In the daily e-mailings of The New York Times January 16, 2007 under Quote of the Day a quote from Carol Crenshaw says “I’m in a place in life where I’m comfortable. I can do what I want, when I want, with whom I want. I was a wife and a mother. I don’t feel like I need to do that again.” The quote is from a women in Georgia who is now divorced after 33 years of marriage.
The words “what I want” have risen to heights in America and not even basic human compunction to motherhood and spousal commitment can stand in the way. The article that Crenshaw was quoted from is about how for the first time in our history upwards of 51 percent of American women with children have no spouses.
In a TV commercial one major credit card company has in its background jingle the words “I’m free to do what I want any old time.” The cry for what I want, when I want and where I want has taken on an almost sacred overtone in the US that makes the slogans of the previous 90s “me generation” look innocuous.
Even the most cursory search for what people say they want produces and instant picture. Money is at the top of the list but fame runs a close second and power brings up the rear. Many people say they are searching for purpose and a sense of who they are.
In over three decades of writing one of the most popular articles I ever wrote was about Christian dating. In that article I proposed a question to ask the prospective mate. The test is almost foolproof and with only rare exceptions will it fail. It is based on the idea of getting someone to define “what they want” out of life.
The question can only be successfully put forth under very specific conditions. The first condition is that the person asking the question must be the person answering the question. The premise here is that almost no one unless they are mentally ill or an inveterate liar will lie to themselves.
The second condition is that the person you ask to answer the question must be absolutely certain that they understand that you are not asking the question, they are asking it of themselves.
The question should go like this, if you were alone in one of your favorite places perhaps where you go to meditate or think, and you asked yourself a question, what would your answer be to yourself? If you asked your self “what do I really want out of life” what would your answer be to yourself?
I always add that you should ask them to answer the question in one single sentence if possible but not more than three sentences tops.
This is not magic nor is it speculation but the results will astound you. The answer you get from the prospective mate can be tested over time. Should you come to know that person intimately it will be easier to track the result but even if you should lose contact for years when you see them again you would find they have found what they said they wanted or they are still searching for it.
On the same day that Carol Crenshaw was quoted a list of the most popular articles published by The New York Times also appeared. In the top ten is an article entitled, “Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying.” The questions posed by that article are predetermined and don’t call upon the introspection and self examination that is so critical to arrive at an honest answer.
Most matching or dating services focus on compatibilities but not much more. What motivates people seems far more important because it has to do with what someone expects to generate in life rather than what they hope to acquire. It has to do with the issues of the heart and not just the desires of the heart. It is little wonder that the bible says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23
Rev Bresciani is the author of two Christian books. His articles on the second coming of Christ, faith, politics and the American way of life are read in every country throughout the world. Come visit http://www.americanprophet.org