Thursday, September 20, 2012

When the Spirit says DATE!

The comment:
I also for the first time am beginning to pursue a girl in the hopes of making a relationship that is pleasing to God. I've never been one to date; I've never even really had a girlfriend. However, I feel compelled by the Spirit to make a change and put myself out there like I never have, and to do so in a way that puts her interests first, no matter what that means (even if it means being zoned as a friend). It's very weird because I've never experienced anything like this before, unless it was a major life choice that the Spirit was leading in a bigger-than-usual way. Talk about being uncomfortable with saying that. Its sound uber cliche and could easily be passed off as rationalizing. Is it? I don't think so, but thats part of the tension.
Maybe you are rationalizing it... but, maybe you're not. Only you really know your motivation and your heart, try as you may to convince the world, the Lord and yourself. I'm actually quite amazed at how good we can get at believing things that simply aren't true and pawn it off on 'God telling us to'. I'm not saying He's not, but 'following the Spirit' can sometimes lead to shady things when we aren't constantly going back to Scripture with the things we are sure we've been told.

Another tricky part of this situation is that once you've gotten the notion to pursue someone in such a fashion, you need to make sure you're not in it to get something out of it...and, at least for me, that becomes next to impossible. I had a similar experience to yours a few years ago (check it out, if you haven't).

As much as you can convince yourself that you'll do whatever it takes to be there for her, to put her needs ahead of've already established that there is the hope of making a relationship. Perhaps you meant friendship, but, even at that rate...what if friendship isn't what you get out of the whole ordeal? What if you literally get nothing in return? What if you get worse than nothing? Again, you can ask yourself what-ifs all day...

My point is that you already have expectations, whether you want to admit that or not. When you have the expectations, you can't help but put those upon other people. In the end, if things don't result in a relationship, you'll probably be disappointed. I think that's okay. I think that's what reaching out to others often looks like. I don't know how to tell you to love selflessly and to never expect anything in return... I don't think that's natural to us. Do we still have to do it? Absolutely...

Shoot- and ultimately, I give you props for pursuing, especially when it's a completely unknown territory for you. It seems quite rare that men are willing to put themselves on the line for a girl without first knowing if there's any sort of interest on the other side.

So basically, my thoughts in a more concise nutshell:
  • In following the Spirit: are the things that you're doing in line with what Scripture says (Scripture not taken out of context, that is). If you weigh each action, each word and it is line with what the Word says...keep walking into it. Keep pursuing. 
  • Think about what it really might mean to put her interests first. It's a promise, a commitment. And maybe you're not making it to her (please don't...not yet, anyway), but the depth of what you're talking about goes much further than a 'Oh, she's not reciprocating at all, I must have heard wrong...' If you decide to pursue this, and if what you've said above is your true heart behind it, you must be all matter what. Even when... 
  • Be a man who is bold and confidant. Maybe the Lord's just urging you to walk in that boldly and this girl is the first of many that you will honor and respect and you (and they) will learn a lot about godly relationships through the way that you're being obedient. Be ready to learn a thousand lessons along the way that will be different from what you originally thought you might learn. It's a fun adventure! 
  • She may not be the one for you. Please don't let the first thing that you tell her in a DTR be that you really feel like the Lord is leading you into this specifically. If she's not feeling the same way it can cause both of you to unnecessarily question whether or not you're hearing from the Lord at all. Perhaps approach it from more of a, 'I feel compelled by the Spirit to make a change and put myself out there in a way I never have before...and you've really caught my eye because...'. 
I'm excited for you to branch into new territory. Perhaps you'll lead the charges of breaking through whatever barrier Christian men seem to encounter when they think about pursuing Christian women. 

Romance never goes the way you expect it. 
Be thankful for that, even when it sucks. You'll understand in the end.
Just don't blame it on God if things don't work out with this specific girl. And sometimes, my friend...sometimes I think it's okay to pursue a girl just because you think she's cool and you'd like to get to know her better. I don't think you have to feel the Spirit's leading in a major way to feel okay about taking this step in life. He has given you a sound mind and wisdom (oh, and desire...) for a reason.

I hope you find a lot of freedom as you move into a bit of change for yourself.
I know it will be good. 

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