Tag Archives: dating

Date Me If You Can

The issue of reading women probably stems from this oxymoron: we’re sickeningly sweet to the ones we couldn’t care less about and stone-cold indifferent to the attractive ones.

In my life, this little fact has handicapped me from being approachable to the right guys. I’ll see an attractive person and immediately freeze. My eyes drop to the floor and I instinctively smile at my feet. Some would say I’m just shy, but even shy people look back up at the person of interest. Unfortunately, I’ve convinced myself that such a move would scream with blaring desperation “pick me, please pick me!” So I am unable to express openness or encourage an approach. No wonder guys have such a fear of being shot down. We look like disinterested monsters too full to consume the approaching victim. But hey! There’s always the chance we’ll kill you for fun and leave the rotting corpse in our wake. So how do guys read the signs?

It is not always the guy’s responsibility to interpret mysterious signs expressed by the female gender. Take me, for instance, I’ll run the opposite direction, zigzagging along the way to throw someone off my trail. . .if I like him, that is. That doesn’t build much confidence in a poor guy trying to pursue.

So, hopefully the following will help…

Here are some of the signs of interest:

First, she glances and smiles. Then, she gives a second glance… 3 seconds pass… she smiles again. Third time, …she smiles, …okay! It is time to approach. This girl is interested.

Here is when it is not up to the poor guy to read interest: if a girl glances, makes eye contact and looks away, never to look back. It’s her loss if the guy chooses not to risk rejection by approaching her.

Flip the scene: when we don’t like someone, we smile, we’re friendly, we joke, we laugh, and we act like they are the only person in the world. We’re comfortable, if not confident. We don’t worry about rejection or looking dumb in front of these guys. They get friend-zoned almost immediately, but we love hanging out with them. Insert every girl’s claim here: we want to marry our best friend. By this, it only means we want to get as comfortable with the one we’re attracted to as we are with the friend-zoned fellow.

There is nothing wrong with being nice to guys we’re not interested in, but it is immensely confusing to befriend all the ones we don’t like while giving icy glares to the ones we do.

Here’s something we girls can do: be friendly to the guys we want to approach us. Be open and welcoming. Guys don’t need us to take their hand and lead the relationship. They need some encouragement in the right direction. They are not mind readers or flawlessly confident men who haven’t a fear in the world. They are human, trying to navigate life.

For the guys: look for the signs of interest. If you are unsure but interested, go for it. Most of the time, we are gracious in our rejection. Don’t take it personal. It was a risk taken and a new direction to move in. This one didn’t work. Maybe the next one will.

We could all learn to be clearer with our communication, actions and intentions. We are friendly creatures, by default because we want to be accepted and liked. Unfortunately, it is easier for us to abuse our power with people who make us comfortable. That goes for both genders. We gladly accept the attention of a person regardless of our own disinterest in them. It makes us feel desirable and enables us a few back-up plans in case we can’t find someone better. The dilemma in that is, when a guy sees us with our “friend,” he regards us as taken and moves on. This inevitably works its dark magic on our esteem. Now, we wonder why the only guys we attract are the ones we don’t like. The simple truth is we’re afraid of the ones we like. We don’t want to show our vulnerable hearts to them. So we try to mask it, act tougher, show interest elsewhere in order to get his attention. If we could just learn to be ourselves— comfortable, friendly, and funny— with the right company, we might have the chance at a top-choice relationship. We wouldn’t feel the need to settle every time we’re single and alone. Fear is the partner of settling. Fear of being alone, being shunned by society, being an outcast or–God forbid–different! Another reason we settle is this, “Hey! If the guy I like sees me with someone else, he’ll know I’m desirable. He will try to win me over.” I’m pretty sure it’s every girl’s fantasy to be fought over by two great guys. “May the best man win!” This is our atrocious flesh rearing its ugly insecure head like a pimple on prom night. It’s a world of confusion with so simple a solution:

We need to be nice to the one we are actually interested in. Stop playing games. If the guy doesn’t have a chance, we should be decent and respectful and cut him loose. It only brings trouble to keep a hapless crusher attached. He deserves to be happy with someone who will like him in return.

