Ladies, even though you’re not a guy, I think you’re going to want to read this! That’s because even though this post is addressed to my fellow guys it quite directly concerns you. Guys, do you know that in today’s historical and cultural realities it’s a great time for you to be actively dating? Now for anyone who’s committed to pursuing matrimony through Courtship, this message isn’t any less relevant for you. What I’m ultimately going to communicate in this post is that it’s a great time for good Christian guys to be actively seeking to find their wives. If you’re committed to doing that through getting to know women as a friend and then committing exclusively to Courting one of them, that’s great! Allow me to continue, and I think things will become clearer…
If you’ve followed That Crazy Christian Romance since its inception then you probably already know that this blogger considers pursuing romance as a Christian in modern Christendom gets a little, well, crazy. It can be a real challenge to navigate the social realities surrounding being a Christian in the pursuit of romance and matrimony. This is because there are conflicting perspectives on how such a pursuit should be done. The dating vs. Courtship debate is the greatest example of this. Competing paradigms result in many Christians having a broad spectrum of outlooks and expectations when it comes to when, why, and how a Christian should pursue romance. So while the Christian romance pundits smack each other with their arguments like so many pool noodles, the average young Christian adult is left to figure out for himself or herself how to turn the desire for marriage into reality, without clearly knowing what’s socially expected. Add to this the already awkward and challenging nature of pursuing romance, and you quickly get a recipe for matrimonial craziness that’s both awkward and confusing. So if finding a wife can become difficult for young Christian men, how are they rising to the challenge? Well, I fear many of them aren’t.
In conversations with friends, I’ve gotten the sense that many young Christian men desire to be happily married. Yet I feel that many of them don’t know how to turn that desire into reality or else aren’t very active in doing so. In the 1950’s, young men were expected to take young women on dates and thereby demonstrate that they were socially experienced enough justify entering an exclusive relationship with a young woman. In today’s Christian culture, I get the sense that the program has become something along the lines of “go through life until you encounter a young woman who you feel strongly enough toward for you to pursue her and then do so.” I think a lot of things contribute to this habit including teaching on “trusting God” to bring your spouse into your life, emphasis on building character rather than getting dates, and the stigma against being perceived as a player. The problem is that strong feeling for a woman often grows after you get to know her. In adult life, you often won’t get to know someone unless you take intentional action to make it happen. So if you’re a guy waiting for your highly-motivating queen to pirouette into your life then you may be in for a long wait. It’s these things that set the stage of why it’s a great time to be a good Christian guy that’s actively dating.
Reason #1 – You’re In Demand
I spent an hour before starting to type this trying to find hard statistics on the numbers of single men and women in the modern church, but, alas, Google wasn’t cooperating. (If you can direct me to any please do so!) However, on every site I found that talked about the ratio of eligible bachelors to bachelorettes within the church, the consensus was that there are far more single women than men. Some time ago, I read an article (no, I can’t remember where, sorry) that claimed that, within evangelicalism, there are only 2 bachelors for every 3 bachelorettes. (Ladies, I think you’re starting to see how this topic applies to you!) I read another article that suggested things are even worse in European Christendom. It’s been known that men are dropping out of church participation. This reality painfully shows up in the shortage of good Christian husband material. Recently, I went out with a young woman, and we got to talking about her experience with dating in the church. She remarked that she started dating online because there were no – or at least not enough – guys at her church. When I attended her church one Sunday, I thought, “I’m gonna look around and see if I can prove her wrong.” Every guy I spotted was with someone. Other than me, I didn’t see any seemingly single guys. I did spot a few seemingly single girls, though. Guys, if you’re hoping to find a wonderful Christian woman with whom to spend your life, the odds have never been more in your favor.
Reason #2 – The Ladies Want You
In addition to the women who are panicking after reading the above paragraph, there are many in the world who want YOU to ask them out. Eddie Kaufholz shares a great response I’d recommend reading to a question sent to him by a reader named Erica. Erica’s question was essentially, “where are the brave men? Why are so few willing to risk going beyond friendship and ask for a date?” Women want to get asked out. Women want to have marriage prospects. Women get discouraged if time keeps passing and no one seems to be interested in them, in spite of being wonderful women. In our Christian culture, women are expected to respond to rather than initiate romantic pursuit. That means they’re often under a cultural pressure to quietly wait for a man to approach them even if they’re secretly itching to step toward marriage. So you might be surprised how many Christian women around you are willing to at least go on a date with you if you just muster up the courage to ask.
