Ladies, ladies, ladies. We’ve all done it. We’ve all dated the “prey-er” when what we wanted was a “pray-er“. We believed him when he said he was a Christian. He came to church with us and acted relatively interested in the things of God. He would make references about how he prays over his meals or on his way to work, and he may tithe or be in a church small group. He may even have had some sort of “experience” with God at a church camp in his pre-teen years or some teenage mission trip stories to throw at you. Sure, he’s made some mistakes in his recent adult past, but who hasn’t, right? The point is, he’s checking the basic spiritual boxes required now so, what the heck, why not give him a chance? Internally you may have wished he had a little more to offer concerning spiritual depth but you tell yourself, “Hey, he’s doing more than most guys.” Or my personal default thought, “He’s still growing in God and will eventually desire to take his spirituality to a deeper level. Just be patient.” Oh, Lord…
My dear, sweet, beautiful, precious, ladies: Watch out! Learn from my mistakes and frequent neglect of red flags. I get that he may appear to be a “good guy” especially in comparison to what’s out there these days but he may actually be a wolf in sheep’s clothing preying on your gullibility. So many women I know, myself included, tend to see the best in people. They focus so much on a man’s potential and who they can see him becoming that they look right over the man that actually stands in front of them. They give him the benefit of the doubt even if they see very little evidence of a walk with God. They make excuse after excuse for why they simply can’t give up on him. They try so hard to believe the sweet, empty nothings that fall out of his mouth. They celebrate what he does for them when in truth he isn’t really doing much above the status quo. They convince themselves they won’t get treated as good or won’t have as strong a connection with anyone else. (So untrue, by the way!!) They disregard their gut instinct and try to silence the ever cautioning voice of Holy Spirit within them as they trod forward trying to convince themselves that this guy is “the one.” I’ve been there. So trust me, I get it.
But here’s what I’ve learned after a couple severe heartbreaks. Too many men in today’s world are flat out fakers…deceivers…consumingly selfish. (I did NOT say all men, but many!) Many men will do and say anything it takes to get whatever it is they want from you. I know we’ve heard that from our father’s growing up, but you know what? It’s true. Until you’re on the receiving end of a fakers scheme you can’t really appreciate how true that statement is. I don’t believe all of the fakers or wolves out there are only terrible, self absorbed human beings who take pleasure in destroying another person’s life. There are some like that, but I think most haven’t ever realized that they are wolves and haven’t a clue the damage they will do to the object of their desire. I believe most are truly ignorant of how the devil is using them to devastate lives. (Side note: I think most men, well or evil intentioned, are drawn to someone who is living at a higher standard and who makes them want to be a better man. That attraction isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. Things become dangerous when a man isn’t living up to the same standards as the woman he desires and chooses to remain with her. If he remains unchanged he will become a wolf and devour so much of what made that woman who she was…)
These men then convince (or deceive) themselves first into believing that they are ready to change and become their “best self”. Once self deception has taken place they are easily able to convince that Christian girl, who is all too willing to see the best in him anyway, that’s he’s someone worth stopping for. She’ll stop for him and he’ll begin to say all sorts of glowing and lavish things to her and about how he feels for her. He may start making large proclamations of adoration, forfeit all self control in a “love” crazed flurry and begin to speed up the achieving of relationship milestones to a dangerous pace. Before his prey knows it, she’s in too deep. From this point, things will go one of two ways. Either he’ll get what he wanted out of his prey and then “suddenly” decide he’s not ready to fully commit just yet. Or he won’t get what he wants out of her and opt out of the relationship for lack of carnal gratification.
In the unlikely event that he continues to stick it out with her in either scenario (and the girl still hasn’t decided to make much of the red flags that will have begun appearing) the preying man will eventually come to the valley of decision. He’ll realize that he deceived himself and doesn’t take the whole “God thing” all that seriously after all and now he has to make a choice: 1) Does he actually let himself become the man he told the girl he already was? Or 2) Does he just jump ship knowing that she’s going to find out the real “him” eventually since he doesn’t plan on changing?
