Men want women

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I’m married. and I don’t miss the dating scene for one minute. I have a godly wife who is a blessing to me every day, even when we are fighting, even when I don’t see it in my sinful nature. And this extremely corny picture above is not a realistic commentary on relationships, certainly not mine. I just thought it was so ridiculous that I had to use it.
Obviously, I’m not an expert on the dating scene, but because I have a lot of friends who are single, I thought I would lend my limited observations and advice to dating. The big question is, “How do I honor the Lord with how I date and who I date?” I know that how you approach dating can reap rewards or difficulties for your future marriage. And I didn’t do this really well, either, when I was dating. Maybe you will learn more from my mistakes than anything else.
So. Men want women. And that’s about as far as most men think it through. “I want one.” We know we like women. We like the way they look, smell, and make us feel. But most men have no clue what to do after that. Honestly. That’s why we come up with stupid pick-up lines, why we work out and wear shirts that are way too tight for us, why we get tan or wear nice clothes, and are generally awkward and uncomfortable around women we like. We don’t know what to do with you, so instead of asking you and being honest and vulnerable, we invent things we think you like and hope for the best.
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Men are mostly clueless because women are a mystery to most men. You really are. One minute you are sweet and nice, and we think we are doing great. We can easily misinterpret kindness for attraction. You may act as if you are attracted to us, but you’re just being nice, or you may be playing hard to get. And men can’t figure this out. Most men have linear logic, meaning A leads to B, then B leads to C, and so on. So if you laugh at are jokes, are generally nice to us, look at us, etc., we think you like us. Then we build an entire theory around everything that fits that description. But the minute you stop doing those things, the building starts to crumble and we have to build a whole new paradigm.
Rubix-Cube5Women are like an unsolvable Rubix cubes to men – you take a long time to figure out, and then, when everything starts to make sense and all the blocks start getting into place, we turn the cube over to find there are blocks that are out of place elsewhere and they totally upend the entire thing. The worldview we used to interpret you is shattered, and we have to start all over. Fellas, am I right here?
This isn’t to say that this is the woman’s fault. It just means that most men are clueless and lack the necessary skills to speak to, understand, and get to know women in a straightforward and honest way. We act like we aren’t clueless, and sometimes believe we aren’t, but we really are.
This dating thing is Crazytown, isn’t it? Really high highs, and then really low lows, sometimes in the same hour. Both people are playing games, trying to figure each other out, all the while not being honest, vulnerable, or transparent, but instead trying to be someone they are not. Listen – any process driven by hormones and immaturity is bound to fail.
used-car-salesman
Dating in today’s culture is like buying a car from a used car salesman. You know what I’m talking about, right? We hide all of our flaws while exaggerating all of our bonus features. You would never hear a car salesman say, “Well, the engine is second hand, the tires are shoddy, and we just want to get rid of this clunker as quickly as possible. You want to make the commitment?” In the same way, the person you are dating is not going to tell you their flaws and shortcomings for at least two reasons: first, that’s a horrific and wildly embarrassing thought. You don’t lead with your weaknesses. You will just let them figure those out on their own. Secondly, they don’t know all of their flaws and shortcomings! We all have blind spots, so it’s impossible to tell you something about myself that I don’t even know about myself!
Couple on Beach
So how in the world can a Christian man meet, date, and marry a Christian woman? How does this story end happily? First of all, stop playing games. Dating is not a game. Meeting and getting to know each other is not self-serving, meaning that you don’t date somebody because it makes YOU look good. “Well, she’s pretty, drives a sweet car, dresses sexy, and makes me look like a stud. Done!” Or, “He’s got money, a good job, and he’s handsome. Who cares if he has a huge anger problem and doesn’t love Jesus?”  Nope. That’s not how this works. You date someone with the hope of glorifying God. You get engaged to someone with the hope of glorifying God. You marry someone with the goal of glorifying God. God is about your joy and His glory, and your future spouse will be God’s appointed tool to lovingly reveal your sin. You really want to know that person before you invited them into your world of dysfunction, and vice versa. So how can you get to know someone really? Below are questions, some of which are from Mark Driscoll’s sermon series on Redeeming Ruth, that were helpful to me. They are not foolproof or perfect, but are good guidelines to help you on the way.
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Okay, so how do you do glorify God with your dating? First, you must start with yourself. Ask yourself these questions:
  • Do I know and love Jesus? If not, start there. The Gospel of Jesus is the foundation and the structure of all you will do. You are more evil and sinful than you ever imagine, and you are more loved and accepted in Jesus than you ever thought possible. Begin and end with Jesus. You don’t need to do better things and try harder – we are all sinners and need new hearts. It’s as simple as that.
  • Am I the type of person that a godly man/woman is looking for? If not, why not?
  • What needs to change and grow in me?
  • Where do I see sin’s evidence in my life, but I am not actively fighting it?
  • Am I in prayer, in the Word, and seeking the Lord through fasting and listening to God and worship?
  • What are the things in your life you hate but can’t seem to shake? Pride? Anger? Lust? These don’t “go away” in marriage, but are amplified. So do the hard work now so you don’t bring these huge, destructive dysfunctions into your marriage. And you may not be fully healed when you get married, but you better be fighting sin and have a game plan.

