January 23, 2013

7 Things Christian Single Guys Need to Start Doing

Give... And Give... And Give Some More. Reverse your thinking of trying to find a girl who fits all your criteria as your future wife. I'm not saying don't have some standards (like loves Jesus, wants to have kids some day, etc.). I'm saying, be realistic, and focus the majority of your attention on becoming the kind of husband you'd like to be for your future wife. Marriage is far more about selflessness and putting the other person first, than yourself. Here's a great quote that hits it dead-on:
"Since men are happiest when they give, they’re missing the point by trying to figure out what they want to get. The better question to ask is, “What do I have to offer? And what kind of woman would be the best recipient of that? (Dr. John Gray)” Because when a man offers those things to a woman, he will find his greatest pleasure in being what she needs. ~Tara Leigh Cobble
Look at Who's Right in Front of You. Because unless you live in the middle of nowhere in the likes of Alaska or Montana, there's bound to be some women God has put in and around your life... He's also blessed you with living in the digital age, which means there are lots of new avenues by which He works. I even know of one couple who met on Twitter, lived on opposite sides of the country... and now they're married. There you have it. And if you can't open your eyes to see who's in front of you, buy me coffee and I'll be happy to point them out to you.

Pursue, Pursue, Pursue! Men who don't pursue are being lazy. Real men are not lazy. It's been voiced often: "Why aren't they seeking marriage?" For all the good, godly men there are, there's an even smaller pool of men within that pool, and those are the men who are pursuers. Those are the men hardest to find, because they do not usually stay single for long... since they pursue. (See how that works?) If you're a young, single man, seeking and following Christ, then if I were you I'd have to ask myself, "Why am I not pursuing a godly woman?" (There are some legitimate excuses for that BTW... like you don't have a job or your only mode of transportation is a skateboard.) Because they're in an overabundance. A part of me thinks that some of you have bought into a myth that God is going to drop a gorgeous, Jesus-worshipping girl into your lap out of the heavens. But He's not. (You can trust me on this.) God created you to be initiators, pursuers, men of action, especially when it comes to His daughters. You were created to reflect the glory of God, you were made in His image, and He is a God who initiates, pursues, and takes action. There's no perfect time than now to begin cultivating that pursuer side of you. A man who lovingly, diligently, and consistently pursues is one who images Christ to others (not to mention that it's super dang attractive to us girls), and those are the men who end up having the best marriages I've seen. It's time for you to start stepping up to the plate and playing the real game. Is it hard? You bet. But it's promised to you that it's worth it. For one to be deeply known, loved, respected… to have that encourager... that personal "cheerleader," you have to start working towards it. God gave Adam a job quickly after He created him as proof that men are not meant to just sit on the sidelines. Dispel that belief that God is going to hand you a perfect, gorgeous wife on a silver platter. And stop wasting these years in hot pursuit of everything else but a wife (or adult responsibilities for that matter). How does Christ pursue? Ferociously and selflessly. Go and do likewise. (Just don't cross that line that qualifies you as a stalker.)

Be Over Communicative. Guys you need to start communicating clearlyall. the. time. I don't care if you only talk to her via social media, or a few times a week, be over communicative with women and how you view your relationship. Girls can't presume your intentionality, as much as we wish we could.

Be Responsible. Guys seem to avoid and run in the opposite direction of anything that smells like responsibility in recent generations. However, irresponsibility and passivity are marks of boyhood, not mature men. To be responsible means that you're accountable and that your take care of what's been given to you. If it's a job, then that means you deliver what your boss asks for you and what you're paid to do. When you have a wife, that means that you love, nurture, and cherish her, because that's what God will ask of you in taking one of His daughters in marriage. When you have kids, you'll need to be responsible for their well-being, health, making sure that they're provided for and safe, and cultivating their hearts for an affection for the Lord to be birthed in them. Being responsible means stewarding your gifts, your time, your finances, your home in a godly, wise manner. Responsibility is HUGE in it's importance and value. Those who run from it miss out, and those who try to have some form of the real thing, end up wrecking havoc in the people they drag with them. You gotta be all the way in. So dive towards responsibility head on. Don't ignore it, run from it, or try to reap the awards of some life goal without putting the necessary energy and passion into. In first Corinthians 13 Paul says, "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways" (verse 11). If you want to get married a beautiful, godly woman you need to grow up. Get your education, get a job, get into a church, grow in your faith and character, learn how to balance a checkbook and pay bills... etc. God calls men to sacrificially and lovingly lead, provide, and protect their wives (Ephesians 5:25-33). That's a real, responsible man. Women highly respect and admire responsible men. Plus, we'd like to have health insurance, and I don't think that's a tall order.

