Jonathan Pokluda | 10.30.18
Ladies, do you have a checklist of qualities that you’d like your future husband to have? Often times, even if you have a set standard in mind it’s tempting to follow your heart rather than wait for the right guy. In this message, we look at 1 Timothy 3 as a way to identify the biblical qualities that make a man husband material.
Ladies, do you have a checklist of qualities that you’d like your future husband to have? Often times, even if you have a set standard in mind it’s tempting to follow your heart rather than wait for the right guy. In this message, we look at 1 Timothy 3 as a way to identify the biblical qualities that make a man husband material.
So, I got a new car, which warrants a story. I have to tell you the story. If we don't know each other, if you're new here… That's not normal, by the way. If you're listening on the podcast, the audio, I just pulled out in a car. My hobby… What I've done for the longest time is I buy and sell things. I've always done this. Some guys crochet. Some guys watch football. Do guys crochet? No. No guys crochet. Okay. I buy and sell things. That's my hobby.
I had this golf cart. True story. I had it on Craigslist, and this guy reached out and said, "Hey, I'll trade you for a Toyota Corolla." I'm like, "Golf cart for a Toyota Corolla. Sure. I'll take that trade." So then I had the Toyota Corolla, and I sell it. Then I take that cash and I'm looking for, "Where am I going to put that cash?" because this is kind of my side hustle. This is my pastor side hustle. So I'm looking for where I'm going to put that cash. I'm looking at different things, and I see that. I'm like, "Dude, got to have that. Got to have it."
I'm talking to the guy. I'm like, "I can't afford that, though. Right?" He gives me the craziest deal you could ever imagine. So here's what I'm feeling. My heart has already moved that direction. I have to have it. Now, because of the deal, I'm thinking, "Hey, I have limited time. I have to lock this up." The reason I start there is because as we're moving through this Fantasy series talking about finding real love in a fake world…
Last week, we talked about the fantasy girl out of Proverbs 31. Tonight we're talking about the fantasy guy. I'm talking to the ladies. Are the ladies here? Did they show up? Do y'all want to do that again? I'm going to be honest. I think the guys beat you last week. Did the ladies show up? They showed up. Ladies, here's something that I think you do. I think you know what you're looking for. I said about the guys last week, "You guys don't know what you're looking for."
Ladies, I think you know what you're looking for, to your credit. But when you see something you really like, it's all out the window. Your heart is gone, and you stop looking. You stop thinking. You stop thinking with your brain. You start thinking with your heart. Ladies are weird. There's this thing about y'all. You're not weird. I love you guys, but here's the deal.
This is weird about you: you're kind of competitive. I almost think you're more competitive than guys. It's like you think, "I've got to lock him up before anybody can get to him. Nobody is going to get this deal." You start thinking like that, like, "Hey, I'm going to…" You begin to think, "If I don't go here, what if nothing else comes along?" You begin to play these mental games.
So, I go to pick up the Slingshot. That's what it's called. It's appropriately called the Slingshot. I go to pick up this thing, and day one, the "check engine" light comes on. Yeah, Craigslist. Then I'm driving, and it says, "Brake failure." Yeah, I'm surprised it's still here. I was praying for you guys in the front row. "Lord, please make it stop."
So then I'm calling places. Okay, here's the truth. This is not an overstatement. There is not a single place in Dallas, Texas, that works on that. Not a single place. Not one. Eventually, after calling seven different dealerships, they referred me to a place in Irving that will work on it. He goes, "Here's the deal." I'm like, "Hey, the 'check engine' light came on. This brake light… Can you give me an idea of what it's going to be to repair?" He goes, "Well, it could be $10,000." I'm like, "Ten thousand dollars? That's more than I paid. Are you serious? It could be $10,000?"
Then he said, "You should have brought it in. We could have done one of our six-point checkups. We could have done one of our inspections. We go through these six points. We could have told you." I was like, "Oh man. I'm so sorry. Why didn't I know that there's this place in Irving that works on Slingshots so I could bring it in for a six-point checkup? What was I thinking, buddy? That's what I should have done."
I say that to you because, ladies, when your heart goes out the window it's gone. I think you could back up by not just being so moved by the way someone looks or some other things you're attracted to, and you can continue to think with your mind and go through a six-point checklist. In fact, I'm going to give it to you tonight, a six-point checklist. Six things you can inspect to see if he is God's man.
