When We Decide To Be Indecisive

[alert style=”info”]Editor’s Note: This is a post that I wrote for my personal blog in 2011. It’s too good not to share. [/alert]

I hate going to Chick-fil-A.

Well, maybe not. I hate the process.

I hate ordering at Chick-fil-A. It turns into decision overload. There’s always that one central moment (and why is it when there are 90 people behind you?) when you step to the front of the line and have no idea what to order.

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I’ll have a #1.
Wait. No.
A 4-count nugget… with an ice cream.
In a cup.
Wait. A cone… definitely a cone.
And a Coke.
Wait. Lemonade.
Wait. A sweet tea.

Despite the fact that I would never-ever order a sweet tea, I still really feel for the those poor Chick-fil-A employees.

 

We’re the same way with women…

…and if there’s one area that we need to deviate, as men in our culture, it’s here. There are way too many men (boys, really) galavanting around, treating women like garbage and assuming there are ZERO consequences for their actions. Now, I know what you’re about to say:

“Hey Schmidt. I’m not some horrible person. I don’t run around having sex and making horrible decisions!”

Yes, I know. You’re not having sex; you’re leading a ‘good’ life.

Your actions still have consequences. How many girls have you lead on because you loved the attention? If you’re anything like me, it’s probably billions, but guess what: every day those women think of (or have thought of) you repeatedly and it’s not in the oh-he’s-a-really-great-friend kind of way.

Sidenote: If you weren’t about to say that you’re not making horrible decisions… and it’s because you are having sex, you need to stop and type ‘purity’ into the search bar up top. Just saying.

It’s our indecision, as men, as leaders, that has a crippling effect on Godly relationships. Have you ever heard that all of the great Christian women are wondering where the great Christian men are? This is through our indecision and it happens in two ways:

 

1. Pre-Relational Indecision.

I will begin with the following: if you like her and think she’s supa-fine… ASK HER OUT. Somewhere along the line, it became perfectly justifiable in Christian culture to stick a certain part of your body between your legs and not be a man. BE. A. MAN.

If you know her pretty well and you’re spending enough time together, it’s redundant to lead her on. She likes ya, bro. Also, despite gender-equity in all areas of 21st-Century life, she’s still a woman, and that woman wants her Boaz. I won’t pretend like I know women internally, but I will go out on a limb and say that the women who pursue men themselves are few and far between. She will put herself in front of you, very much like Ruth did, but it’s your job to take the football and score.

0251

 

2. Inter-Relational Indecision.

I referenced this briefly just a moment ago. It’s inevitable that you will meet and get to know some very cute lady friends. In secular society, you are a man by virtue of the sheer amount of women on your arm. If you want to achieve a different result, you need to do something different. You’re a man because God ordained you to follow him and lead others (including your girlfriend/fiancé/wife).

Let’s go back to the “friend” you might be leading on. If you don’t like her or don’t think she’s supa-fine… ASK HER OUT. (Just checking to make  sure you’re paying attention.)

Seriously though, if you can’t see yourself dating her, stop playing games. Nothing good ever came from leading someone on. She’s already emotionally vested in your relationship (even if it may be just a friendship), and most of the time, those feelings will only increase.

 

So how can we counteract this indecision?

I’m glad you asked. I eluded to it before: you need to be decisive. The Bible says to “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’;” (Matt 5:37). It’s much easier said than done, but here’s one helpful guideline that should help your situation dramatically:

Talk to her. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised. So often, her expectations are higher than your intentions, or vice versa. If you’re communicating well, there will be no miscommunication on where you’re at relationally. Tell her, “I want to be intentional on getting to know you better,” or, “I think you’re really special and I want to date you.” If you’re not thinking like that, tell her this:

“Listen [girl], I think you’re awesome, but I don’t want to compromise the relationship you’ll have with your future husband. I cannot be that man for you and it’s unfair to both of you to be occupying your time.”

Paul said, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways” (1 Cor. 13:11). You are a man, so when interacting with women, be real. She will appreciate your honesty in the long run. God has created us to be bold and stouthearted (Psalm 138:3), so we should attack our relationships with that same vigor.

One Final, Parting Thought: She knows you’re indecisive when you say that you are “waiting on God.” You have two choices… commit to a season of singleness or get moving with the ladies. They’re all out there… and they’re waiting for some real men.
[alert style=”info”]Sound Off: How do you deal with indecisiveness? What’s your worst story of indecisiveness? Let us know in the comments below.[/alert]

DEVIANT: Your Grass Is Pretty Green.