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Why Nice Guys Finish Last

We say we want a man to “take charge and lead the relationship.” Yet, we are adamant against relational tyrants. This is all quite understandable. What might add a twist of confusion to the mix is when such a large clump of women end up with tyrants, control freaks, manipulators, and abusers. All the nice guys are left wondering, “What is wrong with me?” Well fellas, here is how this works.

The cocky, take-charge man that we all say we hate has some appeal to his manner of approaching relationships. He knows what he wants and he is confident in his pursuit. That type of guy realizes –at least, some of them do- they may fail. The relationship may go bust. However, that does not stop them or hinder their pursuit. From a girl’s perspective, we can spot insecurity a mile away. After all, many of us are hitched to it like a ball and chain. It is something we hate about ourselves. So, when we see it in a potential mate, we are practically ruthless in shutting that person down. We need someone who will balance us out. Be a rock when we’re a mess, be level-headed when we’re freaking out, and be an open ear when we are rambling a million words per minute.

The female gender is astutely critical. We most often criticize ourselves, but when that cup overflows, we look elsewhere for targets. I am not proud of this, nor do I justify the weakness. But, I do know that it happens. It’s our weakness. It can be an asset when we use the criticism to better ourselves. But when it is exercised to belittle our mate, compare ourselves to other women, or complain about features we cannot change, it isn’t being put to good use.

Here is how nice guys fit into the mix. “She would never go for a guy like me.” “If she really likes me, she’ll talk to me.” The nice guy can be so shy and passive that he doesn’t even ask a girl out. Sometimes, the “nice guy” stereotype comes with something else: insecurity, uncertainty, inability to take charge and lead.

My first love was one of those guys: so very nice… so very insecure. We were snowboarding buddies. I loved how daring he was on the slopes. I wished he would become more daring in our friendship, too. But, he was deathly shy and couldn’t seem to put one relational foot in front of the other. So, I grabbed his hand and lead the way. We liked each other that much I knew. One night, before departing ways he asked me what I was thinking. Being a silly little girl, I told him exactly what was on my mind. “I want to kiss you, but I don’t know how.” Yeah, that was a lie. I knew how. I just wanted him to lead this relationship, not me. Our young love sprouted and we kept seeing each other. But I was the leader. I instigated, I lead, I controlled the relationship, and I hated it. He would look at me, stand near me, tell every other guy not to go for me. But he himself could not make the moves. Miscommunication and lack of leadership on his part lead our relationship on a merry-go-round with no destination. It was a fun ride, but had little purpose. I regret how it all ended, but I wasn’t prepared to get down on one knee and propose to the guy. So I walked away. And like a typical romantic comedy, I wished and prayed he would stop me, come after me. He didn’t.

Sorry guys. This is just how it works. If you are nice, but can’t lead a relationship, things are going to crumble fast. One of two things might happen. Scenario A: it’s a sweet, but boring date and interest chokes with the first bite of food, can’t get resuscitated by dessert, and gets buried when the two say their goodbyes. It’s a hopeless cause. Scenario B: it is an opportunity for the woman to take charge for a bit. She’ll lead the relationship awhile until she grows bored or meets a confident leader who can make decisions and hold a conversation. They say nice guys finish last. Sometimes they do. And this is why. Women crave men with leadership abilities and confidence. Women will go for a confident man over a “nice guy” 99% of the time. The key is to become both.

Nice Guy, put yourself out there more. Take chances. You may fail thirty-seven times, but when it does work, it is worth it. Be confident in this: you are exactly who you are supposed to be. God created you a specific way. There is a type of girl who is madly wild about your character. So be confident, be bold. Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to say all the right things and ask all the right questions. We’re learning together. Just roll with it. If you make a mistake, shrug it off. Life is fun and relationships are incredible gifts from God. Treat every woman like you’d want your sister or future wife to be treated and you will leave every girl better off than before she knew you.

