love Posts

How a Guy Gets Ready for a Date

Prophecy-An Incredible 45 Days

How many ladies out there had a guy in your life at some point who wrote you a note or gave you a card and you kept it? Probably most of you. Now the same question to the guys. There may be a few who kept something. No shame. But it’s probably very few.

Men and women just deal with relationships differently. Women generally feel and think about relationships at a deeper level than a man will. On a scale of zero to ten, relationally if a guy’s at a four, she’s probably at a six. If he’s at a six, she’s probably at an eight.

So here’s what happens on a date. If the dude is picking a gal up at 5, at about 4:40 he’s going to grab a t-shirt, give it the sniff test, put it on and head her way.

Meanwhile, if he’s picking her up at 5, at about 3 she started getting ready, thinking, What do I wear? She lays out various outfits and puts on various sets of clothing, and asks her roommates how they look on her. They’re all giggly. And when he pulls up she’s like, “ahh, act normal, act normal!” So he walks in and she smiles at him and just says, “hey.” But meanwhile everybody’s been freaking out.

When the date is over, most men walk back into their apartment. His roommate’s playing Xbox. “What up?” He goes, “wassup?” “How was your day?” “Cool.” And he’s playing Xbox. That’s it.

When she comes home, everybody’s on the bed. “Tell me what happened! How did it go?” And they’re like, “he said what when he passed you the salt? No way!” They’re freaking out at a level guys just don’t understand.

So just recognize we think differently about relationships. If the date went well and she starts to feel for him, she reflects upon him afterward. She thinks about him. Like the woman in Song of Solomon, she’s thinking, “My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of Engedi.”[1] Or perhaps something closer to: “He’s so sweet. He’s so awesome. He handed me the salt!”

 

[1] Song of Solomon 1:14 (NASB)

The Girl in the Flannel Shirt

Flannel-Shirt

I fell in love with my wife over the smell of Pine Sol and a dirty mop.

We met August 9, 1995. I remember she was wearing a flannel shirt and jean overalls. How do I remember? Because that’s what she wore every single day. She saw me and thought I was a California pretty boy, and she passed on by. She was not impressed at all.

When I first started spending time with Jen, she was so hippie, no deodorant. And if you saw the girls I dated before Jen, you’d think, oh that’ll never work. And yet there was something about her.

We went on a mission trip and she was out there, literally dirt on her face, wearing that same flannel, just covered with dirt and sweating. I’m talking dirty. She didn’t even care. She just served. She’d be out there feeding the poor and with the kids, working. We’d do inner city ministry, and she’d knock on a door, and boom, she was in somebody’s apartment ministering to the kids, sharing the gospel.

We worked together for three years, and I noticed she’d be the first one there at a party to help set up, and when everyone said thanks and bailed, leaving the house in a mess, she’d stay and clean. She wasn’t scared to get on her hands and knees and scrub a floor. I realized this woman would do anything. She’ll go anywhere. She’ll clean a toilet no problem. She’ll scrub, dig, fix, polish. You name it, she’ll do it. I remember watching that as a single guy, and going, that is really attractive.

I had seen girls who were on the opposite end in terms of the princess spectrum, working out every day with all the fitness stuff, Lululemon whatever. And they were physically attractive. But the more I looked, they were also spiritually shallow. I thought to myself, I don’t think that’s what I want, because as I grow closer to the Lord, I’m going to grow further from that woman. I want a woman that as I grow closer to the Lord, I’m going to grow closer to her.

For three years I watched Jen lead girls to Christ. I watched her disciple gals. And I started to look at her very differently and thought, I want to date her. This girl’s amazing.

A Mouthful of Gravel

Mouthful-Gravel

Most people in Christian circles say, “don’t have sex until you’re married” or “don’t have sex with anyone other than your spouse.” But I can do all kinds of things without having sex.

We need to make sure we’re broad enough in the definition of adultery to recognize the reach of adultery. I want to make the argument that adultery is anything a godly married person wouldn’t allow or wouldn’t be allowed to do with someone other than their spouse, and there are similar parameters placed on all of us. I am in danger of committing adultery if I allow my heart, my mind, my body to pursue anything or anyone other than my spouse. The issue’s not if you’re married or single, but is that person your spouse or not?

Have you ever had that moment where on the outside it looked to be perfect? He or she said the right thing and the moment was right with candlelight, smooth music, one thing leading to another, like the thing movies are made of, and just like Eve, you grabbed that fruit and you ate. And you ended up with a mouthful of gravel.

Proverbs 5 says the adulteress is smooth and her lips drip honey, yet the results are bitter.[1] When we disobey God sexually, it’s always going to be catastrophe. Don’t even go near the door of the adulteress or you will give your vigor to others and your years to the cruel one. Your body will be consumed because you didn’t listen to instruction.[2]

Marital love can be glorious. It can be intimate, it can be beautiful, it can be refreshing, and it can have, no pun intended, legs to take you decades into your marriage. It’s not a ball and chain. The proverb continues and it gets very personal. Let your fountain be blessed. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. Let her breasts satisfy you. Let her love exhilarate you.[3]

God has given you a refreshment of sexuality. It is precious and He has entrusted it to you. Think of it for a moment as holding a cup of coffee in your hands. You can choose to disperse it abroad, but that’s not why He gave it to you. He gave it to you so that one day, someday down the road, a spouse will drink of what you have and will be refreshed by it. But if you give what God has given you to everyone else, the day will come when you get married, and you’ll go to give yourself to your spouse, and you’ll tip over an empty cup.

