Wednesday, August 6, 2014

GIRLS: Starting Over with a New Boyfriend

I saw a recent Facebook post that said something like this: "Girls don't want to start over with a new boy, meeting his family, sharing her secrets, and giving him her body. She would rather the one she is with get his act together."
I got to thinking of the three things stated as part of "starting over", which implies that they are necessary parts of forming a relationship with a new "boy":
1. Meeting his family
2. Sharing your secrets
3. Giving your body
Are these really three things that are necessary to develop a meaningful relationship? Notice, I said "develop" not "have". Maybe I am reading into it, but it seems to imply these things need to be done at the beginning or at least earlier on in the life of the relationship. Even if the post didn't say it, our culture certainly does. So here's my breakdown of these three ideas.
1. Yes, you absolutely need to meet his family, even though this can be a stressful and awkward experience. A pastor friend of mine commented on dating during a Q&A event with area teens. One of the points he made was that when you date you must date the whole family. These people, should the relationship persist and become a long-term proposition, will be a big part of your life. You will celebrate holidays with them, and they will get into your business. This should happen as soon as possible. It gives great insight into the guy and what you can expect in the days, months, and years to come.

2. My wife and I often are amazed at what people share on social media. So many people vomit all their intimate details all over the web for anyone to see. But despite the amount of information many people put out, we still edit what we share (usually) to put a better face forward. Studies show that while we may be more connected than ever before, we are also more lonely than ever as well.

The fact is, we build walls and hide feelings, not wanting to be vulnerable. But when a special someone comes along who we think cares about us, feeling so desparate for connection we drop our walls and defenses and let them have access to our heart's most tender of places, sometimes with past wounds still not healed, and we place a burden on the relationship that it simply is not strong enough to bear.
There are 2 things to consider here: (A) Do not give over the keys to the kingdom until he has proven himself responsible and mature enough to handle the delicate contents within. Also, (B) even a safe and responsible guy has his own baggage and limited ability to handle yours if dumped on him all at once. Discovery is part of the journey. Rather than dumping all of your deepest thoughts and desires on a guy right at the beginning, make him get to know you a little at a time.
Often the discovery and learning process is what keeps a relationship interesting and fullfilling early on. Also, it keeps you safer when you only trust him with as much as he has proven himself able to handle. That way, if you do part ways, you are not left with yet more wounds from his mishandling of your heart.
3. Closely related to how a guy handles your heart is what he wants from your body. A guy who is interested more in your body than your heart will be careless with both and will not appreciate either. I cannot stress enough ladies, a guy can not be trusted with your body until he has proven himself capable of handling your heart.
Even the best of guys with the greatest of intentions WILL be careless with your heart if you give him your body first. It's just the way we are wired. Girls/women tend to be more about the heart, and guys tend to be more about the body. That is where his passions and desires lead him. Intimate access to your body is the very last thing you give a guy, ... ever.
This should be a progression. Meet his family. Make sure he's not from crazytown. Gradually hand him your heart as you get to trust him. If, after all of that, he has proven himself to be trustworthy and caring with your heart, a man worthy of your affection and attentions, then and only then do you give him your body.
This is why sex is for marriage. Only someone who has proven himself to be worthy of your heart should be given your body as well, and the ultimate proof of his worthiness is the willingness to commit the rest of his life to care for, nurture and cherish you. Only then do you give him your body.
A man's desire for the physical, as a future reward for his handling of your heart, will drive him to be responsible with your heart. But when you give him your body before he has proven himself worthy, even the best of guys lose some motivation to treat your heart with respect and care.
You don't keep running once you reach the finish line. For many guys, especially "boys", access to your body IS the finish line. Don't put the finish line at the beginning of the race, or when he gets there he stops running (caring for your heart).

You have been made in the image and likeness of God. Your are His beautiful creation and unique handiwork. A guy who is worth your heart will be willing to treat you accordingly. Make him earn it.
Any guy who's not willing to work for it does not deserve your heart.

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