living in a world with wickams & willoughbys: watch the signs

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Men can be deceiving. They can say all the right lines, and a girl is swept off her feet. He is good at his games, and knows how to act and how to treat you in order to gain your affections.

Now, NOT all men are like this. But, unfortunately, we live in an age where this seems to be happening more and more frequently. Boy meets Girl. Boy likes Girl. Girl is flattered. Boy pursues, wins, and uses Girl (physically or emotionally). Then leaves.

Now, I’m no psychologist, but the occasions I’ve witnessed, I could see what was happening. But that’s because my dad has taught me what signs to watch out for, and has warned me time and time again of the dangers lurking, even in our Christian circles. There are so many young men out there who are just … SO convincing, and seem very trustworthy and noble, and equally too many young women ready to trust and fall in love at the drop of a hat with any guy who shows her attention.

Another thing: I think God has gifted us women with intuition. If we tap into that, we can usually make good judgements about people. For example, if there’s someone that you just have a BAD feeling about, even though you have little “proof” for it, chances are … you might be right.

Here are the signs to watch out for.

#1  The “Christian” Guy

There are a multitude of young men who will play church long enough to win the girl — and have no real foundation or authentic devotion for the Word of God. He may be able to quote John 3:16, but is made of rocky and thorny ground and will only “believe” while it is convenient. He’s probably even a nice guy. To him, Jesus is just the Nice Guy Upstairs who is not judgmental of anyone, and is even worth wearing a cool “Jesus Freak” shirt for.

Also, just because he can play with kids does not mean he will make a good dad. And just because he wears a purity ring does not guarantee he will be a good, faithful husband. Character goes beyond good deeds. A guy who simply professes Christ is not the same as one who lives out Christ.

#2  Mr. Wandering-Eye

Sometimes you can just tell what kind of man a guy is just by watching him. Now don’t stalk him, or stare at him, but just kind of … *notice* how Mr. Guy treats women in general. And, yes, men — even good, solid, Christian men — struggle with lust. However, I’m talking about those guys who “discreetly” look women up-and-down, and very frequently, and pretty much gawk at any woman that passes by. The ones who don’t look at your face when you’re talking to them. (You know the kind of guys I’m talking about.)

They’re pretty easy to spot. Stay away from them. No — stay clear away from them, like, as far as the east is from the west. They’re bad apples.

#3  Sir Flirt

Now I must be careful how I word this, so I don’t step on anyone’s toes. There are a lot of young men  I see who display a lot of unnecessary or inappropriate physical contact with young women. Not just the occasional side-hug, but constant, every-day touching, playing with hair, flirtatious contact, or full-on-pushing-the-limits-frontal hugs. To me, I can’t help but interpret this as the young man (possibly) having less-than-honorable intentions. This may not always be the case, but there are some impostors out to push the boundaries as far as they can get away with. Titus 2 says that young men should treat young women “with all purity, as sisters”.

(That isn’t to say that hugs with the opposite gender are inherently wrong, but they can be abused, and I am just recommending caution. I know a lot of wonderful, affectionate people who clearly have no intentions of harm, and that’s fine. In fact, I often receive hugs from people I know have no ill motives, and they are sincere and gentlemanly, but it just takes discernment and discretion as situation calls for.)

And consider these questions: Is his “secret life” no secret? Does his life really demonstrate the kind of Christ-like behavior that can only be gained from a strong relationship with the Lord? Does he come across as a guy who is desperate to find a girl? Does he notice and take care of the least? Or is he always gravitating to where all the cute girls are? Does he give of himself to others, for the glory of God, and not for reputation or admiration?

Remember — no man is perfect! We are all in desperate need of the grace of God (Rom. 3:23). This shouldn’t be a way that we hold men to impossible or idealistic expectations. But his fruit should show out of not only an outward display of his faith, but also a private one.

Young women, be not deceived.

(** Just to clarify, I have never had a romantic encounter (?) with an impostor. But I have personally seen this happen to people I know, and have heard countless stories of young women having to go through this. It makes me so sad to see and hear about these things happening, and so I was inspired to write a post about it.)

(Sequel-Post Coming!)

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9 thoughts on “living in a world with wickams & willoughbys: watch the signs

  1. Hey Rachel, what a great post. I wanted you to know that I picked my old landlord up because she asked me to go to church with her tonight. She and I keep up with each other even though she is 60 years old, and even though it isn’t my church, I oblige for her sake. She struggles with relationships and I was reading my wordpress reader when she came up to the car. I was almost finished with your post here when we started to drive off. She started sharing her struggles with a man she is dating that she doesn’t trust and I pulled up your post and let her read it and she almost started crying. So I just wanted you to know that it was a blessing to not only her, but a great admonition to me as well as I am in a season of singleness and struggling to keep the charm and flirting and all that in check and treat the women I come in contact with as true sisters. Thanks again. John

    • Wow — I am so blessed to hear that! Praise the Lord! I am so honoured that it touched your landlord 🙂

      It is a struggle, not just for men, but also for women (in slightly different ways). I will (hopefully soon) be writing a post addressing young women, similarly, avoiding being the Proverbs 7 woman, using men to fulfill our emotional desires (as men sometimes use women to fulfill their physical desires), and so on. I think all of us need to remember, as young men and women, that in all we do, we do to the glory of God — our relationships included, and how we treat one another. And I think if we keep that in mind, and constantly strive to live like Christ, then everything is balanced.

      I am glad to have been an encouragement 🙂

  2. Rachel, I love your brain. And your heart. Thanks for sharing them through your God given gift of writing. I’ve read through a whole bunch of your posts while drinking my morning coffee and it feels like we just sat down together and talked for awhile- that is how genuine your words are compared with the woman I know you to be. I’m better for having known and read you. Much love.

your comments are a ray of sunshine:)

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