Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Hey friends. I have to be honest, I was fired up when I wrote this post. I witnessed a young friends interaction with the young man that has come a courtin', and it quite frankly angered me. I won't go into details about the interaction because they're not mine to share. The incident really made me think back. Seeing the two of them interact really took me back to my own blissfully ignorant days. There is something to be treasured about innocent inexperience. At the same time, there is so much that you don't realize with that lack of experience. Little interpersonal things that either go unnoticed, or go unchecked. Little red flags.
You know, it is important as a single young woman to know what to look for in a suitor, and potential husband. Marriage is a wonderful thing to aspire to. It is brutally attacked and mired in our culture, and that is truly heartbreaking. God created marriage. It is a beautiful picture of Christ and His church. I proudly prepare myself for and await the man that God potentially has for me. We are not guaranteed a spouse in this life, but I purpose to be ready to be a helpmate suitable whether God brings that man into my life or not.
I've had some unfortunate experiences with guys that have come around. Thankfully, I learned a lot through those experiences, as well as many hours of conversation with others much older and wiser than myself. I certainly don't know everything about this subject, but I have learned so much through experience and bible study. I know some things now. Things that matter, yet, are not often addressed in articles and conversation about guys and what kind of men they should be to be worthy of a young woman. Yes, worthy. I'm not afraid to say it. There are standards that young men should meet before they can pursue a young woman. We as young women should recognize the standards and not be afraid to measure a guy against them.
" A MAN THAT WILL LEAD YOU TO GOD, AND NOT TO SIN, IS ALWAYS WORTH THE WAIT."
|A godly man will be in God’s word. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The same goes for a godly woman. If we want to grow in Christ, we must study scripture. If a guy shows up at church without his bible, and doesn’t engage with the sermon, that’s a red flag. A man that loves the Lord will love His word, and an evidence of that is his desire to study it; both privately and publicly. You can quickly assess a man’s walk with Christ by watching him in this public setting. If he’s not engaged with God’s word publicly at church, he will not be engaged with it in private in personal study.
Another side to this is a guy's engagement with the church ( tithing, serving at church, giving of his time, talents, and expertise to the glory of God ). A guy will not be able to attain full spiritual manhood without a commitment to church, and God's word. His commitment in this area will directly affect you both as a couple, and any future children.
|A godly man will not invade your personal space. If a guy touches you in a playful way or invades your personal space (tickling, leaning in toward you in an intimate way, whispering something in your ear, or further! ) is not prepared to pursue you. This may seem harmless, and it may even make you feel good. We’re women, we desire to be loved. A perceived “loving” touch is easy to overlook. In reality this is sexual tension on the guy’s part. These seemingly harmless flirtations are compromise, and they are an insult and disrespect to you as a pure, godly young woman. With his words he may tell you how much he respects and cares for you, but with his actions he reveals that he is willing to put his selfish physical desires before your purity. A man that does not respect your personal space and your physical being is not ready to pursue you because he has yet to master his sexuality, and discipline himself in purity. He is not protecting himself, or protecting your purity physically and emotionally. He has no right to be intimately close to you. Only your husband has that God given right. Watching a guy’s physical proximity to you will reveal how well he manages his own body, desires, and how genuine his affections are for you. A man that loves you will protect you, even from himself.
|A godly man will respect and value your time. With maturity comes comfortable security. This applies to both men and women, but we’re focusing on guys here. A man that is secure will not monopolize your time. If you’re spending time with your family or having lunch with a girlfriend and he continuously texts you, pulling your attention away, you’re dealing with a boy not a man. A man will give you the proper space and freedom to enjoy your time others without distraction. Now please don’t hear me saying if a guy texts you at all while you’re spending time with others or busying yourself with other productive things that he’s in the wrong. Monopolizing is the key word here. It is the action of taking up the greatest share of your time and attention. Remember, you have a life outside of him. He doesn’t have exclusive rights to the majority of your attention. So watch to see if a guy gives you some room to breathe when he knows you're busy ( or even just hanging out at the house with your family ) or if he hovers over your attention. An insecure, and spiritually immature, guy will chat you up constantly. More likely than not, the "conversation" he stirs up won't be of great depth. Chit-chat should be very small percentage of his interaction with you.
One additional point here: A man should be productive. Is he in school? Does he work? How about a hobby, or some guy friends of his own? A guy shouldn't have lots of time on his hands to be monopolizing yours. A man will be busy and productive, and make time to talk with you and spend quality time with you.
|A godly man will openly pray. This goes back to the first point in a sense because a man that is in God’s word will also be a man of prayer. The two go hand-in-hand. What is in our heart naturally proceeds from our mouth, and plays out in our actions. Prayer ( and bible study ) is a way that we cultivate our relationship with Christ. A spiritually mature man will openly and confidently pray in groups and one on one. One on one is where you, the young woman, come in. A man should be willing to pray with and for you, and he should take the lead in this action. Men are called by God to be the leaders of their household, and this includes prayer. You want a man that will boldly lead you in prayer, because the foundation of your relationship is your commitment to God, and how do we cultivate our relationship with Him? Through prayer.
|A godly man will cultivate a relationship with your family. When you marry someone you don't just get them. You get their family too. This is twofold. You get their family in traits that they as an individual carry over. You also get their family for holidays, dinners, babysitting etc.. There are many ways in which your new extended family will be present in your life. Your family knows you best. Your closest relationships are with family members; your mom, dad, your sister. So then, a guy that is serious, and mature, will not only purpose to know you but purpose to know your family as well. Your family is part of you, and a guy that is serious will want to know all of you. Your family is part of that. If a guy has no or little interest in knowing your family, that should be a huge red flag to you. He is essentially saying, with his actions, that he doesn't truly desire or intend to know you fully.
If you admired a work of art, like a painting, wouldn't you wonder what the artist behind it was like? What inspired them to paint that piece? What it is about that piece that they think is significant and special? You are the piece of art. Your parents have helped shape and mold you; like the artist behind a painting. It's a beautiful process. It's something to be respected. If a guy 'admires' you he should naturally want to know the 'artist' behind what he admires. This is really an act of love.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.." - Ephesians 5:25Let me be clear, I am not being legalistic here. If you're in a serious relationship, hold the man's hand, spend time really talking with him, get to know his family too, pray with him. The point is that he is called to lead and protect you. That is his calling by God. Look for leadership. If a man really loves you, he will lead you, and that leading will always protect your purity, pursue you, and put you first in Christ-like love. Some things are just very black and white in life. Gray areas are where compromise begins, and compromise pulls us away from the Lord, and walking in godliness. You can’t expect a young man to be as mature and wise as your father or another man that you respect. You’re looking for seedlings. Does this young man have a trajectory for his life? Does he pursue the Lord and walk according to His word? Is he a man of integrity? You will see these things in their basic form, ready to develop and grow, shaping him into the man he will be as he ages; the man that will potentially love and provide for you, and be a father to your children. A young man is just an inexperienced version of his older self. People don't change, they grow. You want to see a foundation and pursuit of godliness. God will continue to grow a young man into the mature older man that he will become. The man that you will build a life and heritage with.
Pursue the Lord with all of your heart, and be content where he has you. This will give you a clear mind and eye to see a guy that is a cut above the rest; whose heart has been captured by Christ. If you place your heart in God's hands, you can trust Him to place it in the hands of a worthy man.
What traits do you look for in a guy?