By this point, it should be no secret I have quite the opinions on dating as a Christian. As already discussed in previous posts, I believing in dating with a purpose. A relationship should lead to a marriage, plain and simple. However, recently my eyes have been opened to more than just what we should look for in dating, but also who we should look for. Mainly, the difference between the good Christian guy and the man after God’s own heart.
Before you get upset and close this post because you think I’m about to rip the entire male population to shreds (and I promise I’m not), just hear me out – there is a BIG difference between the Christian guy and a man of God.
Let’s start with the basic things:
A Christian guy will be the one to text you verses, and kind of sort of remind you of them in moments of desperation. He knows what the scripture says, but he doesn’t know what they mean. On the other hand, a man of God has those verses written on his heart. A man of God lives out what the scripture says in his daily life. He reminds you of the scripture in word and action both during the good times and the bad.
A Christian guy will go to church. Let’s never deny this – all Christian guys recognize the importance of church, even if it’s only culturally. Christian guys will go to church with you because they know you want them at church. They will even partake in different church activities because they know you want them to. However, this is usually as far as it goes. A man of God, however, recognizes his highest calling is to give Christ all the glory. A man of God doesn’t see church as one part of the rest of the week. He strives to grow in Christ daily. He gives God the glory in all he does. A man after God’s own heart sees and knows there is a greater purpose for his life. He does not compartmentalize his faith, but instead allows it to become manifest in every possible moment.
A Christian guy will take you out on dates. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like going on dates? He’ll show you off to the world, let everyone know that you are his (and there is nothing wrong with this. It’s fun to be spoiled). But mostly, this is as far as that will ever go. In contrast, a man of God will hold you up to his heavenly Father in his prayers. A man of God recognizes lifting you up to God, showing you off to God, is far more important than any glory he could try to get the world to give you. When he holds you up to his heavenly Father in prayer, he displays how much more important you are to him. He cares about you far more in that moment of prayer than that one time he took you to that one fancy restaurant.
A Christian guy might “accidentally” compromise your virtue. This is the man that is willing to follow his own desires to the end, regardless who he claims to be or what he claims to believe. This is the guy that tells you it will be okay, that he will protect you if anything were to happen. This guy simply wants what he wants, no matter what his convictions tell him. Yet a man of God will protect that virtue above all things. A man of God will be the one to lead you, to step up and say no, and to never put you in compromising situations. A man of God respects your boundaries and will not try to push your limits. He is the one who recognizes the importance of protecting you before anything were to ever happen.
A Christian guy will say he loves you, and he probably does. He knows you are important to him. He would do anything for you. He keeps you a top priority in his life. There is nothing wrong with this. Of course we all want the person who loves us. A man of God, however, will love God more than he loves you. A man of God will allow his Savior to capture his heart before he tries to capture yours. He is the man who will lead you toward God and away from sin. He is the man who will always strive to focus on God first, and you second (sorry, but we’re not all the center of the world).
In an interview with Crown of Beauty magazine, singer-songwriter Ellie Holcomb stated her husband wasn’t the guy she ever planned on dating until the thought of dating anyone else began to sadden her. On their second date, her husband Drew said this:
Ellie, I’m really crazy about you, and I want to love you really well. But I’m just a man, and I am going to fail you, I am going to hurt you, and I am going to disappoint you. I don’t want to do any of those things, but I’m only human. So I need you to run as hard as you can after a relationship with Jesus, because He is going to be able to love you far better than I’ll ever be able to you, and I want you to be loved best.
I hope you realize the point Drew Holcomb was making here. If you read the love story of Drew and Ellie (the full article can be found here), you know there is no denying the love they have for each other. But Drew also realized that his and Ellie’s relationships with their Savior should always take precedence over their relationship with each other. While we pursue dating and relationships, we do not need to simply look for the person who reciprocates our attraction. This will always be easy to find. Instead look for the person who desires to honor Christ in the relationship above all else.
Ladies, I speak directly to you now. We are quick to lift each other up for our identity in Christ, I feel sometimes we often forget that our men of God need just as much encouragement of to whom they belong as we do. This post can just as easily be reversed to “The Christian Girl vs. the Woman of God.” Yes, it is the husbands job to love his wife as Christ loves the church. Yes, it is the husbands job to lead and stand up when we can’t. BUT this will become much harder for them if they are striving to be a man of God while we only strive to be the Christian girl. Remember Drew and Ellie – you BOTH need to run toward God with all you have.
I leave you with this – 1 Corinthians 13 is a wonderful passage, but you should look at it beyond “love is patient, love is kind…” Guy or girl, man or woman, you should be able to appropriately replace both their name and your name in the place of love (fun fact: I actually did this before I told my ex I loved him, and I didn’t even realize it was a thing at the time).
We are first a soul and then a body. We are sustained by our Creator, not His creation. Therefore, no one else in this world can complete you; only compliment you. Until Christ is the obsession of our heart, we will always find ourselves looking to other for needs only He can fill. Only when we make Christ our first love will we be ready for a story that reflects His glory.
The moments we are filled first with the love of Christ, the moments we are truly loved, are the moments God’s light will shine through us brighter than ever before. You are a child of God first. Never forget that.