Could we possibly let guys know we are interested in them?
If we look solely at biblical, positive examples of women interacting with men, we see Rebecca who was kind, respectful, and thoughtful. Ruth was confident but humble, and thankful. Abigail who was intelligent, gracious, humble and courageous.
And then there's the three negative extremes.
1. We are Fearful Fawns. Shy and shrinking. We think this is demure and modest, when really it's just foolish and harmful. Deliberate shunning of all eligible young men isn't godly. :)
2. Flaunting flirts. Silly, stalking, clinging, gushing, flattery and leech -like behavior is also unbecoming. :)
3. Or Forward Feminists. This is how it is Buster.
Would it be a sin to ask a guy out? Probably not.
Would it have been a sin for Abigail to tell David to repent? Probably not.
But Abigail boldly, virtuously, and intelligently moved David to repentance. She allowed the Spirit to use her. She obviously wanted an outcome: David to have grace for her husband/family. But she didn't march down to David and tell him how it was.
We can never show too much of the Holy Spirit. (Fruits of the Spirit). But there's something to be said about being wooed. I don't know about you ladies, but I personally desire to be pursued. That principle is seen in the Bible. Christ died for us ladies! I think the man who is too terrified to say anything might not be the guy I'd like to marry.
Disclaimers! It's perfectly natural for a guy to be afraid of pursuing. Our fear as women is: I'm not beautiful enough. A man's fear: I don't have what it takes. Rejection is fearful for any man. (Not to mention some of us have fathers that carry shotguns...) It's healthy to have a little terror. :) But if this keeps him from ever pursuing you, perhaps there's good reason not to pursue him.
Anyone could take this idea too far: "I'm not even going to smile at him or talk to him! I mean -- if he wants to marry me, he's gonna have to work at this." That would simply be dumb.
Men are pursuers and initiators, principally, naturally and even spiritually.
Allowing a man to be a pursuer is healthy and godly. Many women are tired of keeping their emotions "in the dark" and feel like it would be healthy to let the guy know they're interested. I'm not an advocate of having secret crushes or playing romantic mind-games. But approaching a man and "just letting him know" seems a little brash and inappropriate.
Pursuing a man unveils our viewpoint of men.
Men aren't a class of potentials. When we feel it's necessary to "tell them how it is" it is a little red flag that maybe we're wanting our way (right now please) and we're feeling maybe we should be involved, even though we'd deny ill-trust on God or desperateness. If you can't trust this guy to know when to ask to pursue, why would you trust him to be your head and family leader? By letting a guy know we are interested we show our assumption that they don't know. Maybe they do but are waiting on God or His timing? Maybe they do and they simply aren't interested. Just because we're over the stereotypical "age of eligibility" doesn't mean we need to give way to panic and unrest and wear "I'm single" t-shirts.
Worldly women often have a more sedate and secure sense of their singleness than we do! Sisters -- we don't have to jump in on the Terror of Singlhood epidemic that's spreading in Christian circles. God is still in control. Even if things aren't going the way we imagined. We don't have to propose in order to ensure marriage.
I am an advocate for being friends with godly men. Instead of wondering if "he's the one" we might be better off if we just try to be this man's friend. How can we be an encouragement? How can we be a sister in Christ? What can we learn from him? We can be friends -- even with someone else's "one".
We shouldn't be afraid of saying hello first. Most men don't think you want to marry them because you said hi. I've fallen for some of these weird "nice-Christian-girl" faux pas. And then, when I threw those out the window, I found myself being too familiar and forward. There is a balance! An adventure we might live with the rest of our lives. (Married women struggle with how to treat guy-friends too!).
Being comfortable with who I am has been a huge step in being guy's friends. When we are comfortable with who we are, we invite others to be at ease with themselves. There's no reason for us to intimidate men. And it's really a pride issue if we think we have to go to unreasonable efforts to hide ourselves or "protect a man's purity". We can get over ourselves a little. :)
There are times I have laughed with my guy friends because we both found ourselves in an awkward situation-- or we weren't sure what would be appropriate. (So, we are all in a circle and our host wants everyone to hold hands to pray....ah! I'm standing next to "John"! Hahaha). It's okay to acknowledge we don't have this all figured out!
There's nothing wrong with being approachable. Even initiating some conversation. Smiling. Being ourselves helps men to be men. We sometimes need to just relax! Life is not all about romance! But letting a guy know we are available is going beyond being approachable.
There aren't rules and regulations on this. Wisdom from others, biblical principles and guidelines and a little common sense goes a loooooooong way. Who cares what Mrs. Matchmaker thinks? But let's be above reproach. Who cares what Miss Feminist thinks? But let's not be socially awkward.
