It’s your turn, gentlemen.
We often answer "What does the Bible say about dating?" This time we're answering "What to do when you have a crush." It's probably not your first crush, but it might be your first crush as a Christian.
So, here are some biblical principles that can help when you have a crush.
1. Pray (1 Chronicles 16:11)
Not trying to be overly spiritual here. But whether you’re the one who thinks you’ve got it on lock, or the one who’s nervous to make a move, this should always be your first step. God brings relationships together (Mark 10:9).
2. Don’t pursue until you’re ready to get married (Ephesians 4:13-15)
The purpose of dating is to move toward marriage.
Don’t make a move until you can actually make a move. If you’re not ready to get married and you start showing a ton of intentionality, you’re putting both yourself and your crush through unnecessary confusion and potential heartache.
But you don’t have to be perfect to be ready.
If you’re healthy, pursuing Christ daily, serving the church, confessing and repenting of sin with other believers, under the authority of elders, and you’re okay with committing to an imperfect person, you’re ready. Don’t pursue until you’re ready.
A mature, godly woman will know that she is stepping into a relationship with an imperfect person.
3. Reject “friendationships” (Geneses 2:22-24, Psalm 16:6)
That in-between “we love hanging out, we’re best friends but we’re not exactly dating.”
God created boundaries. Boundaries are good. Create boundaries with any girl who isn’t your wife.
It’s fun to have a companion, a friend, a partner. That’s one reason you should get married.
But when you are having your emotional needs met by someone who isn’t your wife, you’re using her. Let’s be honest–you might both be using one another.
It’s okay to be friends, but if people wonder if you’re dating, it’s a good sign you’re in a “friendationship.” Ask yourself, is there one girl I show special attention to? Is this girl the person I want to hang out with all the time without dating her? If one of us started dating someone else, would this relationship have to change?
If you want to get married one day, know that your friendationships might be keeping you single. By meeting all of your emotional needs through girls who are friends, you might be ignoring a nudge that God put inside of you perhaps to drive you toward a marriage relationship.
Don’t get the reputation for being the guy who leads girls on.
Value her (and any other girl) enough to draw appropriate boundaries. Don’t ask for more of her heart, time or energy than you’re willing to commit for.
4. Observe her character (Proverbs 31:10)
Trust the Bible–you don’t want to be stuck in a house with a “fretful and quarrelsome wife” (Proverbs 21:19). Or one who is self-focused, lazy, and overly insecure.
It’s okay to notice if she’s gorgeous. If she’s caught your eye, instead of making plays on what looks good, watch and wait.
Do you see signs of good character? Is she a member of a healthy local church? Is she serving? Do you see her speaking kindly and looking out for the needs of others over being self-obsessed and self-focused? Do you see God at work in her life?
The kind of wife you want is one who is going to go to battle with you when things get hard, and one who is going to help you as you lead your family through hard times and through good times. Don’t expect her to be perfect. But look for more than what you can see.
5. Fight the lie that you should keep your options open (Matthew 5:37)
When options increase, so does anxiety.
Some guys need to be more slow and thoughtful, and others need to make a choice already. There are many well-meaning, godly guys who want to get married but end up single way later in life because they were holding out for a “unicorn” who fits this perfect description of what they want. Sadly, they never find her. Because she doesn’t exist, and if she did, chances are she wouldn’t go for him.
Marriage is meant to reflect Christ’s relationship with the church (the man reflects Christ, the woman represents the Church–Ephesians 5:31-32). Why would the pursuit be any different? You, as a believer pursuing marriage, are reflecting Jesus’ love for the church.
Can you imagine Jesus being wishy-washy thinking of whether or not he should choose you? “Well, I like these things, but not these.”
6. Talk to your community (Proverbs 15:22)
Do they think you are in a healthy place to date? Have they seen you battling lust and winning–confessing quickly and practicing self-control? Has much time passed since the last time you looked at pornography? Are you ready to get married?
Remember that your relationship with God is more important than any relationship with a girl.
7. Lead by providing clarity (Philippians 2:3-4)
But also don’t hide behind the line “I’m not ready.” If you’re not interested enough to pursue her, do both of you the favor and just say that.
Don’t “reserve” her by telling her you’re interested long before you’re going to make a move.
Girls wonder. Always. They wonder if you like them, wonder if they’re pretty enough. Value her (and any other girl) enough to draw appropriate boundaries. Don’t ask for more of her heart, time or energy than you’re willing to commit for.
Communicate your intentions. Where there’s a question mark, people fill in the blanks. Leave no room for confusion.
If you want to ask her out, simply say, “Can I take you on a date?” Don’t leave her to guess if you’re hanging out as just friends.
If you cause confusion or hurt with her before you’re dating, you’re setting the relationship up to fail. Until you’re clear, stay clear. If one of you doesn’t know “what this is,” there is room for more clarity.
8. Initiate (1 Corinthians 11:3)
It takes courage and trust. Not perfection. Reject passivity. Don’t wait for her to come to you.
In God’s order of things, he created Christ to be the leader of the church and the husband to be the leader of the wife. Together, both husband and wife lead the household.
Show her that you are capable of pursuing, she is valuable enough to pursue, and that you have what it takes to lead.
9. Be intentional, not intense (Proverbs 8:12)
By the time you ask her out, there’s a good chance you’ve thought about this way more than she has. Give her time to process.
It’s okay to let her know that you aren’t flippantly asking her out. That you’ve prayed, sought counsel and observed her character. That you enjoy spending time with her, think she’s beautiful, and that you’d like to take her out.
Unless she’s already head over heels for you, you may scare her off by communicating things like, “I think you’re my wife. I’ve been dreaming about you and want you to bear my children.”
10. Give your fear of rejection to God, and trust him (Proverbs 29:25)
Let’s be honest. It’s hard. Being the one to lead and pursue. Being the one who takes the risk. But God intended it this way. He made you to lead and initiate–go and be the man God created you to be.
You might get turned down. And it will probably hurt. But it’s better than knowing you never tried. One girl’s opinion of you doesn’t determine whether or not you have what it takes.
Risking rejection is trusting God. And it’s worth it (Proverbs 18:22)
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22)
Let’s go, men. You were meant to lead families and you were meant to lead the Church. Christian women need you to lead.
Ladies, click here for Part 1.