As a woman who strives daily to be more like Christ, I wanted to take just a minute to encourage the hearts of you godly men, and to openly say thank you for the impact you have had on my life, and I am sure if they could pipe in, I would get a big AMEN, from so many other Godly women “in the choir.” For so many of us we deal with the insecurity that we will never be enough, too often that insecurity causes us to not want to wait on the Lord and to lower the standards we look for in men. But then there are men who cross our paths who make us reevaluate the qualities we are looking for in someone who could potentially be apart of our lives. Many times, because of our past, or the way we see ourselves, we don’t truly feel like we deserve a godly man, and lets just be honest here, most women are impatient, and will settle for something less than what God has for us out of fear, that the idea that what we desire just isn’t out there.
As I write this letter there are ten or so Godly men who have crossed my path over the years, who were single at the time, who impacted my life in a great way, to truly begin to show my heart what the idea of a godly relationship was supposed to look like. I had the privilege of watching several of these men find the women God had for them and to watch the way they loved their future wives. No these men were not perfect and I don’t intend to put them on a pedestal. The only perfect man was Jesus Christ. My only point here is that when you are living your daily life you have no idea who is watching and what impact you are making in the lives of those around you.
When I stop and think about how my heart has been encouraged over the years by Godly single men, There are a few specific qualities that come to mind. I will tell you that as Christian women, seeing Jesus in a man is the most attractive quality, and I am not sure why as people we settle for what we know is far less than God’s best. Over the years my heart has been protected, guided, encouraged, and prayed for by brothers in Christ around me. I write this to encourage you to look around I can promise you that if you are striving to live for the Lord there are girls watching. They may not be the one that God has for you but I encourage you to be aware so you can protect her heart as her brother in Christ.
If I could say thank you to these men for the example they were, and the qualities that through their new life in Christ set them apart, I would thank them for:
Running in their Relationship with the Lord: There is nothing more attractive than a man who is strong in his relationship in the Lord. As women we are built to be led by a man, and I know I will ruffle some feathers when I say this, but as Godly women we were created to be submissive. I dont mean to be demeaned, but to walk beside her husband and support him in all that he does and to allow him to lead her and their family. A man who knows scripture, who can pray with confidence, who has a heart for the lost, and who just has a genuine love and concern for people will catch a Godly girl’s eye.
Asking Questions: There was a guy that I went to college with who was phenomenal at this. He always made people around him really feel as if they, and their lives, were important. One particular night that I remember, we were sitting at dinner and it was me and two other girls and Him, and he sat and asked each one of us about what was going on in our lives, how or ministries were going, what the Lord was teaching us, and how he could pray for us. Having true interest in the lives of other people without any other intention is something that should not be taken advantage of in a friend. I walked away from that conversation feeling encouraged, loved as a sister in Christ, and like what I was doing and the life I was living really was making a difference.
Physical Protection: I had a group of friends in college that had a knack for doing stupid things,and I remember on more than one occasion when several guys I knew went out of their way to make sure that the girls that were with them were safe. One night in particular we were out checking out this old abandoned tunnel. The whole point of going was for the experience of walking through in the pitch black and for the thrill,but what i didn’t realize at the time was that a couple of the guys had gone ahead and checked out the tunnel before the rest of us got there, to make sure that there was nothing that would harm us. The guys were not about to put us in a situation where we could get hurt physically or hurt by someone.
Protection of My Heart: In college one of my best friends and I spent a lot of time together, I ended up developing feelings for him, mostly because I saw so many Christlike traits in him, but he was sensitive to the situation and realized how I was starting to feel. Instead of walking out of my life, calling me out and making me feel bad for how I was feeling, or taking advantage of my feelings, he did quite the opposite. He and another friend and I went out for a movie, on the way home he asked if I wanted to run an errand with him on campus. He never made it awkward but on the way home before we pulled out of the parking lot, He turned to me and with the most care and respect, he told me how he felt. That it had nothing to do with me, that he loved my heart, but that he just didn’t feel like I was the right girl for him to date and that it wouldn’t be fair to me knowing how I felt. Of course at the moment, the conversation stung, but to this day we are still friends, and I have so much respect for him for the way he handled the situation, and how he made me feel protected from the potential of a broken heart.
Protection of my Reputation: A few weeks before my husband and I separated, it was obvious that we were having issues, I went into church and sat with a group of close friends that I didn’t typically sit with on Sunday mornings, I slipped in during fellowship time and sat next to one of my best friends, one of my guy friends bible was on the other side of me but there was plenty of room to sit there. I noticed later that he got up and moved to the pew behind us. Later that night while our group of friends went out to dinner, he made it a point to make sure I knew why he moved. He told me he did not want anyone to assume that he and I were in a relationship behind my husband’s back. The thought had never crossed my mind that people might perceive things that way, but i felt like he had taken an opportunity to intentionally protect my reputation.
