Recognizing Godly Manhood

By September 15, 20082 Comments

ProposalFor a good portion of my dating life, I have largely misunderstood God’s design for men. This misunderstanding resulted from my personal dating experiences, and it developed the following way…

For a long period of time, I never dated a guy who ever seemed that into me. He might have liked me at first, but as the relationship progressed he grew distant, and he eventually detached himself altogether.

What’s more, my exes all moved on very quickly. It didn’t seem like they were heart broken or that I left any sort of void in their lives. They were all just fine without me.

As a result of these experiences, I grew to believe that men are not prone to emotional attachment in the same way that women are. They could be interested in a woman, or even grow to love her, but they could just as easily turn that love off. They were inherently independent beings who could do with or without women.

Granted, I would find exceptions to the rule–in movies I saw men go to great lengths for the women they loved. Poets waxed eloquently about the beautiful features of their beloved’s eyes, lips and neck. I also had male friends who’d had their hearts absolutely broken by a girl. Without their girlfriend, they were emotional wrecks.

So how did I categorize these men who defied my understanding? I decided that they were somehow lesser men. It’s not that being in love is unmanly, but being extravagant about it seemed foreign to the gender. Any guy who would be that gaga about a girl needed to stop himself and start acting like a man. Only girls are supposed to get that swept up in romance and be that emotionally tied to another person.

So that’s how I understood men.

Here’s the problem with that line of thinking–

When your standard of manhood is emotional guardedness, you won’t recognize godly affection when you see it. In fact, you could be turned off by it.

Here’s what I mean–the kind of love and care you should expect from the man you marry is a kind of love that mimics the Father. That love is extravagant, self-sacrificing, and seemingly crazy at times. It is a love that goes to great, even absurd measures for the beloved, all for the sake of lavishing love on another. The cross is, after all, the most extravagant act of love the world has ever seen.

That said, any relationship in which a man is guarding himself or holding back is a relationship that fails to reflect God in a fundamental way. Granted, relationships should be guarded at first, but if you continue to date and that dynamic never changes, then there’s a problem. Such a relationship is more selfish than godly. It falls short of the example set for us in Christ and the Church–it is not a love that lays itself down for the other, but instead puts its own best interest first.

With all of this in mind, we ladies need to correct our vision. We need to look for the guys who embrace godly manhood, not a manhood that values emotional detachment and independence over intimacy.

And don’t be fooled into thinking that a guy is worth working for, simply because he plays hard to get through emotional unavailability. That is not the kind of love displayed for us in Christ, so it is clearly not the kind of love that God desires for you. If you find yourself drawn to that type of man, then you need to reevaluate your standards.

And to all you godly men out there–thank you for being a light in the dating darkness, and for reminding us of the true standard of love. Though we may get confused at times, you serve as a compass pointing us back to God amidst a culture of selfishness. Thank you for persevering–please press on!


  • Sam says:

    i love this 🙂

  • Kristen says:

    This was a good piece. I can really relate to what the author was saying. I had been in a few relationships in my past that did not work out for one reason or another. Things were good for a while then it just faded, and it seemed in the end I had just been another number, at least on 2 out of 3 occasions. I then decided the dating realm was not for me, I wanted nothing to do with men of any kind. They were inferior to me, and i was the superior one. Harsh right? I even kept that view when I went through my 1st year of Bible College. There I even met a few guys I became friends with, they were the “safe” friends because they were in relationships. I thought they were nice guys but then again something was thre that said they are only being nice because they want something, Christian or not. I was rude to alot of the guys I went to school with, I didnt allow them to hold doors for me or carry my books or boxes. I didnt want them even helping me take out the trash (as per an assigned chore) hey were wonderful guys but I had been so jaded I wasnt interested. Then a friend of mine approached me about my attitude, (probably because i insulted her boyfriend when he opened a car door for me.. Yeah I told him off.. Nice huh? Anyways i became a little better and over the next couple of years I did better. I dated 2 of those 3 guys after that situation and again got hurt in one of them. But I made it through, again I stayed single for quite a while 2 years until I entered my 2nd year of Bible College. (I had left before) I went back and met new people, didnt think I would have any trouble dealing with the guys there. And I will go back for a second. By that time I was ready to have a family of my own and ready to be married, I agonized over that for the last 2 years until I decided I would forget about that desire and focus on God. So i did that by going back to college. I was enroled in school 3 weeks when I had a dream of one of my classmates and God showing me he was to be my husband. I was shcoked, I was like No God not him are you crazy? So i began praying for myself and this guy that if it was the Lords will God would allow this man to approach me and I was going to have nothing to do with it. In fact although i was polite, i did have a little rudness according to some of my girlfriends. I ignored the guy alot, tried to stay away from him at times even though when he did talk to me i did talk back 🙂 eventually we beame friends and within a few months i bcame attracted to him and a few months after that i knew i was in love, yet the guy never made a move to ask me out or anything..I was a bit in shock because my friends even assured me by then that he liked me and they could tell there was something between us..whereas i was clueless.. then in May 9 months after we met for the 1st time in August when class began, we started dating. 3 months later we were engaged and now we have been engaged for about 14 months and are just waiting for the right time for our wedding. This man does exemplify Godly characterisitcs. he has has struggles but like everyone we are not without struggles or temptations. we have been through alot since we have been together and God has kept us in all areas. I love this man with all my heart and trust him very much. I could not see myself without him and he feels the same and tells me that almost everyday. He knows exactly what I need and I always feel so loved when he tells me how beautiful I am and how much he loves me and i can look at him and see that he really means it, when no one else that said it to me in the past really did.
    I have no idea how i found this site or why i felt compelled to share part of my story but I have. If anyone would like to contact me I have a person website and a myspace address that I can give out as well as my personal e-mail account. Id be happy to talk to anyone or to answer any questions or just to chat:-)

    I should be able to be reached at any of those.
    God Bless.

Leave a Reply