Monday, January 09, 2006

Guys...listen up!

"From nine years of watching the single scene at Bethlehem I'll tell you what I see and what I hear: there are a lot of intelligent, attractive, spiritual single women in this church who are not church hopping to find husbands and who trust God enough to be a happy single person if that is God's will. But 99% of these women would not mind it if a group of guys in this church took the initiative to get together with a group of them. (Twins game. Picnic in the park. Rent a good video and have pizza. Visit old-folks home. Take some inner city kids to the zoo.)

I stress the group approach just because the emotional stakes of being rejected are so much higher when you go it alone. It seems far more natural and helpful to me to let individual relationships grow out of a lot of group gatherings. And in both kinds of relationships it is the men who bear the responsibility for the pattern of initiative.

(And don't let your fears and inadequacies hinder you. The first time I ever tried to put my arm on the seat behind Noel I elbowed her in the eye. And look at us! Twenty years of marriage and I can hardly wait for her to get back from Guatemala.)"
~John Piper

Yes! Take it from a 19 year old gal: we love it when guys take the initiative. Now, I understand that us gals can make it difficult sometimes for you guys to take the lead. However, just do it! Don't let fear get in the way. Don't think that maybe the gals won't want you to take the lead. Maybe they don't, but they should want it, so do it. Be the man, and then maybe we'll be women. :~)


EDIT: Just for clarification: This post was intended to encourage GROUP activities. I am NOT suggesting that we need more one-on-one relationships. At least not among my real-life friends.

49 comments:

torn_aclu said...

Next time you are in Chicago... I won't be afraid.

chris said...

Advice heeded.

Have you heard of this conference?
http://www.togetherforthegospel.org/

Adam Cummings said...

lol! My sis and her friend (a mutual friend of ours at TMC) told me the same thing when we were together for Thanksgiving. There 's a girl at school I thought about "casually" asking out (as in, just hanging out or even doing something with a group)... but I doubt I would have had the courage. The opportunity has kind of disintegrated as it is, but ah well. It's funny hearing all you reformed girls say that. You and my sis would get along. Good post, good advice, maybe one day I'll have that kind of fearlessness (as it stands, I'm terrified).

: D Jeremy... nice!

Reformed Centurion said...

I think most guys feel like Adam.

Reformed Centurion said...

Myself included:D

Julianne said...

Jeremy: Okay. You're on!

Chris: Have I heard of it???? I'm DYING to go to it!!!
My friends get to go
*eyes get teary*

Adam and Brian:

Are we really THAT scary?

Julianne said...

Chris: Are you going?

Reformed Centurion said...

You can bet your book collection you are.

Daniel Mann said...

Hubba hubba!!!

Jason said...

Thanks for the encouragement.

Does Medford have an inner city? And which way to the zoo?

Jason said...

Daniel, what does that mean?
Is that brotherly?

Daniel Mann said...

Jason: hubba hubba- is just an intejection with exclamtion of agreement with what was said- with enthusiasm. That is all that it means.

Jason said...

Dan: Thanks for clarifying,because that phrase could also carry an inappropriate connotation as defined by the world. And we want to separate ourselves from the world.

Truth and Zeal said...

Here's a link to a dating sermon series from the single's ministry at GCC:

http://www.gracechurch.org/ministries/audiodownloads.asp?ministry_id=87&dlyear=2005

It starts from September 9, 2005. There are a few sermons off topic due to scheduling reasons.

Single brothers: Be bold and put your trust in Christ, whether or not a girl says no. And remember to read Joshua 1:9.

Truth and Zeal said...

My mistake. It starts from Sept. 25, 2005.

Frank Martens said...

Man there's a lot of people that post on this site :) It's good when you know people read :)

Anyway the key is when he says this...
"(And don't let your fears and inadequacies hinder you. The first time I ever tried to put my arm on the seat behind Noel I elbowed her in the eye. And look at us! Twenty years of marriage and I can hardly wait for her to get back from Guatemala.)"

This is huge, because it does get in the way, most everyones problem hinges around whether or not the girl (or guy) will have a problem with their inadequacies.

I hope that I am never like this, I hope that I am never one who doesn't initiate group gatherings that include the girls.

Glad to see you are going to resolved, make sure to try and contact my sister!

Cheers!

Frank Martens said...

Oh,

I stumbled across an article at boundless.org. While they can be a little loose on their theology, this article by Matt Schmucker is excellent.

I think it's an excerpt from the book "Sex and the Supremecy of God", whom Piper was cheif editor....

http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001193.cfm

Julianne said...

