It’s always hard for me to write to single women when the majority of those who come to my site are married. But, I receive so many emails from singles looking for guidance in their dating relationships. At the core of my heart, I want to minister to both groups.
But I’m mindful of wanting to protect the relationship I have with you- a wife. I never want you to be discouraged when you stop by my online home. I want you to know I’m on your side. I’m here to encourage and equip you to walk closer to Christ and your guy. But, our flesh can get in the way of this pursuit, which is why I’m giving you this warning.
This article is intended for the single woman. If you are a wife, please don’t read this message because it’s not for you. And I’m not saying this so you’ll keep reading. I’m saying this because I want to protect your heart from feeling heartache, disappointment, and frustration. I don’t want you angry at your guy, your God, or at me because of the message I’m giving to a single gal.
If you read the following advice, you will likely compare your guy to my list. Please don’t. I’m here to help you build your marriage, not tear it down. The latter is always easier to do. And Satan will use whatever means necessary to destroy your marriage if he can. Don’t give him the opportunity.
If you are already married, you’ll have the desire to tell me how God has done some amazing things in your marriage. Which I say, of course! God can’t help Himself from redeeming, restoring, and transforming lives. This is His job description. But, God is also a gentleman, and He will force no one to follow Him. A person must give the Holy Spirit access to their heart so God can change it. Unfortunately, not all men (or women) are willing to do this.
Now, if your curiosity has taken you hostage and you must keep reading, then let me encourage you to take off your wife glasses and read this through the lenses of a mom or a mentor to single women.
Remember, if your heart is fragile, be a wise wife and walk away from this article. Click away now! 🙂
Dear Single Sister,
Please know I read all of your emails asking for my advice about your dating relationships. Let me share with you what I wouldn’t or didn’t settle for when I was a single woman. This list is to help you make a biblically wise (not emotional) lifelong choice in who you will marry.
1. A man who is a half-hearted follower of Jesus Christ.
I would not settle for some lukewarm Christian. Nor would I date a man who says he believes in God, yet there is no evidence that Jesus Christ is the Lord of his life. There is a difference between belief in God and Lordship. Even the demons believe in God. A man’s actions and attitudes will determine his commitment to following Jesus. If he is not sold-out to following Christ, then he would not be a man I would ever consider dating or marrying.
2. A man who is into porn.
I don’t care if you call it a habit or an addiction, if it’s an on-going issue then he’s living in a state of unrepentant, habitual sin. He needs Jesus and accountability, and I wouldn’t be the one willing to hold him accountable or lead him closer to Jesus. He needs a man for this, not a girlfriend.
Porn use wasn’t as common 20 years ago when I was a single woman. If a man wanted to view porn, he had to go down to the local liquor store, stand in the checkout line and make eye contact with the sales clerk to purchase his girly magazine. I would imagine he would feel some shame while doing this.
Today, a man hides behind his computer screen in the privacy of his home where he can access any image he wants. No one sees his sin, and as a result, there is less shame on his part which makes it easier for him to keep doing it.
What I advise the single women I mentor in real life is to ask the guy straight to his face if he’s battling with porn use. Not in a text or over the phone, but look him straight in the eyes and ask him. This is what I would have done years ago. However, don’t confuse habitual porn use with the same as seeing a naked image that shows up on one’s computer screen because of a Google search that led to an inappropriate site. If a person has a screen, eyes that can see, and they’re breathing, there’s a high probability they have come across some inappropriate images by accident. A man who cares about his walk with God will close that page as quick as possible.
3. A man who lacks integrity.
If he is a liar before marriage, there’s a good chance he’ll be a liar once you’re married. You want a man you can trust and one who keeps his word.
4. A man who is content to let me pay his way.
The Bible says the man is commanded to provide for the family, yet so many men today are willing to let the woman pay their way. Not this woman. Frankly, I wouldn’t settle for a man who is shirking his responsibilities. When I was single, I wanted to marry a man, not a child. It is the woman who sets the tone for the relationship. If you’re carrying the financial load while you’re dating, you’ll carry it when you’re married. The Bible is clear on specific gender roles in marriage. Make sure when you’re dating, the two of you are committed to living out those gender roles when you’re married. If the guy you’re dating is not interested in following what the Bible has to say regarding your future roles as a husband and wife, you might want to reconsider the relationship.
5. A man who is pressuring me to have sex with him before marriage.
Don’t confuse temptation with pressure. They are not the same. It’s difficult to remain pure before marriage, but it is possible if the two of you are committed to following God’s design for sex within marriage. (If you’ve given your purity away like I did when I was a non-believer, you’ll find no condemnation here or from God because He has forgiven you.)
6. A man who only attends church if I attend church.
This is a spiritually weak Christian or a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing. This guy’s motive in going to church is so he can get closer to me rather than getting closer to Jesus. He should want to go to church for his spiritual growth, not for the growth of our dating relationship.
7. A man I do not respect.
If I don’t have respect for a man, I won’t follow him. Simple as that. Since the Bible commands wives to respect their husbands, I figured as a single woman it was really important for me to respect the guy I was dating. If you don’t respect your guy when you’re dating, you’ll have a hard time respecting him when you’re married.
8. A man who is harsh towards me and treats me poorly.
No man has a license to trample all over my heart. (If he does, then this means I’m allowing this type of treatment.) If he is considering marriage, then he needs to learn how to treat me with respect and consideration. I am a person, not a punching bag. And he has no right to spew out his emotional anger on me as if I’m some doormat mopping up his mess. A man like this needs to emotionally grow up but not on my time.
9. A man who wants us to live together before marriage.
This man lacks knowledge of God’s Word regarding sex and marriage; therefore, I would not be interested in following such a man. If he wants to point me to the bedroom, I’ll point him to the Bible and then I’ll walk straight out the door, and the date will be over. If a guy knows God’s Word, yet, he’s not willing to be obedient to it, then I would not be interested in being his future wife. He’s more committed to following his flesh rather than following the Bible.
10. A man who expects me to pursue him.
If a man is interested in me, then he needs to pursue me. Throwing myself at him hoping he’ll want me is not the type of guy I want. A man is designed to pursue a woman so give him the opportunity to do so. I know this is hard to do in today’s culture. I had to learn to be feminine which wasn’t easy since I was once a radical feminist.
12. A man who tries to change me.
I dated many men who couldn’t handle my intense personality, so I tried to be less intense. Dumb move on my part. But when I became a born-again Christian, I accepted what God’s Word said about me. Now does this mean I didn’t work on my character or sin-tendencies? Of course not. There is a difference between a person’s personality and character (or lack thereof). You never want to marry a guy who wants to change you. And you never want to marry a guy you want to change! Marriage is a lifelong relationship. Be you and let him be him. If you don’t like his character or his personality, move on.
13. A man who is non-committal.
I wouldn’t spend my time waiting for a man to make a commitment. His non-committal ways is an indicator that he’s not that into me. You want a man whose actions and attitudes say, “I can’t help but love you and I’m a better man because you’re in my life.”
14. A man who is unforgiving.
If he calls himself a Christian, then he is commanded to forgive others. In order for a marriage to thrive, forgiveness is a necessity, not a luxury.
The closer a man walks with Jesus, the more his character will reflect Jesus. This is the kind of man you want.
You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. Matthew 7:16-18
So, where do you go from here?
Return to your first love, Jesus Christ. And when you do, you’ll have no need to settle for a man who is not worthy to have your heart.
Live a poured out life for Christ,