Men do not pursue women

I saw this making some rounds on facebook. The author takes a curious naming scheme for his post on women don’t want to be pursued. However, he makes some very good points many of which we have discussed previously. I wanted to bring this back up in the wake of this being discussed among Dalrock’s exposure of Focus on the Family and marriage counseling heresy.

I’ve discussed this concept previously in a peripheral manner. However, this is a good time to show from the Scriptures why men do not pursue women. In fact, not only do men NOT pursue women, the entirety of the Christian faith is the reverse of this.

Here is an excerpt:

Did Jesus pursue people?

Think about this question:

Is there anywhere in the life of Jesus, as seen in the Gospels, where He pursued someone?

To make easy for you, the answer is “NO”.

In fact, Jesus almost seemed to do the exact opposite. He would purposefully tell people to do things that are literally impossible like, “Be perfect like my Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

Then, He would teach in parables purposefully so some would get it and others wouldn’t.(Matthew 13:13)

Then, He would say the most offensive things and whole crowds would leave Him. Things like “Eat my flesh, and drink my blood.” (John 6:53)

And the crazy thing is, He didn’t seem to care. In fact, He even asked His disciples if they’re going to leave as well as if He was challenging them to do so. (John 6:67)

[…]

Jesus was the most powerful, loving, and confident man they had ever met.

He wasn’t needy. He didn’t need someone to recognize who He was.

He wasn’t controlled by anything. Nothing anybody thought about Him controlled Him.

He didn’t need to have certain experiences to feel validated.

He didn’t promote Himself. In fact, He went against what we would do and waited 30 years before starting His ministry.

Instead, He loved life, was lead by compassion, and believed in who He was as a Son that had all the resources of heaven backing Him up.

And because of that, everyone was drawn to Him. They wanted Him.

Very poignant points are made about how Jesus is not the one doing the pursuing. This is an immutable fact. However, there is a context to this which I think is important to note.

Since we are given the analogy that Jesus and the Church is husbands and wives, we have the example of Jesus and the disciples and their interactions. The role of the husband in these relationships is to initiate. The role of the wife is to respond AND follow. Take note of Jesus calling the disciples:

Matthew 4:18 Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 And He *said to them, “[h]Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 21 Going on from there He saw two other brothers, [i]James the son of Zebedee, and [j]John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

  • Jesus initiating: “Follow Me”
  • Disciples responding: ‘Dropped their nets’ AND ‘followed Him.’

This is the key not just for Jesus and the Church or husbands and wives but all of the Christian faith. There is a large fallacy, especially in evangelical circles, that God [and Jesus] is pursuing you and wants to capture your heart.

Obviously, this type of deception is most likely born out of the ubiquitous nature of the Disney Princess(tm) and romantic love. This is the elevation of Romantic Love as the rule of morality rather than God’s commandments. Obviously, the rise of romantic love rather than roles and responsibilities within Christian circles gives rise to the EAP — Evangelical American Princess.

As Dalrock so elequently puts it in Lovestruck:

Because it is love and not marriage which now confers morality upon sex, sex outside of marriage is now considered moral so long as you are in love.  Thus we have the modern harlot’s defense/anthem “but we were in love!”.  It is also entirely logical for gays to demand the equal right to “declare their love” via marriage under this new twisted paradigm.

Likewise, with the Christian walk we see that God the Father initiates in a similar way. God uses Christians to spread the gospel. The gospel is an invitation by God to get to know Him better. The invitation is this: All have sinned and fallen short of God. Jesus died for your sins. Repent and be born again. Follow Him.

  • The Father initiates: “Gospel: All have sinned and fallen short of God. Jesus died for your sins. Repent and be born again. Follow Him.
  • Sinners respond to the invitation of the gospel message by repenting and following.

God does not pursue us. Instead, He calls us to pursue and follow Him. For example, what do we do in our worry about provision? What is the greatest commandment?

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Luke 10:27 And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

We pursue Him. We follow Him. He does not pursue us. He initiates with us. As we pursue Him He guides us on the path of righteousness. He facilitates love and our good through His headship. However, if we choose to walk away like many disciples did He lets us. In reality, He does not need us; we need Him.

In the same way, this gives us straight forward examples of how husbands are to act. If a wife is rebellious and decides to walk away then obviously you should tell her that what she is doing is not right and sin. However, if she truly chooses to continue in her rebellion and divorce you should let her walk. Jesus does not compel obedience rather He gives us free will whether to choose to serve Him or not.

