STOP TO THINK. A question for the guys
STOP TO THINK. A question for the guys
Just stop to think for a minute. Is there such a thing as the perfect companion, lover and partner? A kind and lovely lady who will be there for you, supporting you in your life and ministry as Eve supported Adam – or at least, as she was created at first, before the whole serpent and fruit episode? The godly, loyal, feminine and loving woman who makes perfect cakes for the church, listens to the hurting and seeks the lost, but is also young (or young-looking) and so hot… Oh – and she has no ‘baggage’ or emotional issues…
I’m being facetious here. But I am about to challenge you on your expectations!
What are you looking for? Does it exist? Are your expectations real? Let’s think about it. In the whole dating process, both sexes try to present themselves as the best they can be, but sometimes we can start to live in a world of false expectations. Not exactly what you want? That’s OK, there are plenty more fish in the sea (or on those websites promising the earth). Next!
One thing that guys seem to notice is that photos of the lady they are hoping might be ‘the one’ don’t always match up with the woman who arrives on the date. Well, we ladies (and you gents too!) probably do put the best picture forward that doesn’t strictly represent us on a normal stressful day. Still, I concede it is unfair to supply photographs of us at our best – five years before. But women do, I think, believe most men are drawn to the physical, and that’s probably why we make such an effort.
Maybe both sexes should actually concentrate on what is truly important. What if the lady you are meeting isn’t quite the practising Christian you expected? Talking to one guy about his dating experiences, he told me that he had found little difference between dating women ‘in the world’ and dating so-called ‘Christian’ women. ‘They want the same things,’ he said. And many of them were just as keen to hop into bed with him, too.
To my way of thinking, that is a far more serious issue than a few tweaked photos.
The perfect woman
The wife of noble character in Proverbs 31 sounds wonderful. Her husband is confident in her; she runs her own business, and her household, with success; she is industrious and fair, kind and generous; strong, dignified and wise; her husband is respected, her children bless her. But our world is a fallen one, and people get it wrong. None of us are perfect.
Happily, God loves us and knows we fail. That’s why He came in the Person of His Son to seek and save us. When we turn to Him, He will begin to change us so we become more Christ-like; male or female, we should be seeking Jesus and companionship with Him, trusting Him to produce the fruits of the Spirit in us – ‘the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’ (Galatians 5:22-23). It doesn’t matter who we are, Jesus needs to be number one in our lives… and we need to let Him live His life in and through us, and yes, bend to His will. After all, He knows us best.
If we feel God is calling us to be married, we should start with prayer. Surely the most important thing regarding relationships, whatever our sex, is to find the ‘one’ that God wants us to be with, and not get caught up in something that God hasn’t brought along, but that we might be trying to make a perfect fit (see Psalm 127:1). That’s why we should all be especially prayerful in regards to our future life partner; seek Jesus for direction, and for peace.
And we need to be clear about something else too.
Guys, if you are Christians, you aren’t actually looking for a girlfriend. You are looking for a wife.
Does the lady you have in mind honour God with her life? Does she belong to a fellowship? We are instructed in the Bible not to give up meeting together (Hebrews 10:25). How does she treat people, in her words and actions? Does she have that gentle and quiet spirit we read of in 1 Peter 3:4? In short, does she have integrity? And here we have it. To find out if someone has integrity and is genuine and real, we have to get to know them. And that means ‘friends first’.
I believe a real woman of God will not compromise you in the area of sex. If she values herself, she will not devalue you. She will respect you, and want to keep you ‘right’ with God. Does she ‘raise the bar’ for you? If so, she isn’t trying to buy your love with her body. The sad thing is that many women do believe that sex is the way to a man’s heart. If that is the case and you are a true man of God, flee, as Joseph did in Genesis 39, because an ungodly sexual relationship is something that will hurt and damage you both. And remember, if she is not your future wife – she may well be someone else’s.
So how do you treat the woman you meet who may well be your new spouse? Any male-female relationship has to be based on mutual understanding. Men and women are simply different (have you noticed?!). If you find someone you like, and perhaps are not that physically attracted, give her a chance. Feelings might grow. And perhaps you will find something in her character or nature that will mean more to you in the long run than anything else you might at first have considered more important.
So, becoming friends first is a really good idea. Basically, take your time. Look at the story of the servant who was sent to look for a wife for Isaac in Genesis 24. Your new lady won’t have to water your camels, hopefully, but if she is the one God has set apart for you, there needs to be no rushing. A good companion, with common interests, someone you can laugh with, and someone you can be real with; someone who sees your flaws but is still there for you; someone who admires you but won’t falsely flatter you; who won’t give up at the first hurdle and who can forgive… Yes, it works both ways, and it is rare, but it is worth waiting for.
And it doesn’t always come in a shiny parcel.
So… think about what you really want, realistically; what is of value to you in the long run; take it slowly. And what is God saying about it? I suggest you pray, but also that you read 1 Peter 3. The whole thing about wives being submissive is something a lot of Christians misread or don’t like to look at! But the picture of perfect female behaviour is rather like we are to be with Jesus; we are the Bride. The husband in the Bible is a type of Christ; protective, loving, cherishing, encouraging. And the wife should be happy to submit to such love, as we are happy to submit to Jesus’ love – once we begin to know and trust him.
Realistically we may have trust issues from broken relationships, male and female. But Jesus is into restoration. Will he use you in a lady’s life to help her know more of his love and compassion? Perhaps she will be ‘the one’ – or maybe a friend for life. Who knows? We are all broken people, but in being kind to the person in front of you, you may start to really see that ‘Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised’ (Proverbs 31:30-31).
Sheila Jacobs ©
Sheila Jacobs is a Christian writer and editor, and an award-winning author of eleven novels, including Watchers (Authentic). She has also written non-fiction (Insight into Forgiveness, with Ron Kallmier). Single, she lives in rural north Essex, loves the countryside, and is a deacon in her local Elim church.
How to be the One
Serious about relationships - then this book is for you!