Growing up in Christian circles, here are two statements I really bought into that you might be familiar with:
“You don’t really need to look for a girlfriend because when God is ready, He’ll lead her to your doorstep.”
“If you just focus on your relationship with God [and not on meeting someone], He’ll bring your wife to you at the right time.”
It all sounds so spiritual, so admirable, so holy, so … Oh for the love of Joshua Harris, who was I kidding? It was Christian passivity at its best!
The truth is, I was scared of being rejected. I was also lazy. Because if I’m being completely honest, I was still enjoying the boyhood phase of my life; teetering on the edge of manhood without ever committing fully to it.
Thankfully, a few godly bearded mentors stepped into my life at the right time and called me out on my childish mindset. While their intervention resulted in a win for me, I unfortunately find myself in regular conversations with single young men who seem stuck in the same cycle I couldn’t navigate my way out of.
So fellas, let’s reprioritize a few thing here, okay? The issue for us isn’t courage, it’s clarity. When you fall head over heels in love with a girl, the courage to do something about it comes from having clarity about who you are, what you want, and where you’re headed! The fact is, if you’re going to invite a girl to play a starring role in your unfolding drama, there are at least four things you’ll need to man up to before asking her out. The first two have to do with getting yourself ready; the latter two have to do with readying yourself for her.
1. YOU NEED TO HAVE YOUR OWN PLACE.
For good reason, God Himself said in Genesis 2:24 (NIV) “A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
Having your own place is a win for several reasons, but as it pertains to dating, it tells a girl that you’re a grown-up. The fact is, owning (or renting) your own place is a great training ground for being able to someday take financial responsibility for someone else’s daughter. When she talks about you to her friends and family (especially her dad, gulp!), it’ll be a point of pride for her to be able to tell them you’re not mooching off your mom and dad living in their basement.
2. YOU SHOULD HAVE A JOB, PREFERABLY A CAREER
I understand that college is not for everyone, but you need to be good at something, or at least trained professionally for a trade.
Having a job (even if it’s one you’re not too fond of) or a career bodes well for you in a relationship. For one, it lets her know you are heading somewhere, or at least trying to. Two, it lets her know that you have something else in life you’ve demonstrated commitment to. Three, when she asks you what you do for a living, or how your day went, you’ll actually have something to say.
3. YOU SHOULD LEARN HOW TO COMMUNICATE
I once asked a group of women to answer questions relating to qualities they sought out in a man. While there were some humorous mentions about wanting to be with a godly guy who wasn’t creepy or “a weirdo,” they were unanimous in their desire to want to be with a guy who “takes initiative and can communicate” (which they defined as the ability to listen attentively and respond intelligently).
Dudes, just so you have an idea of what you’re in for, sometimes“listening attentively and responding intelligently”means NOT talking. It means acknowledging the feelings she has about a problem, without trying to solve it for her. That means you might someday need to listen quietly as she vents for 17.5 minutes about a frustration, acknowledge her frustration, quietly hold her as she cries for another 5 minutes, and then humbly offer a possible solution!
True story bro.
4. YOU SHOULD BE READY TO PUT IN WORK (WHEN YOU DON’T “FEEL” IN LOVE)
Gary Thomas, author of the book Sacred Search, has written much on this theme. In his book, he explains that because of the way God designed our brains, romantic attraction is sort of like an hourglass. The very moment you fall for someone, that hourglass gets turned over, and on average, lasts anywhere from 12-18 months.
In other words, that “drunk in love/butterfly in your belly” feeling you have for her won’t last forever. At some point in your relationship, the real her will begin to reveal itself and she won’t be as pretty as the first moment you laid eyes on her.
When it happens, you will be presented with an opportunity to demonstrate the substance of true love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV). It’s a passage that couples love to read at weddings, but if you step away from the romantic haze of the wedding day and process this passage, boy, you’ll discover that true love requires WORK! Success, even in relationships, always comes at a great cost and sacrifice of self.
These suggestions aren’t magic, but they’ll give you a head start. They will also result in an increase in your confidence level because you’ll have a clearer sense of who you are, where you’re headed, and more importantly, how she can beautifully partner with you on that journey.
Dudes, I wish you the best. I really do pray that you find the girl of your dreams. In the meantime, how about getting a head start?
Be strong and courageous. Man up and find yourself a godly woman!
Segun “Shegz” Aiyegbusi is a pastor on staff at Grace Church on the Mount in Netcong, New Jersey. He has an M.Div in Theology from Nyack Alliance Theological Seminary in New York. Segun leads a weekly young adult ministry Bible study called, THE REMIX, and oversees the International Ministries team at Grace Church. He is a passionate Bible teacher and is married to Modupe. They have 2 little boys, Nathaniel & Ethan. Segun blogs weekly on www.shegznstuff.com about the Christian life and finding one’s true multicultural identity in Christ.
Segun "Shegz" Aiyegbusi is a pastor on staff at Grace Church on the Mount in Netcong, New Jersey. He has an M.Div in Theology from Nyack Alliance Theological Seminary in New York. He is a passionate Bible teacher and is married to Modupe. They have 2 little boys, Nathaniel & Ethan. He blogs weekly on www.shegznstuff.com about the Christian life and finding one's true multicultural identity in Christ.
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