I don’t want to marry Bible Ken

Following up with my post from earlier this week about how I am not in fact Bible Barbie – I know, you’re all shocked…. I have a few reflections.

I received more feedback on this particular post than I have on any others I think.  This post cranked me up to more views in 48 hours on my blog than I’ve ever had before, which suggests to me that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

A couple of comments really stuck out to me though.  One was on a friend’s Facebook account, as she posted the post to her Facebook wall, and another was a comment onto the blog itself.  Both expressed deep resonance with the content of it, stating that they completely agree that this Bible Barbie phenomenon is a really tricky one.  But both also expressed concern and frustration over the number of women looking for Bible Ken.  One of the commentators was a man who said that he’d been overlooked based solely on his height, and said he has friends that have experienced something similar – for one picky little thing or another.  Another such picky issue was “not having a good enough job” – which to me (and to others) translates to not making enough money.

When I first wrote the I am not Bible Barbie post, I attacked it from my standpoint only.  I saw men who wanted these flawless, athletic, toned women, deeply entrenched in a flawless walk with Christ, and I got frustrated because I don’t know how to measure up to that.  I can’t be flawless in body or in faith.  I’m too broken of a person living in too broken of a world for that.  Does that mean I give up?  No, I continue to persevere and strive to be the best version of me that I can be, and hope that through Christ, Christ is glorified and exemplified through me.  But I’m not always successful.

I’ve talked to many women though who have equally high if not higher standards for men than most men I’ve run into seem to have for women.  They’re looking for Bible Ken.  They’re looking for a tall, handsome, funny man, with broad shoulders, who is good with kids, older than them, has a steady, really well paying job, loves his mother, and I see musical a lot….. AND…. he’s head over heels in love with Jesus, doesn’t have anything rough in his past, wants to do Bible Studies all the time, probably plays on worship team….  Now, to be fair – guilty.  I am guilty.  I want ALL OF THESE THINGS.  {Oh, and while I’m being picky, can he please drive a massive pickup truck that will cost all of that huge salary to fuel?}  But I am also realistically expectant that whomever I marry will likely not possess ALL of these qualities.  And do you know what?  That’s ok.  And it’s my opinion that it should be ok.

Some of these desired traits or facts make sense – I would be hesitant to date a guy who doesn’t have a job because I want to stop working and have a family, and be home with my kids for the first few years until they’re in school.  With only one of us working, that doesn’t fly.  I don’t think that’s shallow.  But if I put an income cap on who I was willing to date?  If I said “oh, you don’t make at least 40,000 per year?  We’re done.”?  That’s shallow.  And it’s not fair.  And it’s terribly limiting.

I like men who are tall because I feel safe and protected, and because I’m a pretty big girl to start with.  It’s been my experience that men who are shorter than I am don’t tend to like to date girls who are bigger than them.  Maybe that’s an unfair stereotype.  I welcome anyone who thinks we’d otherwise be a great match to prove me wrong, but it has very much been my disheartening experience that when I find a man who seems like otherwise he’d be a great fit, it goes well until we meet in person and I get an email or text back the next day (if anything at all) telling me he’s not attracted to me and he doesn’t see this working out.  Best of luck.

Long story short – I could dissect my own personal reasoning behind each and every thing that I’d like to have in a mate, but a lot of it is unimportant.  Here’s what I believe to be truly important, and everything else would be icing.  I have a top five non-negotiable list.  Here are the things I refuse to bend on.

1.  Does he love Jesus?

If you don’t love Jesus, I don’t care how much money you make, how tall you are, how good looking you are, or how incredibly hot your truck is, we won’t work.  But do I expect that you’ve got it all figured out and you’re this super-Christian-amazing-never-screw-up kinda guy?  No.  I don’t.  Because I am not that girl.  I can’t expect it.  In a good relationship, we can work towards that together in Christ, even though we’ll never achieve that this side of Heaven.