I respect a man who will put himself out there. I’m not talking about the creepy guy that accosts me in Wal-Mart ranting about my outer beauty. I’m talking about the budding friendship that clicks well. Most of the time, I’ll say yes to a date, especially if a friendly platform has been established first. There, that should be the hardest step covered. The actual date is the fun part. A plan is good. Questions are great. But stress is unnecessary. It seems like a lot of pressure, but there is only one thing you need to do on this date: be confident in yourself. Now, if the date doesn’t go well, so be it. Not every girl is the right fit. The confidence part is what you can control. If you are confident you will shine and exude a certain authenticity that is attractive. That is how you will have a good date, regardless of the outcome.


Jabber Mouth Princess

“I’m going to be true to myself,” Jackie claimed as her approach to dating. If she had feelings for a guy, she let him know. If she wanted to talk to a guy, she called him. If she was scared she might lose a guy, she’d cling to him and ask for some reassurance. If she liked a guy, she threw herself into a relationship head first, whether he was open to it or not. There was no mystery, or chance for a guy to lead the relationship. She made the moves and made sure not even a day went by that he didn’t hear how she felt. A lot of people might wonder what’s wrong with this bold approach. There is a time to share feelings and have defining conversations for the direction of a relationship. But there is also a time to be patient and silent.

A girl sometimes talks just for the sake of talking. If a moment becomes too quiet, she gets nervous and feels the need to tell a story, or rant on about meaningless nothings, “This one time, at band camp….” This inevitably makes her look as insecure and nervous as she is feeling. Many guys have something important they could share, but they choose not to when a girl goes on and on … and on. “So like, today was just the best day! I was driving… to like, work or something, and this BABY BIRD flopped into the road in front of me. Luckily, I was at a red light or like, I might have squished that poor, helpless creature. And then, like, how would the momma bird feel?? How would I feel?? Oh my gosh! So then, anyway, I went shopping after work and bought this pretty pink shirt and these leggings. I was totally about to buy some new socks with puppies on them, and some new shoes, but then I remembered I needed to go to the post office for some stamps. I was talking to my best friend on the phone and she said her boyfriend’s mom’s boyfriend bought a new Porsche. He modified it so it cost, like, more than my whole wardrobe. It’s a pretty metallic color with flames and chrome wheels. I’m going to get a Porsche someday. I think they are so pretty, don’t you?” On and on… it’s meaningless, but it beats the silence, right?

I cannot stress enough how vital it is to get comfortable with silence. I know some women like to talk. They use more than ten times the amount of words men do… each day. That does not mean every moment and every day should be filled with mindless banter.  There is a time for everything, including silence. How will we ever hear those few important sentences other people need to speak if we do not give them the opportunity?

We all know that girl who jabbers a million miles an hour. It doesn’t go well for her on a date. She goes home thinking she met her future husband and feels great that she shared so much of her heart. He, on the other hand, was ready for the date to end right after they sat down for dinner. She told him about her best friend from middle school, her popularity in high school, that she was on the honor role, how her dog Skip died, about all nine of her boyfriends and why it didn’t work out… with each of them, her favorite pastime, what she likes to eat while watching TV, and the names and personalities of all seven of her cats. She connected. He didn’t.

There needs to be some mystery. The most exciting part of getting to know someone is discovering their personality through questions and interactions. If a girl tells everything about herself, without even taking a breath, the date loses its mystery and the girl just comes off as a boring braggart. We don’t need to chase after or pursue anyone.

Joann pursued Tony. She is gorgeous and outgoing, but doesn’t have a lot of self-respect. She eventually snagged him. Soon, his disinterest and boredom became evident. Predictably, he began to look elsewhere. He wanted to pursue someone with mystery who would take some effort to finally win. No matter how beautiful she looked, it wasn’t enough to keep her man occupied. Men are made with a desire to win a battle, and fight for a woman. It’s not our job to pursue. It is hard to keep that kind of relationship. Of course, that is not always the case. I realize there are some special circumstances. But let me be clear, those circumstances should be the minority, not the majority of relationship beginnings.

There are a few exceptions to the rule. When a guy is outrageously shy, it is okay to throw a few extra hints his way, perhaps a sky message that reads: “I like you, shy guy, when you ask me out I will say yes.”

