By Andrew Hess
I’ve been blessed to be a part of a great community of friends here in Colorado Springs. My roommates and I were just recently planning a party and quickly came up with 65 people we just had to invite. There were others we could have invited, but just didn’t have the room. Luckily, all 65 couldn’t make it or we’d have had to ask some people to move their conversations to our snowy backyard. Just talk about something warm…
However, I’ve observed that Christian community does have its ups and down. It’s great to have friends to do things with and it’s important to have support you can lean on if and when times get tough, especially with so many of my friends transplanted from different parts of the country. One of the things I’ve regularly heard from the women in my community is a general disappointment that the guys just don’t seem to be asking them out. I’d say it’s a fair observation and legitimate frustration.
The pages of Boundless are filled with wise advice to women about how to encourage the men in their lives to get in the game. And I agree women shouldn’t just sit idly by working their tapestries, waiting for some valiant warrior to climb through their tower window. But I do believe that women should let guys initiate, and my reason has more to do with what it means to be a man, than a woman.
As men make the transition from boyhood to manhood one of the significant markers of maturity is learning to take responsibility for themselves and for others. Men are designed to provide for and protect their families. There are times almost hourly when men leading families must take initiative, make decisions and lead. Maybe it’s listening to and working through issues with their wives, instructing or disciplining children, or protecting the family from threats. “Truly great men are servants who give themselves to a worthy cause and leaders who stand for what is right,” as Richard Phillips has written.
If you want to date guys you’ll be glad to marry one day, then don’t give him a pass on this first and important test. If a guy isn’t willing to take a risk, initiate and ask you out, he may not be marriage material in the first place. Do you really want to have to prod him to make important decisions for your family the rest of your lives together? You really want a man who’ll take risks for your family. If asking you out is too much, there’s a good chance marriage will be too much as well.
The converse is also true. A mature women learns to come alongside the leadership of the men in her life; first, her father and then her husband. If she falls into the temptation of asking men out herself, not only is she letting him off easy, she’s showing that throughout their relationship she may struggle to let him lead. A woman who’ll take a position of initiative at the beginning of a relationship is demonstrating a bent toward controlling her surroundings, instead of waiting for and submitting to the leadership of her husband.
So ladies, keep waiting patiently for the man who’ll take a risk and initiate the relationship. He’ll be worth the wait. And men, stop waiting for a woman who’ll make it obvious she wants you to ask. Man up, take a risk and ask her out. There’s a good chance she’s been waiting for a man just like you!