Last week, I said my friend Daniel said that dating is assessing the suitability of a possible spouse. That's what dating is. You're trying to figure out, "Are they someone I can be married to? Are they someone I can spend the rest of my life with?" This is a very practical, very logical thing. You can just run through and think through these ideas.
I'm going to be in 1 Timothy, chapter 3, to talk about what you are looking for, but before I do I want you to know we did a little bit of research for this message. We went to the State Fair of Texas and asked ladies what they were looking for. This is what they said. Watch this.
Josh: Hey, guys. Josh and Alaina out here at the State Fair. We're here trying to figure out how people navigate life, love, relationships.
Alaina: Dating, their dream guy, their dream girl.
Josh: Let's figure it out. Describe to me your dream guy.
Female: Probably a nerd. I love nerds. They have to be into anime and comic books.
Female: Sexy. He's rich, honest, and he's sweet.
Female: Like a dog. You know how, like, if a dog sees somebody they don't know they're really mean but they're really loyal to their…? Yeah, I want him to be like my dog.
Female: Interesting and driven but, I don't know, is also funny and has the same long-term goals.
Female: There's not a dream guy. Like, looks-wise or just…? You have to have a good heart. That's number one.
Female: My dream look guy is not actually the guy I'm going to marry, not that I don't think my fiancé is attractive. I do.
Josh: What do you mean by rich?
Female: Let's say, like, $5 million and up.
Female: He doesn't have to have $5 million, but I mean, enough to be comfortable.
Female: A job and income, I guess.
Female: The bar is literally on the floor.
Female: Yeah, it is.
[End of video]
We have some work to do. That's called job security right there, young adult ministry job security. Ladies, here's the deal. Here's what I want you to know. Us guys are really good about getting your heart involved so that you're not thinking with your mind. We're pros at it. I'm letting you in on a secret. Guys, I'm sorry to let this out right up top. I know some of you are like, "Why are you telling them?"
You have to know, ladies. As a pastor, I have to let you know that we are pros. We've been training since the fifth grade about how to get your heart involved so that you're not thinking with your mind, you're not asking questions like, "Well, is he committed? Does he have integrity? Is he surrendered to the Word of God? Does he focus on these things?" We don't want you asking those.
We just want to say whatever we need to say. We might sing to you, write poetry. We'll do crazy stupid things just so you're not thinking with your mind, so you're thinking with your heart so that you like us, because we want to be liked. Just like you guys want to be liked, the guys who are pursuing you and want your attention also want to be liked. My heart tonight is I really want to help you.
It's hard for me to have the same conversation over and over and over, where you're here and you're meeting with one of my female counterparts up here at Watermark and you're crying. Your mascara is all running down your face, and you're saying, "But everybody thought he was a good guy." I see it all the time. Just in case I risk some of you thinking I'm talking about you, I'm not. I'm talking about hundreds of you. "Everybody thought he was a good guy." I hate that. I really do.
So my heart is to help you find out early on, before your heart gets engaged, if he is God's man, because your method is not working. I'm going to give you some stats. These stats are not your fault. You need to know that up front, but I think I can help you avoid them. Nearly half, 43 percent, of all college women report having experienced either abuse or controlling behaviors in a dating relationship. Nearly half.
Of female rape victims, 45.4 percent were raped by an intimate partner. What? That's a high number. Intimate partner violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crimes. One in four women have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Those are some serious stats. That you would potentially be in a relationship with a guy who might hurt you? That's something we have to address.
Again, it's not your fault. Not your fault at all, but as we dive into the Word of God I think he can help us. He can help you where the next guy that you would go on a second date with would be your forever guy, the one you're going to spend forever with. I think we can get there tonight. So I'm going to give you a six-point checklist, six things to inspect.
First Timothy 3 is the chapter of what God says, "This is what I want the leader of my bride to look like." This is a chapter on elders. When you hear the word elder it doesn't mean old person; it means church leader, pastor and shepherd. It's the same word in the Greek that's used. When you hear the word elder, don't think like elderly; think wise leader of the church. This is a great list for you to look at.
We're going to boil it down to six things. It's a lot of things, though. It's very circular. He repeats himself. Different ideas, different words that mean the same thing. We're going to boil it down to six things to look at, but I'm just going to read this to you up front. This is what God says. "If someone is going to lead my bride," which is the church… If you're new to the church, God calls his bride, Jesus' bride, the church.