Another case that might need some encouragement: sometimes we give ‘hands-off’ messages to guys. I started to develop some interest for a friend of mine. Throughout our friendship he saw guy after guy pursue me without luck. We would even talk about the other situations and how awkward it was for me. Their desperation to win me, a stranger, was unnerving. He admitted to me that he didn’t want to ever pursue me because he was afraid I might categorize him with those others. I did like him though. As our friendship blossomed but never progressed, the time did come when I shared my heart with him.

Making the moves can be an intimidating and nerve-racking process. It is never fun to risk rejection. So if we are clearly telling people we don’t want to date and we don’t want a boyfriend, the right, respectful guys will step down and either be a friend or move on. If an interest is formed for one of these respectful men, a hint or two might be needed to encourage them in the pursuit. In this case, a conversation might even be best. The conversation, though it can be scary, should be easy-going and honest, “Hey, we’ve had ____ many months to get to know each other. I just want you to know I appreciate _____ and _____ (character qualities) about you. I have developed stronger feelings for you. But you do with that knowledge whatever you see fit. I cherish your friendship, so just let me know if there’s something there for you or if we should just keep being friends.” If this conversation is going to happen, breathe. Don’t get worked up over what needs to be said or what needs to happen. We can only share what’s happening on our side. Feelings have to be reciprocated in order for a relationship to ensue. We have no control over that, so there is no point in stressing. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, there is always going to be someone better suited.

These are not common situations. Guys have an innate desire to pursue. When they step into their God-given leadership roles they become more alive as men. Their masculinity is strengthened when we allow them to make the moves and do the wooing. The more we scream out equality on the playing field, the lazier our guys become. “Don’t wait for him to call you. You call him.” Just as we need to learn silence in order to give our guys a chance to share deep stories, or ask personal question, we also need to learn patience when it comes to first moves. We have to be careful about making hasty decisions or running ahead to take the lead. The most loving approach we can take in new encounters and relationships is to be open and friendly; not brash and outspoken. This isn’t a competition or a burping contest. We have an innate desire to be pursued. We don’t need to prove our worth or independence in order to impress guys. When we understand our security is found in Christ, we will learn how to respond to the right guy’s pursuit. There is no need to blare a loud horn to get a guy’s attention.

Some women are shy, so this approach is easier for them. And then there are some of us who are go-getters and major competitors.  It is hard to practice patience and self-control. We know what we want and we’re ready to get it. The downfall of this trait is a hasty decision. Backpedaling is hard to do when we’re already going down a hill. It is important to learn patience. Every man is a leader, or meant to be. Some have had their leadership squashed by so many women that it takes them a bit more time to pursue. They do have it within them. We can be a part of a great lesson for these guys if we just learn some patience in their pursuit. Just like talking, he’ll make the move, if we just step back and give him the floor.


A Cup of Confidence & A Spoonful of Strategy

Strategy: “First, pillage the nest. Clip wings. Now, blunt his beak. Crack eggs. Scramble, pinch of salt. Touch of pepper. Flip the omelet. Additional seasoning required. Breakfast is served.” –Sherlock Holmes, Game of Shadows.

Smart people strategize in life. They don’t “Just Do It” unless they understand the reasons and repercussions. They weigh the options and go with the best choice.

Strategy also works in dating scenarios. And first dates are the perfect opportunity. It’s exciting, tense, nerve-racking, and exhilarating. It is fun to ask questions, discover common ground, laugh, and even find chemistry when the date goes well. So how does one have a good date? Yes, we must keep in mind that there are two people making choices that determine if the date will go well. But there are many tactics we can use in order to make the environment comfortable, have plenty of questions to ask, and determine what the next step should be, if any.

Usually, women can tell if they like someone within the first five minutes of talking to the guy. A first date can make or break a relationship. This is probably why so many people feel pressure, nerves, and anxiety in the moments leading up to, and even throughout the date. If we could find a way to alleviate some of that pressure, wouldn’t we want to at least give it a try?

