Bottom Feeders or Trophy Catch?

Bill Brinkworth

I love to fish.  However, I am one of those fishermen that is not an environmental threat. Many times, I come back with nothing, but it still is fun to try.

Sometimes, when I don’t seem to catch anything with my lures, or flies, I switch to a sure-fire method that usually allows me to catch something. I find the wiggliest worms, or the smelliest chicken guts I can find.  I put them on a good-sized hook, make sure there is hefty weight on the line, and then cast it out into deep water.  There it sits on the bottom.  Every once in a while I will reel it back in, to check to see if the bait is still on, and cast it back out.

Rarely, do I catch a wanted bass or trout (unless they are lost or are very dumb) on that rig.  I usually catch something, but it’s unwanted fish; bottom feeders like catfish, suckers, or carp — at least I can tell my wife I caught something. Most of the time my catch from the bottom is not what a fisherman is really trying to catch; and it is rarely something he would ever brag about.

I was thinking of catching the bottom feeders, after seeing a young, Christian woman’s posting on a social media the other day.  She was showing off how she looked after getting ready for a first-time date.  There she was in her tight-fitting dress, far from being modest, make-up that would rival many movie actors, and heels that were nosebleed high. Although I only have seen actors portraying prostitutes showing their “wares” on television, she was not dressed much differently. I was troubled about what she was doing to herself, and what she was advertising to her date.

Now I certainly would not say anything to her, but I would like to.  I would like to tell her that when a person dresses like that, she would probably end up with a “bottom feeder”; one of those catches that one usually throws back, and is usually not proud of catching. 

Her dress-up efforts most likely will not attract someone that is looking for a good wife, not looking for intellect, friendship, good character, a sparkling personality, and good mother for his future children.  Most likely, he will only be attracted to the bait she was offering, would get the biggest bite he can get away with, and will soon swim off to see what else the bottom of the lake has to offer. Then she will be left all alone; again, more lonely and rejected than she was before, and she may even wonder where she went wrong.

A child of God should not be looking for “bottom feeders.”  When a fisherman wants to catch a fish worth his time, he uses the right bait and fishes in completely different spots.  To catch a desired trout, he fishes the cool, deep holes under a shaded tree.  It usually does not look like a likely spot, but that is where you find them.  If the goal is a lively, prized, large tail-dancing bass, then a line is cast among the tall grasses and lily pads. A Christian should not be going to the wrong, worldly places to find a mate.

Dating should not be to try to catch everything that is swimming around.  That type of “fishing” often does a lot of mental damage to the “fisherman” and “fish” alike, and the result is usually unhappiness.  Feelings get hurt. Moral standards get lowered. Regrets remain. Frustration flourishes, and long-time marriage goals may be compromised. Dating should be for mating. It should be an avenue to find a lifetime marriage partner.

Only the right “catch” should be sought.  The right catch is one that is spiritually similar.  A Christian should only be seeking a Christian as a soulmate. Marriage is a joining (“yoked”) of a man and a wife intended to be for a lifetime.  Two cannot be yoked together if their relationship with the Lord will lead them in different directions. The goals and thinking are too different between a saved and an unsaved person.  Often the pressures of these differences cause not only disunity between the husband and wife, but in order to silence marital problems, the Christian often changes or hides his spiritual feelings and desires.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” II Cor. 6:14  Also:Isa. 52:11.

It is quite common that when a believer marries an unbeliever, that different problems arise.  Much of the Bible's marriage advice is dealing with an unsaved spouse. One wants to flee sin and obey convictions placed in his heart, and the other does not see things the same way.  Often sin is not recognized or seen as a problem, and it would be unlikely that an unsaved person would want to live for the Lord. There cannot be any spiritual commonality between a child of God and a lost person.  A spiritual relationship is far more important than married people realize — until it is too late.

“Well, when we get married, I’ll change him,” is often the excuse.  Rarely, can a person change the spiritual condition of another.  It is the Holy Spirit that successfully changes anyone.  Many times when a person tries to change another, regrets, resentment, and rebellion result.  Unless the Holy Spirit does the work, a relationship will not flourish.

This is the reason God tells believers to only “yoke up” (work together — and marriage is a lifetime “work”) with like-minded believers. The desire of a Christian is to spiritually grow.  Growth will be inhibited if a mate is not a child of God (I Cor. 5:9-13, II Cor. 6:15). Once a relationship with an unsaved person is started, it may be hard to stop it. To avoid regrettable actions, never allow yourself to “bottom feed” in the first place.  A regrettable relationship with a lost person will not occur if an unsaved person is never dated.  

Set your goals on a trophy catch.  Go where the “trout” or “bass” is found.  Never lower your expectations or goals.  If you are a child of God, you deserve only the best, God-selected trophy catch, and that is God’s desire for you also.

“Ladies, if you run after God like you run after a man, he will send you a man you won't have to run after.”

This article was featured in The Bible View #515.

You may also want to read Christian Dating Advice.

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