Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Flip Side~ Zachary Tingle

Dear Zachary,
   Ok I really like this guy from my church. I only see him at church gatherings but he is the first guy that I like. To make things awkward he is my best friend’s brother. I know that he likes me, but how should I tell him I like him???
Need A Guy-Guide

Dear Need A Guy-Guide,

    Several things come to mind when you ask this and I think it will be helpful some of our other readers as well.
            The first thing that comes to mind is a story. One of my dear friends and a brother in the Lord had become good friends with a girl. They got to see each other several times per week and he had asked for prayer about pursuing her as a potential wife. We prayed with and for him for about two weeks when came to us and explained that the Lord had closed the door on this relationship fairly abruptly. We all congratulated him on answered prayer, but he shook his head. “No, I really still like this girl. She is beautiful, joyful, and her heart is totally sold out for the Lord.” The rest us guys were a little perplexed and asked what the problem was.  He shook his head sadly, “she approached me today and told me she liked me and that it would be nice to get to know each other better. I just can’t seek a woman as wife if she doesn’t trust me enough to allow me to initiate.” This is a true story and those two people haven’t talked since.
            The next thing that comes to mind is that attraction can be a dangerous companion (“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”- Jeremiah 17:9). Following your heart is so dangerous! The desire for a human companion (a spouse) was designed by God but it was totally corrupted when Adam and Eve sinned. When our first parents sinned it severed the relationship between all of us and God. This one action left a hole that each of us wants to fill. That hole is not made to be filled by a human companion!!
            Being attracted to someone of the opposite sex is normal and unfortunately unavoidable. Attraction was designed to be the first step toward marriage, not the first step in the meaningless high school dating game. I assume by the fact that this is your first that you are not yet at a place to be considering marriage; therefore there is no good to be gained by allowing this romance to blossom.
            The Bible has a lot to say about marriage but not much to say about courtship (it pretty much assumes that parents will arrange the marriage and then it is the responsibility of the couple to glorify God with the covenant that was arranged). In Ephesians 5:1-21 there are some great guidelines for life before marriage. I won’t break down the whole chapter for you, but the gist of it is that we are to live lives that are so much like the example of Christ that impurity cannot even be named among us. I do not mean we are to flaunt our purity (brag that we are better than everyone else) but rather we are to represent the Lord. The vast majority (over 98%) of romantic relationships started in high school do not end marriage, but they end in heartbreak.
            Now to answer your question directly; you as a woman should never tell a man that you are romantically interested in him before he chooses to pursue you. God ordained for men to lead where romance is concerned. This is neither demeaning to women nor empowering to men it simply the way God set things up. If your friend’s brother has not said anything to you it is because he is not yet ready to lead you in a relationship before God (though I would encourage you to tell him no even if he did so). Allowing romance to grow before both of you are honestly ready to leave home and live in covenant with one another is EXTREMELY dangerous. It allows two young people to have emotional intimacy without responsibility which will eventually lead to sexual immorality (which we are told shouldn’t even have to be named).
            I pray that you seek the Lord to fulfill the desire for companionship and love. The moment that you can honestly say that you do not need a man in your life because you are full in Christ is the moment you are ready to be swept off your feet. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33).


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