"If someone is going to lead my bride, these are the character traits they need to have." Listen carefully. "Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task." If you're here and you're male, if you're listening and you're male, you should desire to be an elder. That's a noble task. You want to meet these qualifications.
"Now the overseer [or the elder or the pastor or the shepherd] is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?)" Jesus' bride. If he can't take care of his own bride, how can he take care of Jesus' bride?
"He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap." So let's take that long list of things and boil it down to six things you can inspect in a potential husband.
1._ Inspect his commitments._ What's he committed to? What does he give his life to? It's okay if he loves his alma mater or he loves the Cowboys. That's fine. That's great that he's a Cowboys fan. If he loves the Cowboys more than he loves anything, that's going to be problematic. Also, what are the commitments he has made and kept? Is he committed to his church? After all, we're talking about church leadership here. Is he under the authority of the elders? This is not mind-blowing stuff. It's very simple things to inspect. The bar is not that high.
"Hey, I want a guy who is under the authority of elders. He's a member of a local body." That is basic 101. That's going to save you a lot of hurt and heartache. Is he committed to a Community Group, a small group? Can I tell you something? My guys I meet with every Friday are the biggest blessing to my wife, she would tell you. They are a layer of protection between her and my flesh. They are a safety net. They are a number she can call and say, "Hey, will you pray for JP in this way? Will you check in here? Here's an area where we disagree."
One of the most loving things she can do for me is tell on me to those guys. She has absolute freedom. I've told her over and over, "Hey, you reach out to those guys anytime. If you see me out of bounds or doing something foolish, please bring them in." So is he committed to community? Every Tuesday night we try to help you. "Hey, there's a room over here. There's a room over here. Guys go here. Girls go here if you're looking for community." How many times have you heard that and not responded?
Is he committed to the covenant of marriage? It says in verse 2, "Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife…" Is he committed to the covenant of marriage? Does he believe that marriage is a covenant, that sex is reserved for marriage, that it's more than a commitment to God; it's a covenant before God?
I get to do weddings. Monica and I get to do premarital counseling. When you are at your wedding, you're going to say some crazy things to each other. People say, "For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to death do us part." So I ask this question, and it's always a little bit awkward. I just say, "Let me ask you a question. Is there anything you would leave her for?"
"No, nothing. I love her. Nothing could cause me to question my love for her."
"Okay. If she cheats on you repeatedly with your best friend, are you still in on this commitment, this 'Till death do us part'?"
"Well, she would never do that."
"I know, I know."
"She's a good person."
"Well, here's what I believe about people. Their hearts are wicked and deceitful. They're sinners. We're capable of all sorts of evil. So as I'm going to stand before God and join in this promise with you guys, I'm asking…what are you going to leave her for? I need to know that. I don't want you to say, 'Until death do us part' unless you mean it. If you're thinking, 'No, no, no. If she cheats on me repeatedly with my best friend and won't stop, I get an out,' well, cool. That's great that you think that.
Let's just write that in the vows. 'For richer or poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part unless she cheats on me repeatedly with my best friend.' I'm just going to write that in there so we keep it honest. We have to keep it honest. Let's say what we mean and mean what we say, because it's a really serious commitment. That's why I say that. It's a really serious commitment. Let's not promise it unless we mean it."
People email me all the time. Girls will write in and say, "My boyfriend cheated on me. What do I do?" Let me answer that. You're not going to like my answer. No one ever does. No one has ever responded like, "Oh, I love that answer. So helpful." You break up. That's what you do. You say, "Well, where is the grace in that?" You show grace when you're married. You're not married. That's the good news.
Remember what dating is? You're assessing if they're a suitable spouse. If they're cheating on you they're saying something. They're saying, "Guess what. I'm not a suitable spouse. I'm not marriage material. I like to cheat." Maybe it was one time. "I drank too much. We were on a break." I don't know, but I would take that as a red flag. Ladies, I don't know. I hate this for you. You don't understand the princess that you are.
I don't think you are ever like, "Oh, he cheated on me. I just don't know what to do." I can tell you what to do: let him go. Don't even date guys who might cheat on you. If that's in the realm of possibility, they're not marriage material. God is telling you something very lovingly. So often the reason you don't want to is because you feel guilty because you know he has already been cheating on his wife with you.
