So I Liked a Boy [part four: actually, him loving Jesus isn’t enough]

Jane Austen once said, “A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”


She ain’t wrong.

We’re back with part four of So I Liked a Boy. You can read parts one, two, and three if you’re new or if you just want a refresher of my manic, dramatic, and astonishing wit.

If you want the short version, I had StirringsTM (aka: a crush; aka: the precurser to FeelingsTM) for a dude in my church for a whole ten months and didn’t know what to do with myself and was forced to grow and rely on Jesus more deeply than ever. It was terrible but great at the same time. This series is me sharing the terribleness and greatness in hopes that people in the same spot as me are helped out with their own StirringsTM.

Let’s get part four of this party started.

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All my life, the only requirement I heard that I would need to find in a husband was that he be a Christian. Preferably employed. Preferably not living with his parents. My parents probably had a few other criteria, but the one that stuck with me was the Christian part.

Naturally, I proceeded through almost my entire life thinking to myself, “So long as he’s a Christian, we good to go, let’s pick out the bridal party.”

As I grew up, I became a little more aware that a lot of people call themselves Christians who don’t actually love God. So I amended my Requirement Uno. He’s got to love Jesus. Then we good to go. Then let’s pick out the ol’ bridal party.

The Guy who I had StirringsTM for loves Jesus with more unabashed passion than a lot of people I know (which is remarkable in a church where everyone left everything because they love God; that’s church-planting for you). His obedience to everything God calls him to is quite admirable. His heart of worship seems akin to David’s.

After watching him for a couple months, I thought to myself, “Ah, such a deep love for God; let’s get married.” Yeah, my brain went there real fast; Jane Austen was, in fact, correct.

But, actually, him loving Jesus is the bare minimum, a passing grade, not the end all be all of what to look for/be attracted to in a boy I mean man I mean guy.

I was seeking council from someone very wise about The Guy (I’d been on the moon-eyed train for like eight or nine months at this point).

I was asked why I liked him. I explained some of my reasons. I was told, “Look for more.” Not because The Guy was morally or spiritually deficient in any way but because my vision was too narrow.

Raw affection for God is not enough. Even capacity for extreme obedience isn’t enough. Even spurring me on to Jesus more isn’t enough. It takes more than dynamite love of God to make a relationship work—especially if that relationship is a covenant between two sinners only to be dissolved by death.

He can’t just love Jesus; he has to be like Jesus.

Jesus: a Man of supreme character, grit, zeal, gentleness, wisdom, compassion, patience, and joy.

Jesus: a Man of such strength and goodness.

Jesus: One who even now anchors the entirety of his Church throughout all generations as its immovable Cornerstone.

That’s what I have to look for—not because I deserve it but because that’s what my soul requires for survival. There is so much sin in my heart that I require much much keeping and initiating and leading back to the cross again and again and again.

He can’t just love Jesus—as good as that is. He must heavily image the Son’s person. His very character must remind me of Jesus.

His goodness, mercy, compassion, holiness, strength, humility, devotion, joy, steadfastness, zeal for the kingdom, and submission to the Father must be echoes of Jesus.

Jesus is my first love. Why would I look or settle for anything less or anything different in my second, human love?

Now, you may be thinking, “Yeah, but gosh, Jesus is a hard act to follow.”

And you’d be right. And no man I mean boy I mean guy could follow perfectly in Jesus’ footsteps, that’s why we need Jesus. But while it’s a tall order, it’s not impossible. I’ve met so many people who love Jesus and are becoming more like him to the degree that when I hear them speak or watch their manner of living, I am reminded of the character of Jesus.

To be honest, I’d rather live out my days in the joys and challenges of singleness than marry someone who loves Jesus but isn’t like Jesus.

Questions to Soberly, Prayerfully Ask Yourself and Jesus

When I was praying through liking The Guy, the Holy Spirit stirred up many questions, then I found more in The Mingling of Souls by Matt Chandler, and then some more from some trusted friends. I had to ask them of myself and Jesus honestly, humbly, soberly, without rose-colored glasses.

So here are some of the recurring questions, which I now pose to you, dear reader.