Did the father of the prodigal son go pursue him as he left? No. But he ran out an initiated the embrace with him after he found out his son chose to come back home.

Now, this does not mean that He does not give us good gifts as His children. Nor that He fails to answer us when we earnestly seek and pursue after righteousness. It doesn’t mean that husbands should not strive to love, nourish, and cherish their wives as Jesus did either. However, this is all born out of desire and not a works based mentality. A sacrificial act such as Jesus on the cross is not pursuit. It’s an invitation.

This is the subtle difference. The love that the Father shows to Christians, the love of how Jesus love the Church, and the love the husbands show their wives is not one born of “pursuit” but rather in the “roles and responsibilities” given to them. Namely, in the marriage relationship:

  • The followers — wives — pursue and follow as a helpmeet, in submission, in respect, and in the home.
  • The leaders — husbands — lead, protect, and provide. They love, cherish, nourish, do not become embittered, and honor as co-heirs in Christ.

Conclusions

If there is a main point that I want to emphasize it is this.

The vast majority of Christian men live under the delusion of romantic love.  They believe that it is they who must pursue women. However, this is not a Biblical worldview. They must examine their interactions to ensure they are not corrupted by a “standard” of the world via romantic love but rather are conformed to Christ.

The tricky thing about romantic love is that our culture is so saturated in it that we often don’t see every single facet of where it pervades. This particular one about “pursuit” is particularly difficult to pick out unless you know what you are looking for. This goes along with the feminization of Christianity and the demonization of masculinity. The elevation of romantic love eventually leads to the inversion of sex roles and goddess worship.

If you listen to any contemporary Christian music and worship songs you now see why many of them are so heretical. There are so many love songs about Jesus pursuing you and me it’s simply frightening. They paint a false picture of not only the gospel message but Jesus and the Church and husbands and wives.

Obviously, I don’t have to tell you that this is one of major reasons why “Christian marriages” divorce at nearly the same rates as “secular marriages.” Holding up “romanatic love” as a moral compass over the “Scripture” will produce similar secular results.

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28 Responses to Men do not pursue women

  1. theasdgamer says:

    Signs, wonders, and miracles are God’s DHV. We see in the Song of Solomon that the woman pursues the man on the romantic level. We see in the gospels that the bride waits for the groom. There is no emotional appeal in the gospel. The gospel presents a straightforward, reasoned appeal.

  2. Pingback: Men do not pursue women | Manosphere.com

  3. Looking Glass says:

    It’s fascinating to look at a lot of this stuff now, and realize how very easy it is to get to this point when you “dumb down” the simple commands from the Lord that build a complex set of interconnections. We saw this same progression crop up in the discussion of Forgiveness & Repentance. By lacking the foundation, you create a “middle option” from information that doesn’t exist as some continuum.

    In this case, we are both called by God, and “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10 ESV). “Pursue” implies an intent to capture or have. God, while He seeks His own, isn’t about possessing us. We’re always given the choice to follow. That’s wholly upon us. That’s really what it’s about, in this case. Because nearly all heresy comes back to removing responsibility.

    On the topic of Christian Music. Yeah, I don’t have too much I listen to these days. The guys from Reach Records do pretty good though. But it “helps” their audience simply doesn’t care about the same things as the mass “Christian” audience, which opens up different problems but closes off others.

  4. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    The way this post will be interpreted by those reading it will be at least somewhat determined by how they define the word “pursue.” I was about to post a comment saying that “to initiate *is* to pursue, and that a more accurate way for you to present this would be to say that men don’t *chase* women.” But I decided to Google the definition for the word “pursue” just to cover all my bases first, and found that it actually is defined by the phrase “to follow.” So, it turns out that it’s accurate to say “pursue” instead of “chase.”

    Just a friendly suggestion: It might be a good idea to include the official dictionary definition in your post, just to hopefully help prevent some unnecessary arguments over semantics, like I was about to do before I double checked it.

  5. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    So, it turns out that it’s accurate to say “pursue” instead of “chase.”

    Oops, correction: What I had in mind when I wrote that is “So, it turns out that it’s equally as accurate to say ‘pursue’ as it is to say ‘chase’.”

  6. @ FBNF

    Yes, wording tends to be muddled because it has been taken over by secular mainstream namely feminists.

    I thought pursue was pretty straight forward but since you didn’t automatically assume that then maybe I need to do that in the future.