DH,

Thank you for pointing me to those sermons. You are so right about being bold and putting our trust in Christ. We ALL need to do this. We should do it because GOD tells us to, not man.

Frank,

That article looks good. May God give us boldness and humility.

Carson Allen said...

Twins Game ! Yuck, well ok if they were playing the Oalkand A's. It's only a four and a half hour drive from Medford. Talk about a great singles group event.

You said " We love it when guys take the initiative".Then when we do, we hear " your moving to fast or comming on to Strong", unless that is just Womanese for " Beat it Looser", : and you are just to sensitive to say that. On the otherhand, you shouldn't have to draw us a road map either. Where is the romance in that?

You also said " Don't let fear get in the way". Never been a problem for me, just ask my Dad and four brothers. I have always been the aggressor or the first to jump, or make a move (don't know if that's always good) Whenever I struk out in a game. I went down swinging, instead of watching the fastpitch go by.

Fear, Not much, but God's (and heights). Now WHO and WHEN is a Change Up pitch and a need for much prayer. So I wait...

But thank you Julianne for the good free advice from a God fearing young Woman. When the WHO comes along (in the Lords Time), I will be sure to take the initiative and make the who the WHEN.

Adam Cummings said...

Julianne, to answer your first question: I'm with Brian. Generally, both hands end up in my pockets, my humor runs away, my voice drops an octave, my eyes look down, and my courage commits suicide. Is that a fairly accurate description of talking with interesting (interesting in a very good way) girls, Brian?

: D This is like, Singles Anonymous... speaking of which, S.ingles A.wareness D.ay is coming up (Valentine's)... see you, guys!

W. H. Conner said...

Julianne...

I laughingly agree with your assessment of the "I don't know, what do YOU want to do?" profile. I happen to be rather spontaneous, as is my awesome young wife, and we fell in love while just kind of seeing what the world looked like together (Terra Firma, Jason, not a reference to a deliberate decision to fling ourselves with abandon into all manner of vice and debachery...incidentally, I'm not sure that hair-splitting Daniel's use of the expression "Hubba Hubba" is what's intended in Christ's definition of true religion...)Back to you, Julianne...I really like your site, and I share your theological leanings...You seem like a truly thoughtful, intelligent young woman...

God bless you,

W. Hayes Conner

W. H. Conner said...

By the way, guacamole is pronounced with a "W", not a GW or a G. Take it from a Phoenix native and resident (home of all that is beautiful about Mexican food...:~)...)

Julianne said...

Thanks for visiting, W. Hayes Conner. It just sounds so awkward to say "walkamole." "Yah, I'm gonna go walk my molee." Come on...who comes up with this stuff???

:~)

Faithful Delight said...

That was a good post Julianne, but it's not that easy. We, as women, have to be careful, because we say "guys take initiative" but then we turn around (not always) and complain, nitpick, freak out "it's too much too soon", "oh,(silly giggle) does that mean he likes me?" etc.

If we(women) want the guys to take initiative, just as a group of friends, than we had better make sure we are wanting it for the right reasons. ;-).
Although I do agree with him in his 'group relationship' approach, still, even with that approach, it's still very easy for emotional stakes to be fairly high fairly high, especially if the girl really has a hidden agenda behind the "guys take initiative"

I think many girls have the attitude "Oh, I just wish the guys would take the lead" when really inside (and it may be deep inside what is really being said is "oh, I wish he'd ask me out with that group that's going to the park so he can get to know me..hint..hint.."
Emotions are a big thing for us females even if we claim it isn't. We easily read things or take things the wrong way.

Poor guys, first they're told to take the lead, but then they step up and do it and next thing they know they realize some girl thinks he's in love with her.(not every case, but it's out there)

Julianne said...

Hotsauce,

Good points. However, the key point is this line: "single women in this church who are not church hopping to find husbands and who trust God enough to be a happy single person if that is God's will."

You are right, we need to be having the guy take the initiative for the right reasons. And yes, there are many women who do the whole "oh my, I think he likes me!!!" or "too much too soon." However, what I am suggesting is having fun as a group doing things which will draw us closer to God and each other as a group. Serving. Witnessing.

If we want to have a truly genuine good time with both males and females, we're going to have to use wisdom and good judgement in how we behave in those group settings.

While it may and I know it does happen that a guy takes the lead and finds out that a girl thinks he likes her, this is no reason for the guy to stop initiating group activities. What am I saying??? It is possible that the kind of girl who is thinking this may be immature in her walk with the Lord. If this is so, anything the guy does will be seen as "liking" her (to the girl herself).

