There was a time I had to read a novel before falling asleep… well I would tire myself galore as I wouldn’t be able to put the book down till I finished it. This was till I was consumed by the desire to study God’s Word. Then I found myself being woken up even in the middle of the night, and the Holy Spirit giving me revelation on a topic. I didn’t even have to use the concordance as the Holy Spirit would teach me amazing things. My habitual reading of novels was replaced. As I progressed onto Bible College, my shelves began to fill with study tools and other Christian books.
Now that I have got into writing, I do like to read novels from time to time. The other day I was visiting a friend. She had a few short love stories lying around. To my friend’s surprise, I decided to borrow them. As I read them, I realised that the thread of the stories were similar. It was all about a man being attracted to a stunning ‘virgin’. In other words they were drawn to the women who were ‘inexperienced’; the ‘family’ type. The man sees the woman as a challenge as they usually have women throwing themselves at him. He chases her. She does find the man attractive but it is her ‘value’ that makes her keep herself in control… up to a point that is, as he continues the chase.
The man who had decided to have a ‘one night stand’ with her gets ‘addicted’ to her and tries to spend more nights with her. However he can’t stand the thought of another man having her as she gets attention wherever she goes. Finally he finds a way to marry her out of convenience and not for love. She is caught in the situation because she loves this man and in her eyes, she agrees with the man that marriage is necessary given the situation. However she is sad as he doesn’t love her. As days go on and she threatens to walk out, the man realises that he does indeed love her.
It struck me that this isn’t just a fiction… it actually echoes real life to a large degree. I have known of many guys who have ended up marrying the girl they seduced with the wrong motives. Yes, many males do have a commitment phobia. They tend to be afraid of love. An article I read mentioned that men get married and then look for a wife. In their book, “Why Men Don’t Listen & Women Can’t Read Maps”, Allan & Barbara Pease write, “It’s often not until years after a relationship begins that a man recognises he was in love, but he does it in retrospect. Women recognise when love does not exist and that’s why most relationships are ended by women.” (pg.256)
Recently I read somewhere, “A man who is passive in his pursuit of you will be passive in his pursuit of all things concerning life.” I totally disagree with this. King David decided to remain in Jerusalem and sent his men off to war (2 Samuel 11:1). The Bible is clear that this was the time when KINGS go off to war. David disobeyed God. He wasn’t where he was supposed to be. In fact we can say he was PASSIVE about his ‘career’. Yet he sighted Bathsheba and his hormones played up. He certainly was NOT PASSIVE in his pursuit of her. To cover one sin, he attempted many more wrongs.
Adam had to name all the creatures yet he didn’t ask God for someone compatible (Genesis 2:20). I wonder whether he even REALISED that there was no one compatible for him. God had already foreseen that it was not good for the man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). Eve wasn’t created and left alone for man to locate her and pursue her. Eve was created and brought to Adam. Likewise, Isaac did not pursue a wife at all. Abraham instructed his servant to bring a wife, and Rebekah was brought to Isaac.
Think about Boaz. He certainly noticed Ruth, and even ensured that Ruth and her mother in law had sufficient food. Yet Boaz never pursued her. When Ruth pursued Boaz, even though he had the right to marry Ruth, he didn’t agree immediately. He first did the right thing by approaching the man who had the first right to be her kinsman-redeemer. (Too many occurrences of the word right here – but many rights don’t ever make a wrong!!). Boaz was a true gentleman.
Jacob however did pursue Rachel. He was tricked to marrying her sister despite having waited 7 years for Rachel, which “seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her” (Genesis 29:20). So he waited for another “few days,” in particular 7 years for her. She ended up being his second wife although she was loved and Leah wasn’t. Most occurrences in the Bible (if not all, other than Jacob pursuing Rachel) where it is mentioned of a man pursuing a woman was based on lust (adultery, incense and/or ‘foreign’ women). Jacob seems to be a healthy exception!
Albert Mohler writes many articles on what he calls extended adolescence especially in men. Many men these days actively pursue career, technology, material things… and are not interested in relationships as they feel a relationship would quench their lifestyle, kill their goals and that it would also cost their freedom. They obviously will not pursue a woman then. Actually those who are aggressively pursuing other areas of their lives are very unlikely to pursue a woman for the right reasons, namely for a long term commitment.
Lust comes easily for men, but love doesn’t! Men chasing women appears to be a part of primal instinct, of the fleshly nature – the modern day version of the primal day hunters! As a male friend of mine admitted to me, it’s the “THRILL” of the chase, not the chase in itself. Perhaps that is why the Bible instructs husbands to love their wives. Nowhere in the Bible are wives commanded to love their husbands since love and attachment come naturally to women.
Being PASSIVE could indicate
(which requires healing from past hurts or perhaps release from the enemy’s schemes)
OR IT could also indicate
a strong faith in God – one who can wait for God’s timing and God’s way…
It is good to read and widen our knowledge base. However, whatever we read has to be tested against the ultimate truth – God’s Word…
Theories are derived based on man’s wisdom, but truth is God’s Word alone.
Studies of biblical characters teach us so many things – it teaches us God’s attributes, His nature and His acts, it gives us much glimpse into human behaviours and tendencies, the list goes on. These studies are meant to help us grow as believers.
There are exceptions to the rule, but whether from the examples of characters in the Bible or whether from romantic novels or whether from what I observe in life… I see a pattern of men chasing women they lust after for a ‘one night’ stand.
As believers, we can’t and shouldn’t give in hoping or expecting the man to fall in love with us, as we believe in holiness. God will take us women to the godly men (as opposed to the worldly men who desire one night stands) that He has ordained for each one of us in His right timing if only we will trust in Him and not yield to the patterns of the world.
No commitment phobia is too hard for our Almighty God to handle.
In the meantime we can intercede for our future bridegrooms and also intercede for men in general to be set free from the spirit of lust and from commitment fears.