should have made that clear. i wrote my post directed towards christian men in general, with a specific charge towards asian-american ones based on cuttingtruth’s writings and my own observations/experience. i am sure that you are aware of the literature on how men are scared away from churchgoing (i.e. why men don’t go to church by murrow, no more christian nice guy by coughlin). i was writing in generalities and probabilities as well. asian-american churches (and other churches in america) can have the tendency to emasculate men. there are churches and men who do not fall within the scope of my criticism.

    sam: i am no friend or advocate of mr. cutting truth. i have no idea who he is and will also concede that eugene’s point about his anonymity is a valid one. i was writing on the basis of reading the text of the various comments and visiting his blog. i think your criticisms of him, while probably well-intentioned, is also vague and self-serving. cuttingtruth (as well as the rest of us) do have insecurities. there is also no claim by him that men should be made in his image. we all have fear, problems, our own sins. but it doesn’t mean that we cannot strive to a more complete picture of godliness that is written in the bible. my problem with how some churches encourage men to develop is very one-sided or incomplete, with imbalance in both directions (i,e. too “macho” or too “meek”). there is no labeling of a person here as well, rather of the behavior. i am also not just speaking about dating, an issue that’s important but often overemphasized. my thinking is that if values like courage, integrity, and honor can be increased in men (all with the enabling of God), then ANY issue, whether it be courtship, dating, work, family, friendship, is also improved.

    sam, i’ll also just speak for myself here. i have also taught and mentored college and high school guys for the past 12 years and served my community in law enforcement. there is no mocking intended or actually done in real life on my part. perhaps you should choose your words more carefully before speaking/writing them since you seem to know what value to place on those of others.

  27. Rachael says:

    JB: Just a quick note.

    Thank you for commenting on my post. One of the problems with this type of dialogue is that one is typically only able to give a snapshot of their beliefs and approach to a subject. While I do still think that the female gender missed the target with the second wave of the feminist movement, I am, without a doubt, eternally grateful for the blood, sweat and tears given by women throughout history for the rights of women. (From 8th grade on, I researched (including an informal focus group with an assembly of women in their 40s and 50s) and wrote on some aspect of gender roles and the movement for women in America, England & France every chance I got. I am humbled and impassioned by the work and writings of our founding women.) I do not presume to think that my opinion is the absolute thought of women of my generation, but do see a trend taking shape and, overall, am fascinated by the fact that after all this time, we still haven’t figured each other out.

  28. sam says:

    gaius. I dont want this interesting conversation to be about us. But clarification, the first sentence i wrote earlier was in response to you. All the rest was concerning the very first post response. So i must respond with some defensiveness, and vinegar. My only issue with you was the statement of several others about having a half-hazard response to the first poster. I think their response was appropriate. We dont have time to surf the net to get some perspective on someone who writes real inflammatory statements. And they were inflammatory! As humans, we judge on what someone gives us. And i will agree with the others, we were given a pictture of someone who was angry and , i feel self-indulgent. I find it funny how your message of choosing words more carefully are directed at me, and not of Mr cutting edge. His words lacked any grace and temperment. In speaking for myself, i know my words were derived from my defensive posture from the words attacking asian men, and men at my church. I will always be that way! Just as you felt the need to respond to me, because you felt you were attacked.
    *****Once again, sorry everyone for sidetracking the topic at hand.

  29. gaius says:

    sam,

    thank you for your response. that’s why writing comments on blogs is difficult because of the great potential for misunderstanding and miscommunication. while i try to read and write carefully, it is very difficult to convey the correct tone and meaning. i apologize to you for my own defensiveness. i also note that mr. cutting edge’s words are abrasive and could have been tempered with a little more grace. truth spoken with the right measure of gravity does sink further in.

    i stand by my original assessment of the responses i remarked on, so we’ll have to resort to the cliche of agreeing to disagree.

    in any case and to be clear, there was no intended attack on asian men on my part, considering i am one. my motivation is to help address the issues that will help us to become more effective and better men.

    peace.

  30. leochen says:

    man, what da heck happened here?

  31. me says:

    leo: i think it’s because people are finding out that i like to pee sitting down.

    https://eugenecho.wordpress.com/2008/02/18/pee-pee/

  32. randplaty says:

    I have to say as a married Asian man…who used to be a timid limp wimp…. I have to fully agree with cuttingtruth. Women are just waiting for the men to ask them out. In my circle, we call them PAMs. Passive Asian Males. This is a known and very well documented phenomenon.

    Plenty of men I know are attracted to the women at church, but they are afraid and timid in doing anything about it. They want to be REALLY SURE.

    Part of the problem is that in Asian American Christian circles dating = marriage. As an Asian American man, I know that when I ask a girl out on a date, I am almost committing myself to marry her (otherwise be labeled a player).

    Yet as men this is no excuse. Take a risk. Ask her out. Tell her you really like her. Sure things might not work out and you make take the blame of a failed relationship, but communicate clearly exactly what your feelings are and what they are not. Communicate clearly what your level of commitment is and what it is not and progress slowly.

