However, when it came to the men I realized that the male challenge in dating and marriage is complex, and a much bigger issue than simply not having the tools or practicals on how to ask a girl out on a date. In fact, in the over 1,000 people I surveyed to learn more about this issue (over 400 of whom are single men), very few said they didn’t know how to date, but rather the responses made it clear to me that for men who delay marriage, this is often a heart issue. If guys are going to become the pursuers, providers, and protectors they were created to be, they must first confront the real giants in the promised land of their hearts.
So many men in the survey said that they “can’t find a woman.” This is hogwash as there are now over 3.8 billion women on the planet! Clearly, this reasoning is an attempt to fill in the blanks for the “why” behind their behavior. It’s not even a bald-faced lie, and I’m sure they don’t even know that it isn’t the truth. They’re coming up with an answer because they need one. As humans, we all do this. It feels odd to not know the answer, so we fill in the blank with something that makes us feel like we know, but we actually don’t know.
Malcolm Gladwell writes about this in his book, “Blink.” He shares the story of Ted Williams, one of the greatest baseball hitters of all time. One thing Williams always said was that he could look the ball onto the bat, that he could track it right to the point where he made contact. However, scientifically we know that it is physically impossible to look a ball onto the bat.
Gladwell goes on to write: “Ted Williams could hit a baseball as well as anyone in history, and he could explain with utter confidence how to do it. But his explanation did not match his actions… We have, as human beings, a storytelling problem. We’re a bit too quick to come up with explanations for things we don’t really have an explanation for.
”So then, in understanding how many women are on the planet, it is then encumbered upon men who give this reason for putting off marriage to dig deeper, to face the unknown, and to uncover the real reason behind their procrastination.
The real problem men faces
o what’s the REAL problem? Why can’t guys rise to the occasion and fight for their bride? I propose that fatherlessness has emasculated many modern men! They often lack confidence in their ability to lead and provide for a family because it’s never been modeled for them. Therefore they delay or completely reject marriage relationships!Let’s unpack this in the 4 most common responses I got from men on why they delay marriage:
1) “I’M AFRAID I’LL PUT MYSELF OUT THERE AND A WOMAN WON’T RECIPROCATE.”
Everybody’s afraid of rejection. So, the problem is not that you have a fear that’s uncommon! The real challenge is that you give in to the fear and let it tell you what to do. When you allow the fear of rejection to dictate your actions in dating, you’re allowing it to keep you from having children and a legacy. How does that feel to you? What is the real impact of not asking a girl out? There are ramifications to your choices… so think through what your life, and legacy, will look like if you continue to allow this fear to tell you what to do. Learning resilience—to get back up when you fall off of the relationship horse—will not only teach you to date again but will train you to deal with the realities of life.
If you’re afraid that when you pursue a girl that she won’t reciprocate, you may be misunderstanding women. If you pursue her, and she doesn’t pursue back, it’s very likely that she’s saying, “Chase me!” and not, “I don’t like you.” So learn to chase and pursue! Let me be clear: You must respect a woman’s hard “no.” But be careful not to partner with a fear of rejection by giving up on a love interest simply because she didn’t text you back immediately!
2) “I CAN’T FIND A WOMAN TO DATE.”
Maybe this is true if you’re 18… but if you’re 35 and still claiming this, you’ve been exposed to a lot of the population. So as I mentioned before, there’s clearly something deeper going on here.Perhaps your problem is that you are looking for the “perfect woman” and not finding her. Here’s a clue; I’m a 63-year-old man and I’m telling you that you won’t find a perfect woman. (There was only one and she’s already taken! Hint: Her name is Kathy, and I took her.)But in all seriousness, regardless of whom you marry, nobody is perfect except for Jesus. Even if you wait your whole life you’ll never find the perfect person. And if you did, you’d probably be intimidated by the fact that you aren’t perfect!If you truly believe you just can’t meet the right woman, then maybe it’s time to earnestly think through what’s REALLY holding you back from marriage.
3) “I DON’T WANT THE RESPONSIBILITY.”