2.  Does he have a stable job and a good work ethic?  Does he LIKE his job?

If I fear that in a couple years, we’ll be broke, going bankrupt, and that you’ll be shocked and not know where it came from, we’re not going to work.  This is not a matter of how much money you make, because men who make tons can still manage it incredibly poorly.  I need to know before I’m willing to explore a serious relationship that managing finances is not going to be something that tears us apart from the inside out – and I don’t think that’s unfair.  Do I have a preferred salary?  No.  Further, I don’t care if you make 6 million dollars a year.  If you loathe your job and you’re going to come home daily/nightly complaining about it and never be happy because of it, this isn’t going to work.  That negativity spills into all aspects of life, and I know for myself that I couldn’t be with someone who hated his job but was unmotivated to better that situation.

3.  Does he respect me?

Respect flows inextricably through everything.  Do you respect me enough to not let things go weeks without communication?  Do you respect me enough to adhere to boundaries we set together?  Do you respect me enough to ask my opinion in big decisions?  Do you respect me enough to value my opinion?  Do I feel respected?  Will you respect my comfort levels in a relationship I’m probably scared to be in?  Do you respect my family?  Do you respect my job?  Do you respect my hobbies — or are you going to roll your eyes at me and wonder why I want to go do that AGAIN….

4.  Is he a family man?

Do you want kids?  Are you excited to be a Dad?  Are you prepared to raise your family with Christ as the centre?  If I’m getting the sense that you are not these things, I will be moving on.  Ideally, I’d love a man who’s close to his own family, but I understand quite well that that isn’t always in our control, and it’s not always feasible.

5.  Is he as into me as I am into him?

This one is new for me.  It has replaced “does he have a car?”…. although I’m still very hesitant about the idea of a guy without a car.  I’m not a chauffeur, and I love to travel, so I feel strongly that each of us having transportation is necessary.  But I digress.  Recently, I’ve gotten myself into a trap where I was willing to hang onto a guy who was showing little to no interest, but I stuck around for a couple reasons.  First – I was afraid I couldn’t do better.  Second – the distance he was keeping me at felt fairly safe, it meant I didn’t have to commit, and that was great.  But let me tell something to you (yes, said Robin Williams Happy Feet style).  I’m done.  If I feel like I have to fight for your attention and pester you to talk to me….. I’ll stop trying, and we’ll be done, and it’s not going to take very long.  Some may call this impatience, but I feel that there’s a decided lack of respect coming from a man toward a woman when he’s that indecisive and that aloof about me as an option.  It screams to me one of three things – he’s either talking to several women at the same time, and doesn’t have time for me alone… or he’s afraid to commit… or he’s really not that into me but he’s afraid HE can’t do better, so he hangs on.  I don’t think that I’m undeserving of holding out for the good stuff, and so I wait for great.  And that works both ways – if I’m not interested, I’ll tell you.  Flat out.  Because while it may be awkward in the short term, it leaves no room for misinterpretation.

Moral of the story – I’m not looking for Bible Ken – I’m not going to turn a guy down because he isn’t tall, dark, handsome, making hundreds of thousands of dollars, and driving a beautiful truck, OR, more importantly, because His relationship with Jesus isn’t flawless.  Why?  Because I’m not Bible Barbie.  Because I expect that a real man has more to offer me than a fake, plastic edition who is clearly trying too hard.  (Disclaimer: I don’t think everyone who is tall, good looking, has a great job, and loves the Lord is plastic and fake.  I really don’t – out of my league?  Perhaps.  But not fake.)


15 thoughts on “I don’t want to marry Bible Ken

  1. The sad thing is, during this walk on earth, I have come across guys who were the ‘Bible Ken’ – tall, handsome, and seemingly the embodiment of spirituality! What I’ve found out is, these are the men capable of most cruelty – often they have something deeply hidden they’re battling, and they are lashing out with anger and rejection, when you least expect. Maybe they’re battling with deep insecurities, but that is not an excuse – we all may have insecurities, but that’s no excuse to be cruel…
    So often I’ve been hurt by this type of guy – sincere, kind, loving, Christ-follower… when the darker side emerges, it is so shocking that it really punches you in the stomach and leaves you to gasp for air. When you don’t live up to his fantasy and he realizes you’re just a mortal, he can’t even treat you like a sister in the Lord… 😦 One of my prayers is that God would protect me from such men in the future, because I do not need more empty attention that leads to heartache and contempt.
    Guys: learn to treat women as fellow human beings… not a fantasy objects… We have feelings too!