  7. Jimmineh Crotchket says:

    Actually, there is Biblical support for God pursuing his Church. Consider: The parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15)

  8. @ Jimmineh Crotchket

    I’d categorize that as initiation. The shepherd is searching to find the sheep [to bring it back to the fold]. Pursuing in the sense we’re talking about is a response to the initiation and subsequent relationship [via following the lead of the Father/Jesus/husband/shepherd].

    When the shepherd is searching for the sheep there is no “relationship” per se until the shepherd actually finds it. If we’re saying the shepherd finding the sheep is the initiation then the sheep following the shepherd back to the flock is pursuit.

    I can see what you’re saying if we’re talking about the sheep as part of the flock and then it wanders and then is brought back to the fold. However, that encompasses the entirety of Adam -> fall -> Jesus -> us following Jesus as opposed to the example above which is Jesus -> us following Jesus.

    Basically, the analogy doesn’t match up right for a relationship. But it is useful for illustrating the entirety of the story of humanity.

  9. Tom Arrow says:

    I am not a Christian, but believe in god.

    There is one problem with the comparison of Jesus with the husband. While there is only one Jesus, there are many husbands. It is reasonable for a woman to find a man she loves and is attracted to and marry him.

    Would you want a woman to marry a man and stay with him if she does not enjoy sex with him? And then stay faithful? How barbaric. Or, well, I am not a feminists alright, but what woman would want to stay in such a bond if she had the choice to leave? Patriarchy as I often hear it cited does not seem to be about leaving women the choice to rebel at all. It seems more like men want to benefit from the status of men as ‘leaders’ and force women into relationships that they would not be in from free will.

  10. @ Tom Arrow

    I am not a Christian, but believe in god.
    There is one problem with the comparison of Jesus with the husband. While there is only one Jesus, there are many husbands.

    There’s no problem. Ephesians 5 likens all marriage — each husband and wife — to Christ and the Church.

    It is reasonable for a woman to find a man she loves and is attracted to and marry him.
    Would you want a woman to marry a man and stay with him if she does not enjoy sex with him? And then stay faithful? How barbaric. Or, well, I am not a feminists alright, but what woman would want to stay in such a bond if she had the choice to leave? Patriarchy as I often hear it cited does not seem to be about leaving women the choice to rebel at all. It seems more like men want to benefit from the status of men as ‘leaders’ and force women into relationships that they would not be in from free will.

    Well, there’s a couple different things here so I’ll try to comment separately.

    1. Christians — well, those who believe the Scriptures — believe that marriage is a commitment for life. It’s not barbaric to say people should honor the commitments they make. This is reasonable.

    This is why it is important NOT to marry for romantic love. Obviously, marry someone you are attracted to but marry only after you have vetted the character and actions of the person that you want to get married to to ensure they are not a terrible person.

    People assume that romantic love is a be-all end-all but in the end they’re feelings. Feelings are transitory. However, vetting for good character and actions ensures that you’ll end up with a good spouse.

    The studies have shown that if unhappy couples stick out their marriage the unhappiness resolves in the majority of cases. However, those who divorce are more vastly unhappy.

    http://winteryknight.com/2014/08/20/new-study-50-percent-of-divorced-people-wish-they-had-never-ended-their-marriage/

    2. You are correct that feminists often rant about some “fabled” patriarchy. However, their characterizations are false. As I discussed in the OP, the roles and responsibilities placed upon the Christian husbands are to:

    1. Love their wives as Jesus loved the Church, and as his own body
    2. Cherish their wives as their own bodies
    3. Nourish their wives as their own bodies
    4. Not be bitter toward her
    5. Live with her in an understanding way
    6. Honor her as a co-heir in Christ.

    A husband who walks in these commands values his wife to the extent that she is part of him. It’s actually an extremely good deal for women because they are loved, protected, and provided for.

    The ugly side of feminism that is rapidly becoming apparent in the West is that feminism actually devalues women. It encourages them to disrespect men, belittle men, sleep around, divorce if they feel unhappy or unattracted, use men for their own whim, and many other terrible things.

    Women are happy for a while, but often times they end up alone and dissatisfied or stuck in unhappy marriages. Why? Because selfish behavior begets selfish behavior. No one wants to be around the solely selfish person because they throw you under the bus sooner or later.

    Why are more women on anti-depressants than ever? Why has womens’ happiness decreased every decade from the 1960s? Why is there more divorce than ever? Why are women becoming more and more jaded?

