I think a lot of this will apply even with unbelieving men – but I especially want to focus on how we can handle turning down true Christian men who are interested in us. This is a BIG issue. It is a sensitive and painful one – on both sides – but especially for our dear brothers in Christ.
I know that a lot of the world’s advice to women is, “be hard to get.” And some dating coaches and authors will suggest that women should tell a man, “no,” when they really mean, “yes,” when a man asks them out, or even if he asks her for sex. I do NOT condone this approach, my precious sisters! I believe it causes so much confusion and many hurt feelings. Dishonesty is not becoming to us as believers in Christ.
All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37
Jesus was talking about oaths here, but, I believe this principle applies in how we answer people, too. Let’s just be loving and honest. We don’t have to be hateful, cruel, vindictive, manipulative, or mean. But let’s say what we really mean – and let’s say it gently, respectfully, humbly, and in God’s Spirit of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a love and the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Honesty is certainly a virtue God values.
If a man is interested in you, and he is (or could be) a godly man, prayerfully consider getting to know him before you outright reject him.
If you have spent time in careful, open prayer – truly seeking God’s heart for you about this man and you honestly believe this is not what God desires you to do – then prayerfully consider how God might want you to approach him. (I am assuming that you are seeking Christ far above all else and that you are attracted to godly men, not worldly men.) If you must respond right away, please – be considerate and kind. Rejection hurts deeply even when it is done in compassion and love, but if you humiliate and insult a man in your rejection of him, you may wound him terribly. I want our brothers to still feel that their masculinity is in tact after being around us. I want our brothers to have courage to ask other Christian women out even after we turn them down. It would be awful if another sister in Christ misses out on an amazing, godly husband because that man gave up on women after experiencing a very painful rejection.
A WORD ABOUT BEING “HARD TO GET”
Some of the “hard to get” stuff lines up with God’s design – sort of.
- We don’t give our bodies away right away – we wait for marriage. But we don’t do this in order to manipulate – but rather – in obedience, love, and reverence for Christ.
- It is probably also generally wise that we not call a guy 36 times a day or text him 83 times a day if he has given no indiction that he is interested in seeing us in a romantic way. I believe there can be a lot of wisdom in allowing the guy to ask the girl out and in allowing the guy to call the girl rather than vice versa. But – that is not a rule or commandment in Scripture. Of course, there was no dating in biblical times.
There are times when God may prompt you, as a woman, to reach out to a particular guy. Great! But even then, it is still probably generally wise to not smother the guy. If you let him know you are interested, and you believe he understood your message, then it can be good to let him initiate further contact. (Again, this is not a rule – just a general suggestion to prayerfully consider).
We are prone to making two mistakes here, my dear sisters:
- We may be too aggressive in pursuing men ourselves (which often repels men)
- We may be too passive and show zero interest and make no attempt to show a godly guy we are interested in him – even though we really are interested.
Neither of these extremes seem healthy or productive to me.
If you are always the one calling him, and you call or text him often – and he is always the one responding to you initiating contact – that is probably a sign that things may be getting too lop-sided. If you find yourself in this situation, it could be wise to back off a bit, unless he tells you he loves for you to contact him so much. It is also easy for this dynamic to turn into the girl leading or trying to control the relationship rather than the girl allowing the guy to lead at his pace. You can slow a man down if he is going too fast for you. But it is not pretty when a woman tries to push, pressure, and prod a guy to go faster than he wants to go. In fact, that approach will often repel men.
But we, as Christian women, ought not to play games or attempt to manipulate our brothers or anyone else. Let our motives be simply to please and love God wholeheartedly and to love, bless, and honor others.
As a man who has been rejected a lot by women in Christ, and before when I was “lost” in the world…..
Be honest. You have to look him in the eye. Just tell him plainly. Don’t dress it up, don’t give a false encouragement of ‘God has a wonderful woman waiting for you’ because you don’t know that.
Peaceful’s advice of prayer is an excellent start. Quiet reflection in prayer will give you the words to say to this man, and yes…like every women…every man is a little different in temperament, style, and attitude. God will give you the correct words to say, but you must pray on this.
Most men would rather be told a gentle truth than “lied” to to be made to feel better. A woman at my church several years ago I was “pursing” and after two polite rejections of being told “no thank you” by her…………
I waited a few months and tried again…because as a “man” I was told / believed the drivel that when a woman says no…it means she wants to be pursued. Thank goodness I got over that!
She then after church one day just said to me “Brother, I’m flattered. I am just not interested. I want us to get along here, we’re a small church and I don’t want problems between us; but I am telling you, I am not interested. I like chatting with you here and there. I like your input in Sunday school, and genuinely love you as a brother in this church…..but dating you…….I am just not interested.”
Her body language was not threatening, or tense. Her words were cloaked in love, and true caring. She looked me in the eye. She smiled when she spoke about the things she did like about me”
Yeah….it hurt. Yeah, I had to hold back some defensiveness, and pray on what she said to me later. Yeah, it was hard seeing her date a non-believer….but she did make a choice. There was no leading me on.
As hard as it is for a REAL Christian man to approach a women and ask her out (it is btw)……something we Christian men don’t think about as often as we should is this:
It has got to be JUST as hard for a real Christian woman to decline an advance from a Christian man. I has got to be. She must be scared a bit. She doesn’t want to hurt the guy. No, she may not “like” him in that way, but as a Christian she really wants to follow Christ’s example……….and BE loving. Be peaceful. Not hurtful.
Turning Christian Guys Down – VIDEO