The most important decision you’ll make in your life? Choosing to trust Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.
The second most important decision (for most people): who you are going to marry.
So ladies, if marriage is THAT important of a decision, you should be carefully thinking about the type of guy you are going to spend intentional time with. Intentional time leads to dedicated time – and dedicated time leads to marriage.
Unfortunately, many young ladies have made very foolish decisions when it came to the type of guy they chose to spend time with, date, and then marry. But that doesn’t have to be you.
Don’t be duped ladies – for the most part – many of the things you’re seeing now in a guy you’ll see later (and often times worse) in a marriage. So, your dating decisions now are really important, and will lay a foundation for the future. That being the case, what are the things you should be keeping an eye open for now?
A desire for God’s Word. Read John 6:35. Sadly, many guys and future husbands don’t take their time in the Word serious enough. They think they can navigate life without direction from God and his Word. This is a sign of pride. The humble man realizes he doesn’t have all the answers and needs the Lord’s guidance. Thus, he makes the time for God’s Word – and he realizes he’s a fool without it. By the time he’s in high school a regular quiet time should be a part of his ongoing spiritual disciplines. How do you know if a guy is spending regular time in God’s Word? Ask him. There’s no easy way to get around a question of “What passage did you read today in your devotions and what did you get out of it?”
Responsiveness to authority. Read Romans 13:1-2. Do the guys you spend time with have a godly respect for the authorities God has placed over him? His parents? His pastors and elders? His teachers? Or – does he belittle them and talk disparagingly about them. Those attitudes, though correctable, could reflect future problems. This doesn’t mean perfection in authority but the right direction in authority. Bad followers eventually result in bad leaders. To quote LeCrae: “if you can’t follow you will never lead.”
Not exclusive / possessive. It can be pretty easy for a guy to start to think that you are his – and he starts to behave like you’re married (instead of living in the real world: you are friends). Let me be really clear here: before God there is no genuine commitment between a man and woman outside of marriage. That means pre-marriage either one can cleanly walk away without any issues. Anything other than friendship prior to marriage (maybe with the exception of engagement) is living outside of the realm of reality and truth. There is no true claim to someone until a wedding ceremony. Stay away from a guy that forces you to into a relationship box that is exclusively focused on him and leaves no room for anyone else. This is a sign of control and that is never good in any relationship, particularly marriage.
Treats young ladies like sisters. Read 1 Timothy 5:2. Guys need to treat young ladies with respect and class – not like one of their guy friends. That means their communication is guarded, their tenderness is discernable, and their motives are pure and clean. When you’re treating someone like family, you don’t trample over them. You treat them the way you would want to be treated – like you would treat a close family member that you love and cherish. That’s something guys can definitely grow in, but it should be something they’re beginning to evidence, even as teens or college students.
So ladies – this relationship thing and your choices in the midst of it are pretty important. Take some time and evaluate your relationships – and engage with a parent or someone godly you trust. Have them ask you questions relating to what I’ve written above. And with God’s grace – move forward with conviction and courage as you live a life that honors Him.
Scott Foreman is the Executive Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. He has been active in full-time vocational ministry for almost 20 years as a Camp Director, Radio Host, Missionary and now Pastor. You can follow him here at The Ministry Dad, and also on Twitter: @scottdforeman.