How you attract him is how you’ll have to keep him

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It’s really hard sometimes. Scrolling through pictures on my Instagram, watching beautiful girls, dressed provocatively and the multiple likes by guys. And the thoughts run wild through my mind…

“Maybe if I would dress differently he’d like my posts too”
“Maybe if I posed more sexy-like, rather than cute-like I’ll get more attention”

Mind full of ‘what-ifs’ and insecurities.

This is what guys like. It appeals to fleshly desires, I get it. But that’s not the type of guy I’m looking for. And I have to stop and remind myself that. I’m not looking for the guy that gives into those temptations. I’m looking for a guy that’s strong enough to say no, when his flesh is saying yes. Because he knows deep down something isn’t right.

A guy that knows that’s not what he’s really looking for…
Me knowing that’s not the attention I truly desire…

The way I attract him, is the way I’ll need to keep him. I don’t want to attract a guy to me simply based on my looks- that’s not who I am. It’s not even close to who I am. And truthfully, girls, that’s not how you wish to attract a guy either. But I think we are left thinking that’s our only option sometimes. We believe the lie that he’ll choose that other girl over us. The one that poses for pictures a little differently, the one that shows a little more skin, the one that will be a little more physical…

But if that’s what he chooses, he’s not the one we’re looking for. He’s not the one we truly desire. And he’s not the one that’ll be able to love us with Christ-like love.

The right guy, you know what he’s looking at? You know what he’s waiting for? He looks beyond the things that won’t last. He looks beyond the things you didn’t have much control over. He’s watching your character. He’s observing how you make decisions. He’s viewing how you treat other people. He’s seeing what breaks your heart and what dreams you’re chasing. He looks at that heart of yours. He sees whether you’re pursuing worldly pleasures or eternal treasures.

That is how I want to attract my future husband because those are the things that define me. Those are the things that’ll never change.

There are guys out there like this. And they are the guys worth waiting for.

 How are you attracting the men in your life?

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Which finger should I wear my purity ring on?

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So I didn’t know this was a thing actually. I thought everyone wore their purity ring on their wedding finger. I think most do. But two things I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older: some people do actually wear it on a different finger… and more and more people tell me I should wear it on ANY finger but my wedding finger. What?!

I do understand where they are coming from though. I think they genuinely care about me finding someone and believe it is deterring guys from me. Btw, I just looked at synonyms for the word deterring and got discouraging, daunting, dissuading, preventing, and frightening. Oops! I guess those could be fair assessments at times. Yet, I can’t fathom placing my ring on a different finger. It’s almost as if I’d rather be single the rest of my life than to let go of what my ring, on that finger, symbolizes to me. It’s not just a purity ring to say to my future husband “I waited for you.” It’s my commitment to God and a symbol of my love for Him and trust in Him. I feel if I were to take it off or move it to a different finger, a part of that love and trust would be going away with it.

But what if the right guy won’t approach me because he thinks I’m married? Maybe I’m stubborn. Maybe my expectations are too high. But my ring is a band of Christian fish. Maybe it’s a pipe dream but I want a guy that is able to recognize a purity ring when he sees one. Someone who would understand me and my values. Respect me and love that about me even more.

At the end of the day, I’m not sure God cares which finger you wear your ring on or if you wear one at all. But what He does care about is your heart. And my heart is after Him, first and foremost. So I’ll keep mine on my wedding finger. It’ll continue to be a conversation starter. And maybe, just maybe, that conversation will be the one I’ve waited for all along.

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Don’t go on fun dates

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When I first mentioned this blog title to people, I got some crazy looks. Why wouldn’t you want to go on a fun date? Who goes on boring dates anyway? But hear me out. I am afraid of how our minds work sometimes. If we go on a fun date, we naturally equate the fun to liking the person we were with. But, I do think it’s possible to have fun without really liking the person. I mean, how can you not have fun at Dave n’ Busters?! While these experiences are fun, they don’t exactly help when it comes to deciding whether or not we like a person.

We crave fun. But we also crave love. We crave love more actually. And we desire someone that can be there for us when life just isn’t fun. When we lose our job, when our kid is sick, when we have no money. We want someone that will be there regardless. Someone we want to be there with us when the hard times come. Someone we can lean on. Someone we can trust. Someone we love.

You might find out which dates you love, but you won’t necessarily find out if you love that person. The fun masks the red flags sometimes. And unfortunately, I think I’ve stayed in relationships longer than I should have because I equated my love for fun with my love for him.

I loved the new experiences. I loved the traveling. I loved the food. I loved the activities. But I didn’t love him. I didn’t love the way he treated others. I didn’t love how he spent his free time. I didn’t love his passions. I didn’t love how he had no goals. I didn’t love his outlook on life. And the fog of fancy restaurants and new adventures clouded my vision. I got so caught up.

So what do we do instead? Is the answer really to not go on fun dates? Yes. Sure you can go on them, but not all the time- at least not until you know whether or not you love the person. Spend time talking but even then, that’s not enough. You have to spend time watching. Watching their behavior. One of my best dates was when everything went wrong and we just had to wing it. Olive Garden got replaced with Wendy’s and our movie got replaced with looking at Christmas lights.