Okay, men… Listen up! Here’s a truth that may be difficult to hear: life isn’t all about you!A culture of fatherlessness has resulted in men approaching women from the perspective of a consumer instead of a contributor. What I mean is that they relate to women as mothers and sisters, but not as a wife or lover because many men never observed how a husband relates to a wife. Consequently, they don’t pursue lovers; they pursue mothers: someone who will care for them, not a person they can provide for, protect and promote. I want to tell you that as a man, living in your true role as pursuer and provider will give you meaning, purpose and identity way beyond what avoiding responsibility will! So what will you choose?
4) “I’M STILL HURTING FROM PAST WOUNDS.”
Let’s think through this logically…If you get physically hurt, the Lord provides a way for your body to heal. So if you break a bone, it’s not broken for the rest of your life; it heals. And of course, there is a process! If you break your leg today, you’re not going to play basketball tomorrow, but if you’re still not playing basketball in 10 years it’s probably because you have exaggerated the process.
If you’re in love with someone and it goes bad, there is a journey to healing. God says that those who mourn are blessed because they WILL be comforted (Matt. 5:4). But if, after two years into that process, you can’t be with somebody because you’re afraid of getting hurt again, you’ve probably prolonged your emotional healing process.News flash! You are never going to get rid of your fear of being hurt by sitting alone in your room, hoping that it goes away. You are going to overcome that fear by getting back on the horse and doing it again. Therefore, a part of the process is grieving and another part of that process is taking another risk. You are not a victim! Find closure, get past it, and move on. Then try again, and I believe you will love again!
MATRIARCHAL INFLUENCE SHOULD NOT MEAN EMASCULATION
The lack of fathers, and therefore the result that men are raised by their mothers, is killing the innate conqueror that resides in the heart of every man. Men are created with an instinctive inner-fight! Think about why they summit mountains for no apparent reason other than to reach the apex…This is the inherent champion—the force within that says, “overcome that obstacle, push past the challenges, and reach the top as a winner!”
A lack of Godly male role models has bred a culture of men who don’t know how to fight for something! Women will teach their sons to be peacemakers and negotiate through conflict, while on the other hand men teach their sons to solve problems through conquering. As this male influence is missing, men no longer know how to fight for their bride!
I’m not promoting violence at all. I’m simply saying that the instinctive motivation to keep going when things get hard, and to pursue and protect, has been erased far beyond domestication and has even crossed the line into emasculation! Men shouldn’t mindlessly fight one another, but they should fight fear, fight for a woman, and fight for their destiny.
Please don’t misunderstand. Hear me on this—I wrote a book about liberating and empowering women. I believe they are incredibly powerful and I know that men have lessons they need to learn from their mothers! But we need the two parts equally—both male and female influence…both the peacemaker and the conqueror—to become balanced adults.My father died when I was young, so I was raised by my mother. My mama raised me but my grandpa taught me how to be a man, and I don’t know where I would be without my grandfather’s influence in my life.
WHAT’S A GUY TO DO?
If you grew up without a father, or maybe with a passive father, then it will be important for you to get around healthy male influences. We live in a culture that is very feminized so it may be difficult to find a role model of a masculine man pursuing a feminine woman. But perhaps you have some healthy married couples, or even healthy male friends, that you can allow to speak into this area in your life!
In the meantime, my encouragement to you is to not give in to the politically correct world, or the feminized masculine role in which you are told that you’re a victim or that you should be careful and cautious! Instead, rise up to manhood the same way that Joshua rose up to his call as a leader and conqueror!Often times our genderless society will produce this thought in a man: “Well, I pursued her, but she didn’t pursue me, so….”
What a load of crap! She is not supposed to pursue you; she’s a woman. You are a man! Go out there and be the pursuer you were created to be!If you have a woman that you want to pursue, then for goodness sake, get out there and ask her out! In a respectful way, win her over, climb the castle wall, and begin building your legacy today!
Do you see yourself in this list? What is God speaking over your heart today on this subject? I’d love to hear your thoughts, process, testimonies and ideas in the comments below."