Help My Boyfriend’s an Idiot

Found this over at Heart Support and loved it so much I wanted to share.  Props to the author Benjamin Sledge.

2 Star Guy

My good friend, Chad Swanzy, once told me a story about the time he incredibly failed at being a husband.

Chad, along with his beautiful wife and kids were heading out on vacation and were going to have to endure a cross-country trip with young children in the car screaming at the top of their lungs and asking “ARE WE THERE YET!!”  Two boys in the backseat inevitably leads to “your-on-my-side” and fist fights.

Being preemptive, Chad began scouring the internet furiously to find a decent hotel in a city halfway through their trip so they wouldn’t spend so much time in the car.

Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com all had great deals but Chad found himself in a dilemma.  There was a 2 star hotel with a great price in a city he didn’t know, but a 5 star Hotel in a city he did know for $40 more.

Chad began looking through all perks of each.  The 2 star hotel had HBO, cable, clean sheets, and was safe according to the site.  The 5 star hotel had more cable programs, a mini-bar, luxury beds and sheets, a gym, and a continental breakfast.

Seeing as money was a little tight, Chad booked the 2 star hotel and the family left for their trip.

Midway into their trip and after a few U-turns, they pulled into the parking lot of their 2 star hotel.  “Surely this couldn’t be it!” Chad thought.  The reason for so many U-turns was that Chad and his family found themselves in a rundown part of town where they were watching drug deals and prostitution happen on corners nearby the hotel.  Not only that, but the pictures online looked NOTHING like what he as currently seeing.  The hotel was rundown and extremely sketchy.  Chad quickly hurried the family along and checked in, but when they got to their room discovered it was even worse.  The sheets may have been clean, but looked soiled and the TV barely got reception.  Chad’s wife was furious, especially with young children in such a sketchy side of town.

Bridge Motel

Chad and his family ended up leaving the hotel without a refund and driving a little further to check into the 5 star hotel he had previously looked at.

This scenario is very similar to much of how I see women dating these days.  Instead of holding out for a 5 star guy they settle for a 2 star loser.

Women initially have grand plans and think they have to “find that perfect one!”  Just like the unicorn!  You’re searching for the mythical ONE!

Both of which, are figments of your imagination.

But inevitably, they’ll become lonely or bored or sometimes both and start dating the 2 star guy because they settle instead of holding out for something better.  Often times the 2 star guy will begin throwing game at a young women trying to win her over with things like, “But baby…..I’m a nice guy.  I have a job.  I treat women with respect.” All good things, right?  But all good things that should be the STANDARD for any guy who wants to date a woman.  It’s like the hotel example I used, the 2 star will try and win you over with a cheap price and things that should already be included (clean sheets, HBO, etc).  But let’s be honest, once you start dating the 2 star guy and you enter the proverbial hotel room of his heart, you get duped just like those online pictures.  He’s not a good guy, he’s okay at treating you with respect, and maybe you two fight all the time because he’s selfish.  Just like the hotel again, you’ve got people slinging meth on the corner, the sheets are soiled and the HBO is sketchy….just like the guy you’re dating.

Women, I can’t tell you how often I plead with young ladies I know to hold out for a 5 star guy.  A guy that wants to lavish you in respect and with dignity, that values your heart more than your appearance, that puts your interests ahead of his own, that treats you just as well in front of his friends, and isn’t afraid of engaging in conflict with you, but seeks resolution no matter the cost.  That’s a 5 star guy but most of you are content dating children.

How do I know?  Well here’s some red flags for you that you might have said or thought:

Hi!  I'm a Red Flag

  1. “I don’t care because he’s hot”
  2. “He makes me feel good” (news flash, feelings are fleeting, how does he treat you?)
  3. “I’m just tired of being lonely”
  4. “He’s just a fun guy” (I was a fun guy too and I crapped all over girl’s hearts)
  5. “You don’t know him like I do, he’s trying”

Number 5 I hear ALL the time.  Everyone knows you’re dating isn’t worth your time and you’ll MAKE EXCUSES FOR HIM  “His dad didn’t hug him, he’s trying, he’s a lot nicer when we’re alone!” Here’s the thing ladies, a guy can trick one girl, but he can’t trick all your friends.  If they tell you “Hey, Scott’s got some issues and we’re worried”  you might want to listen to them  and the counsel they give you.  They’re looking out for your best interests, they aren’t jealous and trying to steal you man or have you join the single and miserable club like you think.