DEVIANT: How to be a real man

This morning I was all set to send out a post on battling burnout. It’s something that I’ve been dealing with, as you can tell (NO POSTS!), with the pressures of work (traveling) and lacrosse (recruiting) mounting. Alas, I will give you a spoiler for that blogpost: In Christ it is well with my soul. #throwback

I will talk about burnout at a later date in the future (maybe when we have some downtime on the blog), but I really wanted to write on something else. There were a few blogposts that were half written (such as, “Replacing God With Women,” “Dare To Be Vulnerable,” & “Are You Critiqueable”), but I saw a topic I jotted down in mid-October that had no notes or anything previously written, so let’s address it now:

Your grass is pretty green.

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Mmmmmmm. Tell yourself again. And again.

I struggle with many things (pridefulness and other characteristics come to mind), but I have an extremely difficult time with the-grass-is-always-greener-syndrome. I am a classic optimist… hell, my blog is titled after a whimsical optimist. I will always think the best of people and situations and, in turn, I believe that (for me) there is always a better and more applicable scenario. I’ll save you a bunch of digression and say the following: I am wrong!

Your grass is pretty green.

Sometimes, I can’t possibly sit still. I’m always moving forward. An “if you’re not moving with me, get the heck out of my way,” type of thing. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with that… but sometimes we need to stop and smell the roses! [Loving the garden references, FYI] Most of the time I am moving so fast that I can’t possibly see the greatness that’s right in front of me.

It seems backwards, but it’s true: The grass is never greener. Once you see that grass, you’ll look for greener grass; it’s a vicious cycle.

I always mention something along the lines of, “rule #465: never settle.” (I don’t believe in EVER settling), but maybe the right answer is slowing down just a bit. If I am going so fast that I can’t possibly see God’s greatness, then what is the purpose of moving at that speed? I know right now, God is calling me to slow down. The world is saying, “adhere to the rat race and worry about power and money and materiality.” As Christians we’re called to a higher standard.

The good news is here: that higher standard is an all-encompassing God. He is a loving, understanding God that knows your every step and is lighting the way (Psalm 119:105).

Let’s take action. Tell God: When I’m with you, my heart is satisfied. I dwell in nothing less than the sheer greatness of you, Father. I will walk swiftly, but in a manner that is agreeable to the opportunities you have set forth. I won’t bury my responsibilities in excuses and miscellany. I will embrace what I have and seek You first, letting all else happen according to your good great and perfect will. Our brazen contentedness will not be questioned or mistaken, because God, we know you’re on our side and when we are completely and wholly obedient to you, great things happen.

DEVIANT: This Ain’t No Yoke.

(Let’s pause and clap for that title. Maybe I have a future as the editor of a newspaper?)

I consider myself a grammar king and linguistically sound, but I forgot that bible-jesus-spiritual yoking is spelled differently than egg yolk. Don’t be confused. (I find new ways to humble myself on a daily basis, it’s great.) Furthermore, in writer’s time it’s Thursday afternoon (compared to the current time of whenever you’re reading this) and #IMDEADTIRED so barring an infusion of caffeine or superpowers, there may be some structural or spelling errors that slip through tomorrow morning’s edit.

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Can we actually chat now? Good.

I want to unpack 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 and the idea that two should not be unequally yoked. I broached this issue briefly in the relationship edition of the Monday Rundown back in February, but I will expand on that information because I believe the spiritual equality of a relationship deserves it.

First, let’s examine the proper context of 2 Corinthians 6:14-15. The Bible without context offers limitless interpretations, so it is important to use God’s word as He intended it, and little else. As such, here is 2 Corinthians 6, starting in verse 14, but continuing through the end of the chapter (NLT):

14 Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?

16 And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said:

“I will live in them
and walk among them.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.

17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers,
and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord.
Don’t touch their filthy things,
and I will welcome you.

18 And I will be your Father,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”

And this is rooted from a passage in Deuteronomy 22:

10 “You must not plow with an ox and a donkey harnessed together.

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Certainly, there was not first-century dating as we know it today. In fact, many will argue that Paul’s intentions for 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 were not related to dating and marriage. I disagree. I think the parallels are clear.

Imagine you’re a donkey. You’re faster than the ox, you have a better diet, but the ox is bigger and more stubborn. Now picture being tied together by the neck. How awkward is that? //parallels time// Now imagine yourself married to a woman who doesn’t believe in God. You’ll want to give at least 10%, she won’t. You’ll want to pray for your kids, she’ll ask you not to. These are two lives that are headed in drastically different directions. Instead of rooting their love in God and faith, it’s rooted in emotions and physicality, which is a failing recipe.

We are called to deviate. If you’re a lukewarm Christian, find a lukewarm Christian. If you’re so on fire for God that you can’t see straight, find someone who’s so on fire for God that they can’t see straight. It’s simple… but at the end of the day we’d rather not do that. Nope, instead we would rather settle for less than God’s best (rule #456: never settle) and lose out on so much of the goodness greatness that an amazing Godly marriage can provide.