What I mean is not the one he has met yet, but the one he will marry. What I mean is you guys have been physical, so a lot of times you feel stuck and trapped. I don't know why, ladies, you feel bad, like, "Well, he needs to experience release; I understand," and you extend grace. That's always a little bit odd to me. He can make war on your behalf or he can marry you.
2._ Inspect his humility. It says, "He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited…" That's the opposite of humility. "…and fall under the same judgment as the devil." Here's what "fall under the same judgment as the Devil" means. Lucifer or Satan or the Devil (all the same) was an angel. He was with God. It says the most beautiful angel in the Scripture. He's a created being. He was made to reflect God's glory, but one day he said, "Hey, I don't want to worship you as God; I want to _be like God."
God said, "You think you can be like me? Then you go down there to that planet earth, and we'll run this cosmic experiment. Let's see how good of a god you are." It says in the Scripture he's the Prince of this air. He's the ruler of this world. We kind of live in this cosmic supernatural experiment. Are we going to follow the ways of Satan or are we going to follow the ways of God? God says Satan was conceited. That's why he did that.
So you don't want to date a guy who's like Satan or who is conceited. Is he a "Here I am" guy or is he a "There you are" guy? What I mean by that… Is he about himself, thinking about himself, or when he engages with your family and your friends is he like, "Oh, tell me about you. Where are you from? Oh, that's so interesting"? Whoever drives that is a "Here I am" guy. Before you judge me, it's for sale. If one of you is a "Here I am" guy, I've got you.
You don't want a "Here I am" guy; you want an "Oh, there you are" guy. "Let me turn my attention to you." Not just you because he's interviewing for the job but how he treats other people. You can look at that and see his humility. It says, "…not quarrelsome…" Quarrels come from pride. That's verse 3. Gentleness comes from humility.
I don't understand, ladies. Why are you attracted to arrogant jerks? I don't understand. I just remember that dude I went to high school with. Just because he could throw a football 100 yards and he'd walk through the hallway with his chest out and he drove that obnoxious red car, always dated the head cheerleader… So cocky, but he always had a girlfriend, the sweet girlfriend, the nice girlfriend who he was always messing around on. I don't understand.
I know you like confidence. Please don't mistake conceit for confidence. Being conceited is like counterfeit confidence. Confidence is rooted in the Holy Spirit, trusting in God, believing that God is in control. Conceit is rooted in your own abilities, thinking that you're all that. That dude will hurt you. So I think humility is one of the most important qualities to look for in a man. Is he teachable? Does he have someone else pouring into him?
3._ Inspect his reputation_. It says in verse 7, "He must also have a good reputation…" What do other people think about him? I think this is the one you're quick to blow off when your heart has already moved that direction. I've seen this before. Your family and your friends are saying, "Hey, he's not a good guy. He's not a good guy," but here's what you say, ladies. I've heard it.
"But I really know him. Y'all don't know him like I know him. All of you people who have been in his life his entire life, even his sister who was raised with him in the same… Y'all don't know him like I know him. He's like a dog. He's mean to other people, but he's nice to me." What does that mean?
He has a good reputation with outsiders. Is he respected? Your children are going to have to respect him, because he's not just interviewing for the position of husband; he's also interviewing for the position of a dad, of a father. It says, "He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect."
Will he be a good dad? Does he love kids? Does he enjoy kids? Or is he going to be like, "Hey, we can get married, and for 10 years we'll travel, and then maybe one day we'll have kids." Are your expectations aligned there? I told you I buy and sell things. One time I bought a stolen car. I didn't know it was stolen. The dude had the title and everything. (I know I should give up on this hobby. I know what you're thinking.)
The dude had a title and everything. I met him here…at a church. We drove around town. We went to the bank together. I was sharing the gospel. We were talking about Jesus. He showed me a fake ID. He had the title in his hand. He sold me the car. I gave him cash. I'm a fool. I know. Then DPS shows up and takes the car from me. They're like, "Oh, this car is stolen. You can't have it. It's ours now." I'm like, "Oh man. This isn't good."
So now I check Carfax, because it shows me the vehicle's history. It shows me its reputation. Ladies, check references. Talk to people who know him. Hopefully you're dating in the church and he's in community and other people know him. Interview his ex-girlfriend if you want to know how he really is. It's funny that people are like, "That's crazy. I would never do that." I would do that if I were you.
