I have written a lot of things that I want to share, but for my first blog post and in light of Valentine’s Day coming up, I felt like these words may be most applicable now.
In thinking about my future and the kids I hope to have one day, I got to thinking about how my daughter(s) is going to be affected by the world we live in. It stirred in me a mix of emotions from excitement to fear. My main concern came in thinking about how she will interact with guys and what a dating relationship might look like for her. While this letter was originally written to her as the audience, I feel like these words can find application in others as well. If nothing else, I hope this letter causes you to think about what defines a man compared to a boy, and the role they each play in women’s lives.
Though you may want to believe it, and rightfully so, for you to think every guy has the best intentions for you is foolish. Not all guys are men. In fact most guys are still boys. While I wish all guys were actually men and knew how to honor women in the way they should, that’s not the reality. As a result you women need to have the wisdom and courage to set up boundaries that protect yourselves both physically, and maybe more importantly, mentally. While I’m not saying it’s healthy to view every guy as evil and out to harm you, I’m also not saying you should openly trust every one you meet. Speaking as a guy who has previously been on the less “women honoring” side of the spectrum, I know from experience that boys will always pursue as far as the woman lets them.
I’ve seen the pain the actions of a boy can cause and since having my eyes opened and heart transformed, it’s now impossible for me to avoid the reality of the danger women face in settling for a boy. Boys don’t have the maturity or vision to lead in setting the required boundaries that produce a healthy relationship. That’s one of the most important differences between a man and a boy. A man is able to see the whole picture and is guided by wisdom and love, while a boy is guided by instant satisfaction and lust. An important thing to remember is that age has really nothing to do with maturity. While maturity can take time to occur, and intuitively it makes sense that the older a guy gets the more mature he will become, the truth is that age is no guaranty of wisdom.
It’s heart breaking to see women settle for boys just because they fill enough of the lonely void. I guess it’s from the fear of being alone or that they may never find better, but as a man looking from the outside, it’s devastating to see women with unlimited potential compromise their true worth just so they feel “loved.” I put quotes around that because I’m not sure you can even call what a boy offers as love. Maybe by the world’s standard it is, but not God’s standard. A boy may be able to say things that make you feel good or complement you on your new outfit, but those things aren’t love. From a man’s perspective that’s commerce. A boy knows what to say that will make you give him the affection he desires. He may go even as far as to say “I love you.” While these words may sound sweet to the woman involved, coming from a boy they should reek of death. True love is not expressed in just saying those three words. True love is shown through their daily actions and intentions.
Men are called to be both humble and strong, as well as courageous and filled with integrity. Boys are prideful and have only the façade of strength. By settling for a boy, you’re letting them off too easy. You’re actively (yet maybe unintentionally) allowing them to have what they don’t yet deserve. A boy isn’t able to steward a woman’s love properly (mom’s excluded). Because of this, you need to set up boundaries that put the ownership of growth back on them. It’s their job to pursue growth and maturity, and while there may be space for you to encourage them in that, it’s not your job to lead them in it. That’s where other men are supposed to step in. Men are the ones to speak in to boy’s lives and call them to their manhood. It’s the role of men to properly model what a man looks like and to help the boy’s mature out of their childish ways.
By settling for a boy, you’re not showing him a need to mature. If he can already have a girlfriend with the type of person he currently is, why would he ever want to go through the difficult process of maturing to manhood? You deserve a man that will honor you with his words, love you with his actions, and encourage you in your pursuit of God’s calling for your life. You deserve a man who respects your opinion, protects your body, and shows integrity in all he does.
A perfect man does not exist, but a true man is one who will never be satisfied with his current sin. He will always be seeking wisdom and growth. He will actively produce an environment for you to be all you were created to be, while supporting you in the process. He requires love and forgiveness back as he may have the right intensions, but will inevitably mess up and hurt you in some way. He needs a woman who is strong in her view of self-worth and is confident in her position in the kingdom. He needs her to operate out of healthy boundaries and to love out of God’s abundance.
The best advice I can give you as you pursue a dating relationship is this: Pursue God so relentlessly that a guy has to seek God to find you, for it is there that you’ll find a man truly worthy of you.