I’ve put off developing the Christian primer for a bit to focus on this post and hopefully derivatives as it has been on the forefront of my mind in the past couple months. This drives right to the heart about what single Christians can do to develop themselves into mature adults in relationships in accordance with the Scriptures to be ready for relationships.
One of the worst assumptions you can make about relationships is that time equals maturity in relationships. This is not true. There is also the common saying that time heals all wounds but that is not true either. The positive and negative experiences that we experience in childhood still affect our perceptions of things today. This is also why it is important to take all your wounds to the cross in forgiveness and repentance. And to know your identity in Christ (Part zero, one, two, three, four, five, six).
This is the most common perception that people have in relationships today. It’s based on the Disney fairytale memes in a way. At the right time, you’ll be ready to take on a relationship. In today’s culture, the schema or at least some variation thereof that is pushed on both men and women is:
- Go to high school
- Go to college, maybe work on the side
- Get a nice paying job
- Do that for a couple years and establish yourself
- Continue building your career
- Start to become mature and find yourself
- Then get married in your late twenties or early thirties and have a perfect life with kids
Most of us in the manosphere know that “establish yourself,” “building a career,” and “finding yourself” are solely key words for directionless wandering. Usually directionless wandering into sin. A career is not necessarily sin, but it reflects your priorities. It’s like men being told to “just be yourself” in relationships. It’s entirely unhelpful and just leads to you wander around like a chicken with his head cut off. It doesn’t tell a Christian man how to develop into the man that godly, attractive women are interested in.
Thus, the problem is that no one actually tells you what it means to become mature in relationships. This is something that I have struggled with in the past, but I now have a grounded structural plan to implement this in my own life and in those I mentor. Time itself is not what is required to growth for maturity in relationships. Codification of a step by step process is important.
Thus, over the past few months I’ve been trying to codify my approach to relationships so I know what I’m looking for and what I’m aiming to do on the path to getting married. The end result is is my 5 steps of maturity in relationships.
- Know what God says about relationships
- Know your priorities: dreams and 5 year goals
- Know your standards for women
- Know your standards/boundaries in a relationship
- Know how to assertively communicate
These are the 5 steps that I have been using in my life to structure them in determining my maturity for handling relationships. I’ll discuss them in order and give my thoughts and preferences as examples of what I do and what I’m looking for. Then you can modify them for your own use if you want.
These are not only for men, but they can be applied to women as well for the most part.
- Know what God says about relationships
I think this is the most obvious one, but also one of the most neglected. When I talk to and mentor younger Christian men about what they’re doing to prepare for relationships I almost inevitably get something about either school, job, or money. Well, that’s just not good. I’ve seen enough married couples to know that they did nothing to explore what the Scriptures says on relationships before marrying to their own detriment.
The main thing to know what God says about relationships is to know in depth what your roles and responsibilies are and what the roles and responsibilities of your spouse will be. This is one that I have been exploring for the last 1.5 years or so, and that I have attempted to explore rather in depth on this blog through many of my posts on husbands and wives. The main passages are Genesis 1-3, 1 Corinthians 7, Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, Titus 2, 1 Peter 3, Proverbs 31. But also some other smaller passages on marriage, husbands and wives, or male-female relationships in Hebrews 13, 1 Timothy 3, Proverbs 18, Ecclesiastes 4, and some general commands such as from 1 Corinthians 11 and 1 Timothy 2. I’ve gone into the Greek and Hebrew. I’ve learned a lot about what God says.
The sad state of affairs is that Christians that want to be married, but don’t know of God’s standards for relationships.
They are entering them at their own risk. This is especially true for the husbands who want an egalitarian relationship. Sure, such relationships can be “successful” at least by some metric of the world and as Christians if you hold “success” to be no fights and happiness. But such egalitarian relationships will never be “godly” because they don’t adhere to God’s standard.
(Note: I think the one exception may be if the husband willingly offers “half his kingdom” to his wife as authority can be delegated. But that is a risky proposition indeed. This works in favor of Esther with Xerxes, but it works against Herod with the daughter of Herodias when she requests the head of John of the Baptist. However, these are both not Hebrew or Christian men which should give you pause.)
Do not let worldly measures of success cloud your vision of what a godly relationship is supposed to be. God created everything, and His Word gives us His truths that bring us joy and peace. He understands us at a fundamental level as we are His creation. However, even when we think such truths are uncomfortable if we submit to them we will understand them as we live them.
