Should the man or woman take the lead role in dating? We asked a handful of Christians what their perspective on dating is and whether there is any Biblical authority on the subject. From tradition to Biblical description, together we find some intriguing answers and wise words.
“It goes either way. Well, if they are both going to get what they want out of a relationship, it shouldn’t matter who makes the first move. I prefer to make the first move just to show that I’m interested.”
“Whoever is interested should pursue. A successful relationship takes work from the beginning. If it is God’s will, then both will have an interest and both should pursue it from the beginning. Of course, how each person ‘pursues’ is based on the individual, whether man or woman.”
“The man should always make the first move. It’s always been the guy who makes the first move. It’s tradition. It’s just the way I see it; it’s the way society sees it. There are a few girls that would make the first move but I think most of them want the guy to approach them. My dad always taught me that if you like the girl and you want the girl, you have to make the first move.”
“I strongly believe the man should pursue. I think many women have forgotten how to be submissive to men (and I mean submissive in a good way). There is a wonderful dance that occurs when a man is pursuing a woman and when a man pursues a woman he is showing her that he is a leader. I believe most women want that from men. I know I do.”
“The concept of the man pursuing the woman seems clear in the way a marriage is described in Ephesians Chapter 5. It casts the dynamic of marriage in relation to Jesus and the Church, with the husband taking on the role of Jesus. Jesus sought out and asked his disciples to follow Him. Likewise, a man should seek out a woman and lead in a relationship according to this scripture. It also calls for him to bring the best out of her, so it is definitely a relationship of mutual respect.”
Ephesians 5:21-33 (The Message):
Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.
Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.
No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.” – Matthew
“Anyone who has been to Baja Beach Club or Dead Freddies on ladies’ night would be surprised to know that men don’t always hotly (a term for “passionately and enthusiastically”) pursue women. Men are often times struggling to take leadership roles in the church, in relationships and in the world. Is this because of fear? Cultural pressures? Something else? We fear taking leadership roles because that means responsibility and with responsibility comes the desire to succeed and if we fail to live up to our responsibility then we can’t succeed. But, if we don’t take the responsibility in the first place then we don’t need to worry about success or failure. Our culture puts a lot of pressure on men to not only be successful, but to do so in a way that shows our inferiority to women. As men then, we begin to take on that lazy persona immobilized by our fears and living up to a perceived cultural norm.
We fear taking leadership roles because that means responsibility and with responsibility comes the desire to succeed and if we fail to live up to our responsibility then we can’t succeed.
Ultimately, we have forgotten how to be Gentle Men. I separate these two words because I think they show the balance of what God intended for his creature – man. Scripture teaches us that we are to be humble, loving and kind or to be gentle. But it also teaches us that we are to be wise, bold and leaders or to be men. So to be gentlemen we must embody the work of Christ as he was both sacrificially loving and the king of kings.
Good Charlotte’s album Good Morning Revival has a song called “Break Apart Her Heart.” Part of the chorus says, “Don’t tell her she is the reason that you live/Don’t give her everything that you got to give/If you want to keep a girl for as long as you live/Just break apart her heart.” With the pervasiveness of culture we can be easily confused and distracted from our calling to be Gentle Men.
But searching for happiness and hanging our hopes on answers that distract us from our relationship with Christ are not gender specific issues. Man’s hot pursuit of woman with a Biblical focus is simply the fruit of men hotly pursuing Christ. How hotly are you (man or woman) pursuing your relationship with your Lord and Savior?” – Jeff (Reprinted With Permission. Jeff Price is founder of the Young Adult Reformed Fellowship ministry in Baltimore, Maryland and regularly posts on his blog at blog.eyarf.org/)
“And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.’” Genesis 2:18 (NKJV). God created men and women for relationship (both with Him and with people) and intended for men and women to have companionship in marriage and friendship in life. As God made Eve (women) comparable to Adam (men), it emphasizes that men and women are of equal value in God’s eyes. Each person simply takes on a different role than their counterpart as pointed out in Ephesians 5, and equally shares in the welfare of the other. This is not to say that a woman can’t ask a man out, or that men are forced to do the asking, but perhaps you might reflect on what role you want to have and are meant for, pray for truth to what your heart is truly seeking and pursue your relationship with God’s design in mind.