Now here's what happened. Guys just lost a little hope. They're like, "Oh man, but I've really messed up." No, no. Here's the deal. There is grace, though. Let me go back to my car analogy. For my wife I bought this car that had a salvaged title. Here's what that means: it had been in a really, really bad accident. Like, really bad accident. Like, the insurance company thought it couldn't be repaired, but then somebody repaired it.
That keeps a lot of people away. Nobody wants the car that has been in a bad accident. Except here's what I did. When I pulled Carfax, I saw that it had been three and a half years since that accident and it ran perfectly. That told me something. That told me it was fixed, that it had been fixed well. So, just because he served time doesn't mean he won't be a good husband. I mean that. Just because he has made some really tragic mistakes doesn't mean he won't be a good husband, but you want to see a track record of faithfulness.
You want to see a history of faithfulness, a season of faithfulness. Six months probably isn't long enough. If you like him in six months and you see six months ago there was a huge wreck in his life, some addiction, something terrible, you say, "Hey, I'm interested in you, but I'd love to see a little bit longer track record of faithfulness. Let's give this some time. Time is our friend." It's interesting that that guy who sold me that stolen car…
He tricked me. He was playing a game. He showed me a fake ID. He said all of the right things. I fell victim to his charm, which the Bible says is deceitful. That's Proverbs 31:30: "Charm is deceitful." So, ladies, if he's interviewing for the job, he may be saying crazy stuff to you, singing songs to you and writing poems to you and drawing you pictures, sending you text messages, but he may be selling you a stolen car. Check his references.
4._ Inspect his initiative._ Does he have some drive? Is he passionate about life? Does he have some passion in him? When the going gets hard, is he going to get going, get off the couch and make some things happen? This verse is about leadership. He must manage his family well. To manage his family well, it's going to take some drive.
Girls ask me all the time, "Can a girl ask a guy out? Is it okay? Can girls ask guys out?" I mean, I guess. I don't think it'll keep you out of heaven or anything. What do you mean, can you? I don't know. Do I think it's God's best? No, I don't think it's God's best. Why don't I think it's God's best? Because he's failing the first test: initiative. What better test to display initiative than for him to risk a "yes" or a "no" by asking you a question?
We talked a couple of weeks ago about how scary that is for us guys. It's terrifying, ladies, to go up to you and look you in the eyes and use our words and say, "Will you go out with me? I'd like to go on a date with you." That's a terrifying thing, because, ladies, you are scary. You have earrings and fingernails and stuff. It's terrifying. It's really scary. I'm serious. But when a guy does that, you know, "This guy likes me enough to be vulnerable enough to do something that's hard."
Hey, guys, listen to me. You have to do hard things. For the rest of your life you're going to have to do some really hard things. It is hard to ask her out. I completely empathize with that, but do it. Men will ask, "What does it mean to lead in dating?" Taking initiative, planning, communicating clearly, leading in purity. Guys, I've said this over and over for years now. I want to help you, men.
Girls wonder about everything. They wonder if you're going to text them or call them, if there's going to be a second date, and they wonder where you're going to take them, and they wonder if you like them and what you think about them, and they wonder if you like their perfume or if you like their shirt. They wonder if you're on a date or if you're just friends and it's a "friendationship." Like, where is it going? They wonder about these things.
Men, let me tell you something. You can write this down, tweet it out, share it with the world. Leaders remove confusion. If you want to know what it means to lead… You can clap for that. Guys, they're clapping because you're not doing this. Leaders remove confusion. So anticipate the confusion and remove it with your words. Address it. Be intentional. Say, "Hey, this is where this is going."
Ladies, he doesn't need to be rich. You need to know that. "Oh, he has to be rich." He doesn't need to be rich; he needs to take initiative, to be able to look for a job, to be gainfully employed, to honor Christ in how he works. Let me tell you more about this on this one.
5._ Inspect his self-control_. It says in verse 3, "…not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money." It's interesting that some of the ladies are like, "I want someone who has a lot of money." People who have a lot of money tend to love money, so be careful with that, because it says you don't want someone who loves money. It's not about him having a lot of money; it's about him being able to work hard to provide for you. That's a part of it.
Let's just talk about what this verse says to inspect. It says a few things here. I'm going to give you three A's after the not loving money. It says, "…not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome…" You can inspect alcohol, anger, and adultery under self-control. Alcohol. Are they sober-minded? If you go on that first date and he throws back three Mambo Taxis, this is a red flag. This ain't your dude. Move on. This is not your guy.
