advice Posts

How to Spot a Godly Man (Dating Advice for My Daughters)

I think about my girls dating and I seriously panic! It freaks me out, to be honest, but it’s inevitable. Unfortunately, since arranged marriages aren’t really part of our culture, they will eventually date. God, help us all.

To my girls,

Someday, by God’s grace, you will be married. And I hope and pray that you will have a godly marriage to a godly guy. I realize that these principles are not super applicable for you yet, so consider this a preemptive strike. When you start to think about dating – someday far, far in the future – here’s what you need to know:

1. Look for the right type of guy.

There’s an allure in our culture of the super-romantic Mr. Right. We want to find that one person. But our lives are not determined by fate. I think the biblical picture is we need to find the right type of person.

The right type of person is godly. They study their Bible. They serve. They are generous and humble. They have character. Set your standards high and never compromise.

2. Make sure this guy you’re looking for is godly – without you.

You’ve got to make sure that this guy will be godly without you, because if he will not be godly without you and he’s not leading himself spiritually, he’s got no business leading you spiritually. He cannot lead you where he has never been.

And godliness at a point in time means nothing. Anybody can fake it for a while. Godliness over a period of time means everything. He can fake it for a season, but he cannot fake it over time.

3. Ask some questions.

Don’t be afraid to ask around. What’s his character like? What’s his reputation? What does he post online? Ask his friends, if he has any. If he doesn’t have any, run to the hills! Ask his pastor what he’s like. Is he in a Life Group? Ask his Life Group leader. Find out who he really is. And take your time. You will never regret taking things slowly, but regret often comes with taking things too quickly.

4. If you find a guy who’ll submit to God, you’ll find the right type of guy.

A guy who doesn’t have a higher authority than himself will most likely either be apathetic about his faith at some point or be abusive because there’s no check in his life. If you find a guy who has a higher authority than himself, like the word of God, and who is willing to submit to Him, that’s a guy who will treat you the way you need and deserve to be treated.

With Love,
Your Dad

5 Books That Have Changed My Life

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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team 

Patrick Lencioni

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This is a must-read for anyone in leadership.

 

In the Name of Jesus

Henri Nouwen

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This was a total ambush. I never saw it coming. Nouwen exposed me to a way of thinking I would have never given myself permission to pursue. He was a Catholic priest and an educator at Notre Dame. He forsook a prolific Catholic writing and teaching career to live in a home for the mentally disabled. He wrote this book as a reflection of that time; he wrote of his own personal irrelevance, and how liberating and enlightening it was to realize how insignificant we truly are.

 

The Bride

Chuck Swindoll

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This gave me hope at a time in my life when I was wrecked and wondering if I should quit ministry. I was poor and I couldn’t afford to buy a book, so the owner of Fresno Bible House said, “anything you want to read or use to study, read it, study it here and just put it back on the shelf.”

Swindoll gave me light in a dark time when I wanted to crawl under a rock and die; he gave me hope for what the church was supposed to be, and he reminded me of the beauty of God’s church when it’s functioning in health. A lot of our staff values – why we do what we do – came from this book.

I read one chapter at a time trying not to spill coffee on it, so I could put it back.

 

Ordering Your Private World

Gordan MacDonald

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I read this book 10 years ago, but I’m still talking about it. Fantastic book  – especially the chapter on being driven versus being called. MacDonald makes a great comparison between the leadership style of Saul and the leadership style of David. It’s a good caution for leaders to not rely merely on talent but to rely on the calling of God. I also loved his chapter called “The Sinkhole Syndrome,” where he talks about how we can create sinkholes in our lives when it’s all output and no intake.

 

Spiritual Leadership

J. Oswald Sanders

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If there was a 67th Book of the Bible, it would be this one. Phenomenal book on what leadership needs to be from a spiritual standpoint. The thrust of a leader is not merely his competence or his skill, but what’s going on underneath.

 

*plus one bonus

Unbroken

Laura Hillenbrand

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I did get totally sucked in to one book unrelated to leadership. It’s about a World War II pilot who ends up on a blow-up raft in the Pacific with a buddy. The raft has a hole in it, and they are taking shifts overnight, blowing into the raft to keep it from sinking, while using an oar in one hand to hit the sharks on the head. We think we’re tough – these guys were studs. Ultimately, it’s a story about how this guy forgives his captor and tormentor.

What are some books that have changed your life?

Keep Your Zipper Up And Other Advice For Singles

Keep Your Zipper Up And Other Advice For Singles

Safety in a Pack

When you see a pack of antelope on the Discovery Channel prancing through the forest – it’s never the one in the pack that becomes lunch. It’s the one off doing their own thing that gets picked out of the teeth of some lion later.

Very rarely, if ever, are you going to do something stupid if surrounded by friends. So find good friends and stay together.