By LESLIE LUDY
It’s surprising how many Christ-focused young women I meet have a difficult time transferring their romance with Jesus into the arena of guys. We might accept the fact that Jesus Christ is a princely, heroic gentleman who laid down His very life on our behalf. But when it comes to guys, it’s all too easy to settle for a self-consumed guy who exalts his own wants above honor and nobility; a guy who puts on a Christian mask in order to gain our attention, but underneath he is no different than his secular counterparts. As I have said in many of my books, an earthly romance is meant to be an outflow of our heavenly romance with Christ. The only way this can happen is for both individuals to be completely consumed with Jesus Christ; to be ruled and operated not by selfish motives, but by His Spirit alone.
There are lots of “Christian” guys out there; guys who profess Christ but allow self to reign and rule their lives. Just because a guy is friendly, clean-cut, polite and church-going doesn’t mean that he is a truly godly man worthy of your heart. All too many young women lower their standards out of desperation – thinking that if they don’t snag the one guy who seems at least somewhat better than the rest, they will end up alone. But this attitude demonstrates a lack of trust in God’s love for you and perfect plan for your life. If you give Him the pen and allow Him to script your story, you don’t need to strive or manipulate in order to make a romance happen – He will bring the perfect guy into your life in His own perfect time and way. He is more interested in this area of your life being beautiful than even you are!
If you settle for less than a man who is fully yielded and surrendered to the King of all kings, you settle for less than God’s best for you. You may not feel worthy of a noble, gallant, Christ-built Warrior Poet who will lay down his life for you. But this is exactly what Christ is to you. And this is exactly what He desires for you in an earthly prince. If you keep your standards high, you honor Christ. You acknowledge that you were purchased by the precious blood of Jesus, that you are the daughter of the Most High King, and that you will not cheapen all that Christ has done for you by throwing your pearls to swine. (See Matthew 7:6.) Christ has made you into royalty. Do not throw that gift away by giving the treasure of your femininity to a self-serving pig.
How can you tell if a man is truly worthy of your heart? Here are some practical ways:
First, learn to listen to the voice of Christ’s Spirit within you. The more you diminish your own selfish voice and tune in to what His Spirit is whispering to your soul, the more you intrinsically sense when God is opening a door, or when He is telling you to be cautious. If you need wisdom about a guy in your life, devote plenty of time to diligent prayer. The more you pray, the more clear God’s voice will become. Don’t rush ahead out of impatience. If there is any doubt in your mind, it is always best to err on the side of caution rather than presumption. If God wants you to take a step forward with a guy, He is perfectly capable of giving complete peace and confidence to your soul. If there is uncertainty, the best thing to do is to wait and continue to pray until your path becomes clear. God will not allow you to miss His will if you simply build your life around seeking Him.
Second, spend time observing him “behind the scenes” when no one else seems to be watching. He might be a wonderful example of Christ when he is in front of his church friends, but what is he like around his family? How does he treat his younger siblings? Does he honor his parents? What is he like around the “unlovable” people – those who can’t do anything for his reputation or popularity? Does he seek the limelight or is he content to be in the background, ministering to those that everyone else overlooks? What is the overall direction of his life? Is he pursuing money, or is he truly pursuing Christ? Does his “spiritual wisdom” come from hours on his knees alone with God, or merely from what he borrows from the spiritual lives of others? Is he truly respectful of women and honoring to his future wife, or is he constantly trying to win the affection of girls? Take some time to quietly observe his behavior (over more than just a day or two!) and allow God’s Spirit to open your eyes to his true nature.
Thirdly, recruit some “teammates” who can observe him along with you. Often the best teammates are parents or godly older adults you respect, rather than friends your own age who might just tell you what you want to hear. Your parents (if they are walking with Christ) have been given a special position in your life by God, and often they have special insight into important decisions such as this one. If you are willing to humble yourself and submit to their wisdom, God can work through them to give you caution or assurance as you decide whether to move forward in a relationship. As I detailed in my book When God Writes Your Love Story, my parents played an incredibly important role in my love story with Eric. When our friendship seemed ready to move into a romantic relationship, their insight and wisdom proved to be an invaluable tool that God used in order to give me peace about moving forward. Even if you are an adult and living completely independent of your parents, they can still serve as prayer partners and godly counselors for this crucial area of your life. If you are willing to humble yourself enough to listen to their perspective, you will be surprised at how beneficial it can be.
Even if you are mocked, ridiculed, or ignored because you refuse to throw your heart to any guy out there, you can be sure that God will honor your decision. He paid for the treasure of your heart with His own blood. You disregard His amazing sacrifice for you when you allow your femininity to be trampled in the mud. You are a daughter of the King, so hold out for a man who truly reflects the King’s nature, love, and light.