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Once you have looked at your own sin and obvious short-comings, go deeper. Start looking at your maturity/lack of maturity, thought processes, and character.
  • If you don’t have the wisdom to evaluate character, you need to wait, mature, get with older folks of the same sex who have wisdom, work on your soul, fast, pray, and wait for evident growth and maturity.
  • If you are not doing the things that you are looking for in a future spouse, you are asking things of them you are not willing to do yourself. So don’t pursue a godly person if you are not pursuing the Lord. Get into Recovery, counseling, and the church so you can get some blind spots pointed out, grow, and mature. And these are high standards, so take a lot of time to work through them for yourself before you put this on someone else.

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  • Communication – if you are not able to communicate with a person of the opposite sex effectively on a spiritual level about the Lord and about your sin, you must not proceed to another level of commitment (with words, promises, engagement, or anything else). Your relationship must be based on Jesus, and communication is HUGE in a marriage.
  • Be patient. You may just watch someone from afar (no creepy stalker, but if you have your eyes on someone at church) so that you can see the trajectory of their life. If they are becoming the person you are looking for based on godly principles, but not the EXACT person you are looking for now, that’s okay. No one is where they want to be. But if they are working towards these things – dying to self, serving, worshiping, loving, giving, growing, studying God’s Word, and submitting their life to God – then consider the fact that God has a hold of their life and the Spirit will lead, convict, and grow them into godliness. Do not put unrealistic standards on them. He who is forgiven much forgives others much, so remember your own sins and shortcomings so that you can see their sins and shortcomings in a realistic light.

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Once you answer these questions and put them into practice, you can begin to look at others of interest:
What should you look for in a spouse? Here are some answers below.
  • A person who has a godly name. Whose name carries with it a good and godly reputation.
  • Whose friends and acquaintances speak well of them and know they love and pursue Jesus.
  • Who is respected because of their love of Christ and life that produces gospel fruit.
  • Who, when people say their name, they smile and speak with joy and excitement about that person and of the beautiful relationship they have with Jesus.
  • Who has a godly character, who has depth of being, who has developed their soul and not just their physical appearance.
  • A worker who is submissive to and respects the godly authority in their lives (fathers, mothers, bosses, etc). This shows that they are most likely to be submissive to the Lord. Having submission to and respect for others means there is capacity to have it towards Jesus.

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  • A thinker who keeps their mind and intelligence sharp with curiosity. You want to marry a man or woman who is not lazy with their mind but diligent. They don’t have to be MENSA-approved, but they should exhibit a desire to grow and better themselves.
  • Do they have depth with the Lord and depth with others? Do they exhibit spiritual gifts, and are they walking in those gifts to serve the Lord and the body of Christ? Do they show heartfelt passion for the glory of God and Christ?
  • Are they willing to go anywhere if God calls them to missions? Do they listen to God more than to their own comforts?
  • If you are a man, is she a leader among women? If you are a woman, is he a leader among men? Do they exhibit traits of wisdom, biblical knowledge/ application of the truth, vision, ability to decide, guide, foresee struggles and difficulties, provide aid and help in time of need? Is she a woman to whom other women run to in times of trouble, who has been tested, tried, and proven true in hardship? Is he a man that other men run to in times of trouble, who has been tested, tried, and proven true in hardship?
  • When they are in trouble, who do they run to? Do they get help, counseling, and direction from godly believers? Do they want to be challenged and corrected, or just comforted and told that everyone and everything else is the problem?
  • Are they a minister, walking in ministry? Is there fruit in their ministry? Do they know the calling of a believer of Jesus and therefore love and serve others?
  • Do they have a beautiful spirit? Is their “heart so lost in in God that I must seek God in order to find them?”

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  • Have they experienced pain and suffering and hardship, and yet still able to walk out the other side still loving God despite the bruises? Have their trials brought them closer to Jesus or pushed them further from Him? Your not looking for a “perfect” man or woman, but one who has scars and bruises from the fight.
  • What is it they are NOT willing to do? If they are NOT willing to go when God sends, submit to a biblical definition of marriage and headship, interpret what they do in light of the truth of God’s Word, admit their wrongs and sins and submit to the Lord and asking for healing and grace and repentance, all the while moving away from their sins, then those are deal-breakers. No exceptions.

HonorGod

And that’s how you date, get engaged, and get married in a way that honors God. No one is perfect. No one is doing these well all the time. No one can live up to these standards. And that’s why the Gospel is so beautiful. Jesus did and can, so knowing Jesus, trusting Jesus, and loving Jesus is the first and middle and last step in all things. You may never get married. Your spouse may fail you. You may follow all of these principles and your world still falls apart. However, if Jesus is your rock and fortress, you can abide in Him and you can still live to honor and glorify God. And that’s why we are here, isn’t it?

My next blog will be about AFTER you get married. So buckle up!

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6 thoughts on “Men want women

  1. I am printing these out as fast as you post them! My husband and I will very soon be sharing these with our 14 year old son. So much Godly wisdom. Thank you so much for sharing!!

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