Write the truths that come out of your study of the Scriptures on marriage and relationships down. For me, this blog serves as my study and analysis of the Scriptures on relationships. This is akin to doing your research before you engage in anything. You are reading the fine print.
Hosea 4:Yet let no one [e]find fault, and let none offer reproof; For your people are like those who contend with the priest. 5 So you will stumble by day, And the prophet also will stumble with you by night; And I will destroy your mother. 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
No one would suggest you buy a credit card before you read the fine print. Nor would anyone suggest you buy a car or a house before you read the fine print on the loan or mortagage. A failure to read the fine print of the Scriptures means that even if the other person turns out to be the person you were not expecting that you are also culpable for your failure to ask the hard questions and to know the details. Your lack of knowledge is your own undoing.
James 4:17 Therefore, to one who knows the [k]right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
Likewise, the scary thought is that if you failed as a husband or wife to immediately point out truth where there is sin in a relationship then you are also culpable for letting that sin slide. This is a hard word for most Christians in relationships because it means that you are responsible for calling out your spouse or significant other if they get off track. Similarly, you are responsible for humbling yourself in the sight of God to come back on track if you sin. Both Christian men and women have a very difficult time doing this, and it shows in the sad state of affairs in so-called Christian relationships and the divorce statistics. Not hurting someone’s feelings becomes the truth over what the Scriptures say.
- Know your priorities: your dreams and 5 year goals
This is a straight forward section. This is what your mission is to be.
Generally, God will use your natural strengths for his kingdom. This has become apparent in my own life with my sense for business and for teaching. Thus, I know that my mission involves facilitating and earning money for the kingdom, and for mentoring young men in the Church. However, I need to know where all of this fits in the grand scheme of things. Hence, you need to know your dreams and what it takes to fulfill them, but also mold them into short term goals.
For me, my 5 year short term goals look like this:
- My relationship with God is my top priority: seeking Him in Scripture, prayer, and the like. By extension of this, helping build up the body of Christ locally at Church. Everyday.
- Relationships with my family. Everyday.
- Search for a wife or explore relationship. Everyday.
- Build a business and mentor young men. Everyday.
- Stay fit with exercise and nutrition. Everyday.
I prioritize my 5 year goals in terms of what I find most important. Obviously, my relationship with God and family is the most important. However, knowing relationships are most important I can also put my search for a wife as my next important thing to do. This means that if I have to take a bit of time to search for a wife before working on business related matters that’s fine.
If I find a girl that has potential I will set aside time to get to know her above my other priorities. This is developing the right sense of mind: a potential wife will be basically family and next after my priority of my relationship with God. I won’t put her after business, mentoring, or exercise. This is a sliding scale though. I’m not going to jump up and prioritize for a girl I just met. As the relationship progresses to engagement and marriage she will be a bigger priority.
Know where your priority of a spouse in your life fits.
It’s important to recognize that a lack of priority onto search for a spouse is what the world and even family tells you to do. If you’re in college or “young” most people will tell you to put your career or maturing and finding yourself over a prioritization of marriage. This is the inadvertent path to spinsterhood for women.
At a younger age, you should be willing to recognize that if a family and children are important in your life you need to be prioritizing it early and not letting the precious chances that you have slip away. If it’s a priority, it means you are going to be proactive in doing things about it. Most things in life do not simply come to you.
You will always find the time to make for something unless you have a family, are working a full time job, and going to school at the same time. I’ve known a couple of men who have done that, and they still find a few hours here and there to exercise or do things they like. You always have time for the things you have priority for. Anything else is a lack of discipline.
- Know your standards for women
My standards for women are something that I have explored multiple times on this blog in: What I look for in evaluating a potential wife, The Change, Evolving Desires, What I believe regarding marriage. I’ve underwent certain changes since the last time I posted about these, so there is another post due in the future. However, it is important to prioritize what you’re looking for both in non-negotiables and things that you are flexible over.
When I finally parsed down my list, my three non-negotiables were:
- Loves God with all her heart, soul, mind and strength, and loves her neighbor as herself.
- Is as passionate about nutrition and fitness as I am.
- Can cook well and loves to cook
Obviously, virginity is nice but it’s not something that is absolutely necessary to me. I recognize that God can transform lives, yet at the same time I also recognize the risks that come with women who have a n-count > 1. I understand that a woman’s attitude is more of a predictor of what she is going to be like than her n-count because it will show in her repentance and submission to God. You can truly recognize a godly woman by her attitude and actions rather than just her physical state such as n-count.