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Tip #1: If you’re a Christian and you’re dating a non-Christian. END ITTTTTTTT. No negotiation. You are deliberately saying, “You know what, God, I got this. I think I can do this better than you can.” WRONG. So just stop and end it. Please. All of your other Christian friends are waiting for you to wake up.

Tip #2: If you’re “dating down” spiritually, END ITTTTTTTT. Again, you’re settling for less than God’s best here. So many times, we accept what’s right in front of us because we’re lazy or not really men. It’s important to assess all relationships fully, but seriously, find a beautiful woman that loves the Lord and is willing to bake you cookies. They’re out there.

I would never ever ever ever date somebody that isn’t on point in her spiritual relationship… it’s just that simple. I don’t care if she’s Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, and (another hot Jessica but don’t say Simpson please) combined; if she’s missing the one thing that matters most, she is not God’s best for you. Bottom line: If she can’t stay with you step-for-step, give that girl her walking papers.

Tip #3: If you’re “dating up” spiritually, hang on to them for dearrrrrr life (just kidding). In all seriousness, if you can recognize the fact that you’re with someone who is just more “with God”, then do something about it and get with God! You’re supposed to be the spiritual leader and until you get there you’re holding her back! If that’s too much to ask to keep this amazing woman of God, then save her the eventual heartache and let her go now.

While we’re on the subject… you can’t change someone. You might be able to plant a seed, but only God can change someone. NO MISSIONARY DATING. Imagine building a piece of furniture not from Ikea. If you were to build it without instructions (your plan), you would expect some awkward carpentry and it just wouldn’t look right. Now imagine building it with the instructions provided (God’s plan); that’s a good lookin’ bookcase.

(P.S. Never buy furniture from Target. I don’t think I’ve ever had a piece of furniture last more than two weeks. Aye.)

Have a great weekend and see you Monday.

DEVIANT: Video Games… Fun or Foul?

Deviant

Video games. Everyone plays them, so what’s the big idea?

And I agree with those who say that… to an extent. As with many things, most video games are fine in moderation, but that’s not what I think we’re dealing with here. Like drinking, smoking, gambling, and all of the others, it’s much more than that. Rare is the man that plays one game of Madden and turns off his machine for the night. Instead, it’s 14 straight hours of Call of Duty, and therein lies the problem. Recently, I read a CNN article that mentioned:

Today, 18-to- 34-year-old men spend more time playing video games a day than 12-to- 17-year-old boys. Continue reading “DEVIANT: Video Games… Fun or Foul?”

DEVIANT: A Call To Action.

First and foremost, I would like to thank all of you that have logged on (what a 90’s term!) and checked out the blog lately. Our traffic has ballooned way beyond my expectations and it simply proves how important this information is and how transforming God’s word can be. With that said, I want to impose a call to action. As I pass the offering plate around (here I go, turning into a televangelist again!) If you love this blog and you love what God is doing through me, pass it on.

I think we can do better, and here’s why: thanks to my Google Analytics account, I have a pretty decent idea of who logs on and where (not that creepy, I promise). As such, I know that a large percentage of my readership is women. Don’t get me wrong, I love that women are reading my blog… and although targeted to men I purposely write in such a way that women can glean just as much (if not more) knowledge. It’s knowing your audience. Continue reading “DEVIANT: A Call To Action.”

DEVIANT: Becoming The Right Man.

Deviant

On Thursday, we looked at what your future wife might look like. Today, we’ll tackle what you’ll need to look like to find her. You can pray ALL YOU WANT for Mrs. Right, but if you’re not right when she comes along, it won’t matter.

For a while, I got all kinds of caught up in finding Mrs. Right. Every woman I met or saw underwent an immediate split-second spiritual psychoanalyzation. How messed up is that? Keying in on my future wife became a massive detriment because I didn’t know how to use that information correctly. That’s why this step, for men, is so important. Eventually, I understood how destructive that thinking can be and I said to myself:

“Imagine how much better off you’d be if you spent half the time you do judging women by working to become a better man.” Continue reading “DEVIANT: Becoming The Right Man.”

DEVIANT: Your Kind Of Woman.

Deviant

Let’s chat about your kind of woman. [Disclaimer: This is a heavy-hitter. Get your reading glasses.]

First of all, she is a woman, not a girl. You’re looking for the cream of the crop. 2 Corinthians 5:5 (MSG) says,

The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.

Rule #456: never settle. If you settle for less than God’s best, you’z a heathen. Moving on. Back in February, when I did my first set of relationship posts, I mentioned my kind of woman… Continue reading “DEVIANT: Your Kind Of Woman.”