    Women threw away the patriarchy as a “bad deal” because they weren’t “independent” not realizing the value of patriarchy in ensuring that men loved, providing, and protected them. Throwing away this “bad deal” obviously gave them a worse deal. We’re still seeing the effects.

  11. donalgraeme says:

    @ FBNF

    I was about to post a comment saying that “to initiate *is* to pursue, and that a more accurate way for you to present this would be to say that men don’t *chase* women.” But I decided to Google the definition for the word “pursue” just to cover all my bases first, and found that it actually is defined by the phrase “to follow.” So, it turns out that it’s accurate to say “pursue” instead of “chase.”

    Think of “initiate” as “invite”, and you are getting to the heart of it. A man is (or should be) inviting a woman into his life. Inviting her to follow him. Otherwise stated, a man is initiating an invitation to a woman to join his life.

  12. Jacob says:

    “Pursue” is the right word to use, not least because it’s the word that begets so much confusion in the church. A lot of men follow women around like puppies.

    But then, many, many church women say it’s important that a man pursues while recoiling when the ‘wrong’ man initiates.

    It sounds like you’re on the right track, but the way you’ve put it could be taken another way – that a woman decides who’s best for her to marry. For example, if we say a man should initiate but not pursue, it’s left to the woman to decide whether or not he is the sort of man she wants to marry. Left to her hypergamous instincts, she’ll decide on the basis that she feels he is the sort of man to whom she CAN submit rather than to learn how to submit to the man who wants to marry her.

    If men are to be the head of a marriage and be held to account for its course, then their choice must be more important than the woman’s. Otherwise dating becomes an Alpha Male audition. There’s a woman like that at my church. She wants to be married and attracts men easily, but they all get rejected pretty quickly even when they initiate. Men don’t pursue her, or talk to her much after their first horrific audition. She’s 37 and still single.

    Marriage is not to be confused with its purpose, which is fruitfulness in God’s kingdom. There is no man and woman in Heaven, so the purpose of marriage must be something more than mere coupling. A husband is taught to serve God by being self-sacrificial in serving his wife and loving her as his own flesh), while a wife is taught to serve Him by submitting to the man He sent to present her holy and unblemished for His purposes. The purpose must drive the selection process, so I think men need to be intentional and prayerfully persuasive. What would you call that, if not ‘pursuing’. It’s not merely ‘initiating’.

  13. @ Jacob

    In general, I tried to make it clear that once the wife starts pursuing in the relationship that is when there is the meshing of roles and responsibilities if it is to head toward marriage.

    Essentially, both a “follow” and a “lead” are necessary. In this case, the woman as a helpmeet joins her husband.

    Obviously, throughout the course of a relationship there should be vetting by each side to determine if the other person has the character of someone who they want to marry. Learning about and submitting to each of their roles and responsibilities is important. This is not pursuing by either side. It’s being prudent and wise about relationships.

    I think the issue you are having is that you believe that the option of pursuing or not pursuing gives power to the pursuer. This is not the case given a man who is confident and firm in his identity and mission. If you want to put it in secular (or I suppose ‘game’) terms the person who cares less has the most power in the relationship. When the pursuer invests as the follower they secede their will and submit and respect. They can walk away but that should have no bearing on an independent leader.

  14. Don Quixote says:

    Great post DS. I didn’t read the original Facebook post but it is worth repeating that Jesus deliberately ‘shook out’ some followers [john 6:53]. He was speaking to Jews who understood that you never _EVER_ eat blood.
    The romantic lover Jesus is just another reinvention [read idol] of Jesus.
    Everybody has their own version of Jesus:
    Hare krishna Jesus.
    Muslim Jesus.
    Gay Jesus.
    Not many folks like to consider the Jesus of the Bible.

  15. ray says:

    Right, God initiates, or makes himself known in ways specific to the individual, and then we seek him out, or not.

    Also correct about the takeover of Romanticism, which was very prominent in popular American culture from the Thirties through the Seventies. Institutional Christianity is probably the last cultural element to embrace Romanticism, and covert feminism.

  16. Tom Arrow says:

    Cool, thanks for the answer.

    You write that women’s happiness has constantly decreased since the 1960s. Do you happen to have a source for that?

  17. @ Tom Arrow

    You write that women’s happiness has constantly decreased since the 1960s. Do you happen to have a source for that?

    http://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/gender-society/paradox-declining-female-happiness

    http://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/files/wp09-11bk.pdf

    Visual representation:

  18. JR says:

    Excellent post! I think it’s also worth noting that husbands are called to pursue something else entirely – pursuing godliness (1 Timothy 6:11)

  19. Pedat Ebediyah says:

    JR is correct…

    A woman should be be asking herself,  “what man out there is clearly crazy, stupid, out of his gord on fire for the Lord and who is hungering and thirsting for righteousness? That’s the type of man I want to follow!”