Obviously, as a man all things being equal I would take a virgin over a non-virgin just as I would take a more beautiful woman over one who is less physically attractive. However, such thought experiments are fruitless given that there are usually no women who are exactly alike in both disposition and action.
The reason I selected these 3 non-negotiables is that because they are what is required to complement me. The God one is obvious (2 Cor 6:14), but the passion for nutrition and fitness is more mission specific for myself. She would also reflect who I am, and choosing a helpmeet who is slovenly and fat reflects negatively on my witness. Plus, a lack of attraction. Cooking is a more general one: and I find that unenjoyable personally and I love a woman who can serve in that way. I didn’t plan it that way, but it shows that your non-negotiables can be relatively varied even in the context of what you want out of a relationship in a godly manner.
Compromise on non-negotiables and/or red flags is a recipe for failure.
In the past few women I’ve taken out on dates or was interested in, I tried to compromise a bit with the passion for nutrition and fitness. I found this to be a fruitless failure because of the expectation I had in that. It was like the Church of Laodicea in Revelation 3 where God says because you are neither hot nor cold but lukewarm I will spit you out of my mouth. Women will almost inevitably do things for men they are attracted to as will men for women. However, this is out of performance and not desire. Simply put it’s not attractive to me, and who’s to say that they won’t stop once you get married or become complacent? You can’t know that for sure. But I’m not willing to risk that in this area of my life.
This is the importance of knowing what your non-negotiables are. I’ve met other women I thought about taking out on dates because they were godly. However, they didn’t have that passion so I deemed it a no go. That’s fine with me, and that’s how it should be. You can’t fit a round peg into a square hole. If you start compromising on your standards this flows over to all other aspects of life and is a slippery slope.
All of the other facets are in some degree of negotiable. Obviously. because I want a large family (5+) I may be willing to compromise a bit with say 3-4 children. However, I’m not going to settle for a “small” family. There is more of a degree of wiggle room with other things. Even in these, there needs to be a consideration for godly values. A woman that desires a large family is more likely to be unselfish: she cares about family and is willing to sacrifice time and energy to make that happen.
One of the major red flags about feminists and pseudo-Christians is that they are miserly with love. Thus, they only want 1-2 children because they view children as a hassle if they even have children at all. Her attitude and reasoning toward children matter. Does she only want 3 children because she wants to spend more time on herself and her career? Or does she want 3 children because she wants to adopt? You need to explore the attitudes behind the decision making to understand her values.
- Know your standards/boundaries in a relationship
This is something relatively new that I have been doing to a high degree of success.
I disagree with the general manosphere concept that boundaries should only be asserted reactively. I believe that good boundaries should be set immediately, and the reactive boundaries only need to be set in terms of disrespect (toward the man) or in lack of honor (for the woman).
For example, I set 3 main boundaries early on in the relationship, usually after the first date or within the first week to let a woman know where I’m coming from. These almost always go over well because you are telling a woman how the relationship will progress. However, almost inevitably when you say you have some “rules” or “standards” for a relationship the Christian woman will get tentative and fearful because they think you are triying to control them, but once you actually discuss them then it builds further attraction and intimacy. I’ll explain this after I tell you the ones I use.
- My first boundary that I set is that God comes first in everything and that His Scriptures are our guideline. Even if I think that she is perfect for me and that I am perfect for her, and we’re praying and fasting about the relationship and God answers with a no then we’re done. Likewise, disagreements are to be resolved with Scripture first, and then will default to the authority in the relationship.
- My second boundary is to never lie. Relationships are built up trust. The trust in a relationship is built on truth in interactions with each other. If I ever find out that one of the building blocks of the relationship was a lie then who is to say that every other interaction I’ve had with her is a lie? You can’t really tell, and you won’t be able to trust the woman. Thus, straight out I tell her that if I ever find out about her lying to me that it will signal the end of the relationship. I won’t lie to her, and she won’t lie to me.
- My last boundary is based on relationship growth. Obviously, there is a three pronged approach: I should be growing in my relationship with God, she should be growing in her relationship with God, and we should be growing in relationship with each other. Growth requires change which is often uncomfortable. Thus, my third boundary is to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Strong boundaries facilitate trust within a relationship. By introducing them as a man will result in you taking the reigns of leadership within the relationship.