Have you ever thought that maybe God has you in this season of life for a reason?  Being single?  But instead we try and fight it because we think it’s this curse, like that we constantly have to be dating someone in order to find value?  What you need to know is that you already have SO much value and are cherished.  And here’s perhaps the saddest thing I’ve seen young women do.

They know that they’re lonely, and feel like they’ll never climb out of the rut they’re in. So, they date someone they feel is on their level, instead of being content where they’re at. They settle for any guy, instead of the kind of life that is truly ahead of us and the kind of person that God craves to see us spend a lifetime of love on.  They hope forchange in the relationship, they hope for better – but end up staying in a destructive relationship for years giving away bits and pieces of their heart to a 2 star guy when they could have held out for a 5 star one.

I’m not saying this is easy, and finding men like this is somewhat hard these days but they DO exist.  Most are just too impatient to wait, but I know worse things than being lonely, namely being in a relationship and miserable.

You want my advice ladies?

Dump him, tell him to grow up, and that you’ll see him when he decides to pursue you like you deserve and hold out for that guy that wants to dote on you and cherish your soul…..NOT your body.

Jon Acuff’s The Worst Tool for Evangelism

I found an awesome post on my Facebook today.  I follow Jon Acuff’s Blogs, mainly Stuff Christian’s Like.  I LOVE his book.  Here’s his newest post:

The Worst Tool for Evangelism

A few weeks ago, I drove by a church welcome sign in North Carolina that I thought was a smidge strange. As I am wont to do, I promptly turned it into a tweet and said the following on Twitter

“If you’re 99% saved, then you’re 100% lost!” Church sign I just drove by. I guess they didn’t have the letters for “Visitors keep out.”

A number of people saw that tweet and replied back to me with thoughts like this:

“Isn’t that theologically accurate?”

“Don’t we need to be convicted?”

I think those were good questions, but I never doubted the accuracy of that idea. I was doubting whether or not a welcome sign is the best place to debate theological accuracy. Is a message of shame the best message for a church welcome sign?

And more than that, what does “100% saved” mean? Who is measuring that? The pastor of that church? The elders? Is there a chart? What is the 1% that makes all the difference? What do you do with the guy in Mark 9 who asks Jesus to heal his child “if you can?”

Jesus replies, “If you can? Everything is possible for one who believes.”

To which the father says, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Jesus, sensing that the father was only 78% saved says, “Can’t do it. Disciples, get my boat! It’s time to bounce.”

Or he heals him and moves on. One of those two things happened.

Ranking by percentage the authenticity of your faith is a difficult thing to do, but maybe we all already agree on that point. What about the need for us to be convicted?

I agree with that. I do, but I think that as humans we have an unbelievable ability to transform conviction into shame.

I think that’s part of the reason Jesus left us so little wiggle room in Matthew 22:37-40. When asked what the most important commandment in the law was, he replied:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Notice what it doesn’t say? It doesn’t say, “Judge your neighbor.” Or, “Convict your neighbor.” Or, “Shame your neighbor.”

The verb is love.

Now there should be two push backs to this:

The first is, “Didn’t Jesus essentially say what that church sign said to the rich young ruler who was unwilling to give up his worldly possessions to follow him?”

You could definitely make that argument, but the key difference is that they had a conversation. Jesus looked him in the face and talked with the rich young ruler. Though it was brief, they had an interaction that was far more intimate than a message on a sign. Jesus talked with him one on one, he didn’t carry a billboard around.

The second push back is, “Isn’t the most loving thing you can do is share the truth of Christ with someone?”

Agreed. But again, a word of caution about using “shame” as a tool of evangelism. Let’s not forget what we are told in Romans 2:1-4:

“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?”

What leads us toward repentance? Kindness.

Not shame.

Not abuse.

Not anger.

Kindness.

But if you’d prefer to not look at it through that lens, as least answer this question:

Have you ever met someone who said, “I became a Christian when a friend of mine shamed me badly. They shamed me into the arms of Christ.”

I haven’t, but I have heard this story countless times:

“A neighbor loved me when I was so unlovable to them. Their love made no sense. Finally I had to ask them, ‘Why are you so different? Why are you so kind to me? That’s when they told me about this guy, Jesus Christ.’”

Do we need conviction? Without a doubt.

Do we need theological accuracy? Definitely.

Do we need shame? That’s a tough one. But I do know this, we don’t need it on our church welcome signs.

I also love the comments on this post.  I totally agree with this belief.  Jesus said LOVE not SHAME.  It reminds me of the famous quote by Gandhi.

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”