Dating 101: This is in response to an article I read this weekend from a Christian man telling other men to just keep pursuing a woman if she seems disinterested-just try harder. Stalking (endless unwanted pursuit) is not love.
Maybe when men pursue women have no clue what is happening. I have found this true in my life. Why? I am direct. I am not passive nor hint. I also don’t play games, nor operate with hidden motives. Men have tried playing games with me, and I only play games with little children. 🙂 or they have been very ambiguous and well I don’t do well with people who do not communicate clearly. Or they have assumed unmarried means I am on the prowl for a man and they are the cure for my singleness. Well, no. I could be married, I chose not to get married and don’t enjoy men thinking they are my savior. They are not trying to pursue to add any value, they come as pushy consumers. I don’t like pushy nor find selfishness appealing.
Sometimes men give other men poor advice on women. Sometimes women give poor advice to other women. I truly believe God designed all relationships to be rooted in His agape love. Love that is not selfish, desperate, one sided, lustful, controlling, abusive, pushy nor stalker like. These are my top 5 for dating:
1. Investigate why you want to pursue that person or relationship? Is it to be a blessing or to consume or meet selfish needs. People wrongly quote Paul, “Better to marry than burn in passion.” Paul was NOT encouraging marriage to cure lust. You can no more cure lust by getting married than cure alcoholism by going to a bar. Nor is it good to pursue someone to cure being lonely, avoid peer pressure, or fear of the biological clock. God gave Sarah a baby in her old age, God is not limited.
2. Is there anything you are bringing to the table to add value? Would you be an asset or liability to someone? We can add value by asking God to refine our character. Beauty and money can fade. Godly character is priceless.
3. Is the other person interested? This matters. If the person does not want you, leave them alone. They are not your puzzle piece or the timing is off. Continuing to pursue someone or pine over them when they do not want you can be emotionally toxic.
4. Are you and the other person linked in purpose? They never want to leave the country and you are called to overseas missions. God is smart enough to link people headed the same direction. Sometimes people just get married off chemistry and the same beliefs, yet they are not headed towards the same destiny.
5. Do you have compability outside loving Jesus? It takes more than the same faith to make relationships work. Are you spiritually compatible and do you mesh well outside of worship gatherings? Can you laugh together? Can you have fun together? Are you friends? Do you have anything in common? Do you have similiar vision?
Sometimes men are taught to just go after what they want without ever considering if the woman is interested. This is not wisdom. It’s actually selfish. Just wear her down with the pursuit. Ummm no. If she wants to be with you, she won’t keep running from you. Also every unmarried women is not desperate nor sees being single as a curse. Maybe asking God, “Is this woman someone I should pursue?” Or try being a friend with no super pressure to be your wife. Or state your intentions; “I like you, would like to get to know you better.”
Women can sometimes wrongly find identity in relationships with men or by being a mother. Some try to push this on other women. God does not tell us to find our identity in anyone other than God. Those who feel like they are nothing with someone have made an idol of man. If a woman pursues marriage to find herself, well if that man does not measure up or constantly validate her-she’s let down. God invites us to have one God. Women are also pressured to settle, have very low standards, and marry/have kids by a certain age. I think God would prefer people remain unmarried than marry out of selfishness/desperation.
I think it would wonderful if people had as their heart intention, “I want what is God’s best for this other person. God am I your very best for them? If so, show me how to love them as you do, how to add value to their life, and be a radical blessing.” For friendships, dating, or marriage-the world would be better if the hearts of people were rooted in God love. His love pursues to be a blessing.
What are your thoughts on dating?