Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Flip Side~ Zachary Tingle

Hello Ladies! Haylie here. Lilies is going to add something new and a tad bit different to their issues. Zachary emailed me one day and asked if I would be willing to have a column where girls can email him questions and he give them the answer. Questions about guys or you wanting a guys point of view. I agreed to give it a test run so ladies, if you have a question you would like to ask Zachary, please email it to liliesamongthorns@ymail.com and title it "THE FLIP SIDE". Thank you so much and I hope you enjoy "The Flip Side".

Dear Zachary,
I have this guy friend of mine and he's always very quiet. To try to get him to talk, I ask him what he's thinking about and he always replied with "nothing'. Do guys really think about nothing?
Dear Nothing,

The short answer, in general, is both yes and no. Yes, there are a few guys I know who really can go hours without actually processing a single thought. They will enjoy the scenery, video game, movie, or sound of conversation without mentally engaging. These men are the exception rather than the rule. For the majority of us men there are a plethora of reasons we will use the phrase“nothing.”
The simple truth is that no two people use this excuse the exact same way or even for the exact same reasons, but it is an excuse none-the-less. Some guys will use it because they know that you don’t actually want to know what they are thinking (i.e. rough family problem in an upbeat situation, or a tough theological question at a social gathering.) He knows that explaining his thoughts in that situation would ruin the moment for those around him. It’s not that he is necessarily trying to hide his thoughts; rather he knows that the time and place is not appropriate for what is on his mind. Another thing to remember is that a guy doesn’t want to talk about what he is wrestling in his head, because either it is too personal or he doesn’t know what he thinks about it yet (in which case he certainly won’t be comfortable talking about it.)
Whether or not this friend is a brother in Christ here is what I recommend: “be devoted to one another in brotherly [or sisterly] love, give preference to one another in honor” (Romans 12:10 – parenthesis added). When someone evades a question with such an obvious tactic as saying “nothing” it means he doesn’t really want to talk about it. It is not loving or honoring your friend to press the point.
There are a few things to remember when getting to know someone who is very quiet or introverted. First, introverts very much dislike being the center of attention. It is unwise to try and draw him out while in a large group. Acknowledging him and letting him blend into the background is the best way to honor him at a party or a large social function. Let him be who he God created him to be.
I want to address something real quick. This advice is not to encourage you to pursue guys. Biblically it is a man’s role to pursue you. I am assuming that this guy is already a “brother” kind of friend and that you simply want to know how to converse with an introverted (“nothing”) guy.
If you want a chance to talk, choose a time in a less public setting. Begin a conversation by telling him something that you have been pondering. Then, ask what he thinks about the topic. At this point you might have to use your questioneering skills to get the conversation rolling (don’t ask yes/no questions.) Allow him to answer your question and then ask another question about his answer, try not to get too excited and cut him off.
Many times an introverted guy won’t explain what he is thinking about because he knows most people don’t actually want to carry on a meaningful conversation; rather they want to feel good about themselves for including the wallflower. Taking time to share what’s on your mind will show that you are not just feeling sorry for the quiet one, but you are genuinely interested in what is on his mind.

Secondly, think about the times when you have been working through something in your heart or mind and people continue to ask what is going on. In those times most of us want to be left alone until we have figured things out a little bit. “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you”(Luke 6:31). The same might be said of your friend. Don’t ask him to share what he is mentally wrestling with; invite him into what you are thinking about. This has a dual purpose; it shows that you are aware of him and it gives him a chance to leave his own thoughts for awhile.
Last and most important! Philippians 4:6 says, “in everything, by prayer and supplication, make your requests known to God.” If you feel like the Lord has laid this guy on your heart because he needs a friend, PRAY FOR him. Prayer is the most powerful and effective way of touching his life. God’s power and resources are infinitely beyond ours. He can accomplish things better than we can imagine. Wait on Him.
God Bless,

