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Christian Life

First Move Roundtable: The Relationship Is What’s Important

Zach Hunter headshot

I’ve gone back and forth on this issue a lot throughout my life. I’ve seen good relationships start with a girl making her feelings and intentions known, and I’ve seen a potentially bad relationship end in the same way. I’ve also seen guys “step up” and lead the discussion. I want to talk with you a little bit about how it happened with my wife and me.

We got to know each other as “just friends.” In fact, I initiated two or three “just friends” conversations because I was trying not to “get involved” (mostly because I liked her a lot and didn’t know what to do about it). It took some time, but she was patient with me. She stuck around because she valued my friendship and because she liked me, too! And after a couple of months (it seemed much longer), we started going out. Shortly after, we were engaged and then married (and now we have the cutest baby in the world). It’s been quite a journey and it began with me starting the conversation.

Now, let’s backtrack a little bit. First, I have no problem with a girl initiating a conversation. And some people do, which is really strange to me. I’ve heard stories of guys feeling offended when a girl initiates a conversation via text or calls them out of the blue. I think that’s pretty weird, but that’s just me. I’m not threatened at all by the prospect of equality between men and women, and I wouldn’t have felt threatened if my wife had been the one to initiate all of our conversations about our relationship. That being said, you know how my relationship played out.

What I’m trying to say is this is what’s worked for me, but there are a lot of ways to do relationships. I think one of the most important things to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t fight for a harmful relationship or a relationship with someone who doesn’t respect you. And if you have to initiate every conversation about the relationship, if the friendship is completely one-sided, it may be time to move on.

Zach Hunter

 

Speech-Bubbles  MORE ON MAKING THE FIRST MOVE: Go back to the First Move Roundtable now!

 

Image: Zach Hunter

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5 Comments

  1. emerald

    Posted by emerald on September 26, 2014 at 11:48

    This is just what I believe personally, and from the relationships I’ve read in the Bible. To me it’s ok to be friendly with guys if your not intending anything else. We have to spread God’s love somehow. Always pray that your not being flirtatious with every guy you meet. And if you want to read more on this article go here:

    http://setapartgirl.com/magazine/article/05-1-13/getting-know-guy

  2. emerald

    Posted by emerald on September 26, 2014 at 11:43

    Well, I believe in Courtship as a safe thing to do. And I like the “Just friends” idea. If we all want to get biblical then we all probably should know how that goes. Or if you don’t then read the story of Rebecca and Isaac in Genesis, (Beautiful love story.) Personally I believe that guys should always have the upper hand of asking the girl out. But I think when it comes to friendship, both should be able to initiate.

    Look at what Leslie ludy says about this:
    Many young women feel that the only way they can get to know a guy is if they initiate a friendship. “I don’t know him very well, but I’m just going to call him and invite him to coffee. How else is he ever going to know that I am interested in having a friendship with him?” It sounds like a logical line of reasoning. But taking the initiative with a guy, even in the friendship stage, can be dangerous. God designed men to be the leaders, the initiators, and the pursuers in male/female relationships. Even if it seems harmless to ask a guy out to coffee or email him and let him know you want to get to know him better, it subtly undermines his masculinity. And as we discussed earlier, even though guys might at first seem to like it when girls pursue them, the reality is that when their masculine role is diminished, it hinders them from becoming the strong, confident leaders God intended them to be.

    If there is a guy in your life that you feel drawn to get to know better, remember that the way you approach the friendship in the early stages can set the tone for the entire friendship and, if it ends up becoming more, the entire romantic relationship.

    The Bible says:

    But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. (1 Ti 2:12-13)

    When a woman takes a leadership role, even in a friendship, she subtly disregards a man’s authority and position. To “usurp authority” over a man means to “govern” him. If you take the first step in starting a friendship with a guy, the weight falls upon your shoulders to guide and govern the relationship from that point forward – completely backwards from God’s intent. You forgo the opportunity to be pursued and won by a heroic man. Rather than him proving that he is worthy of your heart, you now have to prove that you are worthy of his. How unromantic is that? As hard as it might be to wait for him to take the first step in reaching out, you will be blessed for honoring God’s perfect design. Even if the friendship never turns into anything romantic, by down-playing a man’s role as pursuer you are chipping away at his ability to be a Christ-built Warrior-Poet who will honor, serve, and protect femininity. Don’t give into impatience when you see a guy you are attracted to or interested in. Instead, take it to God in fervent, heartfelt prayer. If God desires the friendship to happen, He is perfectly capable of moving upon the guy’s heart to take the first step in reaching out to you. Show that you trust in Him with all your heart by letting Him write the story without any manipulation on your part!

    If there is a guy in your life that you feel drawn to, honor God’s design by reaching out to him in subtle and Christ-honoring ways, without undermining his position as the initiator. Here are some practical suggestions for getting to know a guy without sacrificing your femininity:

  3. JessRottschafer

    Posted by JessRottschafer on August 20, 2014 at 22:31

    It’s very good to remind young women to never give up on people, but at the same time understand that it’s okay to let people go to. There’s a fragile balance.

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by pretty10 on August 14, 2014 at 01:54

    Hi Zach for me, if I start the first conversations and I ended up being married to the guy. It would always haunt me that I wasn’t the girl who he felt was interesting enough to approach first. Like you and your wife that was so romantic and it worked out. May be it because i don’t have that many guys at my high school who like like me. So it would make me look at my future husband as one the high school guys that didn’t find interest in me. I will somehow feel like I just forced or persuaded him into liking me. Any comments? Is that wrong?

    • 16louise

      Posted by 16louise on December 2, 2014 at 21:51

      There is a big difference between “making the first move” on friendship and on dating. I doubt you will ever regret starting a good friendship, and a dating relationship should start from a friendship. Just because you initiate a friendship with a guy doesn’t mean it will lead to anything more. Stating a friendship at least lets you get to know the person better, so that you can better evaluate their character and make sure your values line up with theirs before you would even consider dating them.
      I feel like your trying to skip the time of growth between friendship, dating, and marriage. A one-sided relationship like you describe is not healthy, nor should it lead to marriage at all. Just because you say hi first doesn’t mean a marriage will come out of it. Don’t avoid making friends, but when you move from friendship to dating you want a guy who will show as much initiative as you do.
      I hope this helps some