Can I Let Him Know I Like Him?
How to Interact with Guys
I recently was posed with the question:
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