We received some great questions for men from you, our readers and the girls here at GLOW sent them along to our wonderful husbands to answer! Wonder no more ladies because Mike, Scott, and Tyler have pulled back the curtain on the minds of men and given us some prayerful and thoughtful answers to a few puzzling questions. There are three different men represented here with varying viewpoints so hopefully you find something that resonates with you! Take a minute to get to know them and then dive right in to this fun Q and A!
Mike: Mike is a follower of Christ, husband to Alyssa and pastor at FBC Kopperl in Kopperl, Texas. He has a Masters of divinity from Southwestern Seminary and is currently working on his Doctorate of Ministry. Mike enjoys hunting, fishing, snowboarding and riding motorcycles. Ultimately, Mike’s heart is to reach the lost for Christ.
Scott: Scott is husband to Kelsey, Dad to Judah and Annabelle, and follower of Jesus. He is the Sales Director for a software company and Young Adults Coordinator at his church in Denver. He his the number one fan of the Denver Broncos and a connoisseur of all Apple products. Scott’s desire is to reach the lost by returning what it means to follow Jesus to the essentials of the Gospel.
Tyler: Tyler Clem is husband to our contributor Andi. He is daddy to Liam and the youth minister at Calvary Baptist Church in Williamston, SC. He is a lover of all things outdoor- hunting, fishing, camping, running, etc. He is a huge sports fan (ALL sports), especially of the Kentucky Wildcats! He has a passion to disciple youth and see them grow into godly men and women.
“I just would like to ask how to appropriately bring God into our relationship without sounding offensive. My boyfriend is a Godly man however, sometimes, I feel that we are lacking God as a strength in our relationship. I believe it is both of our faults but I don’t want him to think that it’s just his fault or just mine… any advice?”
Mike: Communication is the key to any good relationship. If this is the way you feel then you need to communicate this to him, don’t drop hints hoping he picks up on it. Ultimately it is the man’s job to be the spiritual leader of the household and the relationship and if this man’s not doing that then you need to let him know it or think about replacing him. I would also like to give you a word of caution in this area. Our relationship with the Lord is something that we hold very close to our hearts and long in-depth conversations about spiritual matters can be very intimate times. Make sure you are guarding your heart and consider saving those intense spiritual conversations for your husband. I have seen dating couples that would do their devotionals together every day and the problem with that kind of thing too early is that you are tying your relationship with the Lord to your relationship with another person and if your relationship with that person ends it may have an adverse effect on your relationship with the Lord. I say all of that to say: make the Lord the center of your relationship but guard your heart.
Scott: The best way to lead someone is to go where you want to take them. Find opportunities to weave God into your conversation. You can say things like, “Hey, I was reading in Ephesians today, and I came across this passage. What do you think about it?” You can even suggest a scheduled time to read your Bible together. As you prioritize God more, your boyfriend will follow suit. That said, if you are the one driving the spiritual connection in the relationship, this is backwards of how God designed it, and you should bring this up with your boyfriend in a gentle and graceful way. Let him know you desire more of God, and ask him to lead you there. If he is worth keeping around, he will step up to the challenge and you will both be better for it.
Tyler: I feel as if it is very important to make sure that God is the primary focus of any relationship. Far too often, I’m just as guilty of this in my relationship with my wife; a man rarely brings up our walk with Christ. It’s much easier for a man to talk about what’s going on in the everyday life than to bring up what should be talked about, Jesus. So the question at hand is how do you do that. That’s a very tricky question… On the one hand you desire for Jesus to be talked about, especially with your significant other, but you also don’t want to offend him, or make him feel like he’s not doing his job by leading you toward Christ. A way that we have found helpful is for my wife to ask me “how my quiet time is going”, or “what I learned from Jesus today”, or “what are some things that I’m seeing Him do in my life.” All of these are good ways to make sure Jesus is being talked about, while making sure that no one is offended or hurt in the process.
“If a girl is interested in a guy, is it wrong to pursue him as good friends but still wait for him to initiate something?”
Mike: Is it wrong to pursue anybody as a good friend? No, but is that really what you mean? If you mean trying really hard to be near someone, spend time with them and have in-depth conversation with them then that’s kind-of the same as pursuing a relationship. I think “friending” your way into a relationship is tricky and it leads to “friends with benefits” more often than it does a relationship. Also, guys like to pursue, they want a little bit of a chase so be attainable but not easy. When a girl is trying really hard to be a guy’s friend it comes off as flirty and most guys will pass on the flirty girl and go for the girl who is a challenge.
Scott: Not at all! This is how many great relationships begin – as good friends. However, it is better to establish that foundation of friendship without any ulterior motive. If you come at the friendship as a means to an end, in other words, hoping for, or even trying to force a relationship, your approach won’t be as genuine and he will see right through it. As you become better friends, it may grow into more – or it may not. Pray for guidance and grace no matter what happens.
Tyler: First of all, it is very difficult for someone to pursue someone else as “just friends”, when there is more than “just friends” feelings there. Let’s just say for a moment here that you continue to pursue him as a good friend, while waiting for him to initiate a relationship. What if this relationship never comes? What if he, thinking you and him were “just good friends” finds another woman whom he’d like to date? How would this make you feel? Would you still be “good friends”?
Secondly, you’d like to let him know how you feel, but in doing that, I’ve known too many guys who enjoy the thought of a woman liking them, so they jump at the first opportunity that comes their way, when they should have stuck to “just being friends.”
So to answer your question, “Is it bad to pursue?” No, not at all! Just be aware!
“Is it ok to hang out alone with guys when you are dating?”
Mike: When you say “Is it ok” do you mean is it a sin? No, it’s not a sin. When it comes to dating I think we all know what sin is: any sexual activity or sexual contact outside of marriage. The issue your question raises is about boundaries. I always tell single people that, when it comes to boundaries, make sure they are not too close to the castle. Let me explain, when you build a fortified structure like a castle you build a wall around it (a boundary) but you don’t build the wall right next to the castle you build it out away from the castle itself. This way if someone makes it over the wall they aren’t in the castle yet but they are close. I think boundaries in dating relationships should be similar, make the boundaries far enough away from sin so that if you break one you aren’t in sin yet, but you are close.
Scott: What is appropriate in this situation will vary for everyone. That said, it is wise to discuss and be up front with what can be a temptation for each person in the relationship. What is ok for you may not be ok for him, and vice versa. Talk about it openly and establish boundaries around the lowest common denominator. If you are honest with yourself and realize being alone is too much temptation, be strong enough to take measures to ensure you don’t put yourself in that situation. Find a good friend or someone to hold you accountable.
Tyler: Is it ok to hang out with guys alone while you are dating?” Great question… When you find the answer, let me know! I have a ton of teenage girls who are asking me the same thing… Honestly, I don’t think it is wrong, but and I mean BUT, I would use EXTREME CAUTION. Never put yourself in a situation or a place that could lead you to doing things you’d wished you hadn’t. It’s easy to say, “I would never do this or that”, but when put in those situations it’s much harder to say “No!” So my advice, don’t put yourself in those situations. Early on, group dates are the way to go! As your dating life progresses, obviously you have to get them in an environment where you can really find out who they are, what they are about, and what they expect out of a marriage partner. I suggest walks, or other activities that allow you to still have one-on-one time, while making sure that you are keeping yourself out of harms way.
Well there you have it ladies! Hopefully some of your questions were answered. Check back next week for the second half of our Q and A with Mike, Scott and Tyler!