Monday, July 23, 2012

"You're the One that I Want" : Toxic Relationships in "Grease"

The other day, the song "You're the One that I Want" was playing through my head, and I was humming along and singing the only real part I knew: "You better shape up,'cause I need a man
and my heart is set on you." Then I stopped, not in my tracks, but mentally. I pushed paused, reversed, and replayed those lines. These lines had "bad advice" stamped in red, bold letters all over them and screamed, "These are lies!" I realized this was true. More soberingly, I realized I had been guilty of Sandra Dee's mindset towards getting a guy. Let's take a closer look at the fallacies that jumped out at me.

1. Line 1- You better shape up
2. Line 2- 'Cause I need a man
3. Line 3- And my heart is set on you.

#1- "You better shape up." You? Who? The guy. Now I've never indulged in missionary dating (aka dating a non Christian with the idea that you will "save" him), but I have wallowed in a different kind of dating I call "I-like-you-a lot-despite-the-warning-signs-I-see-but-God-can-work-on-you." And I've done this with Christian guys. Ladies, if the man your "heart is set on" does not fit your major qualifications, besides being a Christian (which is not enough), don't date him! Don't settle, and don't expect him to change. Know the things you will not settle on, and hold to them. Most importantly, date a growing Christian, a man who is actively pursuing God now. A growing Christian will be working on his imperfections and striving to be more like Christ and the man of God you should want to marry some day. I'm not saying the man you meet will be perfect (Christians have flaws), but if he has character flaws that are glaring or lifestyle differences that are incompatible, JUST SAY NO!

#2- "'Cause I need a man." Ahem...what? You do? Last time I was in science class, the necessities for life were food, water, air, and shelter. Of course God and His love is a necessity, but my school textbooks missed that important fact. NEED is a strong word. Ladies, which would you rather hear from a man you love, I NEED you, or I WANT you? Ideally, it should be the latter. A man may desire female companionship in addition to his relationship with God, but he should be self-sufficient and content in who he is. Also, which is more flattering to the lady? I NEED you, or I WANT you? Once again, the latter. Do you want to be a man's glass of water or bowl of soup? I didn't think so. You are a lovely addition to his life, like icing on the top. Proverbs talks about a wife being a gift from God, something that should be treasured and that is given, not a necessity. So, this all falls into place from the female perspective as well. Do you "need" a man? If so, sister, I advise you to stay single a long time, until that need becomes a want, because God meets your needs. You're setting yourself up for extremely unhealthy relationships when you reach this area of desperation, often lowering your standards to relieve the loneliness. Abusive, clingy, and heart-wrenching matches are in your future if you believe you have a NEED. Just wait. A little longer. You don't need a man.

#3- "And my heart is set on you." Once again, much like number one and two. Guess what ladies, there is not ONE man right for you. In fact, there are many that could be right for you, that fit the best qualifications that God sets and that you've set. Don't cling to a guy who is not clinging to God. Run. Flee. And wait for something better. As my friend once told me, "Good is bad when it keeps you from the best." Be patient.

So, now that I've thoroughly ruined the musical enjoyment you got out of this song, I want to leave you with some guidelines I found helpful in my "dating" life: Don't settle, maintain your standards, and embrace God's love before a man's.

Don't be a Sandra Dee, ladies! Something better is out there for you if you practice patience and seek His face, not his as in the lifeguard on duty, first.


  1. Such wisdom, Larkin! You have blessed my heart! I would love to share these thoughts with some ladies in my teen Sunday School class.

    Love, Lisa K.

  2. I love this article! Great thoughts and great points!! :)

  3. Very wise words Ms. Larkin

  4. Hey! Thanks for your comment megzc. Are we facebook friends? I don't recognize your name.