Last week a post called ’5 Notes on Dating for the Guys‘ caught my eye from the great folks over at Resurgence.
I thought it might be healthy to have a sister post for gals; mainly because I can already see the ripple of women using this post to fuel more frustration with guys in the church.
As I’ve said before: gals – we have not arrived. We are not sweet princesses sitting around waiting for guys to be ‘godly’ enough to deserve a change with us. We are sinners, saved by grace. We are designed to encourage, not judge and condemn.
So, with no further adieu (or rants) here are 5 notes on dating for us gals:
1. Presume Intentionally. I want so badly to be a woman who presumes intentionality. That means, I take people at their word. I say what I mean, and I trust others to do the same.
I’m not naive. I know that there are guys that struggle with being intentional. Presuming intentionality doesn’t mean believing that all men are being intentional. It means resting your heart in a sovereign God who will give you all the information you need. It means trusting His ability to lead a relationship without your help.
2. Sanctification is for God. The blog post with 5 notes on dating for guys calls them to clean up their acts now instead of waiting for marriage to solve all their sin struggles. I like that, but most gals I meet are already in a pretty big hurry to clean up their acts, they just seem to struggle with the right motivation.
So many of us have been taught that when we are all cleaned up – then we will finally be ready for a guy. “Once you’re content, God will bring you a husband!”
Besides being obscenely un-gospel-centered, my issue with the statement is that it implies that sanctification is intended to get us ready for an earthly spouse.
Hear me clearly: I hope you fight lust with everything in you. But heaven-forbid your main motivation be so that you can be a better wife to some sinner down the road. You’re not being sanctified for him. If he exists, it’s to help sanctify you for God. If you get a husband, you’ll get to help sanctify him – for God.
Clean up your act now, not so that you can be ready for some guy, but so that you can be ready when your heavenly bridegroom returns.
3. Plan for today. Number three for guys was ‘plan ahead’. If I could say one thing to gals it would be: ‘stop planning ahead’. Most of us spend our time responding to the ‘maybes’ of tomorrow instead of living in what has been revealed today. We’re taught, as women, to live in a state of ‘waiting’. Wait to be pursued. Wait for the right guy. Wait for the right time.
Women, let’s be done with lives lived in waiting for anyone but Jesus. Let’s exploit today, in whatever season we are, with whatever challenges we face, for the glory of our God. Let’s keep nothing back.
4. Guard your heart. As I’ve said before, let’s not forget: my heart – with all it’s great potential and tragic tendencies – has been given to me to steward. I have spent far too much of my time blaming men for being bad stewards of something they never pursued, never asked for and never even knew they had.
5. Fight for physical purity. Why does christian culture seem so eager to let women off the hook for mutually crossed boundaries? I believe in headship, but I don’t know how that got twisted into the idea that only men are accountable for sexual sin.
There are no shortage of women out there who knowingly or unknowingly manipulate a guy into making the first move so that they can off load all their guilt onto him. There are no shortage of women who’ve convinced themselves that if they’re just ‘responding’, then the sin is the guy’s fault.
We were made to be helpers: helping those around us fulfill the call of God on their lives. It makes me so sad to think of how much I distorted God’s role for me in moments of impurity. Whether I initiated or responded, I openly rebelled against His design for me.
And you know what makes it so sad? Not that women sin against men, and not that men sin against women, but that two children get together and testify to the universe, to the saints and angels watching – that their faithful Father isn’t trustworthy.
Guys, I am desperately unqualified to write this blog post.
The 14 month old I’m currently babysitting probably has more experience dating than I do. He certainly has more experience than me doing these five things well. If you’re looking for expert advice on how to get a guy or how to date well, this isn’t the blog for you. That’s not false humility, that’s just the way it is.
But here’s what I do know: I know my sin, and I know my Savior. I know the sweet taste of His great Gospel and I know that His Word holds everything I need to know for life and Godliness.
I’m hoping that’s qualification enough.