Don’t let your waters be dispersed abroad.[4] He doesn’t deserve it. She doesn’t deserve it. I don’t care if you feel like you’re in love or not. First ice up that finger. Get married and then have a party with each other. “Drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers.”[5] Have naked weekends, have naked vacations, do whatever you want with each other. But until then, listen to understanding and wisdom. Observe discretion[6] and just say, that’s enough.

I don’t care where you’ve been. I don’t judge you for where you’ve been. I am the last one who should judge you for that. But there has to come a point in time where you say, that’s enough. I’m not going to keep doing that. I don’t care what the world says. The world says, what if he’s no good in bed? You don’t understand. God rigged it that if you’re never with anyone else, it’ll be the best sex you’ve ever had for the rest of your life. That’s the point. But the frame of comparison is sin. So take what God has given you and don’t share it with anyone but your spouse. And then enjoy your time together for the rest of your life.

 

[1] Proverbs 5:3-4

[2] Proverbs 5:8-13

[3] Proverbs 5:18-19

[4] Proverbs 5:16-17

[5] Song of Solomon 5:1

[6] Proverbs 5:1-2

Why I’m One of the Unlikely

5 books that have changed my life

As I look back, I don’t remember the things that I loved as much as the things I wished loved me.

I wanted to be loved. I wanted a mom who would love me. I wanted acceptance. I wanted to fit in.

I can remember standing in junior high at Kastner and listening to my friends talk, and they’re all dressed cool, and they’re all really funny. I remember thinking man, I’ve got generic brand clothes on, and I just wish I could say something that would be relatively funny. And I just never could.

I just remember feeling so odd, so left out, and so other than.

I was longing to be loved. And what ended up happening – because of that longing – it began to come out in the way I treated people. So the dating scene, or the dating mess, became more of a desire to feel loved than to give love. I was so wounded that there was no health to give. There was just an insatiable need to get love.

I was a taker for years and years and years.

It was very common to have a girlfriend but be talking to another girl on the side. Maybe not cheating on a girlfriend, but just making sure I always had some options, always had a fall back plan. There was always an exit strategy. Always.

I remember walking into parties and wondering, who am I going to connect with tonight? What’s that going to look like? And it wasn’t sexual. It wasn’t about that. It wasn’t about one-night stands. It was all about the conquest. Can I get her number? Can I get her to call me? Can I get her friend to like me too? And then maybe, nothing. Maybe I never call her because it really didn’t matter. It was just about the adventure of pursuit.

I always found myself replaying the tapes. Why did you say that? You shouldn’t have said that. You had an opportunity. You missed it. And then, I wonder what they’re thinking about me now? Did I make a good impression? Are they talking about me now?

It was really narcissistic. Very narcissistic. Very self-focused. And then the continual insecurity. That’s why I drank. I was not an alcoholic by any means, but I drank to take the edge off. I drank because then I didn’t feel like a junior high kid. I was funnier than when I was sober. And I can dance better than I did sober.

I’d go down to Jim’s place in Clovis, a big honky-tonk country bar with a bunch of boot-wearing dudes driving big trucks. My buddy Al and I would walk in with penny loafers on and pleated pants and tucked-in shirts, and we could out-dance any cowboy in the room. We really enjoyed that. We beat them at their own game.

We tend to deal with our brokenness differently. Some people turn to substances. Relationships. Counseling. For me, it was a combination. But the primary avenue in dealing with the hurt in my life was athletics. Competition.

Off the field I was a very nice guy. Teachers in high school loved me. Administrators loved me. I was kind, respectful. It was, “Yes, Sir. Yes, Ma’am.”

But in competition, I’d kill a guy. I pinned a kid from Fresno High in four seconds. I don’t even think that’s possible. I stood up and blew a kiss to my mom – it’s the one wrestling match she ever went to – and I was rebuked by my coach for showing off; he thought I was just saluting the crowd.

I took a kid from Clovis High in the finals of the Doc Buchanan Tournament, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the Valley, if not the state. The winner gets a cowboy hat. They put one mat in the center of the gym and lower the light down over it.

“And in the green corner…” And out from the corner, this guy comes out jumping around, and they go through his record.

“And in the red corner…” I remember coming out and I’m thinking, I’m going to kill him. I’m going to kill him. I’m going to embarrass him in front of his family and friends. I got out there and I swear I threw the kid into the bleachers. Threw him into the bleachers, ran back into the center, and said, “Come on.” And in those moments, I was a totally different guy. And I look at that and go, that was really creepy.

I was able to take all of the hurt and all of the rage and all of the anger, all of it, and in those moments, just turn it loose. And then when it was over, the smile came back on, and it was, “Yes, Sir. Yes, Ma’am.” That was my outlet. That was my therapy. So every day I got to go to counseling – either on a wrestling mat or strapping on a helmet. And then I would go crazy. And after, it was good again.

And that’s where acceptance came.

I realized early on that when I played, people would tell me good job. So maybe I should keep playing well. I had success in this, where other guys were trying, but not having the same kind of success. Maybe I should keep doing this.

We tend to put forth on the outside this façade that doesn’t match what we are really feeling on the inside. So on the outside, I was witty and clever and romantic and had it together. And on the inside, I was dying.