A Guy You Can Brag About

Heads up: this is not a bait-and-switch, Jesus-is-my-boyfriend post.  When I say “a guy you can brag about,” I’m talking about an actual, physical, human guy in the 21st century that you can hold hands with.  Girls, this is practical advice on how to lead your heart when looking for the kind of guy you want to be with.

The kind of guy everybody else is jealous of.

The kind of guy you can be proud of and want to scream to the world at the top of your lungs that HE’S THE BEST.

But it still might look a little different than you’re expecting.  It came as a surprise to me when the realization hit me like a bucket of ice water, because it can be a little disconcerting, but it’s a vital concept to hold onto as you mature and begin to see the beauty in it.

In middle school and high school, sometimes in college, and for some misguided women, their entire lives, girls tend to be drawn to the “bad boys.”  I know this is a concept heavily debated between bitter nice guys in the “friend zone” and girls who insist that they don’t like the bad boys.  But, for the most part, the guys are right.  We like the bad boys.

If you think about the popular guys in your school — the ones everyone wants to be with — what makes them so amazingly cool?  If you were dating one of them, what kinds of things would you want to brag to your friends about?  Take a moment and write down some reasons.  Then see if any of these are among them:

Everybody’s after him.

He doesn’t care what anybody thinks.

He’s tough and strong.

He does whatever he wants, and his parents let him.

He’s like an unattainable god.

He’s so mysterious.

He drives 120 mph with the sunroof open and it’s AWESOME.

He’s the life of the party and can handle more alcohol than anyone else.

He manages to sneak out at night while your parents are lame and make it impossible to escape the prison of your room.

He’s proud, spirited, passionate, spontaneous, and an attractive dose of just plain cocky.  Don’t say it’s not attractive, because it totally is.

5939227-portrait-of-a-beautiful-brunette-woman-shouting-through-megaphoneWe’re drawn to these people, and we can’t help it.  The heart wants what the heart wants, right?  There’s this undeniable attraction that we can hardly describe or define.  We just know that he’s the one we dream about, the one who makes our hearts pound in our chest, the one we would do anything to be with because he’s so exciting.  We want to tell everyone about him, because he’s what everyone wants.  And if by some miracle he can be ours, we’ll be shouting it with a megaphone to crowds of bitter rivals.

But here’s the thing: it’s a temporary, immature attraction, and the heart can be deceived.  They tell you to live for today, but if you do, you won’t be prepared when tomorrow comes.

While you’re attracted to these guys now, it’s never too early to start thinking about what you want in a guy long-term.  What do you want out of a marriage?  What do you want your family to look like?

Pause for just a minute and think of one of those guys.  Got one in your head?  Can you picture him?  Now I want you to briefly sketch out your life.

Picture yourself walking down the aisle.  How do you feel?  What emotion is on his face?

Think about your honeymoon.  Will he make you feel loved, treasured, and adored as his bride?  Or will he act like a typical guy?

How will you spend your evenings together?

Imagine having your first child.  Is he ready for that responsibility?

What if there’s a dream you want to pursue?  Will he support you, or leave you high and dry to pursue his own?

The bad boy thinks only of himself, and for some reason, that’s sexy.  But when you have goals of your own and you need your partner’s support, only to have him do his own thing and never care about your ambitions — that’s a little less sexy.

When the bad boys sneaks out at night during high school to go party, it’s so wild and rebellious and attractive.  But when you’re alone in bed at night because the same boy has expertly snuck out to be with another woman — well, it’s not attractive anymore.

When he’s tough and doesn’t care about anything, the thrill of the chase makes you want him desperately.  But when there comes a day that your world is falling apart and you’re in tears, sensitivity and comfort are what you’ll want desperately.  It won’t be so attractive then for him to shrug you off.

When he disrespects his parents, it’s oh so bold and independent.  But one day when you need him to man up and take responsibility and he says “to heck with you” — suddenly it means something very different.

