And, let’s just be really honest, the reason “guarding her heart” became a thing is because men before you lied and we wanted a better term for lying.
But seriously, the amount of pressure that sizing up a newbie for marriage puts on a casual coffee date, not to mention the fact that you KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE PERSON (sorry, I’m worked up and yelling) does two things: 1.
It paralyzes an organic and healthy period of “getting to know someone” and 2.
It forces a depth of commitment that is best reserved for months and years later. Gents, in closing, here’s what I’m asking you to do: Please, please, please take a look within yourself and determine if any of these messages have become part of your DNA.
I will not go on a rant—and I firmly believe women can be just as brave—but I do notice a lot of Christian men who are afraid to pass the friend threshold. So with that, I’m going to sign off and actually speak to the folks who can do something about this. They think you don’t notice, but we know better, don’t we? We have some serious issues to work out, namely, the lack of courage displayed by really good men who are hiding their heads in the sand, even as their heart longs to connect. This message was that casual dating is not good, women’s hearts must be guarded by men, and all romantic relationships better have marriage in mind—or the people in them are just using each other.
This is why so many women date non-Christians; because Christian guys rarely can just keep it casual and go on a date, give it a chance. Your pal, Eddie Dear every kind-hearted, well-meaning, a little bit quiet but not around your bros, comfortable in groups but not one-on-one, single and secretly dreaming of dating (and marriage and kids), kind, helpless, you thought you’d be in a relationship by now but what the heck is going on, I kissed dating goodbye but forgot about procreation and God’s design for relationships, awesome, good men, We have a problem. You noticed the moment she started her internship at your workplace that she was just wonderful, nice to chat with, attractive, marriage material, the bearer of your progeny, and definitely the one God has sent from on high to satisfy your deepest longing and ... Yet while all these concepts have elements of wisdom embedded in them, they’ve been distorted just like so many good ideas before them (i.e. The truth is, we’re a people who, when left unchecked, go into Pharisee mode like it’s our job. Let’s walk through the three messages: Message: Casual dating is not good.
Erica bringin’ the wisdom with a punch-in-the-face question as sentence #1, a sly wink to societal norms in sentence #2, and a scathing (and true) assessment in sentence #3. However, the answer you’re seeking isn’t really for you, it’s for him. I know you do, because you alluded to it when you wrote, “Christian guys rarely can just keep it casual and go on a date, give it a chance.” That’s the symptom of a much larger problem—a problem that, unfortunately, will not be helped by me talking to a lady. And you know you’ve noticed her because you notice brilliant, wise, etc., woman in your circle. Somewhere in the formative and oh-so-tacky ’80s and ’90s, a message spread through Christian bookstores (R. P.), pulpits, youth groups, and all the nooks and crannies of God-fearing culture.Reality: Casual dating to get to know someone is good—and necessary—if you’re ever going to, you know, move past your mom.The fear is that casual dating means casual sex, casual deep intimacy or casual love—which are all by nature not casual.But if we assume that a good man and a good woman understand those boundaries, why would getting coffee and learning more about the other person not be healthy, enjoyable and within any reasonable scope of OK? Reality: Women can guard their own hearts, make their own decisions, and suffer the highs and lows of emotional intimacy just like the rest of us (if not better than the rest of us).The truth is, being a guardian of a heart is God’s job.is to honor God, be respectful to her, and be brutally honest about when your feelings are casual and when they’re not.