Three Questions A Woman Asks of a Man

We sat across from each other at the cafe in the Henry Ford Museum near Detroit. It was a long day of musing gadgets and inventions of days gone by. Musing wasn’t the real issue, our relationship was. It was the words no man wanted to hear.  “I cannot marry you.”  After nearly a year of writing and flying back and forth between the USA and Canada, (she lived in Toronto), the woman I thought was the one for me, wasn’t ready for marriage. My heart sank. It felt like a lead balloon in my soul. At 27, my dream of marriage was gone. I recall thinking to myself, “God, she’s so fantastic, if she isn’t the one, I can’t imagine anyone else!”


Needless to say, I cried on the plane back home. My family thought I was coming back engaged or at least headed in that direction. I holed up in my bachelor’s apartment wondering what to make of my life and hers. I loved her so much; couldn’t imagine life without her. Days turned into lonely weekends, months. Twenty months went by. Silence. You can’t imagine how many times I wanted to write her, find out how she was doing. I couldn’t make myself take up the pen and write. “Perhaps by now, she’s found a handsome Canadian guy, is married, and has a kid on the way.” Or so I surmised.

Fast Forward

Don’t ask me to explain God’s sovereignty in life’s events. Sure, there are times the “stars align” and circumstances come together in a seemingly perfect fit. Other times, it all appears a disaster; like our Detroit rendezvous. Confusion. Dismay. And yet, God was at work in both Sandy and me during those twenty months of silence.

Questions to be Answered

Deep in the heart of a woman are three God-infused questions that must be answered. When she looks into the heart of a man, she wants to know:

  1. Will you pursue me?
  2. Will you delight in me?
  3. Will you fight for me?

A woman must know these of her man before she can commit.  She also needs to know her heart for a man is not based upon her desire to escape an unwanted situation. No man wants a woman because she only wants him to get her out of a bad past. 

Will You Pursue Me?

Ask a single guy who is interested in a girl and his answer is “Absolutely YES!” Dating and engagement are all about the pursuit of a woman. Recently, at a wedding, the groom was ecstatic about his bride!  He pursued, fell in love, and committed his all to her. She adores him. Her heart is filled because of his single-minded chasing after her heart!

The challenge for a married man is will the pursuit continue? Life gets domesticated quickly. Bills to pay, laundry, yards to mow, work, and routines that can be the little foxes that nip at the marriage. You start nattering at each other. Sleeping back to back, or worse in other rooms.  

Pursuit is more than dates and movie nights. It’s about pursuing her heart.

Will You Delight in Me?

Delight often involves the eyes. In Song of Solomon, the man tells his woman “You captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes.”  You should be captivated by the woman you pursue! She should knock your socks off! Beyond her beauty that surpasses any other woman on the planet in your eyes, your delight needs to be of her heart. Of the inner beauty that is emerging in her soul. Delight involves drawing her out. Speaking into her heart. In Ephesians 5, Paul talks of a husband nourishing and cherishing his wife. In fact, he finds delight in her a joy when he is nourished by Christ. That’s when he has something to offer her.

Will You Fight for Me?

This doesn’t always come easy for a man. John Eldredge says that one way a man breaks the heart of a woman is when he hesitates. Our male sin-bent towards passivity is at the root of our hesitations with a woman. Sure, pursuit and delight come easier because there is a return on your investment that benefits you (including sex). But, to fight for her involves sacrifice. It’s costly. And yet, look at the knight who went to battle to defend his kingdom, to hold back the forces of the enemy from advancing on those he loves. As independent as some women can seem, there is an underlying desire to know there is someone who will stand up for them.  

This aspect of our marriage didn’t happen on the day we said: “I do”. The seeds were definitely there, but the roots were tender and easily threatened. I’ll admit, there were times when she wondered if I’d fight for her, for us. A storm came years later that tested my resolve. Thank God I defended my wife and our family. It exuded emotions and a stance that needed to be seen. In many respects, my wife’s heart felt a level of security in our marriage she knew was there but had never been tested. 

Are You Ready for Marriage?

Your hormones may say YES!, but the true test of whether the woman you have fixed your eyes upon is the woman for you, is in how she will answer those three questions.

Having a Healthy Marriage

Many warriors marry in their 20’s. Many of those marriages are good, growing, and maturing. Others, face attacks by the Enemy and unfortunately struggle to stay afloat, even while they love Jesus. Still others, unfortunately, divorce.  We men need to understand, (me included), that in every interaction with your woman, she’s asking those three questions.

Will you pursue me? When the local theatre reopened, she was quick to ask to go. She was really asking, “Will you pursue me?”

Will you delight in me? When she texted me photos of two outfits from the store dressing room, she was asking “Do you delight in me?”

Will you fight for me? When there was a conflict with a friend from the past, she was asking “Will you fight for me?”

Listen to her Heart. I haven’t been perfect at this in our 30+ years of marriage, but I can honestly say, putting these three questions of hers in the forefront of my mind helps me love her in the way Christ loves us. 

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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