So you liked him. And he didn’t like you back. Now you are plagued by the remnant of that almost-relationship, wondering why he didn’t like you, what you did wrong and what you could do differently next time. While it’s good to ask self-reflective questions, living captive to the opinions of guys who are no longer in your life is no way to live yours.
The Bible calls living captive to opinions “fear of man.” The fear of man is a desire to be appealing to other people at all times. This isn’t specific to male attention, but when it comes to dating relationships, fear of man is aggravated by our desire to be desired. Sometimes we use the opinions of others, especially boys, as a benchmark for our success. We gauge ourselves by how many boys like us or how many look our way when we walk down the street. We also measure ourselves by how many boys don’t look at us. Our level of desirability dictates our confidence. This is no way to live!
Living free from the opinions of man will be a journey, but it’s the best journey you can ever take. God wants you to live only for His approval. When you do, you find a purpose that is not altered by who looks your way and who doesn’t.
So if you’re struggling with a heart that wants to be desired by men more than by God, here are some things you can do.
First, spend time in the Word. Learn who God is and what he’s done for you. Learn what he says about you and his relationship with you. When you have a high view of God, you’re more likely to have an appropriate view of other people. You’ll also be secure in your relationship with the Lord, and therefore not looking for the approval of others. Even when guys don’t like you, you’ll be able to trust God‘s work in your life and his ability to bring the right person at the right time.
Second, put the opinions of man in appropriate perspective. Opinions change and shift with time. They’re also completely subjective. No person can tell you who you need to be merely based on their own preference. You have a guide for who you need to be, and it’s the Word of God! When you allow God’s Word and spirit to be your guide into godly living, you don’t need to worry about how people perceive you. Yes, you will still need to be on guard against those thoughts that spring up in your mind, but you will no longer be in bondage to their opinion.
Finally, remember that when you meet a godly man and choose to be with him, his opinions will also be based on scripture. And while he’ll be a flawed human just like you, he will not be measuring you against some unrealistic standard but against the love of the God he serves. All the guys who have not liked you or have rejected you will be a thing of the past. Their opinions will feel so insignificant in light of the love you’ll receive—both from God and from the man who loves him.
So persevere in reverence for God and faithfulness to Him. Let him work in your life in the slow, kind way that He does, trusting that in due time there will be men who do like you in return. Remember: One man’s actions are not a statement for all men’s opinions.
Live for God, not for man.