Treat Ladies Right, part 2: Encourage and Honor Women
So in my post a couple of days ago I dug into the idea that one of the best things that I can do to treat women right is to be a solid guy myself. The reason for this is that everything in this post will fall completely flat if I’m not a solid dude. All of the encouraging actions and conversations will ring hollow if they’re not spoken from a godly mindset. I’ve found that in the past I’ve tried to sharpen my sisters and been met with either rejection or frustration because I offered those compliments out of a manipulative or self-serving mindset. I now know that my heart must be prepared and Christ-focused if I am to serve my sisters well. So, that said, what follows is a distillation of my experience as a single guy trying to encourage my sisters in the faith.
Have Opposite-Sex Friends
Along these same lines, though my crew of guys are my closest friends, I do have several women who I consider good friends and thoroughly enjoy bouncing ideas and thoughts off of them. I consider them a wealth of knowledge in an area that I am woefully ignorant, and they are a great source of feedback. I love bouncing ideas, thoughts, concerns, complaints, etc. off of my good girl friends, and I am immensely thankful for their patience, compassion, and generosity in sharing their opinions. Since I do not have a biological sister (only the one brother), I consider my sisters in the faith both an indispensable resource, and a sharpening encouragement as I pursue Christ in my singleness.
Encourage Community Among Women
Also, do your best to encourage the women you’re around to build strong relationships with each other. I used to make a lot of jokes about girls nights and have had my share of frustration with them. But I learned a while back that those nights are essential for women to bond with each other and maintain close friendships. So while I honestly have no interest in participating in a girls night out, I understand that those of the female persuasion need that time to themselves and I try my best to support them in that. It also gives me a great chance to hang out with their husbands and boyfriends and pick their brains without them around. But that’s neither here nor there.
Honor Godly Women
The next-to-last thing that I will say is that as a single man I need to be encouraging to my sisters in the faith. Men, not only do we need to be godly men pursuing what God has commanded in Scripture, we also need to be honoring women who exhibit those qualities that Scripture says are godly and beneficial. We need to sharpen our sisters as they bear the image of God in their unique, precious way. For me, this looks like encouraging motherly activities and qualities – encouraging selflessness, thanking them for serving well, and learning from them as they serve the Lord. It also means that I highlight the precious role that women play in serving God and obeying him. Encourage the mother who disciplines and cares for her children. Celebrate women who honor their husbands and make disciples. Mothers and wives are wonderful and bring much joy and light in this world. And this world wars against what Scripture says a woman should be. Therefore, men, we must be a solid support for women who aspire to the high callings of being wives and mothers.
Guard Godly Women
The last thing that I will say is that we men must guard women who follow Christ. As men, we have a unique ability to sniff out bad guys and if you’re anything like me you can spot idiots and posers from a pretty fair distance. I’ve found that godly women can do this with other women, which is super helpful for me. But I’ve also seen that ladies don’t always have this kind of discernment with guys they’re interested in. It is then incumbent upon me to address these men and not allow them to gain an audience with my sisters. I’m not talking about being an over-protective non-boyfriend, but rather a brother seeking out the best interest of his sisters and guarding them from men who will lead them astray. So I’ve included some questions here that I ask women when they’re interested in a guy…
Some questions to ask before a woman gets emotionally involved with a guy:
1) Does this guy honor Christ with the way he lives his life?
2) Can you see yourself submitting to his authority for the rest of your life?
3) Is this man a leader? Is he able and willing to lead you spiritually?
4) Does he stir your affections for Christ, or does he distract you from Jesus?
5) Do you trust him with your life?
6) Do you want this man to not only be a joy to you, but also to comfort you in hard times? (death, financial strain, health issues, hard parenting situations, etc.)
7) Is this guy the kind of guy you want your daughters marrying?
8) Will he be a good example and make disciples of your young sons and teach them how to be a man?
Ladies, if you don’t think the guy exhibits these characteristics and you don’t want him hanging around, try this:
1) Ask him straight up what his intentions are. This will stop posers in their tracks. It will also give the guy in question a chance to air out his thoughts and you might find out that you read him wrong. It will also give creepers a chance to air out their thoughts and seriously creep you out, and you can move on to the next step below.
2) Tell your close brothers in the faith and have them help you deal with the guy. Dudes know how to handle dudes. I personally enjoy these conversations, because it gives me a chance to sharpen another dude, and guard a sister in the process.