Waiting and Responding: the Role of Women in Dating

womenasresponder

I hear it all the time.

“I like a boy. What do I do?!”

Just last week I saw the scenario play out on good ol’ Facebook when someone posed this question to all of their “friends” while at the same time opening themselves up to a torrent of opinions, none of which came from the Bible.

This is not shocking. The world is corrupt and people give advice as people instead of God’s representatives on this earth.

Although the amount of exclamation points varied, every answer given to this sweet girl in her 20s was exactly the same: Go tell him!

NOT THE BEST IDEA

waitingThe question of what a female is to do when she likes a member of the opposite sex is one that has no doubt plagued women for decades and one that has most likely been discussed at length in evangelical circles.

But this is something that has burned on my heart for weeks and I’m about to spill it all here.

When someone asks me the above question, they typically don’t like my answer.

“Sophie, there’s this great guy I’ve been talking to,” they bubble out in excitement. “He’s smart, classy, loves Jesus and has a heart for the nations. I really like him. He could be the one. What do you think I should do?”

“Nothing,” I say.

“Nothing?!”

“Nothing.”

WE DON’T GET IT

sweet hands datingLadies, we are not called to initiate things, rather we were created to be responders. If you don’t agree with me, just remember what happened when the very first woman took matters into her own hands.

“But how wrong could it be if I call and just check on him? We’re friends, right? I would do that with any of my friends.”

I’ve used that line before. “I’m doing what I would do with any of my friends.” The thing is, we both know you’re not really thinking of him like any of your other friends, you’re merely trying to convince yourself you are. And while you might get to talk to him for a few thrilling moments on the phone, if you initiate you’re missing the glory of womanhood.

We weren’t made to pursue the man. And frankly that takes a load of pressure off us.

Embrace that freedom.

You don’t have to figure everything out.

You don’t have to push yourself on a man to make sure you are noticed.

Elisabeth Elliot puts it this way:

adamandeveelisabethelliot“By the grace of God we have not been left to ourselves in the matter of who is to do the initiating. Adam needed a helper. God fashioned one to the exact specifications of his need and brought her to him. It was Adam’s job to husband her, that is, he was responsible—to care for, protect, provide for, and cherish her.

“Males, as the physical design alone would show, are made to be initiators. Females are made to be the receptors, responders….It was not arbitrarily that God called Himself Israel’s Bridegroom and Israel His Bride, nor Christ the Head and the Church the Body and the Bride. He woos us, calls us, wins us, gives us His name, shares with us His destiny, takes responsibility for us, loves us with a love stronger than death. 

“The spiritual paradigm defines the relationship of men and women, specifically of husbands and wives, since that is the central human union. The symbols matter enormously. They matter enormously, because they represent the relative positions of Christ and the church.

“Adam and Eve made a mess of things when they reversed roles. She took the initiative, offered him the forbidden fruit, and he, instead of standing as her protector, responded and sinned along with her.” –Passion and Purity, pg. 110

IT’S NOT EASY, BUT IT’S GOOD

My intention is not to make waiting on a man look like a sunshiney walk in the park. It’s not easy. Trust me. I’m 24 years old and have been waiting that long for a first date. And guess what? God has met every single one of my needs. He is enough. He is sufficient. And He is good.

If you are a Christ following woman and are seeking His best for your life then don’t initiate. Wait. Rest. Be still. Preach the Gospel to yourself.

Remember that apart from God you have nothing—which means if you have a boy but not God, you’re bankrupt—but with God, through Jesus’ atonement, you have everything your heart has ever desired.

restwaitbestill

Satisfaction.
Contentment.
Approval.
Love.
Acceptance.
Validation.
Joy.

It’s all found in Jesus.

Run to Him. Not to a boy.

 

 

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In response to sweet and thoughtful comments and criticism from many readers about this post, I wrote another blog addressing the four main questions that arose after this blog was published. Read RESPONDING TO FOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT “WOMEN’S ROLE IN DATING” here.

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73 thoughts on “Waiting and Responding: the Role of Women in Dating

  1. This is so good Sophie! I love the quote/pic at the end! And, He is enough. He is sufficient.He is good. We need to hear this truth! Thank you for sharing!!! You are a blessing!

  2. Margaret says:

    Very encouraging. Thank you. Well said Sophie!

  3. JBilderback says:

    So much truth and wisdom here! And what a beautiful depiction. The world so often puts a negative connotation on singleness. I truly believe Christ intended singleness to be a very sweet, intimate time to fall into a deeper love with Him. A time to truly figure out who you are in Him. Thanks for sharing this. Simply beautiful.

