messy flowersThe feminine heart was intricately designed by God to be responsive. Our hearts naturally long to be courted and to be won. However, we do ourselves and the men in our lives a disservice when we indulge ourselves in a practice of over-romanticizing marriage and dating relationships. It can truly shut down our ability to respond freely and fully when it is time to.

Sometimes I think the poor fellas can be sabotaged before they even begin to approach one of us because we have nurtured such outlandish expectations of what those encounters with the opposite sex are “supposed” to be like. I about did Greg in during that season of our lives with analyzing what I should be feeling, how he should or shouldn’t be leading, whether we had the right amount of “fireworks,” and if I was about to miss God’s will if I went for it. How much time and emotional energy had I invested for years in romantic fantasy, fueled by movies, books (Christian romance, of course!), plain old comparison, and my own secret hopes?

At the time, I found myself genuinely conflicted. I had to come to faith that I was created for the role of being a responder. To boil it down, for me it was a battle between Fantasy and Reality, and trust me, #thestrugglewasreal. This handsome, hairy man chose to pursue me, and now I can’t even imagine what I would have missed out on if the Holy Spirit had not filled me with enough bravery to abandon myself to the wild mystery that is relationship, and to risk saying yes to this amazing, faithful, funny, wise, self-sacrificing, imperfect, flesh-and-blood man who was right in front of me.

When a real-live man who is sincerely following Christ takes the initiative toward you, try responding. He is honoring you by wanting to know you. It takes vulnerability and courage to share his affection with you. I would hope that as tender women with soft hearts, we could have a heart-response of gratefulness and openness. Give a guy the chance. Be appreciative of what is right in front of you. Embrace the simple. Learn to accept that person and enjoy them for who they are. Let enough time pass to see what grows and develops without (a) rejecting the possibility of a future together, or (b) rushing straight ahead to planning the ceremony and imagining what your children will look like!

Let’s choose to have soft, grateful hearts for the men God brings into our lives. Every relationship along the way is an opportunity to practice responding out of our feminine hearts and honoring the masculine soul anywhere we see it on display. No matter what season we each find ourselves in, could we champion the men in our lives…our brothers, our dads, our pastors, our friends? Could we make it a joy for them to be the leaders they are created to be? the initiators? the hard workers? providers? protectors? They should be able to count on us as their #1 supporters. And after all, how irresistible is that?

This post was written by Jill Brown. To read more about her, click here