Do boring things. Crazy things. Weird things. Dates that don’t cost money. Hang out with family. Work on homework. Participate in each other’s hobbies. Volunteer together. Go to the thrift store. Dance in the rain. Help each other with work.

Do life. Real life.

And then watch and see how things go. Is it fun doing life with them? Or do you get easily annoyed? Agitated? Maybe you need to grow. Or maybe the one you’re with just isn’t the right one for you. And that’s okay. Be intentional with your dating. When we focus solely on our happiness, when we just want to have fun, we can lose sight of what really matters most.

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Rejection or God’s protection?

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I feel like I could marry anyone. I really do. If I make up my mind that I am supposed to marry someone or I feel like someone is the one God has planned for me, I will commit to make it work. Through all the good, through all the bad. There have been several exes that I would have settled with. I realize the word settle may be a bit harsh but I don’t mean a settling of someone less than me, I mean settling for someone other than the one God has picked out for me. Some will argue God doesn’t have anyone picked out for us or that He isn’t even really all that interested in our love lives- it’s up to us to make our decisions and then ask Him to bless the relationship. But I think that is silly. Of all the things God can do and does, what makes us think He wouldn’t care about our love life? He cares about everything because He loves us so much.

There were several guys I had thought may have been “the one.” Honestly, every time I start dating a guy, there is that hope. Some of these relationships it became quite apparent they were not the one for me. Other times, my stubborn side came out and I was determined to try and make it work. It was during some of these times, I have been rejected in ways that would make anyone feel less than human.

I was talking earlier this week and someone was shocked to hear that I have been rejected. Of course I’ve been rejected. Jason, Shane, Mike, Dan, Patrick, Josh, Alex, I could go on… And their opinions of me didn’t make it any easier. Not fun enough. Not sexy enough. Not wild enough. A prude. A goody-goody. Too spiritual… Words that sting. Words that make you doubt your worth. Why do we begin to feel worthless if we aren’t wanted? Worth and want are not synonymous.

And it took me awhile to finally come to the realization: Not everyone will like me… and that’s okay!

It’s a hard pill to swallow. Because my pride takes a hit. Feeling like I’ve been rejected by rejects. People that I now wouldn’t give a second thought to. In the moment though, longing for someone else to come along to make me feel worthy. Someone to make me feel valuable. To tell me that I am desirable. That I matter.

Looking back, I don’t view it as rejection anymore. I see it as God’s protection. God stepping in. God intervening. God willing to watch me suffer a little pain of being rejected rather than watching a lifetime of pain married/joined to the wrong one. I broke up with the ones I didn’t see a future with, and God allowed the others to break up with me so I wouldn’t look back in regret. Because rejection is so much better than regret. God, being the best father possible, protecting me when I was too distracted to protect myself.

My life amazes me sometimes. It’s funny how the guys that have once rejected me always seem to find me again. A random text. A Facebook message. Wanting to meet up. Wanting to date. Wanting to try again. But things are different now. My rose colored glasses have been lifted. My worth not coming from their want. And I realize God knew what He was doing all along.

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You made her crazy

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I was listening to the second date update on the radio this past week. Stories about people that have gone on one date with someone, never hear from the other person again, and want to know what happened. So on this one, a girl went on a first date with this guy, she said it went great and he even kissed her at the end of the night. Then bam! Ghosted. The radio calls him to find out what happened. He says he wasn’t really feeling it, the date was not that great, and that she went psycho and liked all his old pics on Facebook.

So here’s my question for the guy- why in the world did you kiss her if you weren’t feeling it?!

People tend to associate physical aspects to a genuine like or love of another person. So what is really happening here is a sending of mixed signals. You are feeling one way but acting in a different manner. Heads up- this will cause anyone to act crazy because they are trying to make sense of something that doesn’t make sense. This is a lose-lose situation with no answer that can make logical sense. Her attempts of “not leaving you alone” are actually just her attempts to get some type of closure.

This leads down the whole “you lead her on” debate. Did you really lead her on or were you just trying to get to know her? Oftentimes both parties can feel guilty for breaking up with someone because they are now hurting the other person. This is unfortunately the risk we take sometimes when we choose to date. But are there ways to make this less painful, less crazy? Yes! You choose to really get to know her, not use her. If you really care about not hurting her and really care about putting her first, choose to put your physical desires to the side and get to know her. Her dreams, hopes, goals, likes, dislikes, and just simply enjoy each other. You’ll know much sooner whether or not you see a future with her if you leave the physical aspects to the side.

If you want to avoid any “crazy” behavior from girls, be sure to know yourself before inviting someone in. Not only knowing yourself, but being comfortable with yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. It’s hard for a girl to know if she likes you if you don’t even know yourself. I’ve had guys act like prince charming in the beginning, rolling out the red carpet, only for that behavior to change drastically. Once he hooks you, the true colors come out. Gaslighting is a popular tactic. Its goal is to manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. You start to treat them poorly. You become secretive or evasive and then make them feel dumb when they start to question you for clarity. This creates chaos in their mind as they try to piece together the fragments. Wondering if the guy they fell in love with ever really existed.