My first boundary with God signals to her that goal is to please God rather than myself or her. I won’t put her on a pedastal and idolize her, and she shouldn’t put me on a pedastal and idolize me. This is important because it sets the tone of the relationship given that 53% of Christian women now rate their family as a top priority over 16% for their faith, 9% health, 5% career performance, 5% comfortable lifestyle. Likewise, “Women’s sense of identity very closely follows their priorities, with 62% of women saying their most important role in life is as a mother or parent. Jesus came next: 13% of Christian women believe their most important role in life is as a follower of Christ. In third place is their role as wife (11%).”
13% of Christian women believe that Jesus is their top priority. How scary is that? Talk about fishing from a small pool. Obviously, this is not good, and it is important to establish the frame of the relationship from the get go.
My second boundary is based around the fact that lying is one of the sins that is straight from Satan himself. For the most part, in our human nature we are carried away by our own lusts. However, lying and deception is a sin that is rooted primarily in Satan, and it is designed to undermine relationships specifically. Deception was the reason that Satan was able to tempt Eve to eat the fruit. Deception undermined the relationship of Adam and Even with God, and the relationship between Adam and Eve. Lying and deception are not tolerated within my relationships.
James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted [n]by God”; for God cannot be tempted [o]by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin [p]is accomplished, it brings forth death.
John 8:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but [l]He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand [m]what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks [n]a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of [o]lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.
We know the primary identity of God is the Father and His primary attribute is Love, but we often don’t think about what the primary identity and attribute of Satan is. His primary identity is a murderer, and the primary attribute he works with is lying and deception. Let that sink in. Obviously, we hold murder up to be some almost ultimate sin, but lying to most Christians is just something piddly that you can just ask forgiveness for and everything is fine.
Our attitude toward lying must be change from non-chalant to hardline if we value relationships.
My last boundary focuses on being uncomfortable. This is important because when we start talking about sensitive topics the tendency is to want to fudge the truth a bit and start with so-called harmless white lies. However, that devolves into evil creeping into a relationship. Likewise, admonishment and rebuke will occur within a relationship: humans are not perfect so we need to deal with the uncomfortability of our feelings when addressing the truth. This sets down the standard that being uncomfortable is a good thing, and in combination with the second boundary that walking in the truth even when uncomfortable is the right thing to do. Feelings are not the truth of the relationship.
When I’ve used these in my relationship basically it opens up another level of truth and intimacy that was not there before. Obviously, this only works with Christians who actually want to walk in the truth so it is somewhat of a self selector where it may not work well with those who are lukewarm. But you’re trying to filter out those women (or men) anyway.
As much as women hem and haw about boundaries and how they hate them they really do like them. Masculine men are overt in their intentions: women know where they stand with them and their values. There is no guessing game and that provides a certain security in knowing truly who a man is. This is the type of outline of a relationship that will foster attraction. A man who knows what he wants in a relationship and knows the steps to building it is far away ahead of his peers.
In this case, maturity is the ability to lead and build the relationship from the ground up in a godly manner.
- Know how to assertively communicate
I think this is the most broad one and most confusing for most Christian men. As I described a bit, masculine men communicate their interests in an overt manner.See these articles for social analysis: the Socialization of men and women, the selfish and unselfish socialization of men, Masculinity is the truth, Masculinity is the truth Part 2. I think this is one of the more nebulous sections because I haven’t posted the half-written article I have on boundaries yet. But I will try to explain this in context of behavior.
The method that I attempt to adhere to in terms of interacting with Christian women is a 50/50 split of serious communication and flirty banter.
What I mean by serious communicaiton is the fact that the relationships always need to be growing in some form. I may be asking and discussing various topics about the faith, life, dreams, goals, and specific situations. This is where questions like the vetting your prospective spouse come in, but also in terms of doing life with God, church, family and friends.
On the other hand, the flirty banter is mostly comprised of teasing. This is the simplest way to explain what “attraction” is to men who don’t know or understand the mechanisms of attraction such as Donal’s PSALM factors summarized in dominion one and two. It’s something that’s really enjoyable for women because you’re showing her you’re a masculine man by comfortably operating in a women’s preferred communication style. Or in other words, it’s implied that you have the ability to be a leader and someone she can respect.