If we are truly satisfied with whatever God has for us in the future AND where He has us NOW, then we should be able to spend some God-glorifying time with members of the opposite sex. If it is our true aim to desire the best for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and if we view them as such (not just possibilities for marriage) then, we can be careful with our emotions and guard our hearts while having a great time being the creatures God created us to be.

This is all coming from someone whom God is still at work in. I cannot profess that I have it all figured out or know exactly how to act or exactly what to say in group settings. However, I've learned (and am learning) to be careful of how much of my heart, thoughts, and desires I share with my brothers in Christ. It not only protects me, but also these sweet men of God who will someday belong to another woman.

Wow, maybe I should have just posted another entry. Anyway, thanks, Faye, for getting me to think through this.

These are the kind of thoughts that are worth thinking.

W. H. Conner said...

You're so right...:o) It must be the same person who decided to translate English words such as "tranquility" into Spanish gems like "tranquilidad", a personal favorite of mine...

Adam Cummings said...

Good thoughts... though I'm still digesting the whole guacamole thing and how we got there. Also, if you want to get really technical, I think it would be pronounced as more of a "hw" than just a "w". So, I guess you'd pronounce the first part of guacamole just like a person from Boston would say "hawk". ; ) W.H., isn't Spanish cool?

W. H. Conner said...

Adam...

Spanish rocks, though I can't pretend to be utterly proficient...I think the whole "guacamole" thing is probably regional, dialect-wise, as are most things of that sort, Taco Bell notwithstanding.. :o)..I have a funny memory of The Master's College... I happened to be spending the night on campus with a group of people (separate beds :o)) and we went to a b-ball game there that evening. Whoever was supposed to sing the national anthem didn't show, so they asked if anyone wanted to give it a go. I leaped at the opportunity, and busted out my best S.S.B., much to my friends' amusement. It must have gone ok, and people were very kind in their applause...I haven't been back since, but my night there was off the hook...:o)

Hayes

Frank Martens said...

oregonHotSauce said... "I think many girls have the attitude "Oh, I just wish the guys would take the lead""

This is true, however... then us guys find out that it wasn't the right guy initiating the lead. So no longer is it really about guys taking lead, but the right guy taking lead. No longer is it about looking at character, but it's about what guy the girl really wants (for who knows what reason).

Julianne, I'm glad you want to be careful, as you should. But us guys also need to be careful in being VERY intentional about what our intentions are as well.

Anyway, I could spend an entire post on this subject, but I'm not oging to. Cheers!

Julianne said...

Thanks, Frank. I think you are right about the right guy taking the initiative. However, ALL men will need to be the leaders in their home someday, so they might as well be practicing. I think some good discipleship going on among the mean would be very profitable and would aide in leadership abilities.

My $.05 on men. :~)

Julianne said...

...among the "men" not "mean"

Truth and Zeal said...

FYI, there will be a lot of men (and women) at Resolved. 0:)

Nate said...

I have some great pick-up lines if anyone is interested. I hope I can be of help to ya'll. ;)

Adam Cummings said...

W.H., lol! Very interesting. I sang for a Coffee House there this last semester (in the student center). It was just me and my roommate, and, due to his Christmas Concert practice, he was only able to practice with me the day of our performance. Needless to say, it wasn't the best performance, and I was more than slightly nervous (I've sang and even led in a couple of praise bands before, but had never sung for a college event of any kind, and this was very personal). Glad you had fun with the anthem.

DH, I wont by one of those guys. : (

Adam Cummings said...

*be... one of those men

Frank Martens said...

haha dh,

Julianne, yes a valid point, and I should clarify that I didn't mean men should stop being leaders :)

Mark said...

Eeek. Must it be a *Twins* game?







;)

Jason said...

Or be the man and get burned, take the iniative, but be careful guys.

Joanna Martens said...

"ALL men will need to be the leaders in their home someday, so they might as well be practicing" - Julianne, this cracks me up. I love ya girl!

For MY two cents or whatever on this: yes, men should take the initiative. Yes, we women think that is the coolest thing ever. Just wanting to clarify- a guy sees a girl, gets to know her as a friend, really likes her, asks her out, she says no. He moves on. Right? What about persistance? Are you suppose to just marry whoever returns the love call? What if you really like, like that person...and you decide to wait- maybe it wont be a smooth "yes" from her initially, but over time you win her? Where are all the knights in shinning armour who win the fair maidens?
OR-- do we as humans have it backwards? is falling in love before "dating" wrong? Or should the right way be courting/dating that person THEN falling in love with them...
-BAAM-

Adam Cummings said...