It finally comes to a head when she tries to come to terms with reality. The fact that you didn’t really love her. She wants to believe you did, that you do, but she knows the truth deep down. There were both good and bad times. And she’s just trying to make sense of it all. So the confusion turns to chaos and the chaos turns to crazy. We all crave love so badly. So she either remains crazy, believing all the lies and hurt was really love. Or she accepts the fact that you never really loved her. Both are sad options in her mind. But one eventually allows her to move on. One gives her hope. One gives her the ability to leave all the craziness behind.

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You don’t want their life

I hate it when we fight. Jonathan just turns away and pretends I don't exist.

So stop. Whoever’s life you keep looking at, stop looking. I promise you don’t really want their life. I’d like to blame social media, but we’ve had these issues long before social media existed. Look at their house, they have a maid, do they cook better, does their husband have a more successful job… I could go on and on. We question and wonder, why does it seem like the evil prospers while I keep struggling? What am I doing wrong?The problem is we think we know someone else’s life when we really don’t.

I remember going out with this guy a couple times. They were fine dates but nothing special. He ended up going back to his ex. And it looks like they have the perfect relationship. Perfect marriage. Both have successful careers and they are always posting pictures of their exciting memories. But few people know he broke it off and dated other girls. Even fewer people know he’d drink a little too much at times and complain about how he is not happy in his relationship and doesn’t really love her. These are the things we don’t see…

Another couple I know. Gorgeous photo shoots all the time. Lots of money. New adventures almost every month. Posting pictures of how in love they are. But there’s one thing few people know. She desperately wants to have kids. He doesn’t. She thought he’d’ come around but he hasn’t. It’s been several years. He’s getting older and isn’t changing his mind. You would never guess looking at them. She cries herself to sleep every night…

There’s another couple I know. The guy seems to adore her, worship the ground she walks on. Buys her whatever she wants. And I start to wonder if I could have a man shower me with perfect gifts. But there are strings attached. He has anger issues. There are certain people he’d rather her not be around. There are certain things she can and cannot do. As long as she follows his lead, his commands, they are great. But if she doesn’t…

These are just three situations I happen to know. What about the people I don’t know on that deep of a level? We don’t always get to see their full story. We don’t get to see the bad stuff. It’s too vulnerable. And we want to believe our lives are better than they really are sometimes. We imagine others have this perfect life in our head and then began to compare our imperfect lives to it. We try to make our lives appear better on the outside while an internal struggle begins on the inside. This is how we see the world today. So many lies that lead into even more lives.

Maybe we can’t force others to be honest but we choose to be honest with ourselves. We may never know their life. But you know who does? God. And He knows our lives too and just what we need, just what we want. Amazing things happen when we start to look away from the façade we see from others and begin to look above to the One who gave us life to begin with.

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Why I am now 32, single, and still a virgin

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My 32nd birthday was this past week. And I realized I have so much to be grateful for. While I spent it sick in bed, in a weird way it made me appreciate my health and all the times I take for granted being well and feeling great.

So according to my childhood self, does my life look the way I thought it would at 32? Not.at.all. Society almost dictates when we should be in a relationship, a marriage. Maybe it’s because of our childbearing years. But I’m not married. And I don’t have kids. But these years have been some of the best years of my life, each year better than the last.

My family. Friends. My education. Career. Politics. Blogging and ministry. And most importantly, my relationship with God. Could I have achieved all that I have with a guy and/or kids in the picture? Maybe. But there is something to be said for what Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 7 (MSG):

To be married… to be single…

Sometimes I wish everyone were single like me—a simpler life in many ways! But celibacy is not for everyone any more than marriage is. God gives the gift of the single life to some, the gift of the married life to others… And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life… The really important thing is obeying God’s call, following his commands.

 All I am saying is that when you marry, you take on additional stress in an already stressful time, and I want to spare you if possible. I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master. Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God. I’m trying to be helpful and make it as easy as possible for you, not make things harder. All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.

 So let me tell you why I am single. It’s not because I hate men. It’s not because I’m too picky. It’s not because I never want to get married. It’s because I value marriage and I know exactly what I’m looking for. I’m not willing to settle. I’d rather be single, pursuing the dreams God has placed in my heart rather than in a relationship that pulls me away.

At the end of the day, I’ve come to the point where I really don’t care anymore. I’ve spent so much time wondering where, when, or how I’ll meet the right guy because that’s what girls my age do. Sure, I’ve done other things with my time but this has always been in the back of my mind. How much do I need to invest in finding my future spouse? What is my role? But I’m tired. I’m just tired. I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t want to miss the gift of singleness because I’m so focused on the gift of marriage. I want to spend time on my blog, with my family, growing, learning, and giving back. There’s just something so selfish about feeling like I need to find a guy “because I’m not getting any younger.” But honestly, whether I’m single the rest of my life or I end up getting married, I will only be happy if I’m living my life for God. And fortunately for me, I can do that right here, right now, forever.

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