  • Why do you like the guy? What in him draws you in? Is it his personality, his faith, his character, his what?
  • Is he part of and committed to (serving, giving to, involved in, etc.) a local church? Is it a healthy, spiritually mature (and maturing) church?
  • Is his character known or unknown? If not, why not? If so, what has his character proved to be? Reckless or steadfast, flaky or faithful, bitter or forgiving, selfish or selfless, etc.
  • How does he respond to suffering? Can he endure?
  • How does or doesn’t he submit to authority in the church (this is an indicator of his capacity/willingness to submit to the Holy Spirit)?
  • Why does your heart seek relationship with him? To put an insecurity to rest? To assuage loneliness? Or something else?
  • Do you like him based on who he actually is? Or are you actually more drawn to a version of him that only exists in your head?
  • Can he lead you spiritually—towards Jesus, through the trials of this life, through your own sin? Is he like Jesus in that his character is strong enough, steady enough, steadfast enough for the both of you? Is he one that can be depended on? Does he show forth the fruit of the Spirit?

And you have to actually want to know the answers because if you don’t, you’ll be closed off to the truth.

For instance, I could be honest and ask the Holy Spirit to search me and know me and show me if there were selfish reasons in my heart when I desired relationship with The Guy. It was easy to be open to anything there.

But all along, even though it was the first question I asked myself, I kept myself closed off to the answer of if The Guy could lead me spiritually, if our personalities and tendencies and giftings and maturities and all that jazz were such that I could not only submit to him but he could actually lead me like Jesus leads the Church—without passivity, with grace, with strength, with love, with action, with sacrifice. I made all sorts of unconscious excuses.

There’s no way for me to know that since I’m not in small group with him.

I have such a limited window.

It would be arrogant and prideful of me to say he couldn’t lead me. Etc..

But the truth that the Holy Spirit was pressing on all along was that no, The Guy couldn’t lead me. Not because there was anything wrong with him or because I’m ultra mature or anything like that. It’s as simple as me being a disaster, full of fear, full of sin, full of so many things that require a certain type of man I mean boy I mean guy to love and cherish and lead me through.

Yeah, by the grace of God, I’m bearing fruit, good fruit, Holy Spirit fruit, but there’s going to be sin in me until I die, and if I’m to run this race well—and if I’m to do it married—the dude has got to lead me like Jesus, has got to remind me of Jesus.

And, as I finally let the Holy Spirit tell me, The Guy isn’t that boy man guy. He and I don’t… fit together, if that makes sense. Neither is defective or better or anything, we’re just not fitted for each other.  And that’s okay.

It’s so so so important to be honest with yourself and be open to the Holy Spirit actually answering the questions, even if the answer isn’t what you want to hear. Otherwise, you’re just deceiving yourself and living in a type of false reality of your own making, and the truth isn’t in you. Let the Holy Spirit lead you. Submit yourself—your heart and your will—to his wisdom and authority.

So anyweys.

That’s all for this week. As per usual, if anything doesn’t make sense or you have any questions, feel free to comment or contact me directly! <3

With love,


p.s. – sorry for the late posting! Internet was down at my house so I had to wait until I could go to a coffee shop to use the free wifi and drink the not-free coffee.

p.p.s. – next week I think will be about who to talk to about your crush and why it’s important to be transparent with a couple of mature Christians about your StirringsTM.

So I Liked a Boy [part two: when it felt too stupid to pray about]

I was sleep-deprived and nervous when I wrote part one, and apparently “So I Liked a Boy” is the best I could do for a title. Apparently it’s also pretty click-baity. Most people that I know in person don’t read my blog, but I guess all one must do is throw something up with a title like “So I Liked a Boy” and half the church decides it’s high time they check out Rosalie’s blog. I’m uncomfy.


If you missed part one, you can read it here. Otherwise, here’s what to expect from today’s post: dating, desiring, and crushing differently than the world and when it feels too stupid to pray about a crush.

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Dating, Desiring, and Crushing Differently than the World

Maybe this goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway. As Christians, our approach to people of the opposite sex cannot be the same as the world’s approach to people of the opposite sex.

