Once there was a good Christian girl who dreamed of growing up, getting married, and having children. She read all the right books and did all the right things. She read about how she was a princess in God’s sight and how he wanted the very best for her. She committed herself to sexual purity, to high standards, and to waiting for the good Christian man that God was going to bring her.
So begins “The Good Christian Girl: A Fable.” If you are a female who is single in her late-20s or beyond, Gina Dalfonzo’s tale of Christian dating advice from kissing dating goodbye to not being too forward to not being forward enough to not looking too shabby to not waiting too long may sound shockingly accurate.
“It’s like she looked into my life,” one of my friends said.
“It gave me chills,” said another.
It’s true. Gina captures brilliantly the variety of (sometimes contradictory) dating advice most of us have heard (and tried) throughout our lives. And then, the tale ends:
So she ran off with the first non-Christian man who showed some interest, asked her out, and treated her with respect. And the knowing ones shook their heads and said, ‘What happened to her? She used to be a good Christian girl.’
And that’s where I take issue with the story. The girl succumbs to the disillusionment of failed dating advice that comes from … people. Fallen humans. The story is more about a woman who loses her faith in God than a woman who is the victim of misguided dating advice. After all, God has been working through broken human systems since the beginning of time — disobedient Israelites, idolatrous people, pathetic underdogs — and yet, through it all, the truth is evident: God redeems, restores and loves passionately those who remain faithful to Him. And the worst advice in the world cannot thwart that.
That’s why I like my friend’s alternate ending to this fable:
But the TRUE Knowing One. The ALL Knowing One smiled and said, ‘I love you, my child. I have great things in store for you. Do not be swayed by the things of this world … look to ME for your comfort and hope.’