Dear Zachary,
Everyone keeps telling me to dress modestly because guys are visual beings. What does that mean and are guys actually 'visual'?
~What's the Point
Dear What’s the Point,
Before I continue with this question I would strongly counsel you to go and ask your dad or your pastor about the visual (sexual, lustful, etc.) nature of men. I will address the question, but there are men who are far wiser and better equipped to answer this question, and I would recommend visiting with one of them before reading my response. That said, this article is not for “guys” and “girls,” it is for men and women. This stuff is not material to be giggled about or to be taken lightly, it addresses spiritual treason.
God designed men with a much stronger desire for sexual intercourse than women. For men that desire is most easily awakened by the way a woman looks. So in the sense that lust is often aroused through a man’s eyes, yes, men are “visual.” Think about how much you want to be loved, cared for, and wanted and multiply that longing times 5 or 10 and you will be close to the intensity of a man’s sexual desire. According to a survey by the American Psychologist’s Association (APA) the average man has a sex-related thought approximately once every six minutes. The struggle for us as your brothers in Christ to keep our thoughts pure is a minute-by-minutes battle that starts in Junior High and lasts for the rest of our lives.
Most women in our culture either do not know about our struggle or do not care. There are not very many places we feel like we can let our guard down because of this. Even going to church is sometimes difficult because our sisters in Christ have dressed in a way that reveals their bodies, not necessarily skin, but tight-fitting tops and bottoms that do not leave much to the imagination.
This is spiritual betrayal, whether intentional or not. Jesus states in Matthew 5:28, “everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (NASB). This means that by dressing immodestly anywhere a man can see you, you are leading him into adultery. Here is what the Proverbs say about the women who lead men astray:
For the lips of an adulteress drip honey
And smoother than oil is her speech;
But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death,
Her steps take hold of Sheol.
She does not ponder the path of life;
Her ways are unstable, she does not know it. Proverbs 5:3-6

Solomon is saying that this kind of woman says all the right things; but hanging out with her leads to death. This kind of woman doesn’t think about “the things above” (Col 3:2); but the most tragic part of this verse is the last line, “Her ways are unstable, and she does not know it” (Prov 5:6). When you do not actively seek and “ponder the way of life” you will lead brothers astray, and you won’t even know it (Prov 5:6).
The way that women dress deeply affects the cohesion and depth of a Christ-centered community. Women who seek the Lord are already radiant with an indescribable beauty that draws the hearts of Christian men. When those same women dress to draw attention to their bodies, it causes their brothers to stumble.
If a women dresses modestly and a man looks at a woman with lust, it is his sin not hers. Although there is technically no heavenly condemnation for wearing a bikini, or a pair of short-shorts, remember there are side-effects. Immodesty is corrosive; it damages everyone it comes in contact with. It encourages either vanity or low self esteem in women and it causes men to lust. The way you dress only becomes sinful the moment a brother struggles, where he otherwise would not have done so, as direct result of your apparel. Ladies, you are called to a much higher lifestyle,
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints. Romans 12:9-13
As I said, the way a woman dresses is not sinful in and of itself, but if that clothing is immodest and is causing brothers to fall into lust, it becomes the cruelest kind of sin. When a brother walks into church or a Bible study and sees one of his sisters immodestly dressed, it is like walking into what he thought would be a spiritual safe-house only to be shot, point-blank, by someone he thought was an ally. That is the spiritual treason I am talking about.
Be encouraged! Here is what Peter says about old ways behind:
In your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, Godliness, and in your Godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble [or cause others to do so]
2 Peter 1:5-10
Your faith and moral excellence have brought you to seek knowledge. Now you have knowledge. The next step takes courage and strength to live out: self control and perseverance. Self control and perseverance will lead to Godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. That kind of reward is worth hard days when it feels like no one notices or cares about you. Thoughts saying you have no value are lies that are designed to draw you back into the mindset of the flesh and not the mindset of the Kingdom of God. Remember, “If you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:1-3).
If you didn’t get a chance to visit with your dad or pastor about this I would again recommend that you do so. To have an older man, who cares about your personal walk with Christ, support and hold you accountable is the best way to succeed in this. You mom or your pastor’s wife could be a great resource for practical ideas with your attire. I pray that God richly blesses you as you seek His face and seek to honor your brothers.
God Bless,

Did you know that Zachary is the oldest of four children?!?!


  1. Thanks for that! I 'understood' before, but what you've written just gives so much more sense to the matter.

  2. love your post on girls for god