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It does not matter what they look like. What matters is the heart inside. That is how God chose David as king. The people of Israel wanted Saul–good looking, physically endearing. But God chose David, a shepherd. A little boy who would one day take on a giant. A young man fleeing for years in the wilderness. A man who wrote the Psalms, a great source of comfort to people over the ages. An imperfect man, but a man after God’s own heart.

They can be tall. They can be short.

They can be as thin as a stick. They can be bigger.

Their hair can be any color. Their eyes can be any color.

They can be athletic. They can be quiet and thoughtful.

They can be book-smart. They can have a gift for handiwork–working with their hands.

Each prince will be unique. Each creation of God has its own beauty–a smile, a laugh, attractive quirks, fun things they say. See them for the precious creature they are, and build them up with your words. Love them for who they are. But look to the heart. Are they a Saul, or a David? I’m finding that it is the heart that matters the most.

If they’ve had a past, is it truly a “thing of the past,” or are they still actively living in it? If they are still actively living in their sinful lifestyle, they are not choosing to follow God. Don’t let them pull you away from God. Bad company corrupts good character, don’t be deceived. Even if you don’t reach the point of corruption, they will still have a tremendous influence over who you are.

If they’ve had a past and are dating you now, they need to have truly repented–left their past behind them and not take it up again. And they need to recognize your need for godly help and counsel as you wrestle and heal from their past. Someone’s past can be hard to deal with. Their past can be hurtful, and you’ll need help in healing from it and working through it with God. They need to recognize that you need other godly people helping you.

How do they live their lives now? I tend to look for certain things. Are they hardworking? Are they loving? How do they treat their friends, family, and people they are around? How do they treat you? Are they a strong, steady, stable Christian? I’ve been in relationships where I’ve been the one holding the guy up. That’s not the sort of dating-to-marriage relationship you want. You need a guy who is truly a spiritual leader and strong in God. Don’t date a guy who you end up “mentoring.” He needs godly men in his life to mentor him, not you.

Pay a lot of attention to how they treat you physically, and how they want to treat you. Watch out for manipulators. Watch out for guys who push your boundaries. We all need physical touch. I know I need hugs and closeness, but I seek that from my mom (especially if I’m having a bad day. A hug goes a long way in making me feel better). Don’t let a guy treat you like he’s married to you, because he’s not. You are not his wife, you are his girlfriend, and, BY GOD, HE’D BETTER TREAT YOU WELL PHYSICALLY. You are not a sex object, so don’t let yourself be used like one. 

There is such a thing as loving touches, and (this is just my personal opinion, so take it with a grain of salt) I think those are okay. There are some things that make me feel loved without feeling messed with as an adult woman with a desire for “intimacy” (aka, sex).  I appreciate it when a guy doesn’t ask for or seek out “close” hugs. I love holding hands. I love having an arm around my shoulders when I’m in church. I love swing dancing, as long as he isn’t seeking to “play” with me.

Kissing on the mouth is too intimate a thing, in my opinion. I REALLY don’t like it or feel it’s okay. Kisses are precious, and not to be given away idly or be talked into giving away. Kisses on the cheek are okay, but the guy had better ask first and be okay if I tell him “no.”

There are parts of my body that are OFF LIMITS. By God, he’d better respect that or he deserves to be kicked out of my life. If the guy is seeking to touch you in inappropriate ways or ways that make you feel uncomfortable, BREAK UP WITH HIM (because that is probably his norm, and guys like that are untrustworthy and dangerous) and keep him out of your life.

THAT is what respect looks like. If you’re dating a guy, he needs to respect you in these ways. If he’s not respecting you, then he’s not your future prince, in my very humble opinion. Why would you want to marry a guy who thinks it’s okay to physically mess with women? Guys like that are bad news. You don’t want a husband who acts in that way.

And think about this: if he’s treating you this way now when he has zero commitment to you, what’s going to happen when he’s promised to “love and cherish you forever”? My guess? You’ll wear out pretty quickly, and he’ll move onto the next woman. If you don’t have value to him now, you will not have value to him in the future.

My advice? Date a guy, observe him, get to know him, and seek God. And watch out for things like I’ve written about. There are plenty of guys out there who live like this. Just because they go to church doesn’t mean their heart is full of God and their relationship with Him. Some guys are very, very carnal.

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“Following Your Feet, A Young Woman’s Journey”

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Following Your Feet

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