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]

Sunday Quick Hit: His Sweet Moments

Sunrise

Men don’t really use the word sweet.

No matter the scene–––whether secular manhood or Christian circles–––you’ll rarely hear a man utter that word. It just doesn’t fit in our vernacular. Women, on the other hand? All day long. Especially Christian women. Sweet this, sweet that. You’re sweet. I’m sweet.

It’s fairly ridiculous.

Unfortunately though, I can’t find a better word to use for this title. You see, I had one of those moments with God this morning that we all cherish. It was one of those situations where, in today’s case, I was in the Word of God all morning. I quickly sped through the first sixteen chapters of 1 Chronicles, looking to get an expanded view on a devotional I read earlier. It was actually pretty fun, considering the type of material I was reading:

[box_light]29-31 Abraham’s family tree developed along these lines: Ishmael had Nebaioth (his firstborn), then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah—the Ishmael branch.

32-33 Keturah, Abraham’s concubine, gave birth to Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Then Jokshan had Sheba and Dedan. And Midian had Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. These made up the Keturah branch.[/box_light]

I spent much of the morning immersed in a mixture of God’s word, prayer, and worship, but it wasn’t until an hour or so later that I experienced my intimate moment with God… in a Starbucks.

With Audrey Assad’s new album in my headphones and random miscellany on my laptop, God met me in the sweetest way. That’s the only way I can describe it. It was one of those moments where your jaw drops and you say: This is the God of the Universe… and He cares deeply about me.

When God decides to meet you wherever you are, it transcends manliness or societies standards for who we should be as men. His sweet moments don’t need to be masculinized,  but rather accepted for what they are and for who he is. Many times I try to translate God’s goodness into what the world would find acceptable.

He doesn’t require that.

God doesn’t need you to say that you both fist-bumped and threw back a beer before getting intimate. Your relationship with God is perfectly acceptable whether you’re completely prone or actually drinking a beer in that moment. Your God is the God of all understanding and creation. He doesn’t need any addons.

[box_dark]Action Tip: Next time you have a sweet moment with God, share it with a fellow man. Don’t mince any details. Share your whole heart. As faith begets faith, you’ll be interested to hear that other men are having sweetly intimate moments with the same God you serve. Talk about what it means to humble your masculinity in the midst of a fully powerful God.[/box_dark]

 

Men, It’s Time to Grow Up

Statistics indicate that the majority of young men in this country are single and it is painfully obvious why that is. As a whole, they have not grown up and still act like they’re in high school. Mark Driscoll says it best, “this world is full of boys who can shave.”

During a time of singleness in my life, I was desperately searching to find a Godly woman to make my wife. One day, it finally dawned on me that I was not ready to date someone because I was not a Godly man. Sure I went to church, served in the youth group, and did my devotions, but there is so much more than that to be a Godly man in a relationship. You are the leader of your household.


 

Tip #1: Grow up

In order to be a man you need to grow up. Stop playing video games, get a real job, move out on your own, become financially stable. Women are only attracted to losers because they have motherly instincts and will want to coddle you and make your lunch. They will grow tired, though, and very quickly they’ll want a real man. Sorry boys.

We spend too much of our time fooling around. This is not a bad thing, per se, but wasting time is the trademark of a boy. Do you want to be taken seriously? Be decisive in your thoughts, words, and actions.


 

Tip #2: Seek men one life-stage ahead of you

Hang out with older Christian men who are in the next stages of life.

If you are single, hang out with young married couples. If you are a newlywed, hang out with men who have families. They will give you the best advice because they will tell you how they screwed up and you’ll know what not to do. I was blessed to have an older brother that mentored me throughout the difficult times in my life; you can have the same thing.


 

Tip #3: Fill your time with Godly things

Fill your time with Godly things… music, books, and sermons.  The majority of us have to commute to work or school every day; listening to sermons is a great way to fill that time. I challenge you to start listening; it will change your life.

A great series on relationships is Steven Furtick’s Mr. and Mrs. Betterhalf, (one of these sermons is the reason why I am with the love of my life right now). Furtick says, “Stop looking for your fairytale princess and crown the queen you already know.” In that moment, God revealed an incredible girl that I had been serving with for over a year in the ministry, and that I needed to pursue her.  In addition, Mark Driscoll has an incredible sermon entitled “Men and Marriage.”  In this sermon, he points out several different stereotypes of boys. If you want to stay immature and live with your parents, I recommend that you do not listen to this.


 

Tip #4: Grab a book

Grab a book and read, instead of watching 4 hours of SportsCenter per day. A few recommendations are:

These are incredible books written by great men of the faith.

I am not writing this article because I think I am finally some type of Godly man now… or that I know more than you do. Also, I’m not saying that just because you’re single, you’re a little boy that needs to grow up. Singleness is a great time to learn about yourself and pursue your passions.

Be careful though.  Too many Christian men are willing to stay in that stage of life for way too long. As a result, so many Christian girls end up going after loser guys, and it’s all because no great Christian men will step up.

So please, men: stop being another statistic; let’s grow up.

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.

[divider]

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.

[divider]

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.

[divider]

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: An Introduction.

Gentlemen: this isn’t working.

Present-day manhood is failing us. For the first time in modern history, men at large have no idea who they are or where they’re going.

The 21st century woman has left us in the dust. 80% of jobs lost in the recession were held by men. We no longer hold a majority position in college classrooms and even the workforce. The hunter-gatherer role is long gone and men have no idea what’s next.

Masculinity is convoluted. Today’s man has a hollow identity, covered by posturing and deception. Instead of loving God and loving others first, we have succumbed to a host of societal norms that tell us all about a fake manhood. Continue reading “DEVIANT: An Introduction.”