A FEW BASICS – ALLOWING YOUR GUY TO LEAD (my suggestions – not God’s – so take that for what it is worth)
– let him ask for your contact information
– let him ask you out
– let him call you first
– let him decide whether to ask you out again
– do not text/call/email him first (until the relationship is well established as a committed, exclusive relationship by the man) – wait and answer when he calls or contacts you
– have a lot of other things going on in your life – have purpose, meaning, fulfillment and joy in Christ and friends and a Christian community without a man
– let him decide to kiss you (you can stop him if you are not ready or you want to save kissing until engagement or marriage, but don’t initiate)
– when he does kiss you – it might be wise not to try to mark the occasion with a big TALK. That will tend to repel a man, and make him think you are way more serious than he is about the relationship. Let HIM be the one to verbalize “I love you” first or to say he wants you to be his girlfriend.
– let him be the one to announce your relationship status first to family and others and on FB
– let him be the one to decide to propose. DO NOT PRESSURE him!
– do not take over wedding planning and become a tyrant. Let him be as involved as he wants to be, and realize that just because you are planning a wedding, does NOT mean you are in charge of the relationship or marriage!
– you will have to do a lot of waiting and trusting God. That is a GOOD THING! You will need those skills when you are a submissive and respectful wife with a gentle and peaceful spirit that does not give way to fear!
– if a man doesn’t respond to you, don’t wait around on him forever – move forward and seek God’s direction
CHANGING THE DOMINANT WOMAN/PASSIVE MAN DYNAMIC
When a woman has been trying to control the relationship and making most of the decisions and the man has been unplugged – it takes TIME and practice for her to step down and learn to be a great follower and it takes TIME and practice for him to learn to become a great leader. Becoming a godly leader takes practice, trial and error. It takes failing sometimes and learning from failure. Honestly, our response to their failure is way more important, usually, than the fact that they failed!
We will need God’s Spirit to empower us. And we will need to be sure we are putting Christ first in our hearts, not our men, our being in control, our feelings, our desires, our “rights,” our needs, etc. It requires that we die to ourselves and live for Christ. (This applies to a relationship that you believe is going to lead to marriage!) But, if we can show that we will support our men and trust them to fix things and make things right, if we don’t make a huge deal out of their mistakes – we will help them climb to a kind of greatness in their leadership that we can hardly begin to fathom at first.
OUR GUYS ARE GOING TO MESS UP SOMETIMES. THAT HAS TO BE OK.
Of course some times our men’s decisions are purely selfish and not from God. Yep. Actually, some of my decisions are that way, too. We are all wretched sinners in desperate need of Christ every moment! That is how it works when there is a human in a position of God-given authority – they will make mistakes and sin sometimes. That is where- in marriage – I learn to trust that my God is “sovereign enough” to lead me through my sinful husband – even if he is not Spirit-filled, even if he has idols/sin in his life, even if he is not seeking Him above everything else, even if he is not praying with me.
Yes. My God is THAT big.
And yes, I can have total peace when my husband leads me even when I believe what he is doing is selfish, materialistic, etc. God’s promise to me will not fail. He WILL use all things for my ultimate good and His glory because I love Him and am called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28-29
My husband cannot keep me from God’s will. When I trust and obey God and live in His Spirit’s power – I AM in the center of God’s will! A huge part of that is that I respect and cooperate with my husband’s leadership – unless he is asking me to sin.
Of course – if you are not yet married – you are not commanded by God yet to submit to your man as your spiritual authority – so you can leave if you don’t agree with him or can’t trust his leadership, and that is not a sin. But the overall tone of any romantic relationship of a Christian woman should be that she desires to allow her man to lead and she shows respect for him as a man. Of course, God’s Word says that we must only marry other believers. So be sure that if you commit to a dating relationship, it is ONLY with a man who puts Christ first in his life. This will save you MUCH heartache in life!
NEW LEADERS NEED ENCOURAGEMENT
Your guy may have almost no experience making decisions for himself and leading on his own at this point – in a romantic relationship, at least. And maybe he is not as close to God as he could or should be right now.
I can tell you this – the more you lecture, mother, scold, preach, nag or feel compelled to try to make him do things – the less he will hear God’s voice. Your voice will drown out God’s voice in his soul. That is what my husband was able to articulate to me long after I learned about respect and submission. And the more you find good things in him to build him up about and praise him about (actual good things that you genuinely admire) – that will amplify God’s voice. So does your silence about the things of God – it amplifies God’s voice for your husband when he is not close to God.
Once you are married, I think your willingness to support your husband even when you disagree with him is going to bond him to you in ways you can’t imagine. I must resist if my husband wants me to sin or go against God. But generally – standing back and allowing your man to lead will force him to begin to feel the weight of his leadership like never before and will make him want to start making the best possible and most selfless and godly decisions. It might take seeing you suffer because of his poor choices. But if you suffer for doing what is right – you are blessed! Your goal must be to cling to Christ and not respond with evil or out of sinful motives. If you are firm in Christ through all of this, he will clearly see the consequences of his decisions and your faith and trust in him – and he will want to do better.
A GODLY MARRIAGE IS A JOURNEY, A LONG PROCESS OF LEARNING
No one starts out being able to perfectly love and respect in a way that honors Christ – it is a process of learning and a process of discovering. Marriage is a tool God uses to make us more holy and to see things about our relationship with Him we wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. Sanctification takes a life time! There will be varying degrees of hypocrisy as people are learning and growing and maturing. That is inevitable. We are never going to do this stuff perfectly. But with God’s Spirit in us, we can have victory more and more – as well as the intimacy we desire with God and our men!