In our current cultural moment, romantic relationships are king. You want someone, you go get someone, using whatever means you feel like, only listening to those whose advice is what you want to hear. As Matt Chandler says in his book Mingling of Souls, “We are a culture simultaneously obsessed with relationships and sex, but dysfunctional in our approaches to them.”

You like someone, you date them, you use them, you accrue some hurt, you throw them away. You aren’t fulfilled if you aren’t in a relationship. You look to a boyfriend or girlfriend (or spouse) to meet all your needs, speak to all your insecurities and fears. Flirt, entice, cheat.

And just as Christians can’t do marriage in the same way as the world and can’t date in the same way as the world, Christians can’t crush on someone in the same way as the world. Most Christians I know already know this, but our response (my response) is to stuff it, as if that’s the Christian way of dealing with desires.

Spoiler alert: stuffing it isn’t the Christian way of doing anything. At least it’s not the truly Christian way.

So over the course of this little series of How To Like a Dude Without Marrying Him So I Liked a Boy, we’re going to talk about some ways to honor Jesus in how you approach liking someone. Obviously, I’m a girl, so this is all especially pertinent to girls, but hopefully this is helpful to anyone. Honestly, it’s pretty basic and similar to the rest of the Christian life—listen to wise counsel, be transparent with trusted and mature Christians, submit to God’s will, oh, and, yes, prayer. Start with prayer.

When It Feels Too Stupid to Pray About

So, when I was hardcore moon-eyed about The Guy (see part one), it took me a solid month (if not more) before I actually, you know, prayed about it.

It felt like I was making it into something if I prayed about it, as if praying about it brought it up to some sort of level of Important. Because apparently I only pray about Important ThingsTM. Things like my sin, seeing people hear the gospel and be saved, the up-building and keeping of my friends, etc..

In my heart, there is an unconscious category of things that I don’t pray about.

I hear things like “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths…” or “…in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” and other such verses, and there’s some sort of disconnect inside me.

I will go to God and acknowledge him in some of my ways, and in some things by prayer and supplication I’ll make requests known to him. But not in all of my ways, not in everything. I have a hard time praying about the little things, and that’s a symptom of

  1. unbelief/not understanding in my heart the scope and depth of God’s love for me and
  2. belief that I can and should handle the “little things” myself (aka: self-reliance).

Kids, unbelief is sin. Self-reliance is sin.

Isn’t all sin rooted in unbelief about God? Adam and Eve believed the lie that God was holding out on them in the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They trusted their own judgement, their own understanding.

So when I don’t pray about things because they feel too stupid or too little or I’m embarrassed (from a crush to a pet being sick to dealing with a difficult customer at work), that’s pride manifesting in an incredibly subtle way. That was (and is) a symptom that I don’t trust God fully with my life.

Jesus is my everything. Jesus is Lord of my everything. Jesus is the Caretaker of my heart and soul. When I don’t bring things to him to be Lord over, to take care of me through, I cut him out of areas of my life and forfeit the blessing that is his affectionate, relational love and guidance.

Here is a fact: nothing is too stupid to pray about.

Prayer is communication. Prayer is honesty. Prayer is humility. Prayer is dependence. Prayer is vulnerability. Prayer is reliance. Prayer is trusting.

Let me say it again for the people in the back: nothing is too stupid to pray about.

If you believe that there are things too little, too insignificant, too stupid to pray about, you don’t know the God of the Bible. Praying about something does not imbue it with importance; praying about something simply shows that you are in fact a human trusting Jesus and submitting your life to him.

Eventually, by the grace of God, I cracked and started praying about The Guy I liked and bringing my questions and confusions to Jesus. Even though in my head I understood all the reasons why I should pray about it, it was hard.

I felt embarrassed and felt foolish and all the other stuff from the last post, except now it was all in the presence of God and I was a.w.k.w.a.r.d. But isn’t it always hard to come naked into the light? Isn’t it always hard to invite someone into the things that feel shameful? Isn’t it always hard to trust that you can be fully known and fully loved at the same time?