Reason #3 – Crap Ain’t Husband Material
It’s here that I want to explain what precisely I mean when I say “good Christian guy.” I’m talking about someone who is truly and wholly committed to following Jesus Christ. He lives for Christ, abides by His commandments, cares about others, and brings every area of his life under the lordship of Christ. He’s willing to abstain from premarital sex, including everything from fellatio to pornography to looking and lusting, if for no other reason than to obey Christ’s command. Yes, guys, I said it. It’s appalling how many single men in America identify as Christian yet cheerfully get into bed with women as though it isn’t sinful. (It’s appalling how many women do the same, for that matter.) Understand, I’m not saying you have to find abstinence easy or like it. I’m not saying you have to never be tempted to look at porn. Nor am I saying you have to have never messed up. God knows none of us would be left standing if that were the case. I’m saying when it comes down to choosing your consistent behaviors you choose to live for Christ rather than sexual gratification. I’m with you in the daily struggle. I feel the weight of it too. But I’m still living abstinent because following Jesus is way better than experiencing orgasm. This world has no shortage of self-serving men who want to serve and please themselves. If you’re a true man of godly character then you’re highly desirable among those women who sincerely pursue Christ.
Reason #4 – You’ll Probably Be Ahead of the Competition
Remember how I said that I’ve gotten the sense that a lot of Christian guys either don’t have much of a plan for how to make marriage a reality or don’t follow through on it? Well, if you step up to the point of taking action in getting dates then you’re going to be in better shape than those guys who sit around waiting for Miss Perfect to prompt them to finally take initiative. You have a much better chance of finding your Miss Perfect if you get to know women who might be her. You’ll also be ahead in the competitive reality of dating. Though we’re Christians called to love each other, reality is each of us can only commit to one person. You’ll have opportunity to date young ladies who haven’t been “taken off the market” by passive guys who otherwise might have done so. You might think you should trust God to match you with the right woman, but, if I may speak in a Napoleonic manner, God gives the best matches to those men who aren’t passive. You might also want to read my thoughts on that topic in the post Does God Have A Spouse Chosen For Me?
Not only will you be getting to know great godly young women but you’ll also be developing excellent relational skills. Dating, like anything, takes time to learn and practice. One of my mentors once warned me that if I kept refusing to take women on dates just because I didn’t think they were “the one” then, when I finally did find a woman I thought I might want to marry, I might find myself incredibly inept at pursuing her. In many ways, dating can help prepare you to enter into an exclusive relationship. The passive guys probably won’t have such an advantage.
And not only will you be gaining skills but you’ll also be increasing your desirability. Initiative and confidence are attractive to women. Every Christian woman wants her husband to be a leader. You can’t lead if you’re not willing to take initiative or you let your fears paralyze you. Showing that you have enough initiative and confidence to ask a woman out frames you as good husband material. Again, passive guys don’t have this working for them.
The Choice Is Yours
Literally today, I learned that my older sister wonders why women haven’t snatched me up because I’m such a good catch. (Thanks, sis!) Men, I don’t think the fault is on the part of the ladies. I think it’s my fault. It wasn’t until age 23 that I finally understood that it was up to me to pursue a spouse rather than wait for one to come to me. (Note that that’s a full year after the average guy in 1960 was already married!) How could I get snatched up when I was failing in my role to initiate even casual romantic interaction? Want to know something interesting? Nearly all the comments I’ve gotten on this blog came from women. It’s like we men have even dropped out of taking initiative to talk about pursuing dating and marriage! Well, I’ve chosen to take the initiative to take action. I haven’t been dating long, but I already see it’s a positive thing I wish I had started much earlier. I want you to come with me on the journey of becoming men who actually act like men when it comes to pursuing marriage. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to face your fears, work on your weaknesses, and start asking some Christian ladies out. No one can do it for you. The choice is yours.
What do you think? Do you feel more inclined to date after reading these reasons? Do you disagree with them? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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