Oh the fun and adventure of being single in this crazy world, staying close to God’s heart, navigating the many rules of relationships, and living with a smile on your face in the process!
I am a woman who happens to be incredibly passionate, ridiculously romantic, and Heavenly hopeful for love.
I have the great privilege of being a single female pastor in New York City, traveling all over the place, leading worship, speaking, and spending lots of time with some of the most amazing singles on the planet. I am no expert on relationships by any means, but after hours and hours of conversations, tears and laughs across the table at my NYC offices (Starbucks), I have learned enough to write a few books. Men and women have both sat across from me feeling frustrated, defrauded and tempted just to settle entirely too many times for me to be all right with it, so I want to get practical.
I will never forget that moment about seven years ago when I very clearly heard God tell me to get up off the couch, go to Barnes & Noble and read a book that was the buzz of every talk show in America. That was a first! At the time, I couldn’t afford to actually buy the book, so I curled up on one of the the overstuffed chairs, opened to the first chapter, and began to giggle.
You see, I had a “friend” who was slowly but surely wrapping my heart around his little finger, while at the same time totally playing me, at a not-so-safe distance. God had already begun to speak to me about pulling back, which made the read much more laughable than hurtful to my tender heart. Right there, in print, was WORD for WORD what the friend had said, and WORD for WORD what I had taken hook, line and sinker.
Yep, this female needed a few lessons in how guys think and operate. I couldn’t help but to laugh out loud in the relationship section of that bookstore, realizing that I had been duped and had been way too “spiritual” and naive about everything. That day began the journey of learning to see the treasure I was, and discovering how not to let someone use me to fulfill a need in their lives that I was never intended to fill. What I would later understand is that it was the most spiritual thing I could have ever done.
This is what I see way too often. Girls will hang on and on just waiting for a guy who “seems” to be interested, only to find out later that he checked out a long time ago, but just didn’t want to hurt her feelings. He might even continue pseudo-pursuing tactics with occasional flirty texts and emails, hoping to receive ego-stroking responses from naive, love-hungry females. Ladies, sooner than later this Romeo will turn straight-up Houdini, and I don’t want you taking up a career in magic to try to make him reappear.
We need to get a clue and realize that if he isn’t pursuing you, it is not because he is just too busy. He is simply not interested. It is time to stop sitting around missing out on life while waiting for your phone to ring. If he is interested, you and everyone around you will know it! You are worthy of being pursued and chased, and he is NOT worth your time, energy or heart if that isn’t happening. Ouch!!!
Please know that all of this works both ways. Ladies, it is imperative that we realize what happens to a guy’s heart when we flirt and lead them on with no intention of taking the relationship further. Not only is this dishonorable, but it is cheap and selfish for both of you. I am not saying you have to know if you are going to marry this person in order to have a friendship, but there are lines of emotional and physical intimacy that should never be touched during a friendship phase or even at all before marriage. Is it going to hurt a little and call for some beautiful restraint? Maybe … Probably … YES … But, your honesty and honor of them will at least give the other person the freedom to move on.
There seems to be a huge breakdown in the translation of our “languages” with each other, and the only way to bridge that gap is honor and authenticity! We need to get it together, be honest, stop looking for affirmation in the wrong places and trust a God who actually designed us for relationship and intimacy.
I know this isn’t overtly “spiritual,” but sometimes I think we soooooo over-spiritualize everything that we forget to use our brains! Ladies, when you grab his attention by just being the amazing you that you are, he will most certainly make his intentions very clear. Until that happens, please reign in those adorable and chubby cupid angels spinning around your head and give them some much-needed lessons in discernment.
A man or woman of HONOR will walk in pure love. They will watch their actions and words to make sure they are not leading someone on, even if their flesh likes the attention. On the other hand, honor will not continually “read” romance into something that is actually just an innocent friendship. It will help you know your worth as you brilliantly place Godly worth on others.
Here’s the deal: If we will treat each other with honor from start to finish in friendship and dating relationships, even if doesn’t work out all the way to marriage, then shame and regret will never have to be in the mix.
Is it this easy? Well, it should be.
It is when our flesh, lust and insecurity get in the way that we begin to develop wounds that stay fresh after the fact. Single men and women should be able to be friends and not bind each other with actions or words out of the fear of being honest.
Let’s create a standard of honor and honesty that will set us all up for successful friendships, relationships and marriages.