Welcome to the guest blog week by Lauryl and Kasey Redfern!
Here’s a little back story to our dating relationship which turned into MARRIAGE 9 months ago. We started dating going into Kasey’s senior year at Wofford as an accounting major and football player with a dream to be drafted into the NFL, and Lauryl’s sophomore year at the University of South Carolina with a dream of a very undecided future. Our story began at a debutante ball. We walked onto the dance floor, both approaching each other to dance. Lauryl had a $20 bet with her parents to ask Kasey to dance and Kasey was going to ask Lauryl to dance because Kasey’s roommate told him she was interested. We met on the dance floor, slow danced, talked, and the rest is history. Our entire dating relationship was long distance between South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Arkansas, California, Malaysia and Japan. You could say we’re busy people.
Now that you know some of our story, we want to share 4 ways to pursue and 3 ways to be pursued!
4 Ways to Pursue a Woman
1. Take it slow.
One of the biggest problems I ran into when I was dating was falling “in love” too quickly. The way our society is today makes that easier than ever before: with all of the love novels, TV shows, movies and social media out there. They portray the worlds view of “love,” and what usually causes us to RUSH into a relationship is the belief that we need to “follow our hearts. ” In other words, reacting off of our emotions. When this happens, we tend to express words and actions of love, intimacy and attraction which causes us to say things that draw our hearts closer together way too early! You might be asking why would I not follow my heart when I’m looking for a relationship built on love? This is why: we are a sinful people, born into a sinful world. Even if you are a Christian and saved by our Lord Jesus Christ, that doesn’t mean the sin issue goes away overnight. (Yes, you are saved and have the spirit of God in you and nothing can pluck you from His hand). But, we are in a battle for our soul and it can take a lifetime to be converted and transformed by the renewing of our minds. (Romans 12:1-2). We need to be led by the Spirit God deposited in us, and the way we do this is to THINK! We need to weigh each of our emotions and measure them against Gods word BEFORE we act on them. BE SLOW TO SPEAK. (James 1:19). James 3:1-12 explains why it is important for us to control our tongues and what we allow to come out of our mouths because the whole course of our lives can be set on fire and destroyed by the tongue. When we are in the heat of a brand new relationship, our eyes are blinded by passion and we can physically FEEL all of these powerful emotions running through our hearts. We end up telling that person what we are feeling and more often than not, it gets us in over our heads. The feelings subside and disappear later on causing us a whole lot of pain, disappointment and heartbreak. All because we let the body lead us and not the Spirit of God – who wants what’s best for us (Jeremiah 29:11).
2. Lead Responsibly.
As a man, we are called to lead the woman with great respect, gentleness, authority, and love in the purest of forms. What this looks like when pursuing a woman is: having the first priority of protecting her heart and her purity. TAKING IT SLOW and not conforming to the pattern of this world, it’s dating habits, and expectations. This will set you up for success. But, be on guard because the purest of intentions mean nothing if you don’t follow through with them in action.
3. Keep God first and in the middle of your relationship.
Keeping God in the middle of your relationship is a tough thing to do when you have a physical and tangible relationship with the opposite sex right in front of you! But, I learned the hard way about the kind of heartache that comes from idolatry in a relationship. In one of my past relationships, I lost feelings for my girlfriend and broke up with her. I found out a few weeks later that she had come to love me more than God, so God tore that idol down and our relationship ended. I say this with the utmost urgency, men and women: protect your heart and your partner’s heart by:
1. Keeping God first
2. Watching what you say
3. Being led by God not by your flesh
4. Keep your hands to yourself!
The physical and lustful feelings of the flesh are the fastest way to an impulsive relationship which gets your hearts and souls literally tied together in a way that is only meant for married couples AFTER you have developed your relationship in the proper order. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” – Mark 10:6-9
3 Ways to Be Pursued by a Man
1. Know the man’s intentions.
It’s pretty easy to see a persons intentions in your first interaction with them, whether that be over text or in person. You can see it in their words, in the way they flirt, in the way they speak, and in the way they act. If it’s hard to get a read on their intentions, it is up to you to ASK. You have to be willing to communicate with each other in a relationship. Though, when dating still be careful not to be too open. Remember, it’s not always important for your girlfriend or boyfriend to know EVERYTHING about you. Be smart because things don’t always work out. How many people do you want to know and hold your deepest and dearest thoughts or secrets? It’s important to know that your intentions align with each other. Good intentions are not always enough, though, because we are people and we are sinners. Satan only wants to change your heart, mess you up, and destruct your life. Know what you are getting yourself into and don’t let your guard down just because you originally had good intentions. You have to exercise self-control, discipline and accountability.
2. Have friends outside of your man.
Y’all, this is so important for your wellbeing. Men are DIFFERENT from you. If you want to be able to be pursued, you can’t just let your man have all your time. You have to have your girl time – time to laugh, connect, and just do girl things that no man understands. You have to have at least one friend whom you trust and who will hold you accountable for your relationship with your man. Someone who is not afraid (and who you give permission) to put you in your place when you’re doing things that you did not want to do with your man or when you are closing your life off to other people. This should be a friend you are able to share what your goals are in your relationship and what things you don’t want to happen in your relationship. You need a friend you can cry with, a friend you can pray with, and a friend who will continuously point you to the cross. It isn’t healthy for anyone to not have friends and community outside of their relationship. I have done it. I have shut people out because I got so consumed in a guy and in sin. Trust me, it can be depressing and it can weigh you down. If you sinned like I did, if you have messed up, if you don’t think your relationship is on the right track, it is NEVER too late to be redeemed and to be healed. It takes time but never give up and never stop praying for God to heal your heart! James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
3. Do not let him become your God.
News flash: dating is NOT marriage. There are a lot of aspects that should change about your relationship when you get married versus when you are dating. The hard part is that God does not have cut and dry lines about dating in the Bible. He does say some cut and dry things about how you should live your life that should definitely be applied to your dating relationship. Galations 5:19-21 says “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” God tells us several times not to engage in sexual immorality and not to have idols. Unfortunately, our world tells us very differently and actually encourages both of those things. Sexual immorality and idolatry go hand in hand in a relationship. It is easy to make a guy your idol. You’re attracted to him, you desire to talk to him, and you just want to be able to spend every moment with him, but you can’t depend on him to bring you joy and make you whole. That is the job of our Heavenly Father, our creator and sustainer. He knows you, He made you and He wants what is best for you.
We hope these tips are helpful for you and your dating relationship. Dating can be messy and feel like there’s a lot of grey area, but be sure to take the necessary steps to protect each others’ hearts. After all, every relationship ends until marriage.
– Kasey and Lauryl Redfern
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