Relationships

Beautiful Women

As a little girl, our daughter dreamed of being a princess. She had countless tea parties and ballerina programs in the family room. Her mom and I were her biggest fans! She was elated when her baby brother was born! “Now I have a prince!” (She still treats him like a prince, to this very day!)

Swept Off Their Feet

Girls want the attention and affection of a nice boy. A young man who will sweep her off her feet. A gentleman. Not a guy who will fondle her, taking advantage of her sexually. As little girls enter their own puberty journey, they become increasingly aware of their appearance. Mirror time. Hairstyles. Make-up. Bras and their first menstrual cycles. While the boys are facing their own sexual and physical awakenings, a girl is dreaming of the day when Mr. Right will capture her heart; sweep her off her feet.

Two Left Feet

I recall those awkward middle and high school days with girls. One day, in grade 9 science class, this cute girl, Karen, walks up to me while I was sitting at a lab table with some of my buddies. “You’re cute. Would you go out with me?” she asked. Talk about getting caught off guard! I was cute? With all my zits, stringy long hair, and glasses? My response to her bombed. My buddies saw right through me and what was going on. Epic fail on my part. 

My first real date was with Carolyn, in high school, a month before we both graduated. She was this cute and quiet clarinet player in the band. I knew she went to church somewhere, so she had to be a good girl my parents would approve of. I asked her out. She said yes!  All afternoon, I washed and cleaned my 1971 Gremlin https://www.hemmings.com/stories/2017/04/20/hemmings-find-of-the-day-1971-amc-gremlin amidst my parents and two younger sisters razzing me. I recall my khaki pants and my red checkered shirt. I spent the better part of an hour in the bathroom picking all the whitehead zits on my face before showering. Not much to shave at 17, but I looked as good as I could. 

I took her to Pizza Hut. She ate nothing. I ate the entire pizza! What was I thinking? We saw the movie “A Star is Born”. Probably not the best idea for a first date. Now I know that getting to know her through meaningful conversation would have been a far better choice. But hey, how many high school guys have the self-confidence to carry on a healthy conversation with a nice girl?

Warrior Years and Women

A lot of guys, unfortunately, lose their virginity during their 20s. The stats are higher than you think, even amongst good guys who say they love Jesus. Somehow we think having sex during dating is a pre-requisite for marriage. “We had sex twice. I know it was wrong, but we did it anyway. At least I had a condom both times”  As if a thin layer of latex justifies sex before marriage?  And, if purity is so important to you, why have a condom in your back pocket in the first place? That back pocket speaks more about your motives than you think. Newsflash! Girls want to know they are beautiful, not sex objects to fulfill your adolescent and young manhood porn fantasies. 

I dated a few women during my warrior years. They were each beautiful. Some would get all dolled up on our dates. Others not. The ones I enjoyed the most were genuine of heart and spirit. What I saw was their true self. I liked that. What each wanted to hear from me was “You are beautiful”.  I hesitated to say that because on the heels of that she hopes she will hear me also say “I love you.”  Why? Because as shy as I was in my 20s I knew love was a key step towards marriage and in all honesty, I wasn’t sure I was ready. Nor was I sure they were the right one. 

Then It Happened

Something shifted in my thinking about women.  It’s not that I looked at every woman with lustful intent, seeing only their outer beauty. As I pursued my own walk with Jesus, I saw the blessing and value of pursuing a woman whose beauty flowed from her heart. Scripture speaks volumes about the character of a godly woman. Proverbs 31 is the often referenced passage. (Advice: it is a good thing for a young man who would like to be married to study Proverbs 31.)

Through an unusual chain of events, I met a girl via a matchmaker. This may date me some, but before email, there was such a thing as letters. I’d spend evenings in my bachelor apartment writing letters to this girl in Canada I had never met. In fact, we exchanged letters for six months before I heard her voice on the phone. When I laid eyes on her for the first time in person, it was at the Toronto International Airport. By then, the beauty I saw in Sandy was not just in her appearance. I saw the beauty of her heart. She won me over by the depth of her soul. Her womanhood was anchored to Jesus and that was exactly what my heart was looking for too!

Beauty Changes

I pulled out photos of us over the years. Our 20s, then 30s with kids, 40s with teenagers, 50s with college-aged kids and their own marriages. Sure, we’ve both put on weight over the decades. I have a bit less hair. A bit of grey showing up. We’ve both experienced major health crises. My heart bypass surgery and recovery and now, her battle with breast cancer. And yet, her beauty increases with each passing season of life we face. Her bilateral mastectomy radically affected her body. Recovery is a long journey for both of us. And yet, as she came out of surgery, I told her the same thing I’ve told her since we met via letters. She is beautiful to me, like no other woman I’ve ever seen. 

Warrior’s View of Beauty

Guys, it is normal and right for you to be sexually attracted to the woman you marry. Enjoy the wife of your youth! The Bible calls you to have intimacy with your wife. (Check out the Song of Solomon.) Keep in mind, as the years go by, visual beauty changes, but more importantly, the beauty of her heart should only deepen. Oh to have a wife who is gorgeous from the inside-out, who radiates what it looks like to be a woman of the Holy Spirit. God at work in and through her. 

Tell Her So

Don’t be like the guy who was married 45 years and only told his wife once that he loved her; on their wedding day. A woman needs continual, consistent, genuine nourishing and cherishing from you, her man. There are 365 days in a year. Come up with 365 different ways to tell her she is beautiful inside and out.  You aren’t much of a warrior if you keep silent on the matter. 

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of www.Mentoring-Warriors.com. 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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