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8 Things That Reveal A Woman’s Character

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8 THINGS THAT REVEAL A WOMAN’S CHARACTER

See the original post @ http://marshill.com/2013/07/19/8-things-that-reveal-a-womans-character?

BY Deacon Jen Smidt

 “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)

Men, when it comes to dating and attraction with women, “cute” is a fine starting point. I understand that God made men and women to be physically attracted to each other, and I would never encourage a brother to marry a gal he was not at least somewhat attracted to. But “hot” is not a good ending point either—kinda like “hell” isn’t a good ending point.

There is so much about a woman to know as a man contemplates whether or not to pursue her beyond friendship. A common mistake men make before asking a woman out is they make snap judgments about her based on looks and don’t take the time to observe her in action to get an idea of her character.

I’m not saying that you’ve got to see if this woman can pass a comprehensive character evaluation before you go out for a cup of coffee, but I am saying to spend some time in prayer and pay attention to how she speaks to her friends and carries herself around other guys. What drives her? Whom does she love? How does she talk about the people she loves? Things like this will reveal far more about her than her exterior will.

DOWN TO THE CORE

Just as I’ve told the ladies, it is crucial for men to know that character is the undergirding of a woman, the nature of who she is. At her core, she must be a woman of character to get your attention.

Over her lifetime, a woman’s waist and chest size will fluctuate, her hair color will fade, and her interests, passions, and ideas will develop. She might change her mind a dozen times (possibly even in the same hour) and she will keep you guessing for a lifetime. (One of the many mysterious traits about our gender.)

What will remain consistent is her character. To be sure, she will mature and, by God’s grace strengthen, her character over time. But the essential qualities must be in place at the get-go.

A godly man will have complete confidence in her character before he says “I do.” I am not saying she must have reached perfection or even live up to your standards (which, by the way, may be completely unrealistic). I am saying you want to find a woman of godly character (read Proverbs 31).

8 ESSENTIALS

Do you know the answers to these essential questions about her character:

1. IS SHE A WOMAN OF GOD?

If you clearly see evidence of Christ having regenerated her heart, ultimately it is him you have confidence in, not her. He has promised to complete the work in her and you can trust the Holy Spirit who lives in her to refine her heart.

2. WHO INFLUENCES HER LIFE THE MOST?

If it’s Oprah, the gal at the Clinique counter, or her tarot card reader, we may have a problem. A woman of character will surround herself with godly influences—her Bible, her church, and others who love Jesus. She will have friends who don’t know Christ, but she will be influencing them.

3. IS SHE SOFT?

I’m not talking hair, skin, or around the middle. I am also not talking weak, mousy, or a pushover. You want to observe her having a tender heart toward God and others—especially when she is wrong.

4. WHO KNOWS HER WELL?

I get it, the mysterious woman persona is intriguing, but she can’t be a mystery to everyone. If she is not known deeply by someone, chances are she’s hiding something—maybe pain, loneliness, sin, shame—but her character is shrouded. She needs to let the redeeming light of the gospel of Jesus shine in her darkness.

5. IS SHE TEACHABLE?

Humility transforms a woman’s heart. You want her to always be learning more about God first, as well as health, food, art, music, or whatever. A teachable woman will always be growing, changing, maturing, and interesting.

6. IS SHE RULED BY TRUTH OR BY EMOTION?

A woman of character will understand the balance between truth and feeling. She will not be an impenetrable stoic, nor will she be a drama queen. She may lean one way or the other but will ultimately let the truth of Christ control, define, and settle her.

7. IS SHE FEARFUL?

Fear of man can be debilitating in the life of a woman; fearing God is the path to life and freedom for a woman. Marry a woman who, as Peter describes, “[does] not fear anything that is frightening.” You will need her by your side, not cowering in the corner, when life gets tough.

8. IS SHE WISE WITH HER WORDS?

Women talk. It’s science. They have thousands more words to expend in a day than you do. Women of character use their words to build up, speaking love and honor. They do not gossip, tear down, or dishonor with their words. What words does she use that reveal her character?

“Cute” is a good start, but character is the measuring stick of a woman worthy of your time and pursuit. Be intentional about building your own character and diligent in your search to find a woman whose character resembles Christ’s.

Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage

If you’re considering marriage, this article has some good questions you may like to consider before you get down on one knee!

Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage

by John Piper

Preparing for Marriage: Help for Christian Couples is a new ebook from Desiring God aimed at aiding couples – whether dating and considering marriage, or engaged and preparing for marriage – to get to know each other better in some of life’s most significant matters, and be more fit to discern God’s leading for their lives.

Along with the questions contained in this blog post, we’ve packaged three additional resources from John Piper in hopes of enriching such important preparation.

In each of these sections one item could be added that I have not listed, namely, How do you handle and live with differences? How do you decide what can remain differences without jeopardizing the relationship? So as you deal with each subheading, include that in the discussion.

Theology

What do you believe about…everything?
Perhaps read through the Desiring God Affirmation of Faith to see where each other is on various biblical doctrines.
Discover how you form your views. What is the reasoning-believing process? How do you handle the Bible?

Worship and Devotion

How important is corporate worship? Other participation in church life?
How important is it to be part of a small accountability/support group?
What is the importance of music in life and worship?
What are your daily personal devotional practices? Prayer, reading, meditation, memorization.
What would our family devotions look like? Who leads out in this?
Are we doing this now in an appropriate way: praying together about our lives and future, reading the Bible together?

Husband and Wife

What is the meaning of headship and submission in the Bible and in our marriage?
What are expectations about situations where one of you might be alone with someone of the opposite sex?
How are tasks shared in the home: cleaning, cooking, washing dishes, yard work, car upkeep, repairs, shopping for food, and household stuff?
What are the expectations for togetherness?
What is an ideal non-special evening?
How do you understand who and how often sex is initiated?
Who does the checkbook—or are there two?

Children

If and when, should we have children? Why?
How many?
How far apart?
Would we consider adoption?
What are the standards of behavior?
What are the appropriate ways to discipline them? How many strikes before they’re…whatever?
What are the expectations of time spent with them and when they go to bed?
What signs of affection will you show them?
What about school? Home school? Christian school? Public school?

Lifestyle

Own a home or not? Why?
What kind of neighborhood? Why?
How many cars? New? Used?
View of money in general. How much to the church?
How do you make money decisions?
Where will you buy clothes: Department store? Thrift store? In between? Why?

Entertainment

How much money should we spend on entertainment?
How often should we eat out? Where?
What kind of vacations are appropriate and helpful for us?
How many toys? Snowmobile, boat, cabin?
Should we have a television? Where? What is fitting to watch? How much?
What are the criteria for movies and theater? What will our guidelines be for the kids?

Conflict

What makes you angry?
How do you handle your frustration or anger?
Who should bring up an issue that is bothersome?
What if we disagree both about what should be done, and whether it is serious?
Will we go to bed angry at each other?
What is our view of getting help from friends or counselors?

Work

Who is the main breadwinner?
Should the wife work outside the home? Before kids? With kids at home? After kids?
What are your views of daycare for children?
What determines where you will locate? Job? Whose job? Church? Family?

Friends

Is it good to do things with friends but without spouse?
What will you do if one of you really likes to hang out with so and so and the other doesn’t?

Health and Sickness

Do you have, or have you had any, sicknesses or physical problems that could affect our relationship? (Allergies, cancer, eating disorders, venereal disease, etc.)
Do you believe in divine healing and how would prayer relate to medical attention?
How do you think about exercise and healthy eating?
Do you have any habits that adversely affect health?
Previously posted as “Topics for Conversation When a Man and a Woman Are Considering Marriage.”

5 Notes On Dating for Guys

 

5 NOTES ON DATING FOR THE GUYS

Brandon Andersen » Marriage Dating Worldviews Wisdom Planning Culture

I work in church operations, which I means spend an inordinate amount of time with young, single volunteers, many of whom are recent converts. When I first started, it quickly became clear that most young Christians have no idea what Christian dating looks like practically. Here are some insights to help Christian men date in a way that honors God.

1. A DEFINITION OF INTENTIONAL

“Intentional” is one of those words that sounds right, but no one really knows what if means. So I would like to clear that up. Here is my working definition for intentional and how it relates to how a Christian man should pursue a woman.

The intentional man repeatedly and constantly goes first and takes on all of the risk of rejection. He always lets the girl know where he stands so she feels secure and isn’t left guessing. (On the other hand, don’t weird her out by talking about marriage on the first date.)

Approaching her initially:

  • Intentional: “I’d like to take you out on a date.”
  • Unintentional: “Wanna hang out sometime? My roommates are all gone this weekend.”

