This has been a phrase for in the PUA community since at least 2009, if not further back.
“Leave her better than how you found her”
The phrase always stuck with me, but in light of my recent revelations on understanding of Christianity in terms of relationships I now know why it did.
This is because as Christians we know that apart from God we can do no good. Because only God is good, if we abide in Him and Him and us, we can do good.
Therefore, as Christians called to do good works, we are called to to do good in all things for the glory of God:
1 Corinthians 10 (NASB)
31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.
The reason why PUAs cannot leave a woman better than how they found her is because of the innate nature of their interaction. They are seeking self gratification either for ego, sex, or other reasons. This inherent nature takes, even though it may make a woman feel good during, and leaves her empty after the PUA has left her. This is underlying theme of the PUAs and game — it is the nature of the flesh. Selfishness.
However, since Christians are called to righteousness, and if God is in us and in our interaction, it is possible to “leave a woman better than how we found her” but only through the power of God:
Romans 7 (NASB)
14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold [m]into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
21 I find then the [n]principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God [o]in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in [p]the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner [q]of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from [r]the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.
This is because Christian masculinity through the power of God at its core is about selflessness, the fruits of the Spirit — agapao love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control — and spurring each other on towards godliness in the relationships with God, men, and women.
I believe this is one of the reasons that sex is prohibited prior to marriage. It is a mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual bonding experience of give and take which cannot be undone. The bond that is made is broken when they separate, and it leaves both parties broken in at least some way.
As we know, the Scriptures are quite clear,
Ephesians 5 (NASB)3 But immorality [c]or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among [d]saints;
1 Corinthians 7 (NASB)
Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman.
So, getting to practicals since I like practicals.
What does it look like in a relationship between a masculine Christian man and a woman before marriage, but in today’s “dating” or “courtship” and “engagement” phase?
No sex and decreasing the amount of physical contact before marriage is a good idea. Having been a Christian for a number of years I’ve been on the fence about going as far as even no kissing before marriage. This is something that each Christian must face and pray to God for guidance on.
Beyond the physical this is a tough question because ultimately the path to marriage is a bonding experience. We know that most people do not meet their spouse as the first one we date, which means that there will be hardship in the nature of a “break up.”
This is why it is important for Christians to understand that “dating” is not commitment either from the man’s side or the woman’s side. When Christians believe that “dating” is a “commited relationship” the investment creates a bond that may be broken if you break up. If a man or woman experiences prolonged issues of withdraw or intimacy after a break up this is a sign that you were too invested in something that has a large chance of not working out.
As a Christian masculine man you need to make this clear to any woman you date to ensure that any woman you talk to are aware of this. Most women won’t like that and will probably fight you about it, but it is the right thing to do especially if the relationship does not work out.
How can you leave a woman better than how you found her?
Over the past year, my experience growing into Christian masculinity has been that the best way to do this is from your natural leadership position in the dating relationship, to the engagement relationship, to eventually the marriage relationship.
Almost all Christian women want their husband to be a spiritual leader in their marriage, and it starts with dating. Therefore, as Christian masculine men looking to marry we should take hold of this God created dynamic to be the teacher in the relationship.
Ephesians 5 (NASB)
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
1 Corinthians 11 (NASB)
3 But I want you to understand that [a]Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of [b]Christ.
This dynamic has the beneficial side effect of maintaining or increasing a woman’s attraction to you in the relationship because the teacher-student dynamic is one of leadership which readily makes a woman respect you.
The fact that you are teaching her spiritually means that she will grow in her relationship with God, regardless of if you two do not work out. The marriage dynamic is ultimately about the husband loving his wife as Christ does the Church:
Ephesians 5 (NASB)
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word (rhema), 27 that He might present to Himself the church [q]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
I discussed the Rhema Word a bit in To Game or Not to Game, but it is the revealed or revelation Word of God in our lives, often through speech.
Implementation of this dynamic starts with the masculine Christian man. It is important for you to be bringing up the questions to ensure her knowledge of the Scriptures and use of them is accruate. This requires multiple things that the Christian masculine man must have:
- A spiritual relationship with God that is constantly growing.
- Extensive knowledge of the Scriptures, to speak with authority on them.
- A good handle on both social and political issues in regard to how they relate to the Word of God and the Christian walk.
- An ability to effectively communicate in uncomfortable situations, and
- To let her know that you are willing put her in uncomfortable situations because that is how she will grow, but if it is too uncomfortable for her to speak up and tell you so that you can back off.
As you can see, this requires a massive amount of time and investment from a Christian man of God. But it is something that a man should be working on anyway. These are qualities that must be developing, and which I often do not see in many Christian nice guys. This is the place I would tell Christian nice guys to start.
I’m not going to post a list of questions here right now, though I may do that in the future as I have compiled a fairly large list. But, a sampling of such topics that you may want to lead a spiritual discussion on may include those from Dalrock’s blog post on Interviewing a Prospective Wife 1 and Interviewing a Prospective Wife 2.
If you have other talents such a musical, cooking, hobbies, or physical activities to teach a woman those are also good for building a connection with a prospective woman. But they are always going to be secondary to the spiritual component.
In conclusion, we know that to “leave her better than you found her” you need to:
- Let her know that your intention is engagement and/or marriage, but that dating is not a committed relationship so she can “guard her heart.”
- Do not act improperly towards her, especially physically.
- Start the relationship off right by leading her spiritually which will increase her attraction and respect for you, among other things you should be leading.
The very fact that you if you start leading her spiritually will show you if she is compatible with you, and if she is willing to learn from you.
This will make it exceedingly clear almost right away whether she is a woman who is worthy of marriage, or one who is given over to the things of the world.
She will grow spiritually, if she is willing, and will be better off than how you found her even if you two are not a match.
This is only possible as a Christian masculine man who is walking with God.