Sunday's sermon was two things for me: 1) it was refreshing to hear things that I love preached; 2) it was hurtful to see – in my own life – my failure to be those things.
First, it was refreshing because as single men we need to learn to grow up and be responsible. To take hold of our decisions and be able to say, “Yes, I did that,” and if it was wrong to take the right blame and be repentant in our confession of failing; and if it was right to not gloat it over the heads of others.
To learn what it is to pay bills and keep and manage a budget while working a job and learning about who you are in God. Aiming to see Him glorified in all of life in work and responsibility as well as fun and relaxing. Then, by the grace of God someday bring and woman into that, to learn to love her well – in a God-fearing, God-trusting, God-exalting, Jesus-clinging way.
Second, this hurt like a ton of bricks dropped on my heart. “Passive” is scary word to me; I hate passivity – yet that is exactly what I’ve been in almost every dating relationship I’ve been in. Sure it’s one thing to take the lead when the person on the other side of the phone or the other side of your cup of coffee doesn’t know you deeply, but it’s something else entirely to tell a woman, “You’re not trusting Christ the way you need to be," or, "I've sinned against you by making you my idol."
The gut-wrenching reality is I’m not trusting Christ the way I need to be. Rather than knowing my mantra (“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”) to be true, I look into her eyes and I’m more worried about making her happy than seeing God 1) honored, 2) glorified, 3) followed.
So what’s a single man to do? (Time to speak to myself in a third person kind of way.) He should aim at being so committed to God that a girl cannot and will not sway him from seeing God glorified in his life. He should be believing the gospel for all his passed failures and future screw ups. He should be praying, “Make me a better man, one to love my God, one to follow him, one to be in Jesus. To – one day – love a woman, to raise children, to be a leader-follower. Help me be a better man; to leave my wants for hers, to leave my needs for hers, to look to you for comfort and peace. Make me a better man for your glory.”