But bit by bit, the Holy Spirit helped me calm down and realize it wasn’t a big deal to pray about, and if I could trust Jesus to see me through the harshest storms of life and keep me to the end of this life without losing me, I can trust him enough to tell him I have a crush and admit it feels silly but I really like a dude and it’s confusing and ask Jesus to lead me through it.

When I started praying about liking The Guy, that’s when Jesus really went to work on my heart. It was in my private prayer time when I learned to start bringing up the little things that the Holy Spirit really got a hold of me and went to town on my heart. He began exposing and overturning so many lies in my heart and testing me in ways I’ve never been tested before. Everything good that grew out of that season, all the fruit and clarity I have now, came from learning to pray about it.

So when it feels too stupid to pray about your crush, pray about it anyway.

Get to know Jesus’ heart from you from the Bible and also in the real time of your life. Trust that he’s actually as interested in your life as he says he is. Trust that the God who designs blades of grass and galaxies and says that you as his child is his crowning creation and says he wants all of you and nothing less, actually wants all of you and nothing less.

Because if you’re keeping even one thing out from under his lordship and protection and guidance, you’re probably keeping other things away from him too, and you’re missing out on what he has for you in those things.

With love,


p.s. – coming up next week: why you shouldn’t just pray for your crush to go away (because I was for sure praying that my stirrings would just GO AWAY…. until I realized I was still holding onto my own will) and miscellaneous perspective that brought me back down to earth when I was sure I wanted to marry The Guy.

p.p.s. – little tidbit of that perspective: it can feel like foolish to like someone that you don’t end up marrying. Spoiler alert: you’re going to probably like quite a few people before you like the person you end up marrying. And that’s good. And normal. I’m proof that so much can get worked out in a human heart when you like someone you don’t end up dating (or marrying).

4 Signs that Writing Is Your Idol (and 4 Ways to Cut It Down)

I’ve read so many blog posts on writing that I’m liable to turn into a blog post on writing. No joke.

Now, in all the hours I’ve spent pouring over blog posts on writing, there are a few things that I’ve never seen addressed, and today, I’ve decided to speak to one of them: when writing becomes your idol. Before you “pft” to yourself and stop reading, hear me out.

What do you think of when you hear the word idol?

Personally, I think of some weird looking, little bronze statue, and I think to myself with an indignant sniff, “I have no household gods.” Seriously, an idol—really? Don’t be absurd. Idols are things you literally worship, things you bow to, things you offer sacrifices to, and I don’t worship anything besides God. Trust me, I don’t. *insert nervous laughter* Right?

But I do. Writing used to be one of my idols (it sometimes still is), and I didn’t realize it for a long time, several years in fact. Since the Holy Spirit showed me this has been an area where I sin, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and praying about it, and here is what I’ve found: four signs that writing is your idol and four ways to cut it down.

4 signs that writing is your idol

Sign #1: You think about writing all the time.

Writing consumes your thoughts. You constantly think about how you’re going to plug this plot hole or kill that story thread, if Character X is fleshed out enough, if Character A and Character B should be shipped, if the tension is nail-biting enough, and so forth.

You’re in a constant state of cackling over your darlings and all the “feels”. In the shower. On the drive to work. In the lunch room. During the sermon on Sunday. Right before you fall asleep. While you do dishes. On your morning run (wait, writers run??). When you’re “doing homework”. During family prayer before bed. When you’re making your morning smoothie. In the middle of cleaning the fish bowl.

Nine times out of ten, if someone asked you what you’re thinking about, you’d say it was something writing related.

Sign #2: You invest countless hours into writing-related blogs, books, and advice.

There is something to be said for learning and knowing your craft, but there is a point when this goes too far… like when you’re liable to turn into a blog post on writing, like me.

When you’re studying your craft more than you’re studying God, it’s bad. When you’re more concerned about developing your mad writing skills than you are in developing a deeper love of Christ, it’s bad. You invest the most time and effort in what’s most important to you.

Sign #3: You flip out if something (or someone) infringes on sacred writing time.

You’ve decided that you’re going to write tonight, but then the family decides to go out to eat or invite people over for dinner. The whole evening is shot, and you are mad because you were going to write and now you’ll have to stay up till 2 am to get your writing in.

