Youth Conference 2015 Q&A - Part 5

Q1

How do know if he's interested in you?

Although every guy is different, I think it's fairly obvious to know if a guy is interested in you.  Assuming that you're ready for marriage, I also think it's important to keep an eye out for a guy who's interested in the right things, things like growing in Christ, taking care of his family, etc. Sure you can watch for clear signs to see if he's interested - like if he's always wanting to chat you up, or if he's willing to come out only if you're going to be there, etc. but far, far more importantly than watching for these signs, I'd like to say something to you specifically. From all my experience, please hear me when I say this, read it carefully: do not settle for lessI know of many girls who have settled for a guy just because they asked them. Most of these relationships have ended in regret and hurt. If you're not ready for marriage but just want to date, don't do it. You're just setting yourself up for hurt and often times being distant from God. If you are ready for marriage, don't just say yes if a guy is interested. You don't need to relationship practice with an "ok" guy so that you can be "good" for the right guy. The right guy will love you for who you are. The right guy will want to be on the adventure of getting to know you and all your unique traits. As I pray in my heart, this is the answer I feel compelled to write - God made you so wonderful and lovely. Remember He doesn't make junk. So continue to grow, and accept who is a good fit. Not just who asked first.

Q2

How do you know when you have met the one?

Check out Q3 in Part 4. I answered this question there.

Q3

How do you chat up someone you like with out being awkward?

I think the opposite of awkwardness is confidence, and confidence stems from stability in who you are. If you're a guy, confidence comes from knowing who you are and that you have what it takes. This means knowing your strengths, what you're capable of, the kind of man you are, etc. and that you have what it takes to be a father one day, to take care of your wife and your home, to be able to provide, etc. So if you aren't sure of who you are and not confident that you have what it takes to be everything you'll need to be in life - how do you become sure of these things? This is what I believe is a milestone in manhood, and the best person to bestow manhood upon you is Jesus Christ. Remember you're made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) so as you get to know the creator better you begin to know yourself better because He develops more of His characteristics in you as you grow. It's also important to know that God knows you more than you know yourself (Psalm 139), so as you draw closer to God he journeys with you and helps you develop into the person He's created you to be. As you get to know Jesus you'll also realize that you have what it takes through Him. He has already prepared the journey, you just have to walk in it. (Ephesians 2:10) Paul says that he "can do all things through Christ who strengthens him." (Phillipians 4:13) The catalyst here is Christ. So what does this have to do with chatting someone up without being awkward? When you know who you are in Christ, you won't be awkward because no situation can shake your foundation and make you uncomfortable.

If you're a young lady - knowing who you are in Christ does several things for you. You won't be awkward in conversation because you'll be stable in Christ. You won't be made to feel inferior because of your clothes or lack of looks, or weight, or personality, etc. because you're self-esteem won't be tied into those things, it'll rest in Christ - who is unchanging. So if you have your peace and your strength in Christ, it's never in danger of failing. Other things will fail, but He won’t. How does this help you chat up a boy without being awkward? Because stability in Jesus makes you confident. You're not scared of losing esteem or image, because you've already sold all your esteem and image based on who you are. You sold it and Jesus bought it, when He bought you with His blood.

Practically? Don't not be awkward. Be yourself. Instead of coming off as someone who you're not, just be yourself and let it develop naturally (assuming you're ready for marriage.) Go in groups and have a wing man/woman who can bail you out. Find a common topic to talk about and place your focus on that then you won't be thinking of "OMGee what's he/she thinking!??" Also, if it's really difficult, make your encounters small at first. Like talk to him after church for like 10 minutes and then go and talk to someone else. This way you're not stuck in a "I have to come up with something to say for the next forever" kind of a place. It's bite size - and we can all handle bite size better than the whole thing. Hope this helps.

Q4

My friends needs to know this answer. How do you heal when you've been hurt by a guy?

Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." and in Philippians 4:6-7 Paul writes "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." God is able to take your burden, but what your friend has to realize is this: they have to be willing to give it up to Him. I had a similar experience that I talked about on a different blog post: Before my wife and I courted and were married, there was another girl that I was courting. After being in a relationship with her for 2 years (I had no one to teach me that this was a horrible idea, or even how to court) she broke up with me for another boy. I remember that I felt numb and like I was in a horrid pain all at once. We were at a youth camp when this happened and at the camp there was a chapel that is open 24/7 so I went there for prayer. I knelt and said "God you see what's in my heart and how hard I'm hurting. Lord I'm going to be really messed up for the next 2-3 months and I'm going to go through a lot of pain. I don't want to be useless to you as well as a bad testimony to those around me. Lord you said I could give you my burdens. If you'll take them I'd rather spend the next few months growing in you instead of hurting." It was a simple prayer and an honest one. In that moment I felt peace. The next morning I forgot that my now ex-girlfriend had broken up with me and it took me several hours until I even remembered what happened. The point being that God can take away our burdens, but all too often we want to hang on to them. The thing is, when we give Him our burden, we give Him all of it. That means you don't think about what it was like, or how great this other person was, or how it could of worked out if only..., etc. You give it to God, you let Him work it out and you put your focus into productive things - like growing in Jesus.

Q5

What if the guy is too scared to make a first move?

I would just let it develop naturally, if a guy is interested enough he'll ask you - it may take longer than you want, but it'll happen. But this is typically stuff that happens in your mid-teens - and if that's the case, honestly you're headed in a direction that you'll regret. Courting should be reserved for when you are ready for marriage, otherwise you're on a fast track to a place you don't want to be. It's like saying "let’s do all the things that lead into marriage, but we can't get married yet... so we'll just be stuck between wanting to cross marriage boundaries and not wanting to sin. Stuck there for years. Don't head that way if you're not ready to be married within 1-2 years.

Q6

How do you react when you like someone but their not fully about the life of god?

Great question, real easy answer - walk away. Honestly. There is no such thing as a guy or girl that's just "kinda" about God. You're either devoted to being a Christian or you're not. I'm not saying your execution will always be perfect, I'm saying your commitment is. Someone who is committed to being a Christian should never be in a relationship with someone who isn't committed to being a Christian. (2 Corinthians 6:14) Think about it. It's not a status you're committing to, it's a relationship, it's a lifestyle, it's your core principles, your worldview, your family philosophies, your parenting beliefs, your value system, etc. For example: What do you think is important in raising children? And for someone who isn't committed to being a Christian, what do you think they'll consider important? What about family time? How he treats women? The importance of spiritual growth? But understand, these things I've listed are really important but all of them are just byproducts of the real issue - How can a man love you who doesn't love Jesus - the one you're trying to be like daily? Isn't Jesus inside of you? (Collossians 1:27) If this man that isn't fully committed to Jesus the way you are,, how can he and you grow in relationship together? On many occasions you’ll have to choose between Jesus and him, because they're not one and he'll have different opinions than Christ’s. 

Q7

How do you tell a girl you don't like her the way you used to?

It's like a Band-Aid. It's much better to just make a clean break than to prolong it. Don't do the whole "it's not you it's me" thing, just tell her honestly that your feelings aren't there anymore. If you're not ready for marriage then courting should be a long term goal that you're working towards. breaking up to focus on growing ready for marriage is a commendable decision.

Q8

What's your thought on gay marriage?

I believe marriage is between a man and a woman as defined in Genesis 2:24 where it says that a "man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." and again by Jesus in Matthew 19:5 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." I believe it's Biblically wrong to accept the practice of homosexuality according to Leviticus 18:221 Corinthians 6:9-11, and definitely Romans 1:26-28.

Q9

Should Romanian marry from another nation. .. (American.) Same religion?

So, assuming that you're the same religion and not unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14), there is nothing in scripture that says you shouldn't marry outside of your culture or race - in fact just the opposite is exemplified by several Bible heroe. Here are a few examples. Ruth married Boaz, but she wasn't an Israelite, she was a Moabite. (Ruth 1:1-5) Being a Moabite wasn't a setback in God using her as a heroine in scripture. Another example is Boaz's father Salmon. Salmon married a famous Bible character who wasn't an Israelite either - her name was Rahab. She's more commonly known as Rahab the prostitute. (Matthew 1:5). So no, there's nothing in scripture that I've seen that says it's prohibited to marry someone of a different ethnicity but still of the same faith. However, I do want to say something on a more practical level. Just be aware that your personal background is what you expect in marriage. I was at a marriage conference for a weekend with my wife and a pastor and his wife were on stage sharing their story. He was from a rural small town and part of a poor large family, and she was a single child from a wealthy family raised in the city. Although they were of the same ethnicity and the same nationality, their backgrounds made it very hard on them early on in marriage. What you see at home is what you expect in marriage. Now if you have 2 different ethnic backgrounds it will make it more difficult in some areas, but that's not to say that you shouldn't marry. I just want to make you aware.

Q10

How do you show a guy you're interested in him?

See Q3 above.