BEAUTY CAN'T BE PORTRAYED IN A PICTURE
One of my favorite move scenes of all time is found in the movie "Liar Liar" with Jim Carrey. In the film, Fletcher's (Jim Carrey) son makes a birthday wish that comes true - limiting him from being able to tell a lie for 24 hours. As a litigator, this gets him into all sorts of trouble - but the best moment is when Fletcher (Jim Carrey) visits his son at school and explains to him why, as an adult, he needs to lie. He tells the boy that when his mother (Fletcher's former wife) was pregnant, he couldn't tell her she looked fat - he needed to lie to make her feel better about herself! The boy responds, "my teacher says that true beauty is found on the inside!" Jim shoots back and says, "ehhh - that's just something ugly people say..."
As hilarious as the clip is, it reveals how the majority of society actually feels. We've limited BEAUTY down to a BILLBOARD - does she have a thigh gap? How's his hair line? Are her legs too chunky? Does he have a gut?
The problem I have with Tinder is that it reduces attraction down to a photograph. Physical attraction IS important, but you CANNOT limit attraction to sex appeal or physical beauty. I've met a lot of externally-beautiful people who were as ugly as can be on the inside. That's not real beauty - and that's not real attraction, it's admiration. You can admire someone's looks all day but real ATTRACTION takes place when you get to know the spirit of a person. That's the real stuff and Tinder, unfortunately, doesn't have an app for that.
"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting..."
YOU CAN'T JUST "SWIPE LEFT" IN REAL LIFE
Have you ever been on a bad date? Maybe it was just an awkward conversation with someone who was interested in you but you didn't feel the same way. Don't you wish that life was as simple as a swipe? Instead of actually having to deal with difficult situations, we could simply "swipe left" and never see it again.
Yea... that's not real life.
Not only is it unrealistic, it's insensitive. It reinforces the value that individuals (who we now know are more than their looks and profile pictures) with stories, backgrounds and experiences can be "swiped out" with no extra thought involved. I don't know about you, but something in me just doesn't feel like I even have the authority to make those decisions.
I was listening to a single guy the other day describe why he wasn't interested in numerous girls that were brought up to him by his friends. Somehow, he found a reason for each one (mostly physical attributes) and dismissed them within seconds. It was a live Tinder session happening before my eyes and all I wanted to blurt out was, "how do you know that any of these girls would even find you remotely attractive enough to date THEM, especially after hearing the way you dismantled each one of them?"
You can't just swipe left in real life. You actually need to face rejection or rejecting others and learn how to do it with gentleness and love in a Godly fashion. Tinder let's us get off easy - but real relationships and social interactions take work and love.
SWIPING RIGHT ISN'T HOW YOU GET THE GIRL
GUYS - any girl that's "worth her weight in gold" won't just be won over by a mutual "right-swipe." If that's all it takes for her to get with you, you need to move right along. The reality is, that you don't get a quality relationship from swiping right.
Now look - I know that there are some people who have met over Tinder or other online dating sites and are in great relationships - some who are even happily married or engaged. I'm not against online dating or connections, what I AM against is how it can AND has stripped MANY MEN of their responsibility to actively pursue a girl and put some work in. I'm also addressing the TINDER APP culture - not online dating sites. Tinder is mostly used for hooking up - not for engaging in a Godly, committed pursuit of an honoring, dating relationship. So before you get all upset because you were the 1% that did it right through an online site or app, chill!
Guys actually like to chase and we were created that way, however, it's just natural to prefer less work for more "profit." When you've already bought into a system that validates shallowness and insensitivity, chances are you're going to become immersed in it. Instead of looking for the easy way out behind a screen, if you see someone you are interested in, get to know them and actually engage in a conversation. A girl who knows what she's worth won't have any problem making you work a little bit!
JUST DO A HEART CHECK
At the end of the day, you really have to ask yourself a few things:
1) is this helping or hurting my view of relationships, dating and the opposite sex
2) is this process honoring God and honoring people He's created
3) is this helping my mind-space
Most people I talk to that use Tinder on a regular basis tell me that they can find themselves swiping for an hour at a time or picking it up in moments of boredom, just flipping through over and over and over. That affects your mind and your view on people and relationships in general. What ends up happening on the screen begins to make its way into your real-life values. Just ask the Lord - is this helping or hurting me? Even moreso - is this helping or hurting OTHERS? Just because they're using the app doesn't mean that it isn't an unhealthy aspect of their life.
Let's reinforce some better values.
Jared Ellis was called into ministry at the age of 16 years old, after being delivered out of a life of darkness, depression and depravity. He has traveled all over the world, preaching the good news of Jesus Christ and has worked with some of the leading churches in the nation such as Bethel Church and Elevation Church. He pastored in Abilene, Texas for 3 years and grew a youth ministry of 12 students to over 300 - signs, wonders and miracles happening each week. Jared is the author of "Unlocking Your Destiny: Keys To Accessing God's Master Plan For Your Life." He travels full-time as an evangelist and preaches at churches, conferences and events. He is also the GE Director at Christ For The Nations Institute where he teaches and trains Youth Pastors. While at home in Dallas, TX, he serves as a worship leader at Trinity Church.