Ladies, if he’s a wolf then wolves do what wolves do…they hunt, stalk and sneak close to their prey, attack, devour, howl over what they conquered, then scatter as quick as they came. And in the wake of their preying rampage they leave carnage and pain. His concern for the damage he’s doing to your life pales in comparison to his concern for his own self interests. I mean, when have you ever heard of a wolf stopping to consider the feelings of the sheep he was dragging away from the flock?
Here’s how the Bible describes the characteristics some of these men might display and how we should act towards them:
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women..”.
“…But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” – II Timothy 3:1-6, 13-15.
The fact is, as time continues to pass more and more people will be characterized by the above description. What’s the Bible’s response, ladies? Stay away from them and turn to the scriptures that can make you wise. (Trust me, I’m preaching to myself here!) The Bible doesn’t encourage any of us to be loves great martyr. These men don’t need you to save them. In fact, you can’t save them! All they will end up doing is bringing you down to places you never wanted to go.
We have to stay as close to Jesus as possible so that He can help us navigate the stormy waters of life and eventually into the safe harbor of the man He has been saving for us. We have to be cunning as serpents and gentle as doves. A wolf in sheep’s clothing is specifically camouflaged to get you into a vulnerable, needy and trusting position and just when you think all is well the truth is revealed and all is actually lost. That pain is the worst. It is so damaging to our already fragile hearts. Staying in the scriptures, in prayer, and around godly people are the basic ways of protecting yourself. I know it doesn’t sound flashy, but sometimes the basics are all it takes. Guarding your heart is a godly thing to do. If men think you’re a prude, let ’em think. They can think their way straight into a ditch for all I care.
You don’t want a man who needs to change. You want a man who has been changed. You don’t want a “good guy” you want a “godly guy”. HUGE difference. I once dated a boy who’s cracks began to show. When I started applying some heat to his weak proclamation of wanting to be a different man he eventually stated to me, “You’re just more serious about this God thing than I am. I thought I wanted it, but I guess I don’t. But you know what, I’m a good man and 99 percent of women would be so pleased with the kind of man I am. Why can’t that be good enough for you?” And to that I responded, “I never said I wanted a good man, I said I wanted a godly man. And that’s who you said you were.” I signed up for a very different relationship than he did and while I held up my end of the deal, he came up short time after time. Don’t even get me started on his arrogant “99 percent of women would be pleased with him” comment….*eye roll*
Now, about a man who prays…That man has God’s character etched into the deepest parts of his being. A praying man has let God into the secret places within him and has gotten real with himself. He’s not satisfied with being good, because he understands there is no one good but God alone. He wants to be godly. He is humbled by his sin and refuses to let himself remain plagued by the cares of this world. His focus is to look and act like Christ and isn’t afraid to give himself up for the woman he loves. That man cares more about what he can do for others than he cares about what others will do for him. He is characterized by humility, love, honor, integrity, patience, passion, joy, vulnerability, compassion, emotional intelligence, hard work, a confidence that doesn’t lie is his good looks or giftings but in the Creator he’s come to know so intimately…along with a plethora of other fruits of the Spirit. That man is cultivating a secret history with God that will prepare him for a public life that can be trusted and depended upon. That man will love you unconditionally. Yeah, you want a praying man. He’s good people. 😉
So my gorgeous, sister. If you’ve got a preyer lurking around your life, kick him to the curb. Sure, you should pray about it, but if you’ve been denying some serious red flags…THIS IS YOUR SIGN. Be done with him! Stop postponing the pain of becoming single again. You will survive it. Absorb the hurt, process the loss, begin your healing and position yourself to finally receive good things in life and not things that keep destroying you. There really are SO many men on the earth. You can and will get better.
If you’re single but contemplating letting a guy in who doesn’t quite meet your standards, don’t do it! Keep your standards high! Please for the love of God, don’t betray your heart. It’s just too precious. And for you amazingly blessed ladies who have met your praying, God loving man: Love on that man! Enjoy him. Thank God for him. I’m sure it wasn’t without a couple wolves that you were able to appreciate what it was to be pursued by a man after God’s heart instead of his own desires. You are highly favored 🙂
Here’s to growing in wisdom and kissing time-wasting fakers goodbye.