A Perfect Gentleman or a Christian Gentleman?

The following was related to me by a friend.  His story made me think very seriously about what an ass I have been in very similar situations.

"If we say we have fellowship with him, while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth...If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us....If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us."    -1 John 1:6a, 8, 10

At dinner the other night a friend of mine told me about a date he had had a while back with a very intelligent, very successful woman.  He said that they had had a few, very good conversations before the time they actually went out.  Everything prior to the date seemed to suggest that they would have a very good time together.

Their date finally arrived.  Both of them confessed to nervousness and excitement.  She had brought a bottle of wine for them to share, since they had some time to kill before heading to the theater.  She told him that there had been a wine tasting at the liquor store and she had already drunk two glasses of wine.  By the end of the night she had had five more glasses.  She even told him about being out with another of her friends the week before and getting sick on the tequila in a margarita she had ordered at dinner.  In addition, she texted with two or three other friends during their date.  When the night was over she left the flowers he had gotten her despite looking at them three different times and handling them once, while she looked for her keys in and around her purse.

When he finished with her, I asked him how he was on the date.  "I was great," he said.

"Of course, you were.  I have no doubt, so tell me about your greatness."

He told me how he had brought her flowers, he was a polite gentleman, was tolerant of her texting and inebriation.

"OK, so you were perfect and she wasn't.  Really?  I mean, you are one awesome guy, I agree, but how were you?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, it sounds like she was very, very nervous, maybe even a little scared.  It was, what, 2010 or 2011, when you had this date?  In these times, you know, women go on dates and end up dead.  She didn't know you except for a few telephone conversations and people lie and embellish all of the time.  I'm sure she's been manipulated a time or two, so, truly, she had no idea what she was going to find in meeting you, did she?  She was texting with her friends, so someone would know to get help immediately, if you had been a serial killer or something.  Also, her friends on the other end of those texts were the only people with whom she felt comfortable, so she stayed in contact with them to help her through.

"She drank to steady her nerves and to come across as more confident than she was feeling.  Once she started drinking, though, she probably lost count and drank more than she had intended.  Of course, it could be that you were not what she had expected, so she was drinking just to make it to the end of the date.  You're not everybody's cup of tea.

"You said you were a perfect gentleman, but were you a Christian gentleman?  Probably not.  You had other issues on your mind and your own fears and apprehensions.  You went on that date for your own motives and you, probably, gave off that vibe in a strong way.  If you're honest with yourself, you were a bit of an ass, a bit of a cad?

"Dude, you can't confess to be Christian, Catholic, whatever, unless you are prepared to be that 100% of the time in every, every situation.  Like Fr. Larry Richards says, Christ wants to be Lord of your whole life and if He's not, then He's not Lord of any of it.  If you weren't showing Christ to her, and it really sounds like you weren't, then you failed miserably.

"People come to us, solely based on our public display of Christianity.  Don't you get that?  They're not attracted to us, per se.  They're attracted to the Christ we claim lives in us.  When we act otherwise in private, then we come across as hypocrites, but, worse, we blaspheme God.  If you can't be Christ to the women you date, then don't date or wait until you're stronger in your faith.  Your chief role in a dating situation is to protect your date's honor with every ounce of your moral strength.  Regardless of what she may claim, you always have to do what is right and do whatever is necessary, including cutting the date short.

My friend sat quietly for a bit, nervously eating a roll he had snatched from the basket on our table during my tirade.  He was rethinking his view of the date and the woman he had gone out with.  "You're right.  I was not on my best behavior and, no, I was not a Christian gentleman.  I, uh, need to apologize to her and, uh, you're right.  I really shouldn't date again until I can take my faith more seriously.  Thanks for being so honest.  I appreciate it."


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