    • Wow, thank you for your sweet words of encouragement. “I truly believe Christ intended singleness to be a very sweet, intimate time to fall into a deeper love with Him. A time to truly figure out who you are in Him.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. He is beautiful and constructs the seasons of our lives beautifully, even the season of singleness. Praise Him!

  4. […] I hear it all the time. "I like a boy. What do I do?!" Just last week I saw the scenario play out on good ol' Facebook when someone posed this question to all of their "friends" while at the same t…  […]

  5. Moses Williams says:

    So I found this article via a Facebook friend. The following comment is what I wrote on that friends wall. I felt it only appropriate to allow the author to read and respond to my criticism.

    So, as black man who’s, currently, very irreligious but was a Christian for 15 years, my perspective on this article may be different from that of the author’s. While I think the author of this article has internalized the patriarchy inherent to many religious circles (be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc), I disagree with the author even more on her understanding of the Bible. There are 4 things in particular that really irked me about this article.

    1. The author totally misunderstands the story of Adam and Eve. The quote “…just remember what happened when the very first woman took matters into her own hands,” is obviously a reference to Adam and Eve. That’s not what happened! If you re-read the story of Adam and Eve you’ll find that the Serpent initiated the interaction with Eve. Then the Serpent deceived Eve. And even if you want to accept the author’s assertion that Eve initiated the interaction with Adam you shouldn’t. To accept that she initiated the encounter with Adam, which happened after her interaction with the Serpent, is to implicitly accept the argument that Eve deceived Adam. I Timothy 2:14 clearly states “Adam was not deceived.”

    2. The author quotes Elisabeth Elliot who, in talking about the Bridegroom and the Bride, is clearly referencing the Song of Solomon. If you read the Song of Solomon and just have a superficial understanding of it, you’d think the man in the story has the upper hand as the suitor. But if you take a closer look at this story you’d realize it’s not the man who has the upper hand — it’s the woman. I say that because the woman CHOSE to allow that man to pursue her. While it might seem that I’m in agreement with the author, what I’m saying totally goes against the spirit of what she has to say. To accept this woman’s argument that women should wait and respond says that the man, in pursuing the woman, is in the position of power and the woman’s role is to respond to the man’s use of his “God-given power.” And this relates to my third point.

    3. The author is really arrogant! If you accept that God is omnipotent and omniscient and you accept that God created you, then you also accept that God created your freewill. And you also accept that not even God is powerful enough to go against your freewill. For this I call your attention to Deuteronomy 30:18-20 which says “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now CHOOSE life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Even in the Old Testament God makes reference to the fact that you have a choice and he is not at liberty to make that choice for you.

    The fact that the author can tell you how to express your freewill in choosing who you will and won’t pursue romantically, or otherwise, but God can’t, belies the author’s arrogance.

    4. Finally, my last comment is simply a warning. Beware of anyone who tells you they know God’s will for your life. Again: if you accept that God is omniscient, then you accept that God knows his plan for your life. And if you accept that God is the “Alpha and Omega,” “the beginning and the end,” “the first and the last,” “the author and finisher of your faith,” and that “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” You accept that God knows your life’s course. But, just because God knows, that doesn’t mean the author knows that or is in any way privy to that information. Who is the author that they know the mind of God or God’s plan for your life? And that, to me, is the most reprehensible aspect of this article. The fact that the author, implicitly, purports to know the mind of God.

    • Rachel says:

      Thank you! Well-stated and thoughtful response to a surface level interpretation of the role of women. God created us to be more than empty bodies only reacting to the world (or men, to be more specific).

    • Tochie Bolarinwa says:

      Amazing reply! I couldn’t have said it better.

    • Thank you, Moses, for your comments and criticism. It’s always exciting to hear from readers (even if we disagree :))!

    • Claire says:

      Our free will is indeed incredible!

      In your second paragraph, when you speak of response and the upper-hand… it almost seems as though you are suggesting that in the relationship one person is more dominant.

      When the author speaks of “responding,” she isn’t saying that we women are inferior, mindless bodies that react to the male dominance, but rather she is saying that to respond is a true act of free will.

      Think of it this way, God calls us. He initiates everything. He created us and loved us first, even before we recognized it. BUT just because he initiated loving us first, that does not mean our response to him is simply a mindless reaction!

      Our response to God’s love is a total act of freewill and to believe that this incredible act is only a mindless reaction is an insult to the *incredibly free* human person you are! We respond and this takes a heck of a lot of free will!

      So who is more dominant? The man who initiates? The woman who responds? NEITHER! 🙂

      We male and female creatures of God are compatible in our differences. While man initiates and woman chose to respond, this does not mean that we women are inferior and that man is dominant. Rather, it communicates the beauty of our integrity.

