Jun 08 2008
Breakups. They usually stink. They’re usually made really tough because us guys are so seemingly callous. We just rip the rug right out from under a girl. One day she’s enjoying the relationship, the next, we’re gone. What gives? Why does it happen?
In the spirit of my last couple posts, I’ve been doing a lot of heart searching. I’ve been talking to the Lord a lot and spending more time with Him during the day – even when I’m at work. I’ve been asking a lot of questions. All this time has allowed Him to show me a lot of things. My way with girls is one. I write here because I think it explains a lot of how and why guys end up breaking girls’ hearts.
Guys are often faulted for leading girls on. We would protest, but I think the accusation is accurate. Here’s what happens. We see a girl. She’s pretty. But more than being pretty, she pays attention to us. Ah. SHE must think WE’RE good looking, too. Score. This attention is all we need. Now it’s on. Our minds shift into Narcissism Mode. Both sexes do it. Before we even start talking to them, we start wondering, “Oh man, am I wearing something cool? Am I standing weird? Am I laughing too loud?Wow, I feel weird right now. Why is my heart beating so fast? Is my face turning red at all? It’s hot in here. I should have brushed my teeth. Is my hair cool? Dangit, I wish I wasn’t standing in the midst of all these other guys who are better looking than me. What would I say if I had a chance to talk to her? Probably something dumb. No, come on, I’m the man. I’d say something funny. What would it be?”
Notice anything about that internal dialogue? It’s all focused on ME. What do _I_ look like? How do _I_ feel? What am _I_ going to do? Some of that is cool but most isn’t. It continues when you actually start talking to the girl. We search for witty things to say – something that’s funny so she’ll laugh. But why do we want her to laugh? Because it makes US feel good. We think, “She laughed! Cedric the Entertainer’s got nothing on me. Everything I say is gold.” Our talking with girls becomes a performance. We don’t care about bringing the GIRL pleasure, we care primarily about our ego and the pleasure WE derive from positive feedback. Truthfully, in our hearts, we elevate ourselves above the girl. This is why so many guys and girls go out with each other and say, “They never stopped talking about themselves.” It’s all a show. We’re trying to impress the other person.
Even when we’re seemingly selfless, we’re surprisingly selfISH. So we ask questions but then don’t listen to the answer because we’re thinking, “I’m the man. I’ve asked her like 5 questions in a row. This is going to make me look like an awesome guy.” Over and over and over again. We have no idea what the girl is saying. Because it’s still all about us.
This is sin. It’s pride and selfishness. And the result of sin is always pain and heartache. So what happens? At some point, us guys realize that we’ve thoroughly impressed the girl with who we are. We’ve got the girl wrapped around our finger. And something strange happens. We start to actually pay attention to things she’s saying and doing and we think, “Gosh, I didn’t know she was like this. I don’t want to be in a relationship with this girl. She’s nice and all, but she isn’t for me.” Our arrogance gets arrested by sudden shock – I need to get out of this.
I’ve done this very thing to at least two girls in my life. It’s horrible. As guys, we were riding the pride wave high and now this realization has sunk us. We’re going to have to break up with the girl. And for any semi-honorable man, this is the worst. We know what we’ve done. We may not be able to express everything I’ve written here, but we at least know we’ve broken the girl’s heart. And there’s nothing we can do now. The tears shed are a result of the broken heart, but the first cause was sin. And so I write – if only to crystallize these things in my own mind.
“”Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
This girl’s broken heart is the result of my sin. I have been selfish, conceited, and prideful. I’ve looked to my own interests – my own pleasure.
So what am I to do? If you’re a guy reading this and you’ve done the same, what are YOU to do? If you’re a girl reading this and you’ve had your heart broken and don’t want it to happen again, what should YOU do? First, please forgive me if I’ve offended your sensibilities in telling the outline of what I’ve done in the past. The Lord has forgiven me of these things, and I ask the same from you. Now, here is the solution.
Paul continues, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, bring in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant…he humbled himself…” (Philippians 2:6-7).
Now, how can we ever do this? How can my sinful heart ever hope to have the same attitude as Jesus’ heart? Paul must be crazy telling me how my attitude should be! But he explains HOW this happens, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13).
And here we see. My pride, my selfishness, my vain conceit can be gone by gaining Christ’s attitude BECAUSE GOD is the one who will work in me to will and to act according to His good purpose. It is God that makes it happen!! Is there anything we must do? Yes. Paul says, “CONTINUE to work out your salvation…” We are justified in Jesus once for all! Yes! But the fruit of salvation comes over the course of a lifetime. Jesus would say here, “Abide in me. Continue in me.” That is a daily thing. We continue and God does the work of changing our hearts!
See, breaking a girl’s heart is not the point. It is sad, but ultimately, it is a another signpost, demonstrating what’s going on in our hearts – we are very sinful and very much unlike Jesus. So I am sorry for breaking a girl’s heart. But I am sorrier that I’ve broken God’s and not allowed Him the room to change me!
If you’re a guy that has been behaving like this and wants to stop, consider your daily walk with the Lord. Are you continuing to work out your salvation? If not, His ability to bear fruit in your life is being greatly hampered. And your life will show this – it will be disordered and chaotic. There will be a lot of pain in your life that is a result of sin. You’ll break girls’ hearts, too. Do you feel a burn in your heart today? “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart” (Psalm 95:7). Call out to Him simply right now and take steps in your day to reconnect your soul with Him.
If you’re a girl that continues to have her heart broken, you can do something, too. First, you’re not above pride. You may do similar things in relationships. Examine yourself. But, to keep from having your heart broken, be more aware of how a guy is behaving. Is he always trying to impress you but not really caring about you? Does he not remember things you say (an indication he’s talking to himself while you’re talking to him)? Ask probing questions that are difficult. Ask him straight up, but in a casual, conversational way if he is ever so concerned with trying to impress you that he is failing to really find out who you are and what you’re about. Ask him why he likes you and expect to hear compelling reasons – not just to boost your self-esteem but, most importantly, to find out if he is dating you to feel good about himself or because he enjoys YOU.
And think reasonably, girls! Out of all the people in the world, you’ll marry one. Only one. Most of us guys are not the one for you. It’s ok if not everyone wants to run off and get married. This is why you can be bold when getting to know a guy. Kick the tires. Kick them hard. If they can’t take a steel boot, chances are you don’t want to drive 70mph down the road with it. If a guy can’t take hard questions, he’s probably not for you. That’s ok! Don’t be so desperate! Satan wants to discourage you and make you think you’re a cow or ugly or some other negative thing. Don’t be fooled by those strange feelings in your soul. As you’ve read here, just because a guy is paying attention to you doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good thing. Be wise in your dealings with guys! Control your heart to a degree and let your head enter the picture.
I want to close by emphasizing the supremacy of Jesus here! HE is the only way I’ll ever treat girls the right way because only HE has the power to change my heart from being sinful to being selfless. I cannot make a commitment and say, “I will treat girls better.” That’s an empty statement that depends on my own abilities and I know I can do almost nothing right in my life. My track record proves it. I can only seek Jesus every day – continue in Him. He’ll work out all the details of my heart. He promised that and I believe Him. Today. Tomorrow I’ll have to wake up and believe Him again. Then I’ll stop being a menace to His daughters. Jesus is able to do all we ask of Him! So continue and ask!