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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "Focus on Mitt Romney," July 16, 2011

"Still haven't found what I'm looking for" (June 4)

Your analysis hit home. I have been trying to portray this to misunderstanding (but well-intentioned) married friends, relatives, and church leaders for years. As a single woman, a young professional, and graduate student, finding that ideal match Joshua Harris' book described when I was a teenager is next to impossible. The church needs to find a better way to address the hurting, lonely hearts that are all too rampant among my generation.
Krista Steffen; Minneapolis, Minn.

We've told the kids not to have sex before marriage and we have plenty of resources on how to be a good husband/wife, but not much on how to get from here to there. Our young men especially are poorly equipped to lead in this area. Many of them have no direction, little confidence, no idea how women think, and no marketable skills.
Nathan Ledford; Reading, Pa.

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Your article placed a lot of emphasis on the girls just waiting for guys to put on their "man-pants." I agree, but I do not wholly sympathize with my sisters in Christ. Many young women also need to grow up. They are looking for an unrealistic version of a man and need to turn off the movies, put down the romance novels, and wake up.
Drew Martin; Wantage, N.J.

Hats off for an excellent, sensitive article, but outside college settings it's different. You found stereotypical men: reluctant to lead, afraid of commitment. I could name dozens of young men able and eager to lead and commit. We're not baffled by the choices or afraid of rejections, but we're racking up an impressive number of them. Guys decide by observing from a distance, but when we propose courtship, she hears "marriage" and if she hardly knows the guy, naturally she chooses safety.
Michael E. Owens; Denver, Pa.

I think that the courtship movement has done well to reinstate purity and purposefulness in romantic relationships. Pressure and insecurity result, however, when friendship is forgotten.
Carly Robinson; Longview, Texas

This article perfectly described my dating experience in the bubble of Christian higher education. Approaching relationships with such seriousness can be emotionally damaging and confusing. I often felt forced to choose between my career goals and personal development and "landing" a godly man. This was stifling and confusing, and caused deep anger and bitterness.
Sarah Wardle; Martinsville, Va.

There are other choices besides courtship or dating. My husband and I went through a biblically modeled betrothal process, where the goal was for our parents to help protect our hearts. As in our relationship with Christ, the commitment was made before the "true love" came, and the burden was on dad and mom to make sure this was a good match.
Adri Longstreet; Meridian, Idaho

Some Christian young women accept or reject a simple pizza and a movie date as a marriage proposal. This is foolish. The real problem is fear. Christian young people need to go out boldly and meet others who love the Lord, and their parents need to stop manipulating them based upon their own fears and regrets. And it is OK to go get ice cream with several different young men in one summer.
Ursula Smith; Chesterfield, Mo.

"A free woman" (June 4)

This column was timely, honest, and very much needed. Janie B. Cheaney voiced the concerns of happily married women everywhere without resorting to Bible-thumping or over-the-top ideas of biblical male dominance.
Lydia Neeley; Rocklin, Calif.

This column was excellent, as usual. It is so helpful to read about what unbelievers, such as Paula Kirby, are saying about important issues along with a well-reasoned biblical response. And Krieg Barrie's illustration brilliantly summed up the point. It will remain on my fridge door indefinitely.
Lisa Poleynard; Seneca, S.C.

"Crying wolf" (June 4)

Thanks to Joel Belz for his great column. Atheists had "rapture parties" in cities across the country to mock the return of Jesus. He is coming again, but thanks to that false prophet Harold Camping more people may be laughing and scoffing than anticipating. Those of us who long for the appearing of Jesus can still have joy knowing it will happen, but only in His perfect timing.
D.D. Nave; Elizabethton, Tenn.

"Crying wolf" is a bit off the mark because most people, inside and outside the institutional church, did not take Camping's doomsday prophecy seriously.
C. Biddle Foster; Hampstead, Md.

"Living in the middle" (June 4)

What a great way to give hope. Even though we know these truths, the freshness of Andrée Seu's column brings them to us in a way that makes us rejoice no matter what our momentary circumstances may look like.
Vicki Gorman; Gladstone, Ore.

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