      We women have the power to say YES or NO, and there is nothing mindless about it! 🙂
      (I say this from experience….

      Men are scared of ladies. Why? THEY KNOW we can reject them. That’s why for a man to initiate, woo-wee, that shows their desire. How terrifying is it, to pursue a woman? Very terrifying. A man who is terrified of being rejected who GOES UP and pursues a woman anyway? That shows how much they want to get to know you!

      But if a girl were to pursue the man, woo, that’s an easy ketch. Take’s away the desire to even try. Why try when she comes to you anyways?)

      Just my thoughts! God bless.

      • Thank you for your input and support, Claire! I appreciate your words and letting your experience speak. Blessings to you!

      • John Donovan says:

        Your suggestion that a man is so mindless as to accept any woman who approaches him as an “easy ketch” is mildly offensive. Men are, in fact, possessed of rational minds. And frankly, you have to earn us too. Ask yourself this: is one sex really more afraid of rejection than the other? And if so, is it REALLY males?

        The current state of society disagrees with you.

      • Moses Williams says:

        Claire: I find your thoughts regarding power/dominance in relationships interesting. I’ve never thought it about it in that way before. I’ll definitely think about that in the coming the coming weeks.

        Without being long-winded: my frame of reference is that for most of human history dating/courtship and marriage has been about solidifying and advancing one’s economic and social status. It is a relatively recent phenomenon (occurring within the last 200 years give or take) that one marry’s for love. That’s a broad generalization but, nonetheless, that has been my view. In that sense, dating/courtship and marriage have been all about power. That’s why your comments have piqued my interest. It’s the exact opposite of how I’m used to thinking about dating and the like.

        Sophie: I must also say that I’ve been thoroughly impressed by how you’ve handled the comments — both positive and negative. One doesn’t typically think of comment sections on the internet as places for civil debates for any topics. It’s great to know that those places exist. I also hope my comments didn’t come off as being rude or mean-spirited as that was not my intent.

      • Wow, Moses! You have no idea how much that encouragement means to me. And you did not come across as rude or mean-spirited in the least. Rather, I’m grateful for your words as it’s always great to hear how others process things. Your humility in this last comment shines greatly and, again, I so appreciate your sweet words of encouragement. Thank you!

    • Emily says:

      Thank you.

  6. This is solid! Great job! This is very encouraging!

  7. Cynthia says:

    There is a big difference between initiating a conversation and being overbearing. Constant calls/texts/neediness at the beginning of a relationship usually results in pushing the other person away. However, I know that God made some women direct and decisive for a reason. Its okay to ask for the dance as long as you let them lead once you get there.

    • Hi Cynthia! Thank you for taking the time to write. I genuinely appreciate your comment and I so agree with your first sentence! There is a big difference between initiating a conversation and asking a dude out on a date. And you are absolutely right that God made us women with different personalities. However, just because we have a strong, direct and decisive genetic makeup doesn’t mean God made us that way to be controlling or forceful. In my opinion (little o), asking for the dance but promising to let them lead can be a slippery slope that could (could. definitely doesn’t mean it always does) lead to more aggressive controlling tactics (even subtle, unintentional, unconscious manipulation) later if that personality and strong will isn’t brought under the authority of God’s. But alas, that is the call of Christ: it’s the call to come and die (Luke 9:23-25). Thanks again for your comment, Cynthia!

  8. […] the follow up to Waiting and Responding: The Role of Women in Dating, I’ll let this guy talk to the dudes. But this is such a great video for both men and women […]

  9. Marie says:

    So, you chastise others for not offering Biblical advice, yet where is yours? Other than someone else’s completely misguided, complementarian interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve, where are your references to Bible verses showing that this is the Biblical way to date?

    I have a Biblical example….how about Ruth? She took control of a dire situation and laid herself at the feet of Boaz. How did that end up? She birthed the line of DAVID.

    Or Esther…..took the initiative to basically manipulate Xerxes to save her people.

    Kudos to Moses Williams for pointing out that this attitude towards women and dating sounds dangerously like thinking that women can somehow circumvent God’s will and sovereignty by telling a guy that she likes him. I’m pretty sure our God is bigger than that.

    • Tochie Bolarinwa says:

      I agree with you. It is interesting that the author completely ignored obvious biblical examples where women took the initiative in romantic situations. Shows that “opinions” should always be taken with a pinch of salt. Always do your own research and question things. We have brains for a reason.