All these girls that you know now — your friends with whom you dream and flirt and live life and brag that the popular boy talked to you in the hall — statistically speaking, most of them will live through heartbreak and divorce and miserable marriages, all because they followed their heart.  They lived for today, but when tomorrow came, it found them brokenhearted and alone, hoping their three small children couldn’t hear them crying themselves to sleep.

And if you’re with a gentle, patient, steady man who loves you faithfully and unconditionally, you’ll be the one with a megaphone.  You’ll be bragging to everyone that he loves you and only you.  You’ll be boasting that he works hard at a job that he hates so that you can feel secure, and then comes home and changes the lightbulbs you can’t reach.  You’ll tell everyone that he understands you and holds you and talks with you.  You’ll shout from the rooftops that you never feel ashamed, afraid, or inadequate because even though he’s too good for you, he never makes you feel that way.

And by then you’ll be the one everyone envies.  You’ll have the man every other woman wants — a man you can brag about.  Do yourself a favor.  Wait for him.

A word to the nice guys: I know how frustrating it is that girls are drawn to the bad boys.  I’m truly sorry that that’s the way it is.  But please, please, don’t change.  The same principle applies to you: don’t just live for today.  Look at the future.  Be the man who treats your girl with respect and makes her feel safe and honored and special.  Set your goal to have a marriage that not only lasts, but is absolutely amazing.  There will be a girl out there who desperately wants what you have to offer, who wants to brag to her friends about you, who wants to be the kind of woman worthy of your love.  Do yourself a favor.  Wait for her.

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waiting

Wait for the Lord, my anxious heart.

The future, so close and yet so distant, seems to slip from my grasp the moment I reach out for it.  I cannot search its unfathomable depths.  God alone knows.

I cannot control anything by worrying.  But the thought of waiting — for what, I do not know — some intangible sense of peace and purpose? — makes my heart beat faster in helpless panic.  Surely I must do something.  Make a decision.  RIGHT NOW.  Or at least figure out these conflicting feelings that consume my mind and wrap themselves as a chain around my heart.  I’m holding so tightly that my knuckles turn white.  I can barely breathe.  But there is nothing in my clenched fists.  Nothing but the crescent-shaped nail marks in my palms.

I look at my empty hands and tears fill my eyes.  Where can I turn for peace?  It cannot be found in the looming shadows of an undetermined future.  I feel only dread and apprehension at this sense of confusion.

The answers will come.  He has always guided me in the past.  What reason have I to doubt His faithfulness?

Stay close to His heart, little one, I chide myself.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Published in: on April 1, 2013 at 12:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wait for Me

I have waited for you forever. Since the day I set Creation into motion, I awaited your lifetime with bated breath, eager to see my unique design for you personified. At the moment of your conception I began to form the pattern that I had in mind for you since time began. Each day of those nine months was filled with eagerness and anticipation. The day you were finally born, the sight of your face brought tears to my eyes. I had made you, and you were perfect.

But the waiting period was not over; in a sense it had only begun, and the true test of my enduring love was yet to come. You see, I made you with a mind of your own, because I wanted you to choose me, the way I chose you. When you didn’t, it nearly broke my heart. Yet I waited endlessly for you to come to me, and as I waited, still I loved you.

Yet in moments of anger you turn away from me. When times get hard, you refuse to trust me. If your prayers seem to go unanswered, you assume I’m not listening. You impatiently demand of me things that will only hurt you, and you refuse to believe that the plan I’ve had for you all along is perfect for you.

Please, I only ask that you wait to see its fulfillment in your life. For thousands of years I have waited for you, and still you think I’ll leave you? Beloved, have I not proved my faithfulness? Don’t give up or turn your face from me in despair. Wait for me, as I waited for you.

Published in: on November 10, 2011 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Content to Wait

Journal entry dated May 1st, 2011.