Are You Steadfast? Marriage is a fight, and if you hit the road in the opposite direction every time a bump comes along, then you'll never get to the better parts. Don't run when conflict presents itself, fight through it. Does your life exemplify that you're willing to do this now even in your single years? Can you withstand trails or obstacles because you know that the end result it worth it? Are you solid and firm on your convictions and beliefs... even in stormy weather?

Ask Her Out All Ready For Crying Out Loud! "How do you know a girl is interested in you?" I have the answer to your question, and it's a simple one. An incredibly simple one. Are you ready? Here it is: Ask her out. How can she decide if she even "like" likes you if the two of you don't spend substantial time conversing or hanging out together? This is why you need to ask her out on a date. Don't get all caught up in the whole is this a "date" date… or just a date. Turn that debate in the noggin' "off" for the time being. Just go with the intention of getting to know her a little bit better, and perhaps having a really good cup of coffee… or steak dinner (take your pick, and be sure you're paying). Don't read more into it, but don't just sit on your butt on a log waiting for God to shout from the sky, "Now go ask her to dine with you Friday night at Olive Garden." I'm telling you getting a date or moving your interest to the next level, is not hard as hard as you're making it out to be in your head. It's the time spent talking to one another and getting to know one another that matters. Nor is rejection as bad as you think it may be. You didn't have a date with her before… and if she says "no"... well, you still don't have a date. Not much has changed. But if she says, "Yes," then score! Stop reading this post and go call her!

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18 comments :

  1. Now go ask her to dine with you Friday night at Olive Garden
    I lol'd. Beautifully written, as always. You're one witty lady, that's for sure :)

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  2. Such perfect advice. I know a few guys who I wish would follow this. Many guys, in fact.

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  3. I have no doubt that guys would honestly love to read this, and feel encouraged through this.

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  4. What I'd really like to do is to get rid of all kind of desire of having girlfriend, family, etc. These things are so energy-wasting and frustrating that I don't want to spend any longer longing for that kind of things. I wish I could extirpate that part of heart/instinct from my life and never ever know about it. Sorry about this comment, but the bitterness is increasing over time. Each year more than the previous one

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    1. Anon- Thanks for taking the time to read the post and leaving a comment. As a Christian though, I do believe that when we're following, pursuing, listening and delighting in the Lord, He plants desires in our hearts that He will bring to fruition in our lives in His perfect timing (Psalm 37:4). I don't think there's anything wrong for your desire to have a wife or a family someday, as those are good things that God created for our enjoyment and His glory. So from what I can decipher in your comment (and it's totally possible I'm wrong here), God may have very well given you a desire for those things, but He's still in the process of preparing you for them, which I agree, at times can feel like it's taking forever, or it could be that maybe the idea and dream of having a wife and family has become almost like an idol in that it's making you overly fixate and dwell on it more than you should be. Again, I could be mistaken in assuming such a thing, but it could be a reason, as bitterness usually is a result of feeling like we're owed something by God that we haven't received yet, when the truth is we're not entitled to really anything by God, which makes everything we have truly a gift to be treasured and stewarded to His glory.

      Ultimately though, whether we're single, married, or in a relationship, we should be pursing and growing in our faith and God's grace. Because any kind of relationship where we don't have Christ in the center and are more invested in the other person's good then are own, is a relationship we can do without. So I guess my advice is to just seek Christ in this, because I have doubts that He'd take away that desire overnight, and there may be a greater purpose in this prolonged season of singleness that you're just not aware of at this time. (For instance, He may be working on some things in your future wife's heart right now, that if He had not before you married her, could be disastrous... you just never know.) Hindsight is a great thing actually. I know in different seasons of waiting when I look back on them, there was always something greater that God was trying to build or form in me. And man, I pray that you'll work on uprooting that sense of bitterness, as that's usually a sign that we've made our joy dependent upon something other than Christ. God doesn't desire for His children to be bitter, so if I were you I'd really try to get to what's behind the bitterness.