    • Hi Marie! Thank you for your sincere input and questions, I genuinely appreciate them. You brought up such a great point. I was not clear on the biblical support for my argument.

      When you look at the whole of Scripture it’s difficult to find chapter and verse that booms: “Behold, I am God, and this ____ is the way to date.” It’s just not there. But, from cover to cover, using biblical hermeneutics and exegesis, we can see several connecting points. Starting with Adam and Eve being the first marriage. Eve was created in response to Adam’s need with the purpose of being his helper (Gen. 2:18). Then we see Christ, as the true and better Adam, pursuing His bride the church and then we, because of Christ’s drawing, respond to Him (John 6:44; Rom. 5:6-8; Eph. 5:22-33). This is my opinion (little o) of the way a woman is to respond to man because that’s how I see Scripture defining marriage (and what is dating if it is not practice and preparation for marriage?)—the man is to be the head of the home, just as Christ is the head of the church. The man leads the marriage not because he is superior to woman but because they have different, God-given roles, and I believe the same is true for dating. If he is going to lead in marriage then he should lead the dating relationship.

      As far as Ruth goes, I love the story of Ruth and the stunning way God united her and Boaz as well as the beautiful picture of redemption found within those four short chapters. In her case, however, I would say that she still didn’t initiate anything with Boaz because it was actually Naomi who told Ruth to go to the fields and that he was the kinsmen redeemer and then Naomi pushed Ruth to go to the threshing floor. Ruth was still following the (unconventional) wisdom of a spiritual leader. That’s where I would make the distinction between lots of girls/women I know nowadays who fling themselves on a lovely man in order to quench an inner thirst they have for acceptance, love, validation or the like. Needs which we know can only be fully met in Jesus. 🙂 I hope that answers your questions. Thanks again for your comment and input!

    • Emily says:

      Thank you.

  10. […] Waiting and Responding: the Role of Women in Dating […]

  11. Gabby says:

    Wow, did I need this! Waiting is difficult, but God’s timing is perfect.

  12. Hannah says:

    I want to say so many things. But God helps those who helps himself. Take some charge of your life. If we let men do all the initiating we wouldn’t have the right to vote, the American Red Cross, initiated the Civil Rights movement via Rosa Parks, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the many charitable acts of Oprah Winfrey, and so many others. We (women) too are competent beings. Go for it.

    • Hi Hannah, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I genuinely appreciate your feedback and love hearing from readers (even when we disagree :))!

    • Akustrei says:

      You make a good point about how we can’t let men do all the initiating, but where in the Bible does it say that God helps those who help themselves? I would rather say that God helps those who follow and trust in Him. Sometimes this can mean initiating, sometimes it means to wait.

  13. Janna says:

    Ouch and thanks!

  14. S.K. says:

    I’m a guy, and I guess I’m left wondering what’s going on with Ruth, then. Didn’t she take initiative? Was she not supposed to? Did she sin going to Boaz’s feet?

    • Hi there. I’m so glad you took the time to comment, SK! It genuinely means so much to hear from readers. There was a similar question posed earlier about Ruth and this was my reply: As far as Ruth goes, I love the story of Ruth and the stunning way God united her and Boaz as well as the beautiful picture of redemption found within those four short chapters. In her case, however, I would say that she still didn’t initiate anything with Boaz because it was actually Naomi who told Ruth to go to the fields and that he was the kinsmen redeemer and then Naomi pushed Ruth to go to the threshing floor. Ruth was still following the (unconventional) wisdom of a spiritual leader. That’s where I would make the distinction between lots of girls/women I know nowadays who fling themselves on a lovely man in order to quench an inner thirst they have for acceptance, love, validation or the like. Needs which we know can only be fully met in Jesus. 🙂 I hope that answers your question! Thanks again for commenting!

  15. Oh how funny, that’s me and my husband in the last picture. Can I ask where you found that? Thanks!

  16. Chase Krug says:

    Solid post! Without reading the other comments, I think we also have to remember that guys aren’t mind readers and “waiting” for a guy is not the same as acting disinterested. Showing a guy that you’re interested—a look, comment etc.—is totally in bounds (Ruth). It’s just unrealistic to think that—generally speaking—guys are going to pursue a girl whose manifest sentimentality toward them is about that of a tree. Although, I’ve still seen it happen. Can’t we atleast say it’s ok for a girl to act like she likes a guy? Saying that she should just keep a poker face seems to go far past the biblical prescription.

    • Hi Chase! Thank you for your great comment and for taking the time to write, I’m so thankful for it! I definitely agree with you, waiting for a guy—and I’ll go so far to say even guarding your heart and emotions—isn’t the same thing as going all Fort Knox and putting up an impenetrable wall toward someone you actually like. No, I think the friendship should continue and they can and should be open to the guy. Which includes, for me, letting him lead the relationship.

