* Please see note at the bottom about the intended audience for this post.
When you are the girl in a relationship, it can be hard to be patient. Once you find an amazing, godly guy, you may soon start daydreaming about exclusively dating, getting engaged, and getting married. Like—that day. It may be an easy jump for you and you may not have a lot of reservations.
Maybe you want the guy you like to commit to dating immediately. Or you would like your boyfriend to propose within a month or two of starting to date.
But maybe the great guy you are interested in wants to take things a bit more slowly.
It can be tempting to get frustrated and to try to force him to move faster.
But what if there are some good reasons to take a potential romantic relationship slowly and methodically (for guys and girls)?
And what if a girl rushing or pressuring him only verifies that he was right to go more slowly?
There are a lot of reasons why Christian guys may wait a long time to commit, but here are 10 of the biggest ones:
1. He wants to be sure his heart is in the right place.
He wants to take the time to examine his own thinking and motives and make sure he is following the Lord and not running ahead. He wants to go slowly and avoid putting a relationship with you before His devotion to Christ.
2. He wants to be sure he assesses your character accurately.
He wants to see how you act over time to make sure he understands exactly who you are and who he would be getting if he asked you to date/court/marry him. To do this, he needs to observe you over time in many different situations.
He needs to see how you react when you are tired, sick, upset, or when things don’t go your way. He wants to watch how you interact with your family, his family, friends, coworkers, and strangers.
(Instructions for men about finding a godly wife Prov. 31:10-31)
3. He wants to watch your faith in action.
Not only does he want to see a godly character in you, but he wants to have a chance to watch your love for Jesus. He wants to see evidence of the fruit of the Spirit. He wants to see that you are growing and that you won’t let anyone or anything come between you and Jesus.
4. He wants to find out if your expectations for a future relationship/marriage are compatible.
He will ask you questions over time, to check and see what you think about God’s design for marriage, men, women, and families. He will want to know your thoughts on divorce and on how a couple should handle making important decisions.
5. He wants to see if he feels safe with you.
Can he expect a lot of fighting, contention, abuse, violence, and/or drama? If so, he may quickly decide this relationship is not for him.
6. He wants to see if you can have a mutually respectful relationship.
He wants to treat you with great respect and honor and he wants to be sure you will treat him with respect and honor, too. He wants to be sure you won’t act hateful toward him.
7. He wants to see that you respect yourself.
He watches to see if you dress modestly, if you speak well of yourself or if you put yourself down a lot. He wants to see confidence in Christ in your life and a desire to please the Lord in all that you do. He wants to see that you are not consumed with lies from the enemy about yourself.
8. He wants to see if you have a cooperative spirit.
He knows that if you are to marry, God desires him to be a servant-leader who lays down his life for you and who shows love to you in the same selfless, sacrificial way that Jesus loved the church. He wants to know if you will have a generally optimistic, leadable spirit.
He wants to know if you treat your parents, your boss, government leaders, police officers, and your pastor with respect and honor. He wants to know if you are willing to yield to the leading of the Lord. Are you willing to follow the calling God places on his life as your own? Is God calling you both in the same direction?
9. He wants to see that you have your own mind and heart.
He wants to know that you can articulate your thoughts, concerns, ideas, and suggestions. He wants to know that you understand the power of your influence and that you are determined to use it wisely in a constructive way. He doesn’t want a doormat or a woman who will act like a child, not a grown adult.
10. He wants to be sure you won’t lead him into temptation.
He wants a woman who will stand against temptation and who won’t purposely try to entice him into something that is spiritually toxic to his walk with the Lord or for the relationship. He wants to be sure you are not going to purposely hurt him or try to ensnare him.
It takes time to observe these things. Like often, many months or a year or more. Of course, you would be very wise to observe the same kinds of things about him and to prayerfully evaluate whether he is a good fit for you in God’s eyes.
Take the time to notice red flags.
Other things may be going on, as well, of course. He may have been hurt in the past. His parents may have had a difficult relationship and he may feel uncertain about his abilities to be a good boyfriend or husband. He may be dealing with difficult issues in his life.
Or he may want you to have time to heal from pain in your life. He may want to finish his degree or get to a certain financial level before he feels he can provide properly for a wife and family.
But there are a lot of potentially important reasons a godly guy may want to go slowly (more slowly than you might like to go). Of course, you shouldn’t have to wait forever. There are limits! But these days, wise men are cautious about the women they chose.
They realize that a wrong choice can cost them in countless ways for decades to come. A wife has a lot of power to destroy his life if he doesn’t choose well.
Wise women are very cautious today, too. There are not a lot of people who are devoted to living under the Lordship of Christ. It’s smart to be sober about the whole thing and to understand exactly what you are getting into before you commit.
It’s a good thing to take your time and to be prayerful before making a decision you may regret.
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
This does not mean we are literally to hate our families or spouses. God commands us to love others. Marriage is important. Family is important. But our love for Jesus is to be so much greater than our love for even our dearest human loved ones, that, in comparison, our love for them looks like hatred. (For more, check out this post by Got Questions)
Our primary love has to be Jesus. Our primary devotion must always be to Him above everyone and everything else, otherwise we become idolators.
Much love, precious sisters! <3
First, let’s establish that in this post, I am talking to women who truly seek to love Christ above everything and who want to follow Him and honor Him with every choice they make. And I am talking about men who also genuinely love Jesus and want to live wholeheartedly for Him. They are Christ-followers.
Learn from My Mistakes about Ignoring Red Flags – a guest post