An Open Letter to Single Men in the Church
“Girls are like flowers. If you water us, we will bloom. So if you don’t intend to ‘pick us’, QUIT WATERING OUR D*** FLOWERS!!” —Naida Lynn
Dear Christian Men,
I want you to imagine that one woman friend of yours who is funny, attractive, respects you, loves God and loves people. Not to mention, she’s single just like you. You guys are cool and she considers you a good friend.
Sometimes she’ll call you when she’s bored, you guys will text all day about funny memes, and she’ll even stop by your house to bring you food when you’re hungry. And you?—you’ve gone out of your way to help give her rides, help her move furniture—the whole 9 yards! You’d even give up your kidney for her if it came to that!
Then one day, out of the blue, you get a voicemail from her that starts off with, “Hey bro, I need your advice about this guy I just met the other day. I think I kinda like him…”
STOP RIGHT THERE and notice that tinge of painful emotion you’re feeling! It doesn’t feel good, does it?
You’ve been friend-zoned when you were actually starting to develop feelings for your opposite sex ‘bff’. Now you’re angry and hurt and wish that she would have been just a leeetle more careful with your heart.
Well I’d like to submit to you that this painful reality isn’t cool whether it’s coming from a woman or from a man. And some conversations I’ve had in the last few days have caused me to realize how many well-intentioned Christian, single men have left countless heart-broken women in their wake. All because they weren’t just a leeetle more careful in stewarding the hearts of their sisters in the Lord.
My guy friends who I spoke to swore that they were just trying to be nice and weren’t trying to lead the girls on. ‘But I’d like to take a minute while you’re sitting right there’ to tell you how some of your innocent actions are affecting many of those women.
And if, like my brothers, you really care about loving and protecting the hearts of the women in your lives, then please take heed and CHANGE.
#1: Stop Watering Our Flowers
Guys, you need to understand that the woman heart is designed to respond to a pursuit. And by pursuit, I mean a shameless hunt! The same way a lion on a mission spots its prey and doesn’t relent until he’s conquered, you know what it’s like to see a girl that you like and do everything in your power to win her over. It’s an innate instinct for you.
So why is it that you can’t see that certain things that you do unintentionally make us feel like you’re pursuing us when you’re not? You’re essentially going out of your way to give us attention and do things that men typically do when they’re pursuing us and then don’t understand how it’s giving us mixed signals.
Things like: Asking to hang out with us one-on-one often. Repeatedly sitting next to us in church. Constantly saying things like, “Wow, you’re so beautiful. You’re gonna make an incredible wife some day.” Buying sentimental gifts for our birthdays. Offering to help us with tasks we need help with over and over.
If there is a woman in your life toward whom you have zero romantic interest and yet you are doing all or most of these things, YOU NEED TO STOP. Stop occupying an emotional space in her heart that is meant for a man who will fully choose her and want to make her his.
I’m not saying to stop being kind or to stop befriending us women. But what I am saying is stop showing us particular attention and then flat our denying that there was ever any romantic interest.
We will fall in love with you because that’s just how we’re wired! But then when you sit there keeping us in this ambiguous limbo of doing more than the usual but less than a pursuit, it really hurts our hearts.
I can’t tell you how many women I have counseled and comforted through heartache because a man just couldn’t see how his actions were messing with her emotions then stepping on them. One minute he’s texting her everyday and the next he goes silent. Initiating multiple hang outs and then talking to her about his other love interests.
Women are like flowers and if you don’t intend to pick us, stop watering us.
#2 Stop Praying About if She’s “The One” and PURSUE
It’s one thing not to like a girl yet act like you do but it’s a whole ‘nother beast when you are interested but then do nothing about it!!
I don’t know when or how the wires got mixed but it is sooo annoying for single women when their Christian counterparts straight up aren’t pursuing them! All the while, random, ungodly men are hitting them up left and right. It’s so frustrating!
We can literally be out in public and be approached by tons of unbelievers wanting to get to know us while the type of men we actually want to marry sit there twiddling their thumbs—waiting on God for a sign to pursue.
What’s up with that?
It’s like these unbelievers have more courage to risk and make mistakes than men who have the living God taking residence inside of them. What is going on?
God said to go out and multiply. He did not say go fast for a year and go on a pilgrimage to wait for a dream from Angel Gabriel to show you who your future wife is before you go talk to that girl.
Stop this foolishness and if you’re interested in getting to know her, DO SOMETHING about it!! Seriously! You don’t have to marry her! And in fact, you could say something to the effect of, “Hey, I’m interested in getting to know you more. I don’t know where this will lead and I’m still praying about it but I’d like to explore this together with you. May I take you out for coffee?”
If she says yes, then you do just that! Explore, go on some light-hearted dates to see how you two interact. Get counsel and most importantly, continue praying to ensure you’re hearing from God about going in this direction.
No one said anything about having to marry a girl after date #1 (Or even date #5 for that matter!). But it’s really unkind to a woman’s heart for you to half-heartedly ‘test the waters’ without actually committing. It is the most insulting slap in the face for you to keep one foot in and one foot out as you talk to a girl you ‘kinda, sorta’ like.
Yes, rejection is scary and my sisters and I have not always done a good job of being gentle with your vulnerable pursuits. But don’t let one bad experience jade you from taking courage and rising up to your rightful place.
There is an army of us quality, single women, PRAYING that a man would stop patty-caking around their interest in us and just PURSUE. Boldly. Unashamed. Wholly.
Even if things don’t turn out how you think or y’all don’t end up together, your sister will never forget how valuable you made her feel by showing her she was worthy of a bold pursuit.
#3 Here’s How to Steward Us Well
In the last 2 points, I went into detail about what not to do toward us. But in this last point, I want to give you fellas some tips on how to navigate sisters you honestly want to be good brothers to and/or how to observe a woman that you’re not yet ready to fully pursue.
GROUP ACTIVITIES!! This is the easiest and safest way to interact, love on, and appreciate your women friends! It’s also a great way to observe a love interest in a group situation with no strings attached. Speak honorably with the women in public, avoiding flirtatious words and actions. Host a party and invite a bunch of guys and girls so it’s not awkward.
Express to the women of the platonic relationships in your life how valuable and worthy they are! But do it in a non-sensual way and express it with clear words like, “As your brother in the Lord, I just want to say that you are so worthy of a good man. You’re awesome!!”
Essentially, treat the women in your lives with the same level of honor that you’d want the men in the life of your future wife to steward her right now while you aren’t yet in the picture.
Finally, in situations where you happen to be spending ongoing and repeated alone time with a woman that you absolutely aren’t interested in romantically, be the man and initiate a defining the relationship conversation. You could say something like, “Hey, I notice we’ve been spending a lot of time together but I want to honor your heart in case there’s any confusion here. I see you as a sister and friend and nothing more. What about you; where’s your heart? Are we on the same page?”
Of course everything I’ve shared is my opinion and every situation is different. But I’m sure I speak for many Christian women when I say that following these few guidelines will go a long way in treating the women in your life in a way that is fitting for a man of God—which you are! 😉
Your Sister or Potential Wife