      There was a similar question posed earlier about Ruth and this was my reply: As far as Ruth goes, I love the story of Ruth and the stunning way God united her and Boaz as well as the beautiful picture of redemption found within those four short chapters. In her case, however, I would say that she still didn’t initiate anything with Boaz because it was actually Naomi who told Ruth to go to the fields and that he was the kinsmen redeemer and then Naomi pushed Ruth to go to the threshing floor. Ruth was still following the (unconventional) wisdom of a spiritual leader. That’s where I would make the distinction between lots of girls/women I know nowadays who fling themselves on a lovely man in order to quench an inner thirst they have for acceptance, love, validation or the like. Needs which we know can only be fully met in Jesus. 🙂 I hope that makes sense and helps clear up your questions. I agree with you–women who like a guy shouldn’t mask that, but I do believe that if the guy doesn’t initiate anything beyond friendship that is an opportunity to die to their own will and even their own longing for that relationship. But isn’t that the call of Christ? It’s the call to come and die (Luke 9:23-25). Thanks again for your comment, Chase! I hope that answers you question.

  17. KEA says:

    Hi Sophie! I do appreciate this article, and the gracious responses you’ve extended to everyone. It’s quite refreshing to see someone behaving civilly on the internet.

    However, I do question the conclusions you’ve drawn from the story of Adam and Eve. I don’t understand how you decided that the fall came through Eve taking the position of initiator. The serpent, rather than Eve, was the one who initiated the act of disobedience. Furthermore, this particular action had nothing to do with courtship or marriage. Are you saying that women should ‘wait and respond’ in every area of life? If not, I’m sorry for misreading you; if so, I’m going to have to disagree.

    I’ll just end by saying that while this idea of highly specific gender roles is quite popular in Christianity today, I’m deeply uncomfortable with the idea of making blanket statements about what every man, woman, young person, etc. should do in any situation. I believe that
    God created us all as individuals, and by dictating to one another what roles each should fill, we’re neglecting our primary business, which is our own relationships with God and the people around us.

    I’m sorry if this came across as harsh, but I do think I have to respectfully disagree with what you’ve said here. However, I am very grateful for the kindness and courtesy you’ve displayed to every person who’s commented. God bless.

    • Trevor Scott says:

      I’m Catholic and I agree with you Kea.

    • Hi there! Wow, thank you so much for your comments and for your encouragement. It was really such a blessing to read this.

      Your comment/question about Adam and Eve is one I’ve heard often the last several days and I will simply say that it is my opinion that while the serpent (slimy, filthy thing…I hate his guts!) lied to Eve, she still had a choice. And so did Adam. Just like we have a choice to respond in either obedience or disobedience when we face temptation to go against the commandments of God, Eve could have chosen to tell the serpent to go back to where he came from and stand on God’s words as the real truth. So, the serpent did initiate the temptation, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat….'” (Gen. 3:1). But Eve initiated to Adam, standing right there with her, and instead of protecting her and reminding her of God’s words, they both took the fruit and boom. There goes the perfect relationship we once shared with the Creator of the Universe. Ahh, writing this just once again refreshes my heart and makes me so thankful for Jesus—we now have a way of returning to God and reconciling that which was broken. Praise Him for the Gospel!

      To answer your question, “Are we to wait and respond in every area of life?” Only if we are waiting and responding to the Lord. He is the One we are to ultimately wait on and respond to (Ps. 27:13-14; Is. 40:31; Ps. 33:20-22; 2 Peter 3:9).

      When you said, “I’ll just end by saying that while this idea of highly specific gender roles is quite popular in Christianity today, I’m deeply uncomfortable with the idea of making blanket statements about what every man, woman, young person, etc. should do in any situation. I believe that God created us all as individuals, and by dictating to one another what roles each should fill, we’re neglecting our primary business, which is our own relationships with God and the people around us.”

      Absolutely. I am not the Holy Spirit. I cannot tell you what God’s plan for your life is and, as I said in an above comment, there is no verse in Scripture that says, “Behold, I am God and this _____ is how you date.” Therefore it is crucial that we dig into His Word, the revealed mind of God, and see for ourselves what He says and then reconcile it with what is happening in our culture and lives.

      I hope this answers your questions. You most definitely did not come across harsh and I am so thankful for the sweet way you worded everything and raised your questions and concerns. Thank you so much for doing so and for taking the time to write. It really means so much!