I wish I had shining armor, then maybe the fair maiden wouldn't run away out of state... out of country... (out of mind?)...

Really, I should be more positive, huh? *Chants: the glass if half full, the glass is half full* Good point that you made in that last sentence, 9digits.

Joanna Martens said...

All I'm saying is that the whole "ask her out, if she says no the first time, forget it and move on to someone else" thing seems so impersonal. A girl can sense when a guy is just looking for a great girl to date- and it is a major turn off. What do you like SPECIFIC about me that you ask me out? Maybe we like to play a little hard to get...

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark said...

9digits,

You make a good point. I definately think that just going around and asking people until someone says YES is not the right approach. Obviously if there is true interest, one would hope there is a little more persistance than being turned off by the one answer.

On the other hand, you have to look at it from the guy's perspective too. He mustered up a lot of courage, and the he likely does not see the NO from the same perspective as the girl. He sees it as a very personal blow, most likely. He also probably does not see it as tentatively as the girl may, unless he's one of those durable buggers ;)

So.. if NO has several different shades of meaning, the guy may not be able to tell the difference. In view of that, saying something more than just NO would probably be good.

Also, it is likely a little hard to feel comfortable proceeding after a NO. At least for those who don't want to outstay our welcome ;)

So in a sense the fact that a guy packs up after the first rejection may not always be due to a flippant attitude toward it, but rather a fear or concern.

But your points are well taken.

Truth and Zeal said...

9digits,

If a girl says "no", she should not expect a guy to ask her out again (even though he may do so in the future). If she does develop interest in a guy at a later time, it is her responsibility to make it clear to him that she is interested. Some guys will only ask once. Being too persistent may seem "stalker-ish".

Let your "yes" be yes and "no" be no. There are those even in the Christian community who will just say "no", because they want to see how persistent a person may be. This is not being honest with the other person and can be very misleading.

If a person is too selective, even on the method on how they are asked out, it could very well be an indication of pride.

I understand your points, but men don't always think the same as women. Help us men to understand you women better (1 Peter 3:7).

Dan

Joanna Martens said...

Mark,
this is true, and unfortunatly us women folk do have "shades of no" if you will. Depends on how she says it. If she is blunt in her feelings that she doesn't have any for you that way- that is probably a hint to move on...and honestly, if she felt that way about you, I don't see how you could have strong real feelings for her (maybe infatuation), seeing that you guys probably never really talked a lot alone...
Now for the shades, answers like, "this isnt the time for me, or I can't date now even though I like you..." might be hints that if you are patient, she'd be willing to have a go later on. What's one date? And while you're waiting for her to have a peace about it from the Lord, hang out on group outings. Julianne has great ideas. ;-)
thanks, guys, for responding. Your input is very helpful for us girls...more than you know.

Truth and Zeal said...

9digits,

"this isnt the time for me, or I can't date now even though I like you..."

I haven't really heard a girl actually use that phrase before. :) Perhaps, it's better if she says, "Could I get back to you in a few days?" or "Could you give me a few days to pray about it?"

Unless the guy has some sinful habit that needs correction, there is no reason why she should not go on a date with him. A date is where a guy will ask a girl out apart from a group setting (and pay for everything, including her dinner), so they can get to know each other. As some pastors will say, "It's just a date. It's not a marriage proposal. There's nothing wrong with having a cup of coffee with him at Starbucks." Afterwards, if she's not interested, she could just tell him if he asks her out on a second date.

Group activities may work at times, but the setting is a little different from the one-on-one date. I've only seen one case where it went from group activity directly to the "DTR" stage with no dating. Group settings may also be difficult, especially if you attend a large church.

(Remember, just a cup of coffee. No obligations.)

Jason said...

"this isnt the time for me, or I can't date now even though I like you..."

Yeah, I was stupid enough to fall for those words recently. She waited to tell me "No" until after she got a boyfriend. I would much rather get a plain no from the start... :)

Rufus the Great said...

Well well, looks like someone's singing my favorite song. . .

9digits said...

I am sorry that both you guys have been wrongfully treated. I have told guys that phrase before. Because I would like that person- I would see an awesome heart for the Lord in them- but it is clear that it was not the time for me to be dating. That's the truth. Because you feel for someone, and you "like" them doesn't mean that you should date. Only if it is clear from the Lord that a relationship is what He wants for you at that time. It's all about listening my friends...
TZ: "It's just a date. It's not a marriage proposal. There's nothing wrong with having a cup of coffee with him at Starbucks." -didn't Pastor Rick Holland say that?
:-P