Paying the bill:

  • Intentional: “I’ve got it.”
  • Unintentional: “Can you cover half the bill? I’m pretty broke right now.” (My wife believes this communicates, “You are worth about $20, but not quite $40.”)

Following up after a date:

  • Intentional: “I had a great time tonight, and would definitely want to do this again. I will give you a call this week.”
  • Unintentional: “I’ll call you sometime.”

Bringing other people in:

  • Intentional: “I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you. Would you like to have dinner with my Community Group leader and his wife?” (This is a way to honor her by pursuing outside accountability from a godly couple.)
  • Unintentional: “I don’t know if you really wanna meet my friends yet . . .” I.e. “I don’t really want you to meet my friends yet,” and as Chris Rock says, “If you have not met his friends, you are not his girlfriend.” (In this case, there’s a disingenuousness where he’s not being fully open with his whole life with the woman and is cordonning off the relationship from other areas of his life and people who know him. This is a guy who’s only selfishly protecting himself and shielding himself from any accountability and consequences, and he cannot be trusted as the protector of someone else.)

Things are going well:

  • Intentional: “I think you are a godly, beautiful woman, and I have great time with you. I would like to pursue a relationship with you.”
  • Unintentional: “Soooooo, what do you think about us?” Or, “I am not sure where I stand. What about you?”

Things look like they could go well for a long time:

  • Intentional: “I don’t date for the sake of dating, and marriage is a long ways away, but I couldn’t be happier with how things are going. I think you’re amazing.”
  • Unintentional: “Things are going OK I guess, we’ll see.”

Recognizing the end of the relationship:

  • Intentional: “I am sorry, I don’t see this progressing past friendship.”
  • Unintentional: (Time passing . . . cold shoulder . . . you stop calling . . .)

Ultimately, the unintentional guy’s responses are selfish because they put his interests before the woman’s, and they’re moreover cowardly because he avoids addressing where the relationship is, leaving the woman marooned in relationship limbo.

The man in the relationship should always have an answer for three questions:

  1. WHAT IS THIS RELATIONSHIP?

  2. WHAT ARE YOUR INTENTIONS?

  3. HOW ARE YOU DEMONSTRATING THOSE INTENTIONS RIGHT NOW?

The big idea is this, men: Don’t keep her guessing. Let her know exactly where you are at all of the time. It is a risk of course, but better on you than her. Own it.

2. CLEAN YOUR ACT UP TODAY, NOT ‘WHEN’

You’ve probably heard some guy say this: “I will clean my act up when I find the right girl.” It’s not true. The lie is that once you find the right girl, all your problems will go away—you just need the right motivation, right? Wrong! If Jesus isn’t motivation enough to grow in maturity and pursue godliness, then you are not ready to pursue a woman.

The truth is that when you’re in a relationship, you get their crap on top of your crap. That’s double crap. It is hard to start a healthy relationship with two immature people drowning in crap. Men, get your life together first, know where you are going, then invite a girl to come along (Prov. 16:1–9).

3. PLAN AHEAD

Don’t spend time with your girlfriend without a plan. Decide ahead of time the prudent time to say goodnight and where you should go. If a frat boy goes to a party with the attitude, “I’ll just see what happens” he will end up drunk and who knows what else. The same goes with dating: your judgment will be impaired when you are together (the opposite sex has that effect). Also, you are not fooling anyone. Every girl knows what “Do you want to go to my place and watch a movie?” means. The battle is won by not putting yourself in that position. And if you do find yourself in the bad position, flee. Literally, get out. Not joking. Make sure she can get home safe of course, but seriously, get out of there. (1 Cor. 6:18).

Don’t be prideful. Spend time in prayer, think it through, soberly acknowledge your weak and sinful state, and don’t set yourself back (James 1:15).

4. GUARD HER HEART

I went to a Christian college and I can’t tell you how many times these “good Christian guys” started dating by using the faith as a tool for manipulation. They would start a daily Bible study with a girl they just met, and position themselves as the ultimate confidant and authority in the girl’s life and leaving her heart completely exposed to a immature boy. A mature man knows that the person that can do the most damage to a woman’s heart is him, and he takes that very seriously. This is very difficult line to walk, and takes a lot of wisdom and discernment, but here are some indicators that you may be crossing the line:

  • You just started dating, and you are sharing “heart” things with each other that you haven’t shared with closest friends and/or mentors that you have known for years.
  • You are isolating yourselves as a couple and not listening to people whose opinion you used to value (Prov. 15:22), saying things like, “They just don’t understand what we have.”
  • Your individual Christian walks become intertwined, and you end up pursuing and becoming closer with each other more than becoming closer with God.