This tends to fall in line with the boundaries I set in relationships in the previous section with my focus onto no lying and uncomfortability which is why I chose those. My recent prospect asked me this question: “If I gained 10 lbs how would you tell me to lose weight.” If you read the question closely you can see that because my boundaries are already set a woman is expecting me to share the truth with her: that it’s unattractive and I’m going to tell her to lose weight. The question isn’t “will you tell me to lose weight” but “how will you tell me to lose weight.” This shows the correct framing of the relationship to value truth over feelings. Obviously, I’m going to be as kind as possible in telling a woman to lose the weight, but I’m also not going to march into the realm of white lies or full blown lies just to satisfy feelings. Indeed, if you set good boundaries in the first few weeks of the relationship, it will make discussions like these much easier.
If I were to summarize the foundation that was built in such a relationship it would be this: assertive communication focuses on the ability to truthfully share your faith as well as your opinions on likes and dislikes. Obviously, there is straight truth from the Bible, and we know that we as Christians should adhere to that. However, there can be differences of opinion and still the ability to honor within a relationship. Thus, part of relationships is teaching the other person about what you like and dislike. Scripturally this is important to understand. As a Christian man you are going to be teaching Christian women that you don’t desire love but respect in the relationship.
Women say “I love you” to men to communicate their feelings to you and/or potentially project their own desires for you to reciprocate. Each of these scenarios are not Scriptural.
However, for [masculine] men it won’t do anything for them. If a man values an “I love you” from a woman he is already operating from a feminized mindset: the Scriptures clearly say that wives are to respect and submit their husbands not [agapao] love them. The non-exception in Titus 2 it tells wives to philandros their husbands which love in an affectionate way. Why would God not command wives to agapao love their husbands? It’s because respect and submission are more important to facilitate the roles and responsibilities of a God honoring Christian marriage.
This is an interesting discussion I have with Christian women because most of them assume that men want love, and most Christian men are unaware that it is not love they should be Scripturally striving for. This is because “love” is held as the standard for worldly relationship, and this [eros] love is taken to be [agapao] love by Christians. Mixing the worldly standards with attempted Biblical standards is a recipe for failure. This will really open the eyes of men and women in today’s world, and is important for mentoring young Christian men and women. Respect frames authority and thus headship in the correct way. Thus, and by extension her attitude will really tell you all that you need to know.
Therefore, when I talked about how Dalrock said that feminists are miserly with love, the corollary in terms of husbands and wives is that feminists wives are miserly with respect. They believe that authority is bad and will be inevitably abused. They believe the lies of the enemy over the truth of God.
Likewise, a woman stating “I love you” in expectation for you to reciprocate is passive-aggressive communication. She expects you to read her mind and offer the compliment in return. Passive-aggressive communication especially with compliments is very close to manipulation because there is a wrong answer: if you don’t offer it back she gets mad. This is unScriptural because women are basing their desire to feel good on recipocation of compliments which is a performance based mindset. Compliments should always come out of desire and free will to do so. Impinging on the free will of the man to force a compliment is neither genuine or should be desired.
If you ever get to the point where you are not encouraging assertive discussion in a relationship then it’s going down hill. The trust in a relationship is being eroded.
Thus, another part of assertive communication is the ability to create a safe space. In the event that something has gone horribly wrong, and a woman is tentative about bringing up her hurt feelings or opinions before me I always thank her for doing so letting her know that her communcation is valued. This lets her know that I am kind and care about what she has to say before we even engage in discussion about the particular issue whether right or wrong.
I don’t think discussion of emotions and how they can hurt is either right or wrong. However, emotions are not truth. It is in this understanding that emotions play a role in the viability and trust within a relationship; however, they need to be dealt with carefully in terms of negative ones for whatever reason they were stirred up. Both parties must be open to being corrected in such an instance. Both husbands and wives need to own their own thoughts, actions, and emotions. Wives however, have a greater propensity for victim mentality off loading of negative feelings onto husbands which needs to be kept in check.
So this post ending up being longer than I thought it would. I considered breaking it down into a 5 part series, but it all fits together really well so I thought it would be best to be one straight article. I want to summarize by addressing the main aspects of what each of these 5 areas does in context for young men who are preparing for relationships:
- Know what God says about relationships
- Know your priorities: dreams and 5 year goals
- Know your standards for women
- Know your standards/boundaries in a relationship
- Know how to assertively communicate
I would very strongly suggest writing all of these down and working on them until they are refined. If you read Artie Buerk’s portion on the Harvard business school advice section on happiness and success you will see the stark contract of doing so. Note that this was in solely the difference at 10 years.
Several years ago, a graduating class from a large, well-known business school was asked whether they had written goals, unwritten goals, or no goals. It turned out that 3 percent of the class had written goals, 13 percent had goals they had not written down, and 84 percent had no goals.