I fall into this trap often. I was planning on writing one night around 9:30 (I believe it was a Friday). But then my siblings had the audacity to want to hang out. How dare they!? I was going to write, but no, they decided to hang out in my room and actually have a fun time chatting and trying to engage a sullen me. It took a full half an hour for me to cool off and get some perspective. My brother was heading back to college in just a few short weeks, and my sister won’t always live with me.

Yeah, writing is important to me, but when I value it more than my family—family that will very soon be gone for a long time—that’s when there’s a problem, that’s when there’s the sign that it’s getting too important. I value writing, but writing won’t last for eternity. The souls of my siblings will though.

Sign #4: You spend time writing before you’ve spent time in God’s Word.

You haven’t opened your Bible at all today, maybe even not even in three days, but there you go, plopping down at the computer or whipping out the notebook to punch out another daily word count.

Or, you have to be at work at 7:00 am, and so you decide to get up at 5:00 to write for an hour before you get ready to go. You don’t spare a second thought to meeting with God and learning from His Word.

Or, maybe it’s 11:30 pm, and you’re getting ready for some prime writing time because you haven’t been able to write all day, and so this is your chance to get your word count in! But guess what, you also haven’t been able to do a quiet time in Scripture all day either, but writing is what’s important. Oh, and you might fall asleep if you try to do some Bible reading! But somehow you manage to stay up until 3:00 am for a writing marathon.

Before you take this lightly, consider how God has an incredibly intense reaction to idolatry in particular. Yes, He hates all sin, but it was the first of His ten commandments to the Israelites. “You shall have no other gods before Me.” – Exodus 20:3. He said Himself that He is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5). So while you may not have a statue that you make sacrifices to and worship, whatever your idol is, you cannot, I repeat, you cannot take it lightly (you can take a trip down memory lane in the Old Testament to see how He handles it).

I think this quote from J.D. Greear sums it up all up nicely: “When something becomes so important to you that it drives your behavior and commands your emotions, you are worshipping it.”

Cut Down #1: Confession

Just like any other sin, it is so, so important to confess idolatry to God. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It’s that simple.

Cut Down #2: Repentance

Repentance means to turn away from one thing and to another thing. In this case, it’s turning away from your writing and to the living God. When you repent, you don’t just continue on as you have, and you don’t just try to “stop” pouring all your thought, affection, and attention into writing. You replace the things that lead you toward sin with things that lead you toward God.

For instance, instead of spending four hours on Pinterest filling up an aesthetic board for your new story (come on, writing peeps—you know four hours is not an exaggeration), you could listen to a sermon. Or, instead of cruising around the internet for blogs on writing, you could spend that time (or some of it) reading Scripture or checking out websites like Desiring God.

Cut Down #3: Write only after you’ve spent time in prayer and Bible study.

Even if you don’t feel like it, even if you’re tired, even if you’re just plain not in the mood to crack open your Bible, do it anyway. I have been in that boat so many times. I’m not in the mood to do a devotion. If my heart’s not in it, why even bother?

But if you and I can push through not wanting to write or not having inspiration but penning 1200 words anyway, we can push through not wanting to spend time with God and do it anyway. And more often than not, even if you had to drag your heart every step of the way, the Holy Spirit will do a beautiful, gracious work and give you fruit in your time with Him.

But why study the Bible before we write? Because it’s a simple act that shows where your affections and worship truly lie

Cut Down #4: Get accountability.

I highly recommend getting accountability. It’s not wise to have another Christian writer as your accountability partner because you both would be struggling with the same thing. When it comes to accountability, you have to find someone who is strong where you’re weak. Now, I know that non-writers don’t usually understand how/why you might be struggling with writing being an idol, but you just have to pray that God will give them enough understanding to help you overcome idolatry.

Let’s put a bookend on this post.

It’s easy to idolize writing when you’re passionate about it. You want to do it well, and so you study and toil and write. The next thing you know, writing has displaced God again. I suffer from this, on a daily level sometimes. I get so caught up in fulfilling my dream that I take my eyes of my God, and then my dream becomes my god.

Writing can and should be an act of worship. We simply must be sure that we’re worshipping the One Who gave us the gift of writing, not the gift itself.