7 Strategic Tips For Successful Dates:

1. Make a mental note of questions to ask throughout the night when things get dull or awkwardly quiet. What do we want to know about these guys? We must keep in mind it’s a first date so questions concerning his thoughts on kids, what he’s looking for in a wife, and are we prettier than his ex are completely out of the question-no pun intended. We scratch the surface of these incredible human beings as we spend time with and get to know them. “Where did you grow up?” “What are some of your favorite memories of that place?” “If you had a chance to go back in time to one place in your life, where would it be, what would you change?” “What do you enjoy recreationally?” “What job do you have/want?” “What is your favorite aspect of God and why is that important to you?”

The main purpose to these questions is to find some of the depth in these guys and whether their interests meld with our own. Truly, I have a hard time connecting with guys that don’t have a sense of humor, an appreciation for life, a taste of optimism in their character, and security in Christ. When these are lacking, it is as though we are walking on two paths. First and foremost, there should be a foundational connection through Christ. If that relationship isn’t established in both parties, something innately necessary is amiss. It does help to find common ground within our two distinct personalities. I’ve heard opposites attract, but even in that, there is always some common ground. The bits of opposite are meager differences that can actually complement the two people. One is strong where the other is weak.

2. It is important to pay attention to his stories. We should ask specific questions to show we are listening.  Jared was a sweet, smart gentleman. On our first date he mentioned he was pursuing a Kinesiology major. ”Why did you choose Kinesiology, Jared?” “Originally,” he smiled, “I was going to be a doctor.” “Oh! What changed your mind?” He paused thoughtfully, and then continued, “My sister was paralyzed in a car accident when she was little. I’ve been taking care of her all her life. I guess I finally realized I wanted to help more people like her. I want to be a Physical Therapist. I want to see people reach for the stars and accomplish things they never dreamed they could do again after an accident.” It was amazing for me to hear him share such a deep part of his world. It was building a connection between us. He was uncovering something beautiful about his heart and passion. This was all possible with a few of the right questions and a tuned ear to listen.

3. When answering a guy’s questions, the first date is not intended to be a tell-all right away. Guys crave challenge and mystery. Talking/telling too much can put a major damper on a potential relationship. There is mystery in a woman who discloses information at the proper time in a relationship. It goes along the same lines as being intentional about everything. We must be intentional about the details we share. If we share our entire life stories within the first few weeks of a friendship, where can it go from there? There isn’t anything more to find out because we’ve disclosed it. Especially when it comes to deeper parts of our personalities, meaningful stories, and childhood insecurities, we hold them dear for the right time. We are worth the pursuit. Let him pursue. There is a perfect time to share stories and experiences. It just may not be within the opening five minutes of a first date.  

4. It is so important to be comfortable in our own skin. Being shy is one thing, but deathly insecure is another. We must come to a place of acceptance. We are all different and all beautiful in unique ways. Beauty isn’t a physical appearance, but how we feel inside. The true test of confidence is when we know and embrace our uniqueness and immeasurable worth in our Father’s eyes. When we know the God in Heaven approves of us and MADE us the way we are, confidence will exude from our beaming smile and balanced posture. Oh yes, posture is a part of this. Posture is the sweet little sister of Body Language. When observing someone’s posture it says numerous things about a person.

  • Girl with slumped shoulders: I don’t feel good about myself.
  • Girl with an overextended chest and swayed back: either I have back problems or I’m trying to get you to notice my assets.
  • Girl with her head down, sneaking into the room with darting eyes: I’m terrified the mob will get me. If someone even notices me I will bolt.

Bad posture is more than just bad posture. It makes a woman less flattering and seemingly less confident than she may actually be. Sometimes we get lazy and allow our shoulders to slump. But it is valuable to make a habit of holding our shoulders back, our smiles wide, and our heads up. This is a pure and simple sign of confidence. It is also very attractive to see, whether it is in a guy or a girl, and we will always notice a person who walks tall and smiles bright. There is something appealing about those people.

Now that the first-date jitters are over, it’s time to strategically work through other obstacles.

5. Be comfortable with silence. Give these guys the chance to think of their own questions. It’s time to throw the ball back into their court. It is fun to be on first dates because we can guide the conversations by asking specific questions and getting to know if these guys are good for us or better suited for another girl. But there is also a point when silence is golden. It gives these guys a chance to weigh their moves and ask their own set of inquiries. It also shows how collected we can be–as women–to allow silent moments. Just relax, smile, and enjoy the trickles of sweat that start forming on his forehead.