      On another note, I can highly recommend giving a listen to this sermon series on the subject of waiting (and bitterness) which may be more helpful than anything I just wrote: http://thejourney.org/media/habakkuk-waiting-god

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  5. I believe God will bring my wife to me, just as he brought Rebekah to Isaac. Because I have tried every other avenue of pursuit, and the Lord continues to cause it to fizzle, and says, "My time is perfect, and I will bring her to you, so that no one can take the credit and glory for it."
    I am currently 30, and still waiting. Waiting is the hardest part.
    Good article by the way.

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  6. Hey Natalie, I just think you should know that a guy read this and was encouraged. As a man pursuing, not only the heart of our Lord, but also the heart of a beautiful woman (idk who that is yet) this was beneficial for me to read and I'm glad to have your perspective and to see other girls agreeing in the comments! Keep up the God work (terrible pun).

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    1. YES! (Cue fist-bump) Always glad to hear from a male reader =D Hope some of it was useful.

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  7. Thanks for the advice and encouragement. As a single Christian guy, it is great to see this sort of conversation happening. We need more of it.

    I was just wondering if I could get some advice. I met a godly girl in another country and have received quite a few signs from God to pursue her. I was worried and skeptical at first. We live in different countries. How could this be possible? Is this God? I had many questions. But the continuous signs and confirmations have caused me to continue the pursuit.

    Before skyping I had made it clear that I wanted to pursue a relationship but she said she wasn't willing to be more than friends. But she chose to skype me anyway when I asked her and we have had a number of great conversations on skype since. Does that mean she is interested in me or willing to see if this might lead to a deeper relationship?

    Also, I messaged her well over a month ago and have had no reply. Should I take that as a rejection? I don't know what to think. I mean I want to continue to pursue her in a godly way. I want to get to know her more. But I don't want to over do it and seem creepy.

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    1. Anon,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to reading. First, I just want to say way to go in stepping out and being the one to initiate in the first place. It can be hard to just even do that alone! I think I won't be of much use in addressing your situation to some degree as you mentioned "signs and confirmations"--I'd be interested in hearing what those are and what you consider a sign and confirmation. Here's what I do know though:

      You clearly communicated to her that you were interested in a relationship, to which she said she wasn't (other than friendship). She's skyped with you though and you've had great conversations.

      To me, this sounds like possibly two things: One, you're interested and maybe this friendship will lead to more... just not for the time being. Two, she's only interested in being friends--and friends do enjoy really great conversation.

      I think if I were you, I'd be more inclined to assume number two. I cannot 100% speak for this young woman, for me, and many other girls I know, when we say we're interested in friendship only, we're pretty settled in that. The only thing I can think of that would sway me if I were her were if your friendship became this really robust bond that you both cultivated (not just you) over time. The fact that it is long distance does put some strains there, but I think if both parties are willing and persevere than they can make it work.

      Sorry I couldn't be of more help. I think pray about, but be willing to understand that the answer in this case may be no... which ultimately means there's a better yes waiting out there for you.

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    2. Thanks Natalie, I really appreciate that. I guess I'm just at a bit of a loss coz I feel the need to pursue but I don't want to come across like I'm stalking her.

      Anyway, I will continue to pray and listen to what I feel God is saying. This is the most important decision of my life and I don't want it to be just like any old marriage. I want it to be powerful and full of holiness. Thanks again for your advice. It's a real blessing and I'm glad to learn from you

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  8. Amen!! this is very refreshing to me as well being a single christian male from chicago and i definitely desire a God fearing woman whom is acceptable to loving me as I AM and not what i can PROVIDE for her because i believe single christian women should be just as selfless and giving as we are which gives us single christian men hope especially in this immoral society we living in. im very encouraged just reading this by letting me know that i may just not been seeking or "persuing" that Kind of woman that i desire. it also lets me know what i also need to work on personally and spiritually. May God bless you Natalie for your God given gift of encouragement to us single men of God because we need you all daughters of God.

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  9. I loved this article. I'm a Christian divorced male and its difficult finding a woman locally who is mature spriritually as I am. I'm sure God will direct me to her when He's ready

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