If you've seen him drunk, you've seen him intoxicated, here's what he's saying: "I'm not scared of you, God. I know your Word says, 'Don't get drunk,' but I'm going to do what I want." Ladies, some of you don't care if he gets drunk because you get drunk, and you know it. I would just reconsider. There's a God. He loves you. He has given you some instructions, not to rip you off but to set you free.
Is he angry? It says gentle, not violent, not quarrelsome. Is he given to rage when things don't go his way? This is a big red flag. If he's yelling at you, if he's throwing stuff, if he puts his hands on you, you run. You delete the number. You block it. Restraining order. Never again. There's no second chance on that in dating. That's a single-issue disqualifier, like we talked about in voting last week on Real Truth. Real Quick. That's a single-issue disqualifier.
There was a girl and a guy who were about to get married, and right before the wedding we had heard some things that he had an abusive history. So right before the wedding, like days before, we reached out to her and said, "Did you know this?" She was like, "I didn't know that, but I don't even know if it's true. I think I know the real him." We're like, "We really think you should delay this wedding, at least to do a little bit more research here."
She was so angry. Gave the church the double bird. "I don't want to talk to you guys anymore. Get out of our business. You don't understand. You're just not for us." They go somewhere else and get married. They go on the honeymoon. They come back. He throws her down a flight of stairs and breaks both of her legs. We're there to pick up the pieces. It's not "I told you so" time. That's not what this is about. It's about "Did you check that reputation?"
You want to make sure he doesn't give full vent to his anger, because that's not God's man. That dude is going to discipline your children. Be wise in the way you think about that. It says in verse 2 that he's temperate, that he's marked by self-restraint and discipline, not laziness and drunkenness or indulging his flesh.
The last A is adultery. I get this email all the time. "My boyfriend is looking at porn. What do I do?" Let me tell you how I interpret that as a former porn addict. If we don't know each other, there's not a lot of judgment here. I've looked at more porn than any of you. That's the truth. That's who's talking to you right now. But I found freedom and sobriety from that struggle by God's grace.
When you say, "My boyfriend is looking at porn. What do I do?" here's what I read: "My boyfriend is cheating on me repeatedly. What do I do?" My answer is the same: you break up and you let him get well. I know you hate that answer. You're like, "No, it has to be something… There's no grace in that." Let him get well. That's what grace is. Let him heal. Say, "Hey, I want you to go through a recovery program, because this is messing you up. You're not just cheating on me sexually."
An addiction to porn is not an addiction to sex; an addiction to porn is an addiction to variety. That man will never be satisfied in a monogamous relationship. It will never happen. He has programmed his brain for a variety type of girls all the time, hundreds and hundreds of images. I know it is incredibly hurtful, and I know it is incredibly difficult, because you think, "Man, if I let him go, will somebody else come around?" That's where you get to trust God. That's what faith is.
As my friend has said very well up here, you do not lower your standards; you lengthen your patience. "How long? How long do I have to be patient?" I don't know. That's the truth. I have no idea, but I know you're better off single than married to a porn addict. I believe that. Now, of course, if you're married and you're in that relationship my instruction looks different, because now two have become one flesh. The recovery looks different, but he still needs to get well.
It blows my mind. Jennifer Lawrence said this about when some naked pictures she had texted her boyfriend leaked. She said, "I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he's going to look at you." I think Jennifer needs Christ first. I think she needs to come to The Porch.
Girls, can I say this really quickly? Public service announcement. Real talk real quick. Guys, for you too. This might serve you really well. If you leave with nothing else but Jesus and this it will be helpful. The Internet is not safe. I know you thought that connection between your cell phone and his cell phone was so secure, and I know he promised you he wasn't going to show those pictures to anyone, but people do weird things when they get hurt, and a lot of times in relationships they get hurt.
So if you send him any pictures of you, just assume the whole world is going to see that. Don't do it. I would tell Jennifer that there are a lot of guys who aren't looking at porn or touching their girlfriends or touching themselves, for that matter. I remember when I came to Watermark for the first time, straight out of the world, straight out of Uptown, and I get plugged into this small group. They're going around with prayer requests, and one guy is like, "Hey, I have something to celebrate." We're like, "What?" He goes, "I haven't masturbated in three years."
I was like, "Dude, and you're still alive? Is that even possible? I didn't even know that was possible." Just in case you didn't laugh just then because you're like, "He was still alive?" it is possible. You can wage war like that. You don't have to embrace sexual immorality because it's the norm around you. You literally can wage war here. Let me tell you what the Scripture says.