6. “Intentional” and “Communication” are two words that should go hand in hand in relationships. We need relationships. We need to learn from each other. Not every friendship with someone of the opposite sex will enter intimate territory. I have a friend who set clear guidelines from the beginning of her relationship- no talk of marriage, just get to know each other for a few months. They decided when the three-month mark hit they would reevaluate and make sure the friendship was satisfactory for both. If they had stronger feelings by that time, they would pray about taking the next step in the relationship. There were no false expectations or confusion as to where the relationship was headed. If they reached that three-month mark and one did not desire the next step, it was easy enough to say so. No pressure. No obligation to move toward a commitment neither wanted to make.

7. We should tell the guy if we don’t want to be in a relationship straight off (which we shouldn’t). Take the time to get to know these guys as friends. Sometimes, we have certain guy friends in our lives for a specific season, but then in the next season the friendship may not be as close. God continually brings people into our lives to teach us something. We learn from every relationship. It could be good, positive lessons, or sad, hurtful ones. Let’s hope for and practice the former. Let’s aim for all of our relationships to be beneficial and positive from start to finish. It may not always work, because there is another human being involved, making independent decisions as well. We can’t control the outcome of a relationship. However, we can control OUR part.

Every encounter we have is a gift. Every guy we meet is valuable. We gain small treasures and simple designs in our memory bank from every relationship we have. These tips are not meant to manipulate guys into relationships or put the best foot forward in order to snag a boyfriend. There is a great way to experience relationships and a rocky way. Dates are not just fun little activities to ward off boredom. There is a purpose to each of them. Strategies such as the above help us make smart decisions and prevent us from wasting anyone’s time. I respect men far too much to play games and date them for a free meal. Everyone deserves a first date, but they also deserve the decency of truth if the relationship is not going anywhere. And women are worth more than blind affection and quick relationship statuses.

In the land of the ‘savvy’ society, body language is a woman’s greatest weapon. She uses it to toy with men. She reels them in like fish on a hook, but isn’t able to detect whether the fish is a tender, exquisite Salmon or a bottom-feeding carp.

Before reeling in the next stranger with seductive body language and risqué clothing, let’s imagine how it would feel if some girl was behaving in that manner in front of our men or even our brothers. We should protect all of these guys as if they were someone else’s future husband. Not saying that to deter anyone from ever dating again, but we should take into account the guy has a heart as well, and it can be just as easily broken as ours. We should always behave respectfully, and expect the same treatment. These dates are opportunities to showcase God’s beauty and His guidelines for first dates. Dating can be fun, exciting, and healthy with the proper mindset and a holy purpose. We bring Jesus into every first date, every relationship, and every friendly encounter. We glorify Him with our attitudes, body language, posture, and conversations. Dating truly is one of the greatest opportunities in life.


Test Drives & Motocross Riders

“Let’s take it for a test drive.” John was a good-looking, successful bachelor. He liked organization and perfection. He would not compromise on one particular issue. He fell in love with Janis, but wouldn’t marry her until they took the [sexual] test drive to prove their compatibility. Janis stood firm in her belief to wait until marriage. Inevitably, their great relationship dissipated since neither would compromise on this important issue. However, in many cases, women are duped into the test-drive pit-stop. They start dating a guy who is nice, independent, financially set, and virtually perfect… until he drops this line, “How will we know we’re a perfect fit unless we take the test drive?” It makes a little sense, but most women aren’t convinced and need more coaxing, so the next lines ensue, “It’s an important investment so I’m not willing to commit unless I know it works for me. Like buying a house, or a new car, I have to make sure everything is perfect.” So it’s a big investment for him, that’s understandable. Unlike his material investments, he’s not buying a woman. Unless, she’s in a country where dowries are set and brides are purchased. To be blunt, he can’t demand to test drive a human being.

We think it’s our responsibility to take care of these guys and keep them happy. At what expense though? Is it our own virtue? That is a line that should not be crossed. God will never ask us to give our purity away. Why should we listen to a guy when he asks or demands it?