  18. Trevor Scott says:

    I’m Catholic and I respectfully disagree with this article. Adam and Eve never really “reversed roles” when she gave him the forbidden fruit. The story of the serpent is not a good comparison to dating. It just means that the woman sinned first :P. Second, if a girl likes a guy, I do not see anything wrong with her calling him or asking him to dinner. If a girl liked me and I didn’t know, I would like to find out somehow (this does not mean she has to tell me). I agree that guys also have to initiate, but I don’t think girls should just “do nothing” if they like a guy.

  19. […] However, following a thorough reading of every comment, a challenging and encouraging conversation with my pastor/boss, and seeking our faithful Father, I believe it necessary to write a follow up to “Waiting and Responding: The Role of Women in Dating.“ […]

  20. John Donovan says:

    The falsehoods present in this argument frustrate me. I am a man, and a Catholic, but regardless of either a Christian. I am no feminist, and I believe, at least as a general concept, that men and women fulfill different roles. So understand that I’m approaching this from a very Christian perspective, and I still say you’ve got this one dead wrong.

    First, the most blatant of your errors: “If you don’t agree with me, just remember what happened when the very first woman took matters into her own hands.” That statement is almost stereotypically sexist. I am amazed that you managed to summon the nerve to post this given that you apparently consider yourself incapable of taking informed action. This sentence effectively states that women should never take any action independent of a higher authority, or in this case, a man. I get that it’s a very poignant and profound statement which sounds like a very reasonable thing to say, but consider this: You invalidate everything you have to say on the matter with that single sentence. Why? Because why should I care what a woman has to say? Look what happened the first time one of them tried thinking.

    Next we have the idea of action through inaction. Contrary to what you may have been taught, inaction does not cause anything to happen, even if you’re female. Try raising a kid by not taking any action and you’ll see what I mean. The fact is, every facet of life requires that you make a choice as to what you want, and then follow it up with action. You proved it by writing this article. If we follow your logic, instead of writing this article you should have stopped and allowed someone else (God, or at the very least SOMETHING NOT FEMALE) to spread the message for you. Instead, you made a choice as to what the world should be, and immediately took action to try to make that a reality. Apply the same thing to dating, because that’s the only way it happens. There are 3.5 billion women in the world. We are not going to notice you in particular just because you exist. Particularly given the fact that most of them are aware that they actually need to put work into getting what they want. This is why we get attend school, get jobs, compete in sports, and do practically everything we do: You will not get anything in life by doing nothing.

    All humans know this innately, but we do our best to suppress it sometimes, and the Bible makes it very easy if we don’t read it properly. Stories about waiting and trusting and God doing everything for us abound. So if you really need the Bible to tell you what everyone else already knows, consider the parable of the Talents. (Matthew 25:14-30) The two servants that the master rewarded were the ones who went out and worked hard with what they were given, and got a return on their master’s investment. The guy who waited and responded? He’s the one the Bible calls wicked. Wicked, mind you. Not just lazy or unsuccessful, but actively evil. Because he took the freedom and the choice and the opportunity handed to him by his master and he waited for something to happen. Hand your free will back to God on your judgment day and tell him that you waited for someone to approach you first, and let me know what He says. And don’t tell me that parable only mentions men. There’s no girls’ version of the Bible, it’s one size fits all.

    So why, when it’s so obvious that the choice is yours to either make your life what you want it to be or leave others to make it as they see fit, do you choose to leave it in someone else’s hands? Simple, you said it yourself: “And frankly that takes a load of pressure off us.” Of course it’s easier to do nothing and say it’s not your fault when you miss an opportunity worth having. But the fact is that the opportunity was there, and you missed it because you chose not to pursue it. It’s not because you’re a woman; no one’s role is to do nothing. It’s because you, as a human being, chose to do nothing. Make no mistake, men do it too. It’s not a girl thing, it’s a person thing, and it’s just as sad no matter which chromosomes you have, because you missed out on something that might have been good. Something that you could have made good, through your choices and your actions. God didn’t give you free will so you could hand it back to Him, he gave it to you, AS A WOMAN, to make choices with it as to what your life will be. He only ever gives opportunities, he doesn’t realize them for you. If that was how it was meant to be, free will would not exist.

    It’s easy to think that men will just approach you if they’re supposed to, at least if you remove free will from the equation. But it’s just wrong. There is no “supposed to,” there is no “meant to be,” there is only what is and what you do. So don’t make excuses.

    • Hi John! I genuinely loved reading this. Your comment shows profound depth, passion and intelligence and I’m grateful that you took the time to both read and comment (even if we disagree :))!