As I lean forward, bowing my head and resting it on my folded hands, letting the tears surface, my heart-shaped watch necklace falls forward, swinging back and forth like a pendulum. It doesn’t always keep time — what is time, anyway, in the grand scheme of things? — but the irregular ticking reminds me that this abstract and elusive concept called time is indeed passing. So I wait in the stillness.

Whether I wait for something or for nothing, I do not know. My life is not mine to live; my plans are not mine to make. So I wait.

I am not praying; no audible words escape my lips, and even my mind produces no logical thought. I am merely existing in a state of surrender, outside the dimension of time and detached from the concern of its imposing demands. It passes, but I have no anxious thought, for His timing alone is perfect. Whether I wait for one minute or for a thousand years, His will will come through.

It always does. So I’m content to wait.

Published in: on May 24, 2011 at 2:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Then I’ll Wait

“Will you accept my blessings?”

“Yes, Lord, gladly.”

“No matter what it takes?”

“Yes, Lord…maybe.”

“Will you endure pain if it leads to blessing?”

“Y-yes, Lord, I’ll try.”

“Will you wait out a broken heart and face countless lonely nights of tears?”

“Lord, I don’t know if I can.”

“My child, why are you crying?”

“Oh God…because it’s so hard to want what you want.”

“Will you wait?”

“Will you wait with me?”

“Always.”

“Then I’ll wait. I’ll wait through the tears and the heartache. If you’ll stay with me, Lord, no matter what it takes, I will wait.”

Published in: on May 6, 2011 at 5:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Waiting for…me?

Written February 20, 2011.

Hands uplifted to the sky, reaching for what seems just beyond reach. Eyes turned upward, searching for something just out of sight. Lips moving in a silent prayer, wanting but not quite expecting an answer. A thousand thoughts running through my head, all forming a well-worn and tear-stained path to the question I had put off asking. Now, though, it came exploding out in bottled frustration and exhaustion. “Why won’t You speak to me? Why can’t I feel You? God, where are you?”

Recognizing that lately I’ve just been numbly going through the motions of the Christian life without any real or tangible sense of God’s Spirit leading me, I’m desperate to have that reassuring feeling of guidance and direction. I remind myself as though reminding a child, “Of course God is with you. Now bow your head and close your eyes like everyone else and stop making such a big deal out of this.” That never works, of course; mental exercises can sometimes make you think the right thing, but feeling is an entirely different story. Mind games are no substitute for a real and vibrant relationship with God.

As the worship team launched into John Mark McMillan’s most popular worship song, I thought despairingly to myself that I was going to be the only person sitting there wondering why I couldn’t get into the same mood and produce the same response that I saw all around me. But that wasn’t what happened at all. The music washed over me as the sanctuary resonated with the sound of God’s people joyously singing, “Oh, how He loves us…oh, how He loves….” I asked the question one more time: “God, where are you?” The answer came like the whisper of a gentle breeze, but it rang unmistakably clear nonetheless.

“I’m waiting for you.”

Waiting for me? Here I was trying to get to God and He wasn’t showing up — wasn’t it the other way around? But then He gave me another reminder, a promise that He has never failed to keep: “I will never leave nor forsake you.” Around me the chorus continued to bore its way into my soul: “Oh, how He loves us…” If God never moved, but there was a distance between us, who was responsible for the distance?

There’s a facebook page entitled, “Grades. Social life. Sleep. Welcome to college, pick any two.” I have found that to be all too true — and that’s even without God in the equation. So often lately I have crawled into bed to get my precious five hours of sleep, too tired to read my Bible. I intend to pray, but as soon as I close my eyes, I’m out. And slowly I begin to slip back down the slope I had been climbing: one step forward, two steps back.

It was I who had put the distance between us, and now I was presuming to ask God where He went? God does not change like the shifting shadows; He remains constant. It is we who drift away from His arms and then look up, startled and confused, when we realize we’re alone. Fortunately I serve a faithful, loving, and infinitely patient God who will only look at me longingly and say, “I’ve been waiting for you.”

Published in: on April 9, 2011 at 3:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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