I was enamored by a pro motocross rider named Jake. He was an adrenaline-junkie, manly to the max, ruggedly handsome good looks, and purebred bad boy. He ignited the rebel in me. The fire in his eyes was mesmerizing. There was a great allure to fall for this impossible relationship. It was easy to get sucked in with no commitments attached. We were extremely affectionate with each other, but my boundaries were as intact as an electric fence. I wouldn’t go beyond my comfort zone or into roll-around-the-floor-“wrestling”-territory. He was respectful, surprisingly. One day, we had a little conversation about my stance. He inquisitively asked, “So, you won’t sleep with anyone until you get married?” “Yes, that’s right.” “Why on earth would you do that? Don’t you want to practice and have a little fun first?” “I’ll have plenty of fun when I get married. Until then, I don’t need to go there.” He sputtered, “Well then, marry me! We can fix this right now!” I wish I could say I wasn’t flattered by his words. But he was something special. Still, I couldn’t imagine myself with him. I liked him, but would never tether myself to this tempestuous man. And truly, he was really just asking for the thing I wouldn’t give until the seal of matrimony. Guys are smart and some know exactly which manipulation tactic brings results. Some use the “test drive” theory, while others stride down the commitment tract under pretense in order to get what they want. We have to see past the users and abusers, the bad boys and the rebels. I’ve encountered the bad boys and had my heart flutter from the whirlwind of risk and danger. But as my heart grows softer toward Christ and the life He has for me, I find my attraction taste has changed. The bad boy, no matter how great looking his shell, does not appeal to me in the same manner. I wouldn’t marry him so why waste my attraction and affection on him? There is something beautiful about the heart of a man after God’s will. I want to be the kind of person I would look for in a relationship. If I chase after God and pursue His will above all, I will encounter like-minded guys. If we know this and keep pursuing the wrong relationships, our hearts will grow harder and colder toward purity. It is crucial to see the truth and turn from old patterns, especially when it comes to bad boys and the temptation to let our hair down in the presence of fleshly freedom.

The philosophy that we can play now and not pay later is a lie. There will always be consequences attached to games with the bad boys and test drives with the rebels.


Eye On The Prize

We can’t live our lives based on a preemptive thought that marriage or boyfriends are in the near future. These and similar tracks only lead to discontentment in the present. There is nothing more depressing than living each day hoping for something else: a different life, different job, different self. By that, I don’t mean we can’t repent of sin and walk away from certain situations. We can always dream and ponder the next step. I live my life in complete wonder each day. I am amazed by God’s handiwork and His guidance. I’m amazed that He allows me to live at all, let alone in some of the most exotic places in the world.  It is so easy for us to get caught up in media and spendy, trendy fads. We’re always looking for something bigger and better. We lose sight of the small and priceless moments God has slipped into each moment of our lives. “My eyesight must be getting bad,” some may think, “because I’ve lost focus on the little things.” To those, life may be about the BIG things: the extraordinary moments, the accolades, the success, the money, the toys, the popularity, and the recognition. All of those big moments are meaningless without the small ones, without the contentment found in Christ and living for Him. We can never be satisfied by the amount of material wealth or human affection. True happiness, contentment, fulfillment, and security come from one place and one alone. He is the Author and Creator. He wrote this story we’re living in and He created the props. How can we spend so much time basking in the presence of the props when our Author has a story to tell through us? No matter how petty the simple tasks of day-to-day life seem and no matter how lonely we may be for a love story to transpire right now, nothing is worth the pain unless the Writer has penned it into the chapter. An example of this worthwhile pain is purity and taking a stand for our wholeness. It’s painful at times. I know from experience. Sometimes I get so impatient that I put hypothetical goggles on and start looking for “Mr. Right.” My standards get foggy, my self-control falters, my words and actions gain a note of flirtation, and every guy looks like Mr. Right. It’s painful to wait sometimes, but there is no comparison with the heart-wrenching consequences of sin. A guy can spill flattery from his lips that sounds or tastes sweet as honey, but the effects should do nothing more than make us nauseous. Relationships may start off hot and spicy, but often end with indigestion and reflux regret. Wisdom tells us to hold off no matter how attractive he is or how much our hearts flutter around him. We must work toward a genuine friendship with self-control intact. It is important to make sure his character is worthy of our admiration. Equally so, his goals are God-focused and his heart is strongly connected to the Lord’s. The idea of settling should repel us.

