Lie #1: She’s flirting with me because she thinks I’m great?
While it seems innocent and fun, flirting is not a behavior that women who are trying to attract the right kind of man indulge in. Most women who flirt are looking for attention. Why? Likely she either has a poor self-image and she’s searching for positive strokes, or she is desperately looking for approval that she didn’t receive from her father. The trouble is, flirtatious women often have a hard time leaving that trait behind when they get married, and they inappropriately (and dangerously) continue to search for the approval of men long after “I do.” Also, women who need this type of attention can tend to be high maintenance in relationships, always craving more attention.
Lie #2: She doesn’t realize what her revealing clothes are doing to me?
More likely than not, when she bought those clothes she was thinking about how you (and every other man) would drop their jaw when she walked by. While many women don’t realize the extent of men’s visual stimulation (since it’s quite different than women), most know exactly what they are doing to you. It’s called putting you under a spell to get what they want from you. Proverbs calls this a “seductress” with clear warning: “a seductress is a narrow well. She also lies in wait as for a victim, and increases the unfaithful among men.” Proverbs 23:27-28
Lie #3: Her lack of faith won’t pull me down?
Solomon, the wisest man and king who ever lived, fell for this lie. Probably thinking he was smarter than God gave him credit for, he stubbornly ignored God’s warning not to marry the pagan women of other nations because they would turn his heart after their gods. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened — and it cost him greatly. So if the wisest man who ever lived, the one who had been visited by God himself on two different occasions and even built God’s temple, wasn’t strong enough to stay devoted to God while going after unbelieving women, how could you be any different?
Lie #4: She’s a little needy but I like to be needed. She’ll settle down once we’re married?
According to studies, men thrive on being needed, but it can end up in trouble. Many women out there are desperate to get married. It’s one thing for her to enjoy being with you and to depend on you occasionally for emotional support, or to help with certain things (like changing her oil or mowing her lawn), but when it comes to emotional neediness, it’s not healthy and it’s not going to get better unless she gets help. She probably has some “holes” that she is expecting you to fill that you never will, no matter how much time, love, or words of encouragement you give her, because you are not the answer to her longings. After the wedding, you will disappoint her because you can’t do or be enough, and she may turn to other things for comfort — food, other men, alcohol, or shopping, to name a few.
Lie #5: If she knew who I really am, she wouldn’t want me?
This fear keeps many men in a cycle of telling women what they want to hear instead of being open and honest about who they really are. This builds the relationship on a lie from the start, and increases the chance of failure later on. It also increases anxiety over exposure and rejection. The woman you are dating needs to know exactly who you are and what kind of person she is agreeing to love. It’s not fair to give her false hope. As an example, going to church with her before you are married with no intention of continuing later is not an honest representation of yourself. If she is the one for you and she is operating under the grace of God, she will love and accept you, warts and all.
Lie #6: She wouldn’t just date me for financial reasons?
Think again. A woman’s greatest need is for security, according to studies. That doesn’t mean that all women are gold diggers, but you have to be aware of motives. There are many financially distraught women thinking that getting married to someone financially stable will solve all of their problems, whether or not the man is right for her. This is unfortunate because the relationship is built on wrong motives, and is likely to be very disappointing. How can you know for sure? You can’t really. But you can watch for a few factors. Is she a good money manager of her own money? Is she stable financially on her own? Does she hint at expensive tastes out of her budget? Does she focus on her lack of finances? Does she focus on your comfortable lifestyle? If you are concerned, be sure to approach this matter privately with a qualified pre-marriage counselor (like her pastor) for some objective help in discerning her motives. This may sound harsh, but you don’t want to risk marrying a woman who only loves you for your money.
Lie #7: When I marry her, my lust problem will be solved?
This is a normal mistake that many men make, especially ones who are waiting to have sex until marriage. They think, “When I’m able to have sex with my wife, I won’t be tempted by pornography or experience consuming lust because I’ll have an outlet for my sexual energy.” I think all honest married men will tell you that marriage did not solve their lust problem. In some cases, it aggravated it. This is due primarily to the fact that lust isn’t a sex problem. It’s a heart problem. And just like a fire, when you begin to feed it, it gets hotter and hungrier, not satisfied. When a man gets married, he may be even more focused on sex and can still feed his fire (lustful thoughts) with images and fantasies. Another problem is that many men go into marriage expecting their wife to be a sex goddess — ready at their beck and call for a romp in the hay. How many men have been disappointed to find that marital sex is not as plentiful as they would have hoped. Relationship problems, low sex-drive, busy schedules, interruptions from kids, and physical problems can all be factors. The best thing is to begin starving the fire of lust and it will die down. Get a rein on your thoughts and the things you allow yourself to look at. Flee, as the Bible says, from sexual temptation.
Lie #8: She nags a little but what woman doesn’t…
Women who nag more than occasionally have a control problem. If you want to be mothered for the rest of your life, then go ahead and accept the challenge. If not, either make sure she deals with her control problem before marriage, or move on until you meet with a more relaxed woman who doesn’t need to micro-manage your life.
Lie #9: Her past is her past — I don’t need to know?
Wrong! Her past becomes your past. You need to dig and discover during the dating relationship to see if there are any big issues lurking in the deep waters beneath the surface. What was her relationship like with her dad? Has she ever been sexually molested or abused? How have men treated her in past relationships? How has she treated men in the past? All of this you need to know now, or you could be shocked and deeply affected later when huge road blocks and past skeletons emerge in her sexual or emotional intimacy.
Resources to Prepare for Marriage:
The Perfect Fit: Waiting for God’s Best After Failed Relationships, by Julie Ferwerda, available at www.julieferwerda.com.
Finding Your Perfect Mate, H. Norman Wright, Harvest House, 1995. Should I Get Married?, by Blaine Smith, Intervarsity Press, 1990. Every Man’s Battle, Stephen Arterburn, WaterBrook Press, 2000. Every Young Man, God’s Man, by Kenny Luck, WaterBrook Press, 2005
Copyright © 2006 Julie Ferwerda, Used with permission.
Read more from Julie at julieferwerda.com