First Thessalonians, chapter 4: "…each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister." This is a terrifying verse. This is a great Halloween verse. It really is scary. It says, "The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before." Another version says, "The Lord is the avenger of such things."
Ladies, one way to know if he is self-controlled is that he's not trying to put his hand up your shirt or down your pants. He's restraining his fleshly desire because he honors the marriage covenant. That guy is leading you, ladies, very, very well. So please don't be like, "Oh, he must not be attracted to me because he's not very physical." No, he's waging war. He's in a battle. Respect that as much as you can. Honor that. Say, "Thank you for the way you respect my body and the way you are waging war to make it to marriage." That's a beautiful thing.
6._ Inspect his truth_. What does he see as truth? It says in verse 9, "They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience." It says in verse 2, "Now the overseer is to be above reproach…able to teach…" Able to teach what? To teach the Bible. He has been poured into. He has the Word of God written on his heart.
We're talking about cars, and it has been said about guys… One of the reputations men have is that we don't like to ask for directions. What I would tell you is don't date a guy who's not constantly asking him for direction. "Where should I go? What should I do? How should I think? How should I treat her? Where should I look? What am I committed to?" He's constantly asking for direction.
I would ask you…What determines his truth? Is it convenience? Has he built his life on the Word of God? Is that his firm foundation? Does he demonstrate to the world integrity, that he's surrendered to the Holy Spirit, that he's trustworthy? Does he do the right thing? This is so simple. Sometimes I really think if you've trusted in Christ and as you pursue and worship him, life can be as simple as "Do the right thing."
Faced with a choice…there's this and there's this…just do the right thing. It says about David that he was a man after God's own heart. In Acts 13:22 God clarifies. "Here's what I meant when I said David was a man after my heart: he did everything I asked him to do. He was fully surrendered to my word." That's what it looks like to be a man after God's heart: you do everything God asks you to do.
There's this guy I've been in community with for 14 years. For 14 years we've run together. He and I are very different, couldn't be more different. We think with two different sides of the brain. I told him the other day, "Hey, I want you to know something. I trust you more than I trust any other single human being other than my wife." The reason is because I've seen this brother make really hard decisions.
He does the right thing even when it's hard. He has the conversations. He doesn't gossip. He follows the law. Even when it's hard, even when he wouldn't get caught, he just does the right thing. I asked him if I could share that. His wife called me this morning and said, "Before you tell thousands of people that about my husband, you tell them that's why I married him, because I saw that in his life. I saw that no matter how difficult it was he did the right thing." You need someone who holds onto truth and lives by it.
Girls, I don't know. I get confused why you like bad boys. Let me just ask you girls. Ladies, I'm asking. Do y'all like bad boys, bad guys? Yeah, Harley-Davidson. I'm going to use that. I'll go off that. True story. I'm driving this thing yesterday. I'm about to pull out on the road. Two girls whip around in the parking lot, pull around, pull up beside me, roll down their window, and say, "Hey, baby, can we get a ride?"
Now let me tell you something. I'm a middle-age man with three kids. I understand that they are not attracted to me. But if you can put off a bad boy persona, it seems like you are attracted to that. God doesn't say, "Be attracted to Harley-Davidsons." He gives you other things to be attracted to. He says, "I want you to look at this list. This is what I want you to follow. This is what you're after."
Let me ask you again, ladies. Do you like bad guys? It seems to me like you do. Let me show you. Do you know who this is right here? Do y'all know who that is? That's Nikolas Cruz. He walked into a school in Parkland, Florida, and killed 17 people. He shot them dead. He goes to jail, he's waiting to be tried, and he starts getting an influx of love letters.
I'll read to you. This is what they said. A longtime Broward County public defender said he has never seen a defendant get so many letters… Not even close. Hundreds of letters sent to him. Of those made public by the Broward County Sheriff's office, there wasn't one letter that criticized the confessed killer. No, they asked if they could have his baby. They sent him seductive pictures of themselves. Who were the letters from? Girls.
"Hey, I know you killed 17 people, but I find you attractive." You're right. It's dysfunctional. You're right. Here's what every lady thinks. "That's crazy that he would get a lot of… That's crazy." But consider this, ladies. How many times have you been in a relationship with a guy you knew was going to hurt you? How many times have you dated someone when you knew he was not good for you? How many times have you gone back to someone who broke your heart and hurt you?
