Let me give you some background in my life. This will sound familiar to many of you, so I'll be brief.
For the last 8 years of my life, the opinion and affection of girls has been a major heart idol of mine. That this is a common idol to many, many people does not excuse its presence and effects in my life. I have played with girls' hearts, I have allowed myself to become an idol in their hearts, I have hurt them through my extreme selfishness and self-centeredness...and I have moved on, time and again, without true repentance or sorrow. It may have seemed, at times, that I had gotten it (think this), but I didn't.
With that background in mind, please believe me when I tell you that it has never been fulfilling to the extent that I hoped and believed it would be to know that a girl cared for me in the way that I cared for her (and in some cases, the girl cared for me in a much more admirable and deep way than I did for her).
I believe that, finally, God has brought me to the point of repentance and true sorrow. It took years of frustrating, empty relationships and the pain resulting from them for me to realize that all of the attention I craved and built my life and actions around really wasn't going to do it. I wince at the idea of how much pain I have caused through my destructive actions, at the unrestrained, impossible words, and at the sin I have committed, alone and with/to others.
The reason I'm telling you these things that I have done are in the hope that you will not go through similar situations. To a large extent, we learn from the things that we do. But it is my hope that you can learn from hearing from what others have done, too.
Anyway...back to my original thought in this post. There are many ideas in our culture:
- romance is inescapable and preeminent
- if it feels good (be it emotionally or physically), do it
- we have to test different personalities (through dating and/or sleeping around) to determine who we are or will be compatible with
- love waits for no one
I know what it's like to feel the immense pressure and desire to make my feelings known. I also know now how stupid it was of me to think that it was necessary to make them known. By telling various girls that I liked them, I did nothing but cause hurt for both of us, whether anything came of it or not. If you think you care enough for someone to want to be in a relationship with them, it should be a relationship that is marriage. That was the point of my tweet: so often men pursue girls without understanding that if they're not ready to support that girl in marriage, beginning a relationship is going to cause pain. As a Christian, I am called to a higher standard. There's a method. For me, no romantic relationship should be initiated if my end goal in it is not marriage, and no romantic relationship should be begun until I know how I will support that marriage.
Telling a girl that I like her is pointless if I do not intend to begin an intentional relationship with her that will culminate in marriage. I have stated my feelings to girls before, and then found myself in the quandary of not knowing what to do next. This is a common conundrum...we are left to wonder, "What next?"
The saying that "True Love Waits" does not only apply only to the physical side of love, but also to the emotional side of it. True love also waits to begin a relationship until there's a clear path to walk on. Does this make sense? I hope so.
Application (for me, and maybe for you): I will not indicate interest to a girl until God indicates to me that my circumstances are right (yes, the hated requirements: maturity, financial security, long-term viability, life direction...) to pursue her with the intention of marriage. I will not attempt to decipher a girl's attitude toward me unless I have cause to believe that I am leading her on or until I've begun my attempt to win her heart for the purpose of marriage. My heart may overflow with feelings, with the need to speak, but there's no point if there's nowhere to go from there. So, for me and for other guys (perhaps), don't say anything about how you feel toward her until you're in a place where you can do something lasting with those feelings.
Girls, please: I understand how few good men there are around. I'm sorry that we're slacking off. I can only guess at how hard it is for you to wait for the right guy to come along. What will be best for you is if you don't try to figure out what a guy is thinking (romantically) toward you. If he cares enough about you to wait until he's ready to pursue a long-term relationship (meaning...for life), then he's probably worthy of you. The guys who don't wait are not worthy. You will save yourself a lot of heartache and worrying if you wait until you're approached by one of the long-term suspects. :) Playing head games just isn't worth it.
I'm not preaching, except to myself. The difference now, for me, is that my goal is Jesus. In all my friendships with Christian girls lately (the only real friendships with girls I have, in case you're wondering), I've been doing my very best to make it clear that I have one goal for a friendship with them: to pursue Jesus, and to encourage and be encouraged by them in our pursuit of Him. The choice must be to trust Him. Honesty with girls has opened up potential in my friendships for greater encouragement and joy. It's still hard, and it will continue to be hard, to battle with my deceitful heart. But if I commit to waiting, truly waiting, until the time when I am ready to actually do something about a relationship, I'm convinced that it will be far better than the poor imitations I've experienced thus far. I've got the Word on my side. :)