It seems like yesterday I was welcoming you into the world. I thought you would always be in diapers, watching Sesame Street and learning your alphabet. I blinked and suddenly we’ve traded Cheerios and sippy cups for makeup and iphones. And now, much to your father’s dismay, your heads have begun to turn when a handsome boy gives you a wink and a smile.
Boyfriends will come and go. You’ll face heartbreak and joy, tears and laughter. As someone who is, ahem, a bit older than you, here is what I want you to know, so you’ll have the happiest and best life possible.
Look for a guy who respects his parents.
If a boy doesn’t respect his parents, he won’t respect any authority figure. That includes God. (Newsflash: Neither will he respect you.)
There is a big difference between a Christian “boy” and a Christian “man”.
I’m using “boy” and “man” in the spiritual sense here. A Christian boy is one who goes to church, who can stomp everybody in Bible trivia and may do all the right Christiany type of things. A Christian man is different. He doesn’t just know the Word. He puts it into action. He treats his family, his neighbors and his enemies with agape love. He’s not concerned with keeping a Christian checklist of “do” and “do nots”. His sole purpose in life is to grow closer to Jesus. There is a world of difference between the two.
Tread carefully around the guy who “wants to make his mark in the world”.
This may sound like a good and noble thing, and it can be. It can also be a huge pitfall. As someone who spent ten years in the Christian music industry, I’ve seen horribly sad stories of souls who gave their lives away for the pursuit of fame, even though they slapped a Christian label on it and declared their desire would be so they could help others. Yet, when their ship never came in, they wallowed in bitterness, anger and despondency.
Dreams are wonderful things. The problem is they can become idols if we let them. If a guy is primarily focused on going pro with his athletic skills, being known for his musical talent or any other sort of fame, be careful. He’s probably got some growing to do.
FYI: people can hide just as deeply in ministry as they can anything else. Beware.
Look for someone who exemplifies 1 Corinthians 13.
If a young man is seeking God, truly following after Him with all he is, these traits will be present: patience and kindness. He won’t be jealous, a braggart or prideful. He won’t try to make himself look good but will be focused on lifting up those around him. He’ll be sweet-tempered, not angry, nor will he keep a record of the times you were crabby. He’ll stay as far as he can from evil. He’ll protect you, always trust in God, always hope and always persevere.
I know what you’re thinking. “Uh, problem. No one can possibly measure up to this.” You’re right, and that’s kind of the point. No human can fulfill your needs. No one except Jesus.
Don’t look to boys to fill the longings in your heart. The only One who can fill it is the One who made it. Romantic love is a beautiful thing, a God-ordained thing, but I promise, there is no rush. Spend your time getting to know God. He is crazy about you. And then, as you seek His heart, He’ll bring along a guy who is doing the same. One day, you’ll realize this friend of yours is more than just a friend and BAM! It’s kismet.
Whenever that niggling urge digs at you that says, “You need a boyfriend. You’re missing out. All your friends have one,” pray for your future husband. Keep a journal to give him one day. Tell him how much you’ve prayed for him. Write down verses. Tell him your dreams. More importantly, talk to God about him. Ask Him to reveal His perfect plan in your life.
Enjoy each moment and cover it all in prayer. You have plenty of time.