I started with the fairer sex, now let me hit up the stronger sex (that’s you, by the way). Here are a few things that someone else should probably be telling you, but since you asked… I’m answering. In the same way I approached the ladies, I will address the top three things I’ve noticed as problems in the lives of men I know and the way they approach women/relationships.
1. Find out who God is…. Then find out who you are.
This is the same as the problem with the women, but the fallout is much different. When women don’t know who they are, they tend to become manipulative and controlling (this can manifest itself as being either dependent or independent), but when men don’t know who they are, they tend to become passive. (By the way, it might help to read the previous blog first, because it will help you to see the differences in the way I’m addressing this.) While women need to understand their relationship with God, it seems that men have a greater need to understand their purpose with God… to find the thing He has called them to, the plan that He has for them. Without any knowledge of who He is, it’s hard to know how to throw yourself headlong in the direction He’s calling you to. Dig deep in the scriptures. Seek out mentors who are wiser than you. Find the thing that reminds you of His joy, the thing that makes you feel alive, the thing that challenges you in your walk with the Lord… and chase it!
2. Get your head on straight.
Mostly, your eyes. Don’t pat yourself on the back just because you don’t look at naked girls online (although let’s be honest – that’s unlikely), because you’re still probably scoping out the shapes and lines of every woman who walks past you. Stop it. She is not your wife. And you are setting yourself and your wife up for tragedy. One of my favorite pastors (Matt Chandler) said it best, “Some of you godly young men are going to have to watch your first marriages entirely disintegrate. Your life will be destroyed because of your addiction to feeding your eyes.” Greg Pinkner follows up, “If you walk into a room and automatically look for the prettiest girl, there is something wrong with you.” My guess is that applies to most of you. Every guy wants to marry the prettiest girl in the room, but if you have a room full of 10 guys and 10 girls, each guy is probably going to think the same girl is the prettiest. So who marries the other 9? I’m not saying you shouldn’t be attracted to your wife—that’s vital. But maybe your perspective needs to be shifted slightly. Here is a good article on the subject and three teaser quotes to get you motivated. Take 5 minutes and read it. By the way, it was written by a man.
“…if the physical or personal is entirely (or mainly) what attracts you and these are your highest priorities, then your problem is not with the women around you. Your problem is with God.”
“No one in his right mind ever marries a woman he doesn't find beautiful. And it's no different with Jesus. Except for one problem. We aren't attractive. In our sin and rebellion, we are downright ugly. So what's up with Jesus?”
“Whether you like it or not, whether you know it or not, you are a creator of beauty in the women around you.”
While I challenged the women to want more from men in the area of spirituality, I’m challenging the men to want less from women in the area of her appearance. This is one area that I truly feel we’ve welcomed society’s standards and haven’t even checked ourselves. Starve your eyes, men. Starve. And when you marry an amazing woman one day, you’ll be surprised at how beautiful she is to you, in part because you won’t have spent the time between now and then accumulating millions of other images to compare her to.
3. Game ON!
A few of you asked me about how to pursue a woman in the right way. I will speak from my own experience here. I’ve been pursued blatantly without it being righteous. And I’ve been pursued righteously without it being blatant. You really need to possess both qualities. The first camp (blatant but not righteous) are the guys who know nothing about me other than what they’ve discerned from across the room, from the stage, from whatever I wrote in my blog or on my Facebook page. Their lack of knowledge of me as a real human being gives them a distance that feels promising. From the safety of their computer screen, they can imagine me to be all the wonderful things they want in a woman. They project perfection onto me. So they move in for the kill, hoping to attain all those things for themselves. They do not know me, and their pursuit is not righteous. Then there are those who pursue righteously – who know me and have their priorities straight and who would actually be good candidates – but they sit idly by, dropping hints, flirting but never being bold. Once in my life (ONCE!) I’ve been pursued by a man who managed to handle it properly. He cared about all the right qualities AND he was upfront about his intentions. There was no guessing, no uncertainty on my part. From the moment he started pursuing me, I knew exactly where I stood with him. It was incredible. Men, it’s time to man up… I know you’ve got it in you.
All right, bring on the hate mail. Hah!