We ladies are given a gift. We were given the power of influence. This gives us a responsibility to encourage the men in our lives to be the godly men they should be. Our wit, beauty and charm have very little to do with it. But our conduct does! (1 Pet. 3:2)
I am blessed with the men God has placed in my life. How I treat them matters. I can attest that my words, my actions have effected them. Abigail wasn't silent! But she was prudent with how and what she said. Are we good examples? Are we edifying? Are we sisterly and charitable?
Loved this quote:
"Our presence in society is not mute. What we say has an effect, what we don't say has an effect; what we laugh at has an effect. what we walk away from has an effect; the words we use have an effect; who we talk to and how we talk to them has an effect. Young men notice. Young women notice. And when our behavior "set[s] the believers an example in speech, in conductm in love, in faith, in purity" (1 Tim 4:12), it has the power to transform the social sene around us -- even to turn mice into men." ~ Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin in "It's (Not That) Complicated" p. 189
"Is there any use in beating about the bush? We call ourselves Christians, what does our Christianity amount to practically? Has it made any difference to my natural individual life? It cannot unless I deliberately give up my right to myself to Jesus, and as His disciple begin to work out the personal salvation He has worked in. Independence must be blasted right out of a saint. God's providence seems to pay no attention whatever to our individual ideas because He is after only one thing- 'that they may be one, even as We are one.' It may look like a thorough breaking up of the life, but it will end in a manifestation of the Christian self in oneness with God."
"The essence of a woman is Beauty. She is meant to be the incarnation -- our experience in human form -- of a Captivating God. A God who invites us."John and Staci Eldredge
Think of a beautiful woman in your life. Someone that you know; who comes to mind?
The women that come to my mind all have different physical attributes, different ages, different "styles", extremely different personalities, and yet they all have something in common.
I wonder if it's the same for the women that came to your mind's eye?
Which one of you women readers long to be beautiful? I bet every one of you wish to be. At least to someone, if not to everyone around us. A lot of us have felt shame or remorse for having failed to be beautiful.
Some women are stereotypical in beauty and are "model worthy". But the women that I know to be captivating, inspiring, and essentially beautiful are not Hollywood worthy.
This is because beauty is unveiled when a woman is at peace with who she is and how she is. When she accepts herself as the person God created her to be.
Beauty is unattainable because it's not something to achieve. It cannot be forced.
Every woman has beauty. It's innate; a part of our nature. A trait from being made in His image.
One young woman I know who is shy and has suffered trauma most of her life, is absolutely captivating when she allows her guard down and smiles. She is transformed, even physically, into the maiden God sees her as.
There is another woman I know who is in no-wise a "head-turner" in the world's view of beauty, but she is so at home with her own self, so confident in who she is, so in love with her husband and children, she radiates beauty.
My first reaction to beauty's secret is: "Aw, I should work on being more confident in myself." But how silly! I would be falling into the trap of "attainable beauty" again.
Instead if I could simply strive to acknowledge His view of me and believe Him, beauty will automatically be a result. I don't have to try to be beautiful. To Christ I already am. You are too.
Have you ever accepted how He sees you? Have you ever striven to acknowledge His way of wooing you? To fall in love with Someone who loves you unconditionally is a thrilling thing! And you feel star-struck. You act and look it too.
Have you ever allowed your guard down? Are you allowing yourself to be who you are with others? Have you ever acknowledged your faults and let go of shame? Faced fears? These are often the result of accepting His view of us? And it's healthy and allows us to radiate who we really are -- a captivating maiden of Christ.
We don't have to work at beauty. We don't have to worry what other's think or see in us. He already sees the real you. He has grace right now and the ability to see who we will become. He is forever molding us into His vessels. Continually changing us to be who we were created to be: us. He isn't planning on making us into somebody else. Just more and more into the Christ-like daughter He already sits with in heavenly places.
When we hid we sub-consciously encourage others around us to hide as well. We're fake so every around us falls into the masquerade. When I'm myself I invite others to be themselves. I'm sharing me and they feel safe to share themselves.
By embracing my worth I put value on their's. Others now can open up, share, bleed, trust. And I learn and heal and help and am used and benefited. And they are too.
It does take courage. It is vulnerable. It does take time.
The blind man from Bethsaida needed Christ to touch him twice. Namman dipped 7 times. . Peter was encouraged to obey three times. It might take a little getting used to -- being ourselves. Noticing how God sees us. Trusting Him, asking Him to show how much He loves us in specific personal ways. He wants to! He waits to be asked.
What we can "do" has little bearing on our worth. God could take away our physical abilities and our talents and He would view us the same way. And why? Because He loves who we are, and who we are has absolutely nothing to do with what we can do. We were made in the image of God with a unique personality that cannot be infringed upon by our abilities. Our abilities are simply outlets to allow Him to be beautiful through us.
