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.
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
- unbelief/not understanding in my heart the scope and depth of God’s love for me and
- 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.
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).