    Instead what Christian women does as ask herself, “where is my PERSONAL JESUS?”   I tell everyone to read those posts by Ballista as they are so much on point in matters like this.

    If a man’s steps are ordered by the Lord, he’s building a better world for himself and those in his sphere of relevance, handling Kingdom business, is demonstrating and not always explicating (a major mistake I’ve made in the past), and is not thirsty for tail, then a woman who is serious about having a devout man in Christ – will present herself, and he will invite her into his sphere of relevance, and then the vetting process begins from there.

  20. This is good. The distinction you make is fine, but definitely there.

    One thing that has stuck with me of late: we ought to be wary of analyzing Christ through the lens of Game; rather, it should be the other way around.

  21. @ seriouslypleasedropit

    One thing that has stuck with me of late: we ought to be wary of analyzing Christ through the lens of Game; rather, it should be the other way around.

    I actually didn’t realize the post I discussed was influenced by a player until I took a look at it again this afternoon.

    Eh, my personal stance is anti-game anyway as IMO it’s a cheap knockoff of masculinity. It’s a performance / works based mentality, and it’s specifically aimed at garnering sexual affection from masculinized women. Not particularly something you want to emulate.

  22. CHero says:

    I had a Christian ex who felt it necessary to tell me she wanted to be pursued just as we started dating. Had no idea what she meant at the time but now I feel stupid over how naive I was. :\

  23. @ CHero

    I had a Christian ex who felt it necessary to tell me she wanted to be pursued just as we started dating. Had no idea what she meant at the time but now I feel stupid over how naive I was. :\

    From what I understand interacting with women as well as my girlfriend they can’t differentiate between being made to feel special and pursuing. This is similar to generally being unable to differentiate attraction and things like kindness, loyalty, and whatnot.

    Now, I don’t doubt that SOME women want to be pursued, but like the attraction analogy it’s not the pursuing that is attraction. Beta orbiters pursue women all the time… but don’t get the girl. Therefore, it’s not about pursuing.

    “Made to feel special” unfortunately is a type of nebulous thing that can be affected by entitlement. So you have to be careful with it. There’s nothing wrong with it such as giving gifts, writing letters, or the like. However, they need to be given out of generosity and not because you want to curry her favor. Also, they need to be accepted gratefully and not spitefully.

    In other words, know your role first… then extras come later. Be the head / leader… then everything else can come after that. My next post will help you understand this better.

  24. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    When I (personally; I’m not claiming to speak for all women here, though I strongly suspect that nearly every woman thinks this way) think of being pursued, and say that I want to be pursued, what that basically means is that I want for a man to demonstrate that he cares about / wants me by doing something about it. While I don’t want a man to follow me around like a little lost puppy (that’s *my* job, heh), I do want him to make me a priority in his life (not his biggest priority, but a priority) and to show me that I mean something to him, in ways that make sense to me as a woman.

  25. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    Your comment somehow ended up on the wrong post, DS. 🙂

  26. Wayne Earl says:

    @FBNF,

    “And show me that I’m important to him in ways that make sense to a woman”

    Could you be more specific? What “ways” make sense to a woman? Also, this implies that there are different ways that make sense to a man – what are these specifically?

    In my experience, the expression of love of the other partner is different for men and women; in fact, oftentimes I’ve discovered what she claims to be asking for, she is already receiving, just doesn’t recognize it as such (or communicate her expectations)

  27. earl says:

    I just discovered this today and I know it’s almost two years old…still a very well written post about the difference between initiation and pursuit.

    I’d also add this Bible verse which further cements the point that Jesus is the initiator and we are the pursuers….

    “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” John 15:16

  28. earl says:

    Is there anywhere in the life of Jesus, as seen in the Gospels, where He pursued someone?

    I’ll bring up one time that could be an example. Luke 2:51…his parents after they found Him in the temple. Although the term used is subject or obedient.

    However one of the books I’ve read by Bishop Fulton Sheen pointed out when Jesus was 12 and stayed back in the temple without his parents noticing…Mary and Joseph provided a great example for Christians of what we should do when we lose Jesus and their pursuit. We should have as great a pursuit for Jesus as a parent who loses their child.

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