Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pursuer or Pursuee

Stereotypically in the dating relationship the man likes to be the pursuer and the woman likes to be the pursuee. The man likes the challenge and excitement of trying to win a girl's heart. The woman likes to be won because she likes to feel cherished. Its fun while they are dating. If things get serious and they are married, its easy to stop pursuing and easy to stop being pursuable.

The husband believes he has won the challenge, he may think to himself "I have won her heart by claiming her as my own in marriage." He may stop pursuing. The wife thinks.....well.....I don't know what the wife thinks, but she can make herself difficult to pursue by rejecting him when he does pursue her. This creates a quandary for the husband. From the husbands perspective, if he pursues her and gets rejected he has to live with that rejection. However, if he doesn't pursue her, he has to live with a spouse who doesn't feel cherished by her husband.

From the woman's perspective, she should be worth pursuing whether the pursuit is rejected or not.

So what happens? Both individuals stop submitting to each other (See Ephesians 5:21-33 for Paul's teaching on mutual submission). When that happens the temptation is to become selfish and meet your own needs and desires regardless of how it effects your spouse.

So I have a question for you:

What kind of position have you put your spouse or significant other in?

Husbands, have you given up on pursuing your wife? Even if she rejects you, you must choose to love her whether its reciprocated or not.

Wives, have you given up on respecting your husband becuase you don't feel cherished. Even if his pursuit doesn't meet your needs, it is important to respect him by recognizing the effort and communicate clearly what makes you feel cherished. (Abuse and/or adultery is an obvious exception to submitting to your husband).

And if you are not married or in a committed relationship, you can apply this same thing to how you relate to your friends, because whoever you marry should be your best friend.

May God grant each of us the will to love our spouses well.

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