SURVIVING THE JILT

"They'll teach the guilt of coquetting and ogling, and playing the jilt."

I was 17 years old with my first car—a 1974 Cougar XR7. I thought I was in love with Amy[i] and started dating her. The problem was that her niece of the same age was always with her. If that were based on having a chaperone, it sure worked. But, I’m not sure that was the real reason.

I would pick her up for a date and Cathy would tag along. But instead of Amy snuggling next to me, the two girls were hanging out the passenger window catcalling to cute guys on the sidewalk.

17-year-old boy with a broken heart... Pathetic, isn’t it?

What was it that tore my heart when Amy was flirting with guys? What was it that tore my heart when various relationships came to an end? I have a deep-seated need for permanence and security in a relationship. I have always wanted to know that tomorrow my lover would still be there.

Craig Silvey wrote a novel entitled ‘Jasper Jones’. Listen to this description of young love—

“Every instance in my life, I've felt like the exact opposite of Superman. Except this time, this moment right now. I don't care. I don't feel like a weak, insipid sissy. Because right now I know I would save the girl. I know that I would rather risk the planet than let harm befall Eliza Wishart. I would save her in a second. Because I can imagine her and me huddled safe together while the earth falls under evil designs, but I can't imagine the world without her in it.” [ii]

Margaret Atwood said, “The young habitually mistake lust for love, they're infested with idealism of all kinds.” [iii] 

Isn’t that the truth? I started out with so many ideals about love. I started out with high standards and an idealism that may have bordered on romantic idolatry. I was lonelier than I wanted to be and desperate to find a special relationship. So lonely in fact, that I made compromises. There was a law of right and wrong in my heart from childhood and I broke my own laws.

If a person is gay or believes they were born the wrong gender, the aching heart is the same. Most people want someone to be their exclusive relationship. So what’s happening when a person looks for other lovers or wants to add to their collection? What drives people to affairs, pornography and such?

There is a desire for faithful fidelity on one hand and an impulsive, reckless betrayal on the other. For many people there is war between what they want to do and what they actually do.

I am not interested in judging the sexual preferences and behaviors of the world. It’s not a Christian’s job to judge the world around them. But, I am deeply compelled to ask what God requires of those who become disciples of Jesus. What is the good news of Jesus when it comes to sexuality?



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