    1. “Guys: learn to treat women as fellow human beings… not a fantasy objects… We have feelings too!”

      Um ,,, this sentiment cuts both ways. And while I’m here, how many of us can tell stories of having been better treated by someone of the opposite sex who wasn’t a Christian, than by many who were!

      1. Absolutely it does. Women are equally guilty of objectifying men and holding them to unattainable standards. We’re also guilty of then being mad that we’re single… Or at least I’ve been guilty of this.

        I also agree that sometimes non-Christians have treated me better… But I think this misses my whole point, which was not to lay blame on either side, but rather to call all of us, men and women (between the two posts…. If you haven’t read ‘I’m not Bible Barbie,’ please do), to something different and better than what many of us have been doing.

      2. Thanks! And also, I flipped back through some comments to find that it was your comment on I am not Bible Barbie that made me think through the other side if it and write this post, so thanks for that challenge!

    2. We, as the Church, have a lot of work to do in raising young men that has gone by the wayside for far too long. Our culture would deny it, but guys are still taught to objectify women every day. I wish it were easier, for all the young men and myself, to fully love ladies as Jesus loves the Church.

      1. Truth. Wise words, there. Women are guilty of it too, though. We aren’t blameless here. Though I’d argue it’s more of a worldly influence than shortcoming of the church…. Perhaps I’m wrong… In fact, perhaps the fact that the world has the power to influence IS the shortcoming?

  2. Good stuff. I know that I have given up before trying with many ladies because their. “list” immediately ruled me out. Even if it doesn’t, when I see all the criteria I don’t feel interested if a woman is that picky. Even I I measure up now there will soon be a day she finds something wrong. We would all do well to stop looking for bible Barbie and missionary ken.

    1. Amen. I won’t measure up to most men, either… 😉 The purpose in life is to live for our Cteator and from that relationship, to be a blessing to others.. I have noticed long ago that trying to measure up to someone’s acceptance is futile and drains all energy.
      On the other hand, I did have a look on your blog, and like you, most of us have ‘non-negotiables’. Respect and kindness should be a given, not just for marriage, but for all human relationships..
      I’m sorry you were treated unkindly – let me say from the opposite perspective: I probably have been viewed like a ‘drama queen’ by people, and believe me, it’s not fun or intentional. When going through extremely trying life situations, one can sometimes fail 😦
      Yes, we should have no excuses, no matter what – but the sad reality is, when your life in in shambles and you haven’t slept well because of stress, it’s easy to say the wrong thing – you’re not really being ‘yourself’ in that kind of catatonic state..That’s when one needs grace the most…
      I grieve for my inability to be a ‘100% fruit of the Spirit’ person when I was under tremendous stress – those circumstances caused lot of havoc and destroyed some friendships. Some people no doubt can be a blessing even if their head is being severd off, I could not 😦
      I can just pray that God will give me the grace to mend and build those relationships that were broken…
      Just to give you a glimpse why someone can act strangely and do the wrong thing…

      1. Yep, I am finally getting to a place of working on my walk with God and being content. Not fully there, but hopeful. There are good days and bad days, but overall I’m confident that I’ll come across a woman eventually with the same mindset who has been working to become a whole person. As for the treatment, hey you didn’t do it and it is no biggie. I hate to admit it, but it still makes me angry when those words and others like them haunt me. I try to use them as motivation to make sure I never come across like that to others. The times people didn’t consider my POV are what helps me do it.

        Please understand that I don’t think I set the standard for kindness, ha! I find that those who care about me the most often suffer my smugness, sarcasm, and indifference the most. I most certainly believe in passing on the grace I have received to others; I would try to be graceful to lady (or anybody) who treats me poorly. However, unless I received a vision or something I would prob not be putting a ring on any hand who makes a habit of lashing out at me. I would just have to show grace as a friend.

        Thank you for visiting my blog!

  3. I am in an exact situation that you described in Point 5 and I was thinking if I was too impatient to give up on this guy too. Most of the times I am the one who initiates and though he responds. I could feel there is a lack of interest on his side though he claims he isn’t! Anyway, thanks for the post, it also elicited me to think deeper and see things beyond the surface! God bless you always!

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