My precious sisters,
Our culture today goes at lightning speed. We expect food to be ready in 5 minutes or less. We expect our internet connection to change pages in a tiny fraction of a second. We rush to work. We rush around at work. We rush home from work. We are always rushing around!
Rushing and hurrying through things is not how godly, solid, stable relationships are cultivated.
Relationships need to move more slowly. They take time – whether it is our relationship with Christ or a relationship with a friend or with a new man we are interested in. For those of us who tend to want to push, pressure, control things, and run ahead of God and our men – let’s take a breath and SLOW WAY DOWN. (Some of you may wait too much and move too slowly – if that is the case, this post is probably not for you – let me know, and we can talk about the opposite issue if we need to, as well.)
If there is a truly godly man who is interested in you and you are interested in him – THAT IS WONDERFUL! Please resist the temptation to rush him along or pressure him for “labels” like “going on a date,” “dating,” “courting,” and “engagement.”
A godly man needs some time to get to know you slowly. He wants to see what your character looks like. He wants to see if you are going to disregard his pace or his feelings or if you are going to honor and respect where he is and what he is ready to give. Will you allow him to lead in his own way, or will you try to make him lead the way you want him to? Will you respect his boundaries and limits or will you try to bulldoze him? Will you accept him as he is or will you try to change him? Are you committed to marriage for life – without any thought of ever getting a divorce? Or do you believe that you are justified to get a divorce in the future if you are not happy? Will you support the calling this man believes God has on his life? Or do you believe that this man needs to wrap his life around what you believe your calling is?
If you try to rush a guy through the very beginning of a relationship to the “stable commitment” part – you are probably going to miss out on some of the sweetest moments in a new relationship, in my view. You may also miss some critical issues or problems in this man’s life that God wants you to see. And, you are revealing a lot about your character to this man during this time. He is watching everything you are doing to determine what your walk with Christ is like, how you think, how you treat people, how strong your faith is, how filled with worry/anxiety/fear you are, how you are going to respect him and honor his leadership, etc… If he has wounds in his own past, he may have his own issues to deal with, as well. If you want to jump ahead and try to make him commit to you before he is ready, you are sending some big red flags to him.
When we rush and push our men, they may see and think things like:
- She is needy
- She is insecure
- She is impatient
- She can’t just relax and peacefully enjoy the journey
- She seems controlling
- Is she putting romance ahead of Christ in her heart?
- Is marriage more important to her than Jesus?
- She may not respect my feelings and decisions
- She seems too eager – what’s wrong?
- She seems to have too many expectations
- She doesn’t seem very content in Christ
Many guys will have a longer timetable than we may prefer.
Maybe it will take a few months of him getting to know you gradually before he is ready to ask you on a date. Different people will take things at different speeds. That doesn’t necessarily mean a man is not interested. If he seems to be showing interest, enjoy what he does want to give to you. Share your admiration and respect for him. Observe his character. Use this time to carefully, prayerfully evaluate whether this man sincerely walks with Christ before you give your heart to him.
- What evidence do you see that he belongs to Christ and walks in submission to Him?
- Do you see the fruit of the Spirit in him when things don’t go his way (Gal. 5:22-23)?
- Does he have an issue with anger or a bad temper?
- Does he have issues with immorality?
- Does he excuse sin?
- Does he pressure you or other people to sin?
- What was his parents’ marriage like?
- How does he treat people?
- How does he treat his mom? Is he humble?
- Does he repent when he sins?
- Does he hate sin and long for holiness?
- Does he honor those in authority over him?
There are so many things you need to know about this guy before you date/court him. Use this time to slowly get to know his character and his walk with Christ. A godly man you are interested in needs the opportunity to honestly and accurately evaluate your character and your walk with Christ, as well. He needs to see if you actually walk with Christ or if you just talk about it. He needs to see the fruit of God’s Spirit in your life and if you have that godly, feminine, peaceful, tranquil spirit that is so beautiful in God’s sight because all of you faith is securely in Christ.
Use this time to watch your own motives and your own thoughts and to focus on resting in the sovereignty, love, and provision of God. Keep God first. Seek Him with all your heart. Allow God to work in you to change any sinful thoughts in your own heart – any tendency to want to exalt a man, feelings, romance, or marriage above Christ, or any desire to control, rush things or be disrespectful… Be willing to hold this guy and your dream of being with him loosely, choosing God’s will above this man or your dreams – whatever His will might be.
Are there red flags that God is showing you about yourself or about this man at this time? Are you willing to be content right now in your current situation? If you can be content now, in the unknown, that will help you mature and be prepared for the many times you will have to be content and at peace in God’s sovereignty in the midst of the unknown in the future. This can be a time of great faith building and stretching you to make you more holy in God’s eyes if you will yield control to Him.
– praising God
– listening to God’s voice and His Word
– trusting God’s sovereignty to lead you into tomorrow, next month, and next year
– allowing God to refine your character and make you more and more a godly woman who will be a blessing to all she meets
WHAT IF YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING A VERY, VERY LONG TIME?
If you have been waiting for a number of months and a guy still hasn’t asked you out – there are times when it is important to pray and seek God’s wisdom about what you need to do next. If a guy seems interested but hasn’t asked you out and it has been many months, perhaps God may prompt you to gently, respectfully let the guy know you are interested in him,
- “I just want you to know – you are exactly the kind of guy I would love to go out with.”
- “If you decided to ask me out, I would definitely say, ‘yes.'”
- “I want you to know that I am interested in you and I think you are an amazing man of God.”
These are the kinds of things you might say after praying about them after there has been some time and you don’t see a guy you are interested in making a move. However, if you do believe God desires you to say something like this, it is probably going to be a one time kind of thing – and then I believe the ball would generally be in the man’s court after that. If you have clearly let him know you are interested, and he continues to do nothing, it may be time to move on. Pressuring him is not a good plan. If he turns you down, respect his decision even if you are disappointed. Of course, all of this will require great sensitivity to God’s Spirit and His wisdom and timing. Sometimes God may tell you to wait and wait and wait. Other times, He may tell you to move on. Only He has the wisdom you need. Other people don’t know what God desires you to do in each situation. I pray you might be sensitive to His voice above all else!