We women have a huge influence in the people around us. To our parents, siblings, friends, the lost, the neighbors, the children of our church... Eve was created with the purpose to be a helpmeet, to be enjoyed and appreciated and inspiring to the man God placed her with. Who are the men in our lives? Are we meant to help and inspire them? We can't possibly fulfill our purpose as women if we can't accept who God meant us to be. When Jesus fulfills our need to be wanted and needed and loved, we can then confidently give to others of ourselves. Beauty's secret: Acknowledge how your God really sees you.
"When a man falls in love his personality emerges and he enters into relationship with another personality. Love is not anything for me at all; love is the deliberate giving of myself right out to another person. The idea, I must have this person for myself, is not love, but lust. Lust counterfeits love in the same way that individuality counterfeits personality."
A few months ago I asked my readers for their thoughts on siblinghood. You can read theResults of Poll
here. I later did a post regarding the poll. Unfortunately it was a
long post, so I decided to re-share it in two parts for easier reading.
To the Baby and
I would like to
encourage you little sister or brother that you are important to the
family role. You will always have the “special spot” in
everyone's heart, as the “baby”.
With this comes some
hard tasks. I have heard from many “babies” of the family that
they struggle with selfishness. They were spoiled, and it is hard
not to take things for granted.
The little sibling
can be a blessing or a great hindrance to their older siblings. You
are capable of making the older siblings life complicated or sweet.
Young lady, I want
you to know you can boost the confidence of your older brother. If
you cherish his protection you can encourage chivalry in his heart.
Sisters often prepare their brothers for their future marriage. You
can either habituate them to tantrums and ungratefulness, or your can
make their job a pleasure.
siblings will belittle their older siblings to lift themselves up.
You don't seem naive, or childish if you are rebuking your older
sibling, criticizing their mistakes or telling them what to do.
Babies of the family can be really bossy. This does not benefit
anyone. It usually stirs up that older sibling to be more strict, or
it can actually make some cow to your wishes (depending on
It is possible to be
meek and humble without being naïve or childish. In fact, your
obedience or humility will prove your maturity and even convict your
older siblings to greater heights.
You may have to work
hard at communicating with your older siblings. You might have to
let them know you desire their attention. You might have to
initiate. This is a sacrifice, but it's worth it! You might expect
your older sibling to be the encourager, the mature one – when in
fact, God has planned for you to step up and encourage. Older
siblings are human. We need you as much as you need us. Little
notes from my younger siblings makes my day. We can be lonely too,
you know? We can crave attention. Sometimes we older siblings forget
to communicate how thankful we are for you younger siblings. This
morning while doing devotions one of my younger siblings woke up and
I could hear him singing as he got out of bed. It blessed my heart
to hear him so cheerful. If I do not let him know, he may never
realize his attitude effects me (his older sister). Day by day you
might be being cheerful for your family's sake. You might be the
peacemaker. The encourager. And it is easy to become discouraged
after continuous days of giving, and no-one seems to notice. Dear
friend, your efforts are not in vain! They are noticed. They are
helpful. Even if no-one thanks you. God is using your service.
Your attitude effects your older siblings. Your attitude effect
those who have authority over you. God asks that you obey them and
submit yourself. This is profitable to you.
them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they
watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may
do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for
you.” Hebrews 13:7
You also might have
to take the initiative to learn lessons not expected of you. You
might have to outgrow your parents or older siblings little
expectation and take on responsibilities. Often older siblings are
shouldered with tasks out of necessity. You aren't expected to help
with the cooking. You aren't expected to get a job. You never were
asked to do the laundry or clean the house. To drive your mom to her
appointment. Maybe your older siblings are burnt out? Overtaxed.
And you simply never noticed how you could be a help, because no-one
expected you to.
You have the
opportunity to either be a taker or a giver. A blessing or a
hindrance. Also remember, even if you are the “baby” in your
family, there are usually younger “siblings in Christ” that are
watching you. You are a testimony of what the baby of the family
should be. You are an influence. God specifically put you in your
family, exactly where you're at on the totem pole, for a specific
purpose. It's your calling to be the baby. Be faithful friend, He
will use you.
“Say not you cannot
gladden, elevate, and set free; that you have nothing of the grace of
influence, that all you have to give is at most only common bread and
water. Give yourself to your Lord for the service of men with what
you have. Cannot He change water into wine? Cannot He make
stammering words to be instinct with saving power? Cannot He change
trembling efforts to help into deeds of strength? Cannot He still,
as of old, enable you in all your personal poverty “to make you
rich?” God has need of thee for the service of thy fellow men. He
has a work for thee to do... 'Whatever He saith unto you, do it.'”
George Body, Daily Strength for Daily Needs, p.110