Setting an example of Godly Leadership: In college two guys who were Seniors when I was a sophomore, led a group of 5 or 6 of us who were ministering within our fraternity or sorority. We met once a week to pray for the Greeks on campus. The way that these men showed the brokenness of their hearts for the lives of their fraternity brothers who did not know the Lord, as well as the way they led in prayer, and led the meetings to avoid gossip and distraction, encouraged me to learn even more to how to pray for and show the Love of Christ to the women of my sorority who were searching for significance in things other than in the Lord.
Encouragement: Recently there was a guy, who I knew years ago as a mutual friend of some of my sorority sisters, who had posted quite a few verses of scripture, quotes about relationships and godly life to Facebook. It seemed like at the moment that when each of these popped up it was connected to something that the Lord had already been teaching me. The Lord was using these posts to reinforce what he had already been showing me. This guy also made a statement to me that he was spending time in the word and trying daily to become a more Godly man, this made made me realize the difference between someone who is perusing a real relationship with Christ and the continual life transformation that occurs when you are consistently growing in the Lord, and being a “Christian” guy and going to church occasionally, when there is very little impact on your life. This guy had absolutely no idea that in posting these things that I was even seeing them or the effect that it was having on my heart.
Setting an example of what a Godly Relationship looks like: I have been blessed to watch several of these men find the women that God has created for them, and be able to watch the Love story that God has written for them develop. Its been kinda neat to grab a bucket of popcorn and watch their relationships unfold. Whats even more fun is that several of them ended up marrying girls that were dear friends of mine, and I have been able to hear how these men have led in their spiritual lives, sheltered their marriages, and been Godly fathers to their children.
I will admit as these situations unfolded I did “crush” on a couple of these guys, but the real lasting effect was that each one of them raised the bar a little higher for what desires I have in the man I pray God is forming for me. To be completely honest, its difficult for me to write this blog post because I am by far not an expert on good relationships, if I am anything I am an expert on bad relationships and not believing that I deserve what God could bless me with and because of that not waiting on God’s best. Especially now sitting here after being separated from my husband for 7 months with no signs of reconciliation, I feel odd saying the bar has been raised again. I pray daily that one day God will bless me with a man with all these qualities to grow old with me. And the fact that the Lord with his transforming power could do this in the life of my ex, or that he could one day bring a man into my life who could accept me for who I am in the Lord is even more proving about how powerful and in control he is. So many women would say that what I just wrote about would be describing the perfect man, and that he doesn’t exist. I would agree with them, the perfect man does not exist, but men who are striving daily to be like Christ do.
I will admit that I have not ever dated any of these men, and although they raised the bar, I have always let myself fall back in to the arms of men who are not perusing the Lord because it seemed like the easier thing to do. I was blinded by the idea of love and not engaged with the idea that the best relationship would be with the one that the Lord has created for me, and it would be worth any amount of time to have to wait.
Men – I would encourage you to keep focused on the Lord and to keep your eyes open to the women around you, protect them, honor them, and love them, because if they are not your future wives, they are some one’s future wives, and you need to realize that in the way you live your life and the way you treat her, without saying a word you can point her to the Lord, and to raising the standard of not letting ungodly men steal her heart.
If you are waiting on the one God has for you, I would encourage your heart, she is out there. She may not even know you yet, but God is sovereign and He has a plan, if you are single or single again, or stuck somewhere in between the Lord is in control. Hand him your life fully, and he will bless you far greater than you can ever imagine. And when The Lord hands you the one he has created for you, love the Lord more than you love her, cherish her, study her, and continue to date her. If you love her the way that Christ loves the Church, she will respect and honor you.
I truly believe that most people do not end up with the ones that the Lord had for them, I believe that we settle for something “good enough”. This is the reason for so much emotional and physical infidelity, because we are not truly complete in the Lord, and so consumed with our relationship with him that we look up only long enough when God says “That’s Her or Him.” I have seen relationships that it was obvious they had found the one that the Lord had for them in his timing. Its undeniable. It doesn’t mean its easy, but if you stand back and watch, they attempt point each other to Christ daily, they have genuine concern for each other, and their love for the Lord and each other grows out of the trials that cross their paths
Live your lives for the Lord, you don’t know who’s watching and how it may be impacting their life.
Love in Christ