We don’t realize how each situation can mold our future. Each relationship affects us. Our hearts are continually shaped until the day we die. It is important to allow our hearts to be molded and changed through experiences. We are constantly becoming stronger and wiser people.

There’s nothing like hope. Hope is something that keeps us holding on in the midst of our hardest trials, in our deepest pits, in some of the most hurtful surroundings. Christ in me, the hope of the world. In all of life, no success story or super power can match that crucial piece of truth. Why would I worry about anything with the hope of the world wrapped snuggly in my heart? Contentment comes when we consider the truest meaning of life. It isn’t about who we marry, where we live, what career we choose. It’s about serving and glorifying God with every fiber of our beings.

“The Holy Spirit comes to bring glory to Christ and to bring results.” -Beth Moore


The Trap of Selfishness

“If I could speak all the languages of the earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” -1 Cor. 13:1

Go with the flow. The ambition of most is to keep up with popular trends and be socially acceptable. Unfortunately, our social evolution is a severe regression of the generation prior. It stems from evidence found in Genesis. This morning I read where Babylonians built a tower for themselves to magnify their greatness which was a blatant disregard for God. I’ve seen a mutation of this attitude run rampant in our culture today. All the girlfriends get together to complain about the men and this is the longstanding petition: “Think about yourself; what makes you happy?” As if all of life should be centered on our own happiness. This fickle emotion is fleeting. To base a relationship on happiness leaves many marriages in a tumultuous spin. It is becoming more common for relationships to end based on, “He doesn’t make me happy anymore.” Hear the selfishness dripping from that comment? No longer does, “Till death do us part” apply. Sadly, it would be more appropriate for those vows to be rewritten as, “Till I don’t feel like it anymore,” “Till it gets too hard,” or “Till I’m bored with you.” It devastates our morals and family values when divorce is such a quick and easy commodity. Why work at it if we can just turn him in for a newer, more exciting model? We put so much emphasis on what we can get out of the relationship. We can’t expect our relationships to look any different from those in the rest of society with this attitude.

First, it is selfish to base our relationships on what we get from the other person. There is another person—of equal value and importance—whose emotions and needs should be considered. He is loved by the Creator of the world; he is made in God’s glorious image. He deserves respect. How can we be so careless in these relationships? Are we leaving these guys better or worse at the end? We are accountable for how we interact in relationships. Each relationship is a gift. Learn from the opposite sex; see a different side of God’s character through that masculine being.

Second, it is unhealthy to be dependent in relationships. We can’t expect our partners to fulfill us. Some jump from relationship to relationship as frantically as possible to prevent an ounce of loneliness from seeping into their lives. We shouldn’t be afraid of being alone. Truth of the matter is that we are never alone (“I am with you always even to the end of the age.” Matt. 28:20b). It would be so beneficial for us to spend a good chunk of time evaluating break-ups and our attitudes. It is important to take time to heal from painful situations. It is not the next guy’s job to make us feel worthy.

What does God’s best look like? Of course it will be unique for each individual, but it will follow a set a guidelines God has created in order to protect us. We cannot simply fall into a right relationship; we bring the right relationship from our experiences. This relationship reflects the greatest relationship of all: Christ and His church. Christ gave Himself for the sake of others. The church responds for the glory of Christ. Both are selfless. What we learn from our personal relationships with God prepares us for personal relationships with people. In Him we find contentment, no matter the situation. In Him we find our confidence, our purpose, and our freedom. Everything we do centers around what we understand about God, ourselves, and the value of other people. If we don’t have a proper understanding of those things our relationships will continually crumble and fall short. It starts with understanding who God is. Only then can we understand ourselves and other people. God created each and every individual on this planet. He created all in His image and of equal value. If we could get past our selfishness we would treat others more like Christ has called us.

 “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. So we ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (1 John 3:16)

“This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

And this is just a taste. Christ is love. Inevitably, that means it starts with a concern for others… not our own happiness.


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