5. PHYSICAL TOUCH

The Bible only outlines two categories for Christian women in relation to Christian men: either she is a sister in Christ or she is your wife. There isn’t a middle ground. The lie is, “We’re halfway married, so we can do 50% of the married things.” That is not true at all. You need to put physical touch in two categories: acts of affection or acts of desire.

Acts of affection are ways that you show that you like, appreciate, and cherish  the women that you are dating. Think of it as a affectionate father with his daughter. He hugs her, snuggles her, kisses her on the forehead, holds her hand, stopping at any type of sexual satisfaction whatsoever. He just wants to make sure his daughter knows that he loves her.

Acts of desire are acts that are reserved for marriage. Foreplay is designed for one purpose: to build the desire to have sex, which it does well. Think of foreplay like and freeway on-ramp: it’s purpose is to transition you to full speed. You don’t see cars hanging out on on-ramps, never intending to get on the freeway. Physical touch is designed to progress, and it is naive to think you will always be able to keep your desires in check. Failure and sin is all but inevitable.

In short, you know what you are doing. If you stop for a moment and think about it, you know which category the physical touch you are doing falls into. It is different for everyone. It is not helpful for me to tell you where the line is so that your conscience will allow to you run up to that line and hang out there for a while (Titus 2:6). If you are asking the question “How far can we go and still be in the clear?” your heart is in the wrong place to begin with.

I would encourage any couple who is focused on the physical to change their focus to friendship (Song of Sol. 2:7). Building a friendship will set you up for a strong marriage far more than a physical connection. The physical connection will come later, you don’t have to worry about that. But you have freedom, in the midst of gospel community, to pursue friendship and have fun.

HE’S CALLED US TO HOLINESS

There is a right way, there is a best way, and it is the same way: God’s way (1 Thess. 4:3–8). God did not give us rules just to steal all of our fun; he’s called us to holiness, and the rules are for our joy and protection. The process of dating is an exercise in putting Christ on the throne in all things. So embrace it, and don’t just endure it.

18 Myths Singles Believe (Perry Nobel)

 18 Myths Singles Beleive

#1 – Being miserable is the result of being single…getting married will solve all my problems.

#2 – I’ve messed up in my past and do not deserve anyone good. (See I Corinthians 6:9-11, especially focus on verse 11!)

#3 – Ephesians 3:20 isn’t true for me and my future spouse…I need to settle.

#4 – This relationship that I am in isn’t what I would like my marriage to be like..but when we get married I can change this person.

#5 – Having sex will simplify things and cause the person I am dating and myself to have so much more in common.  (See I Corinthians 6:18-20)

#6 – This person is not God’s best for me…but if I rush through the process of dating and getting married then I have God backed into a corner and He has to bless me because He loves me, right?  (See Deuteronomy 6:16)

#7 – Marriage isn’t that big of a deal…if my first one does not work out then I can drop them and start over.  (See Malachi 2:13-16)

#8 – Getting married isn’t going to alter my lifestyle…I am still going to be able to live like I did when I was single, the only difference is I’m going to get to have more sex.

#9 – I am going to get to have sex anytime I want.

#10 – We are going to cuddle all of the time.

#11 – The things that really get all over my nerves about this person won’t bother me as much when we get married.

#12 – The fact that we do not agree on what we believe when it comes to Jesus and the church will not impact the way we raise our kids. (See II Corinthians 6:14 and Amos 3:3)

#13 – We should live together before we get married to give it a “trial run,” after all, you would not buy a car without test driving it first.  (See Hebrews 13:4)

#14 – I need to keep as many secrets about my past from this person as possible; after all, my past issues won’t impact this relationship at all.

#15 – All of my friends are married…I am not…something is obviously wrong with me.

#16 – The way I handle my money now will not impact my future marriage.

#17 – When I get married my spouse will meet all of my needs.

#18 – Dating is tough…marriage is easy!

 

Extract from:

http://www.perrynoble.com/2010/10/14/18-myths-singles-believe-and-a-quick-note-about-sunday/

The question EVERY MAN must answer

I highly recommend this sermon by Perry Noble! It sums up much of what Men Of Courage is about, regardless of your life situation.

Great teaching on what the calling of a man is:

http://newspring.cc/series/adamandeve/the-one-question-every-man-must-answer/

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