      I want to quickly mention one thing and then I’ll leave this alone. When you say, “This sentence effectively states that women should never take any action independent of a higher authority, or in this case, a man.” I want to clarify something that perhaps I could/should have said more clearly in the blog. God made women in His image just as He did men. We’re equal but different. I never, ever want to be heard to say that women are inferior, incapable or unable to take action or make decisions, but I believe those decisions should always be made in light of the entirety of Scripture as it is the revealed mind of God and the authority upon which every Christ-follower bases his or her life. Women have just as much freedom and liberty to make decisions and fulfill our unique God-given roles as our male counterparts, but we must be in God’s Word for ourselves to discover what those roles are. That’s the key. The Bible unlocks the definition for our roles as men and women and it is there and only there that we can find the real truth.

      Thanks again for commenting!

      • John Donovan says:

        Sophie,
        “I never, ever want to be heard to say that women are inferior, incapable or unable to take action or make decisions…”

        I’m positive that that is not what you were trying to say. Understand, I was merely taking your point to its logical conclusion. I agree with you that men and women are not exactly the same, but still equal. But I don’t consider your comparison to Eve to be valid in this instance.

        And please, don’t for a moment think that you have to leave my comment alone. I’d like nothing more than to hear your response to the rest of it, if you have anything else to say.

    • Alex K says:

      Hi, John. I just wanted to clear up some things that you mentioned in your comment, specifically that the main post was saying that women should nothing and also about your viewpoint on free will. And just so you’re aware, I agree with the main post, and want to help expand on it.
      First of all, although women are not called to initiate a relationship, that does not mean, in any way, that they are left to do nothing. Women, like men, are surely called to act. A woman does not need to have had prior relationship experience in order to be a good girlfriend and eventually wife. All the while she is waiting, she is (or should be) already in a relationship, that is with Jesus. Any boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife can become a better one when they come closer to Him. As it says in 1 John 4:7-8, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Obviously, many people in this world claim to love others, but do not know God, so there must be some aspect to it that people miss without God’s wisdom showing them what love really means. Now, understand that there is a very large difference between inaction and patience. 2 Peter 3:9 states, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Sometimes, we must wait, because God wants to teach us, and that can only be done through trusting Him and His plans. A woman’s primary objective while waiting should be to further her relationship with Christ, so that when her future husband finally comes, she will be able to be the wife he needs. Of course, this is not limited to women, for men have to wait, too. They surely see many wonderful women, and want to love on them, but they must wait, too. They must wait to hear from God, Who will lead him toward his future wife. It is then, only with God’s permission and direction, that he should initiate the relationship, all the while growing with Christ himself.
      Now as for free will, that is both a blessing and a curse. By this, I mean that God could have easily not given it to us, so that we would be solely devoted to Him. If that were the case, all of the events in the Garden of Eden would never have occurred. However, God understands that being forced to love someone isn’t really love. He gave us free will because He wants us to choose to love Him back. As you know, though, we took advantage of that gift and ultimately rejected Him. But even still, He came and died for us even when we did no know we needed saving. For those who are not Christians, they are bound to sin, and have no freedom from it. We, as Christians, however, are given a choice everyday. We can choose to either give into our temptations, or to follow God’s path, the righteous path. God understands what will happen to you if you follow his path or your own, so while He wants us and assures us to follow His path, the choice is still ours. And if we have truly been changed for Christ, then we will follow His path, for John 14:15 says, “If you love me, keep my commands.” With God’s path, there is safety, reassurance, peace, love, and hope. With sin’s path, there is only destruction. So in response to your statement, “God didn’t give you free will so you could hand it back to Him,” actually, that’s exactly what He did. He does want us to choose, and He does want us to choose Him, but He has graciously left that decision to us, although many ignore it.
      Thank you for reading this, and I hope this cleared things up for you.

  21. Erica Paprika Jackson says:

    Beautiful post, loved every bit of it! Continue to allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you!!

  22. Lindsay says:

    Agree (totally!), but just know that you may be waiting a long, long, LONG time. I’m 33 (almost 34) years old and still waiting for a first date and a first kiss. I’d love for a godly man to pursue me, but I have to remind myself that it’s a fallen world, and things aren’t how they are supposed to be, even within the church. There are a lot of men who are not willing to risk rejection to pursue a woman unless they think she’ll probably say “yes.” Right? No. Reality? Yes. I’ll keep on waiting and keep praying and keep dreaming, but it’s not easy.

    • Ahh, Lindsay this was such an encouragement to read! Thank you for sharing and for your faithfulness to the Lord. You’re a great example and I’m so thankful. “I have to remind myself that it’s a fallen world, and things aren’t how they are supposed to be, even within the church.” YES. So much truth there. Thank you for taking the time to comment. It really means so much.