At the 10th reunion, the class was asked again about their goals and accomplishments. The results showed that the 3 percent who had written goals did 10 times as well as the others, and the 13 percent who had unwritten goals did twice as well as the other 84 percent.
The ability to set goals is very valuable in achieving success. Goals should be balanced in all areas of life — family, social, spiritual, business, health, wealth, education, etc. The major rules of goal-setting are:
- Goals should be in writing.
- Goals should be measurable — if they can’t be measured, they’re not goals.
- Goals should be dated so you have a time frame to measure accomplishment.
People who have a clear picture of themselves and have set well-rounded goals tend to be much more successful than people who are vague in what they hope to accomplish in the future.
Obviously, my goals in each section are missing some of the details above. I need to go back and write them down in a better manner. You can also use the SMART goals acronym — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
Knowing what God says about relationships builds the framework and foundation of your thinking from the get go. As I discussed in Identity part 5: roots and heresies of identity, the primary way that heresy develops is through trusting the truth as “feelings” over the plain text of the Scripture. If you understand the roles and responsibilities of the husband and wife including headship, submission (also: authority is good), love, respect and honor (also: why I don’t respect women), and then details about how everything fits together will be built on the solid rock. Such a foundation will never be shaken even if you are in the world.
The priorities of dreams and goals then add a layer of structure to your life to where you know how everything fits together. This will keep you away from putting women on a pedastal, but also be successful to do all things for the glory of God. It is good to plan, but it is also good to realize that the Lord may be directing you as you plan and in your plans: Proverbs 16:9 The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.
In reality, all of this structured planning does a couple of things for men. It helps them determine God’s truth, determines to themselves what they’re looking for out of life and in a relationship, determines the structure of how they will approach things, and gives them an overall confidence in being decisive and drive about what they are looking for.
As you can tell from my story, compromising standards for women is generally a very bad idea. I was talking with some men recently about compromising standards and ultimatums. One of the interesting things is that ultimatums are lose-lose. If a woman ever wants to make you decide between say what you love to do and her then answering either way is a loss. If you select her then you compromise on your life and she will lose attraction for you. If you select what you love then she’ll be angry but still attracted but then you can’t trust her anymore. It’s not the answer that matters but addressing the underlying attitude: if you question if she really wants to hear the answer or counsel her against it then it gives her an out. However, she is still likely not very trustworthy. Always read between the lines.
I think the standards/boundaries are something the manosphere gets wrong as I stated before. Healthy relationships thrive on boundaries as creation of safe spaces. Because I communicated that I don’t like lying and I expect grow and communication to be uncomfortable at times I don’t have to deal with tests along the lines of being fat and attraction. It’s assumed I will tell the truth — however blunt — but I that knowing my character I will be as kind as possible. In reality, boundaries must be both proactive and reactive in my opinion. The proactive approach frames a relationship in the right way, and I think these must flow along Biblical guidelines. The reactive approach should be used with likes and dislikes. For example, I gave the proactive approach above, but a reactive approach may be like if your woman comments about something in public that is in bad taste to pull her aside and let her know that it’s disrespectful.
At the end encompassing everything else is assertive communication. Women hate passive and passive-aggressive communication and so should you as a man. Alternatively, aggressive communication is seen as controlling and manipulative. That’s not the way we want to act as Christians. I know what I believe and what I stand for both Biblically and my own preferences. I want a woman who will fit into that. I assert my standards and boundaries in a relationship by walking according to the Scriptures and non-Scriptural stuff I like such as my opinions, but I always leave an out. The woman/wife will always have a choice whether or not to follow my lead. The ability to frame free will correctly is one of the ways I can best honor a woman that I potentially want as a wife as she follows my lead.
Now knowing this, it is pretty obvious to see that time doesn’t do anything for becoming mature to be ready for a relationship. However, this should give you some good guidelines for how to approach the maturity for one. As they common maxim goes, women aren’t looking for men who have the potential to develop into a masculine man. They’re already looking for a winner. This will put you on the track to figure out what you are doing, to be confident about what you’re looking for, and to pull the trigger when the time comes. You will be a man that knows what he wants and is not afraid to go after it.
Comments and discussion are welcome. These 5 are what I use with myself and to mentor young(er) men with currently. I bolded the important points in each section. However, if there are other ones that I am not aware of that would fit into this I think it could be improved further.