You go, "I would never do that with that guy," yet we practice it in these small microcosms. And again, there's a part of me… I think Satan delights in the reality that you find something rebellious attractive. You're like, "Well, there are no good guys out there." I'm telling you, I'm looking out here and there are some good guys in the room. There are some good guys in the room who are doing the right things, who are following God, who are seeking to surrender to God.
I just want to end by saying you're a princess. You're a daughter to the King. Ladies, I don't mean to be hard on you. My heart is to help you, but in that competitive spirit it seems that you're attracted to guys in relationships. That has always confused me too. Before I was in a relationship with Christ, I can remember being out in the scene and talking with a girl and it going places where it goes in the world and me just saying, "Hey, I have a girlfriend" and her saying, "Hey, I don't care." So we would use each other, and we would have fun.
I'm going to end really controversial. I'm going to end by saying something really crazy. Ladies, you might look for a guy who's in a relationship. Just think about it. You can observe these things. If he's in a relationship, you can look at his commitments. In summary, if he's in a relationship you can look at his humility. If he's in a relationship, you can see his reputation. If he's in a relationship, you can see if he initiates, if he takes initiative. If he's in a relationship, you can see if he's self-controlled. If he's in a relationship, you can see what truth he's surrendered to.
So I want you to find a guy who is in a relationship. No, I'm not talking about a relationship with another girl; I'm talking about a relationship with Christ, that he would be surrendered to Jesus. It's interesting. When that guy brought this thing over… He drove it over to my house. It's like, "I don't want to drive it with the 'check engine' light on." He brings it over, and my kids are going crazy. They're like, "Daddy, what? Can we keep it?" I'm like, "No." They love it.
I should have known. At this point the deal was done. I should have known. He goes, "For me, I just think of it like a Jet Ski." I said, "What do you mean?" He goes, "Well, it's kind of fun for the weekend, but then you're over it." I thought about that. I was like, "Yeah." That's kind of how it works when you make a decision based on how something is on the outside. It's not very functional. You can't take passengers or carry cargo or do anything. In fact, there's only one reason you would buy that car: because you're looking for a good time. You're looking for a fun experience.
Ladies, some of you aren't looking for a husband; you're looking for an adventure. I would really challenge you on that, to seek out a husband. In fact, as I was thinking about that I thought about my truck. My truck is 13 years old. It has 100,000 miles on it. It has been faithful to me. When I turn the key it starts. It's the base model. It didn't have power locks or power windows or power seats. It didn't have anything. Do you know what's sexy about my truck? Nothing. You get inside. It kind of stinks a little bit. It smells like a boy has lived in it for 13 years, but it has never been in the shop. It just works. It just runs.
Ladies, what if instead of sexy you looked for and held out for surrendered to Christ? Is Christ not the perfect example of this? Christ was committed. The Scripture says about him that he was humble. We still read about his reputation 2,000 years later. He saved those who trusted in him. He took initiative. He went first. He says for the joy set before him he died for your sins. He was controlled by the Holy Spirit. It said he was tempted in every way but never sinned. He was self-controlled. He was the truth, the Word of God in the flesh. That is who we follow.
Ladies, you're looking for someone who follows him, someone who is in a committed relationship with him. If you have that, those other things will follow suit. This is the gold standard. All of those things may ebb and flow. It may be in different degrees, but if he's fully surrendered to Christ he's going to be a great husband. He's going to be a great father. Let me pray you'd find that.
Father, we thank you for the example of your Son Jesus. We thank you for what you did for us through him. Father, I pray for my female friends in the room. God, they're scared. They don't want to be single forever. Lord, it's easy… The Enemy tempts us to think you've forgotten about us, that you don't have a plan for us. Father, would you remind them that you love them and you do have a plan for them?
First and foremost, you desire for them to be married to you. Then, Lord, I pray out of this group that you would raise up men, real men, confident in your Holy Spirit, surrendered to your Holy Spirit, who would engage women who are surrendered to your Holy Spirit and that they would get married and have children and your kingdom would be advanced through that.
Father, would you change, would you tune our hearts in the list we're looking for, whether she's tall or blond or brunette or whether he's a doctor or lawyer or built, that we would tune it to, "Are they surrendered to Christ?" Would you make that enough for us, please, even as we worship you now? In Jesus' name, amen.