  33. Linda says:

    this is a belated response to Alan Klug’s comment:

    “2. Don’t expect to settle down as quickly if you make it clear to others that your career is a top, top priority and that you’ll be moving around for it, or in search of different jobs, or you just want to see what different places are like. Being transient and long-term relationships often seem like oil and water.”

    I’ve traveled for several years for fun, work, and education, and know other single female traveling professionals as well. I don’t think it is a valid excuse to not pursue someone because of it. Sure, I’ve occasionally over-emphasized the fact that I plan to leave town when the job assignment is over just to ::coughcough:: avoid outrightly rejecting someone. But if there’s mutual interest, then that potential should be thoroughly explored!

    For one thing, the future is very flexible. At least with my profession, I can extend assignments at a location, convert it to a permanent position, or take another assignment in the same area. For another thing, long-distance relationships do work! This century has enough available technology and transportation options to make it easier.

    As a traveling friend complained, “Give us a REASON to settle down!”

  34. Ben says:

    I think the Asian guys here are generalizing way too much and need to speak for themselves.

    Men in general are scared to ask girls out. Period.

  35. JB says:

    I know better than to prolong this but here goes anyway.

    randplaty, gaius, cuttingtruth, If you mean to say that someone is too passive, then say “passive”, not “emasculated”.

    As woman, I’m offended by those who portray passivity as feminine, and strength and courage as masculine. And who imply that there can be no worse ridicule than to compare someone to me: one without “a pair”. Or to those who imply that strong women are too masculine. What, is this grade school?

    Everyone has traits that some stereotype as “masculine” and “feminine”. In reality, there is a constellation of human traits that don’t boil down neatly to manly or girly.

    Some would ridicule by calling a woman too masculine, a man by calling him to feminine, or not masculine enough.

    It’s completely offensive and ignorant of the complexity of being human. Or of the unique makeup of each individual. I’m afraid of spiders. Am I too girly? I am unafraid of traveling alone in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language. Am I too masculine? I have opinions and am willing to state them. Too manly? I gave up most of my career to be home with my kids. Too girly? Or just a human being?

    Real men and women are whole human beings, not reduceable to a single dimension of a stereotyped gender role.

    If you have a complaint, go to the specific characteristic that bugs you (in this case passivity), and stop the gender ridicule. No more “limp” “wimp” “gay” or “emasculated”. To me, it’s not that different from racial stereotyping and offensive racial language, because it uses people’s very identity for the purpose of ridicule or humiliation.

  36. me says:

    JB: thank you for sharing that!
    i was going to say something but i was being too passive.

  37. Linda says:

    Some may already be familiar with this Wong Fu Productions video called “Yellow Fever”

    I just thought of it because it seems to be relevant to this discussion. It’s 15 minutes long but well worth a watch.🙂

  38. Leah says:

    Linda: that youtube video is AWESOME. i have the t-shirt…

    Rachael: Thanks for the comments…as someone who holds, is called to hold, and will continue to hold a position that is considered a non-traditional gender role in society, I’d love to chat sometime about a theological interpretation of feminism and gender roles, but that’s a longer discussion. JB: awesome comments along those lines…

  39. […] my manhood was put to question. Pastor Eugene Cho, in so many words, insinuated that I was cowardly for not “coming out” and disclosing my real […]

  40. aileen c says:

    no need for that cutting truth… not sure if you are available, but i know many girls that are interested in guys like you.

    there’s nothing wrong with stating a real problem. the reality is that we are in short supplies for men who would confront injustice and actually protect the weak. i could be more PC or gender-sensitive, but the problem is still there. balancing out emotional christianity with action christianity would be a good start.

  41. sol says:

    seems to be a lot of liberal political correctness interfering with actual christianity here.

  42. […] about church, dating, and gender roles with his blog post Cute Guys and his follow up post Cute Gals. In the original post, the pastor shares a joke about the purported lack of cute cute guys in his […]

  43. randplaty says:

    JB: The passivity we’re referring to is within the context of male and female relationships. Men are being passive and therefore letting opportunities pass them by… thus relegating themselves to a life that is similar to being “emasculated.” I don’t think it has anything to do with relating passivity to femininity.

  44. […] such as, “Men are strong,” “Women are nurturing…” etc. A lady named JB commented on a blog that when we relate passivity to being “emasculated” we are relating […]

  45. […] p.e. recently wrote about Q.S.M. and Q.S.W. (Quest Single Men & Quest Single Women) recently on his […]

  46. […] Kissed Reckless Dating Goodbye [in honor of all the Cute Gals and Cute […]

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One Day’s Wages

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Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer. Seattle. 7:00pm. Desperately holding on to summer. #goldengardenpark #nofilter Happy Birthday, Minhee! I'm so grateful for you. You radiate faith, hope, and love.  No...you don't complete me. That would be silly and simply humanly impossible but you keep pointing me and our family to Christ who informs and transforms our lives, marriage, family, and ministry. Thanks for being so faithful. I love you so much. (* And what a gift to be in Korea together.)

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