“If you want to marry a man, don’t date a boy.”
This has been one of my favourite expressions over the years, especially when I’ve encountered young women who have had reservations about their relationships. We live in a culture of childish men who seem to think it’s okay to take a passive role in their relationships. One of the defining characteristics of a leader that many men forget today is that they have to lead, it’s in the title. Guess what, boys? When SHTF, a leader doesn’t stand in the back of the room and tell everyone else to go through the door, a leader goes through the door first. Everytime. Being a man isn’t like going to the gym; you don’t get to “take a day off.” There are no cheat-days. You don’t get to shirk your duties because you don’t feel like it. You can’t have your wife/girlfriend picking up the pieces of your inequity because you’re too lazy to do you job. As Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 13 verse 11, ‘When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.’ Or to put it into modern terms, it’s time to grow up. If you’re a man after God’s own heart there are somethings you have to do, especially in regard to your spouse.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church
and gave himself up for her
Do you fully understand the implications of this verse? Think about the sacrifice Christ made for the church. He was humiliated and beaten. He was whipped to the point that his flesh was ripped from his body. His bones were broken, and his skin was pierced. He hang from the cross in agonizing pain, covered in blood, for approximately six hours. Do you know why? Love. He loved the church, as you are called to love you wife. Are you prepared to make such a sacrifice for her? If we think worse case scenario; if someone breaks down your front door and points a gun at your wife, what’s your first instinct? Do you stand there scared, or do you jump in between them? Are you prepared to sacrifice everything, including your own life, because you love her? Jesus did.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:1-7
Are you prepared to love her, not in the ways of the world, but in the ways of the word? Many a man today are quick tempered and hurtful. Are you able to control yourself, even when things get difficult? Will you work to be patient on the days when she pushes your buttons as women tend to do. (Yes ladies, I said it.) Will you treat her as a prize, and not a trophy? If you’re having a bad day will she be your punching bag, or your confidant? Will you work with her to live a Godly life, or do you want her to be a servant who does everything the way you want it? When you stumble, will you try to correct your mistakes, or will you try to pass blame?
I’m one of those people who likes to think of marriage as being an eternal commitment, so I may seem a little biased with my next question if you disagree. When things get hard and you want to throw up your hands and walk away, will you abandon her or will your love endure? If you’re not prepared to be there through the good days and the bad, through sickness and in health, you should leave now and stop wasting her time. She deserves better than for you to take her for granted because you don’t want to be the righteous man you’re called to be.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.
For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?
Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:14
One also has to take into consideration the woman your courting. If you’re the man you’re supposed to be, is she the woman she is to be? I’ve made several posts about Godly women before, you can read them here, here, and here. The world is filled with darkness. And, some women of the world are more tempting than I would like them to be. You have to ask yourself, is she a child of the light, or the darkness? If she’s going to pull you astray, you should leave now and not waste your time.
A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown,
but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
If anyone asks me what the greatest sin I struggle with is, my answer is always the same; women. I don’t have a great track record when it comes to relationships. And, in the past, I have been pulled away more than I care to talk about. I will tell you, however, the ‘decay in your bones’ mentioned in the verse above is a real thing. A woman of God will cradle your heart like a dove. A woman of the world will crush it without mercy.
I’ve been on a romantic-sabbatical the past few years. It’s been a very introspective time. I’ve come to know very clearly what is most important to me in women. I’m not interested in ‘having fun’, or dating casually. I care not for a half-invested partner who only cares for worldly matters. When I meet someone knew now, they either check my boxes or they don’t. If they don’t, I walk. I stopped making excuses for people a long time ago. I would hope that as you walk, you too will see what you should be looking.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
So let’s say you have the woman you’ve prayed for; now what? Are you going to be the man she’s prayed for? Are you going to fulfill your duties? Are you prepared to lead? Are you going to make the tough decisions when things are hard? Are you going to put in the work? Will you earn the respect she’s called to show? Are you going to be a man, or are you a boy?
Or, a better question, do you lead her to God?
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