Ladies. Friends. Sisters. Can I ask you to listen up for a few minutes? There’s a time to be gentle and a time to be firm. I want to level with you right now.
Too often friends have told me how a guy has led them on, and I listen as they lay all blame for their broken hearts on that guy. Too often they describe for me the clues they’ve gathered that “clearly” point to him liking them. Too often I’ve seen the tears when they’ve guessed wrong in this precarious game of clue.
I’m not talking today about committed relationships that are at some point broken off. And I’m not addressing here the fact that there will be guys who intentionally, or unintentionally, lead us on. What I am addressing is this: we have a part to play in guarding our hearts, and we should take our part seriously.
Friendly or Interested?
It’s easy to read into things. Sometimes we make certain words or situations mean more than they actually mean. A guy can enjoy talking to you or being around you. All kinds of things can provide evidence that a guy enjoys your company. they can also impart evidence that he’s a nice person. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s interested in you uniquely.
But let’s say he is specifically interested in you. Now to decide if it’s interest (often just a feeling) or intention. Interest comes easily. Maturity and commitment do not.
Sweet girl, lovely woman, you are probably a very likeable person, so guys will like you. You are uniquely beautiful. Every woman is. That might sound contradictory that you are uniquely beautiful and so is every woman, but it’s true. You can draw the attention of one guy that the girl sitting next to you would not. You have your own set of strengths and weaknesses, vulnerabilities and interests.
You must know that guys will like you. You must also know it might end there. Don’t let interest all by itself shake you, distract you or persuade you. Keep living your life.
Telling the Difference
Actions are wonderful, and spending time together is a good sign, but if he’s not using his words, don’t think much of it. Please don’t. Complex vocabulary is kind of one of those things that sets us apart from other animals. You deserve to have even a few simple words thrown your way before you assume anything.
On the flip side of that, words can be sweet. Communication of honest thoughts and feelings is important in relationships. But let time be the test. Words without action or follow-through are just that — words.
Finally, let character speak louder than either words or actions. A guy can have both words and actions that are pretty convincing. But what do those closest to him say about him? Who are his friends? What decisions has he made in his life so far, and what kind of decisions is he making about his future? What do your trustworthy friends say?
Action and follow-through.
All of these are areas we can deceive ourselves in. We misinterpret because we want to believe the best. Maybe you love love, maybe you’re tired of being alone, or maybe you are genuinely interested in a guy so you convince yourself this is right.
Listen to that intuition though. Listen to those trustworthy friends. Listen to wisdom. Your heart is worth protecting.
Giving your Heart
The only place your hope and trust can rest securely is in Christ. His love is completely enmeshed in truth. That intertwining of love and truth brings the most amazing freedom. It is a deep and intimate knowledge of who you really are. This abiding love and truth transforms and equips you to become more of who you really are — the most whole, healthy and abundantly alive you. Maybe Mumford says it best: “Love — it will not betray you, dismay, or enslave you; it will set you free.”
Put your hope and trust in a man, and he will hurt you. No doubt about it. The same for a man putting his hope in a woman. She will disappoint.
People cannot be a source of true joy and happiness. So my last bit of advice is this: Don’t beat yourself up over having a broken heart. Our goal should not be to shield ourselves from every romance or every bit of pain that comes with it. Our goal should be to find the Healer in all of it and to seek His wisdom in all of it. He loves and guards our hearts better than we can.
Go to Him.
Be set free by Him.
Trust your heart to Him.
Jessica Wright is a nurse in Philadelphia who is trying hard to keep this bio from sounding like an online dating profile. She’s mentored young women for over 10 years. She’s devoted to sound biblical doctrine and finding ultimate joy and satisfaction in God through Jesus Christ. She recently moved from Oklahoma City to Philadelphia and is learning how to make the most of every opportunity she’s been given in this single life.
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