  23. Lindsay says:

    I just wanted to comment and say that this article was of great help and encouragement to me. I am so thankful that God is sufficient and provides and that He has a plan for our lives. We just have to trust Him.

  24. Dick Rick says:

    When God gives you lemons………Find a new god.

  25. Akustrei says:

    I really like the idea that singleness is a time when we are called to grow closer to God, instead of to keep looking for the right guy. However, I disagree with your statement that women should just do nothing and wait. A relationship is a two-way street, and calls for equal effort from both sides. The girl should at least tell the guy how she feels: communication is key. She can wait for him to initiate the relationship, but I think she should at least tell him her feelings first.

    The second statement of yours that I disagree with is that women are called to be responders. Eve was created

    • Akustrei says:

      to be a helper to Adam, and I interpret this as letting him take the lead in the relationship. But even if he takes the lead, it doesn’t mean that we have to just be the one responding all the time. The woman who was bleeding for twelve years and touched Jesus’s robe didn’t wait for Him to approach her and heal her, she took the initiative and was healed because of her faith. I also disagree that because Eve tried to take matters into her own hands, women should be responders: Eve did wrong by taking the initiative and not waiting for God’s plan, but she had already been given clear directions to follow. Taking the initiative doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but I believe it’s wise to follow God’s plan however He wants us to go.

      Thanks for the article though, it was very well written and interesting.

  26. youngman. says:

    A good perspective, however do not forget the story of Ruth and Naomi. Ruth definitely made her intentions known. Be sensitive to the prompting of the holy spirit and the wisdom of the mentors in your life.

  27. emilyaned5 says:

    Reblogged this on Contrast & Colorful and commented:
    Amen amen

  28. Liza says:

    As a woman, I found this article extremely offensive. Thinking like this only perpetuates the archaic submissive roles that women have fought so valiantly to overcome. A woman has the power and dignity and self efficacy to choose her own partner.

    Why do dating and spirituality have to conflict one another? Answer: they don’t. Women and men should share equal responsibility and decision-making power in romantic relationships. Women and men alike are smart and spiritual enough to make their own decisions while maintaining their spirituality and following their perceptions of God’s will.

  29. John Smith says:

    Elisabeth Elliott sounds like an extremist. Her exegesis is flawed and it seems like she’s trying to make the Bible say what she wants it to say. And the author of this article seems to have been misled by her. There was no “role reversal” with Adam and Eve. There’s nothing wrong with a girl calling a guy she likes and asking him to dinner. If my mom hadn’t asked my dad on a first date, I probably wouldn’t have been born. Saying “it has to be exactly this way” is BS

  30. Faith says:

    First off, I respectfully disagree with almost everything you have posted. Women, just like men, were created to change the world: something that cannot be done without initiative. Anyway, immediately after reading this, my mind went to a question. If you believe this, what do you believe are women’s roles in the church? Or are they even allowed?

    • Hi Faith! It’s always an honor to hear from readers, even if we disagree. 🙂 You are one hundred and fifty percent right–both men and women were created equally, However, the roles for each were and are different (as lined out in Genesis 1-3). Just because I don’t believe a woman should march up to a man and declare her love for him, doesn’t mean I don’t think a woman is to be passive in her life in general. I’m a go getter who chased my dreams through middle and high school and college and I’m still chasing them. As you said, that takes intention, hard work and determination. But that’s a completely different topic than what this blog is addressing. As far as roles in the church go, I believe the Bible is clear on certain things that might be considered controversial, but I believe with every fiber of my being that we are commanded to lead other women. I work for a nonprofit ministry and speak at women’s and girls’s conferences, I lead the middle and high school girls discipleship group at my church and I sing in the praise team. I don’t exactly know what you’re going for or if I’m answering your questions, so I’ll just summarize this (really long response, haha, sorry about that!) by restating the fact that men and women were created equally in the image of God but with different, complimentary, roles and purposes. Thanks again for your feedback, Faith!

      • John Smith says:

        The roles of men and women are NOT lined out in Genesis 1-3. You completely misunderstand the story of Adam and Eve.

  31. […] of both men and women, as should any right minded person. I recently read an article titled “Waiting and Responding: the Role of Women in Dating.” The author, Sophie McDonald, explained that if a girl likes a guy she is supposed to sit around for […]

  32. Les says:

    Thank you for writing this. I take the same stance you take and more often than not, people think I’m crazy. In a world of feminism and online dating, it’s not always easy being the one that waits on God, but it’s oh so worth it!

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