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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.

Just as she was getting old enough to start dating, however, she noticed something. Some of the popular Christian books were talking about not dating at all, and just being friends, until God had made it clear that the guy she liked was exactly the right one for her. Her Sunday school teachers taught from a very popular book about how dating was unbiblical, and how a truly righteous young Christian man would initiate a courtship with marriage as the goal, working in tandem with the girl's father and the pastor and others in the church body.

The heroine of our story observed that as these things were being taught, the level of romantic involvement among her peers at church, not very high to begin with, shrank to practically nonexistent.

But the knowing ones, the Christians who seemed to have all the answers, told her, "You're young, there's plenty of time, and you need to learn patience." So she concentrated on her education without worrying too much about men. She graduated from college and found a good job, and then she started to look in earnest for the right man. All the guys in her church were apparently still waiting for the divine signal to initiate courtship (an idea that she had never really taken to), but there were dating websites, and there was the occasional colleague or friend of a friend.

So the girl dated around for a while, but ...

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