Love and Emotional Maturity

MW Editor’s Note. This is an excerpt from the book Mentoring Warriors by David Riffel. Mentoring Warriors is committed to equipping men to mentor and preparing warriors (young men) for life. Healthy relationships are essential in becoming the warrior God wired you to be. Follow this link to get your copy of Mentoring Warriors and support the ministry at the same time!

Love, Emotions and Hormones

Your transition into manhood has a lot to do with love and emotional maturity.  You might have the hormonal call to marriage, but a wife is far more than just having sex.  Learning to love unconditionally, even sacrificially takes time and a willingness to practice the transparency steps with the one you love.  Dating is for the purpose of marriage.  You don’t date just so you can hook up with a girl for the night.  Just because your roommate is gone doesn’t give you permission to test out the sheets with her.  In fact, Warriors who want to get this right will focus on guarding both his and her hearts on the dating journey.  This may sound old school, but one Warrior told me that refraining from physical affection during the early dating months with his girlfriend was important.  It kept the relationship focused on getting to know each other and figuring out if they were compatible.  Newsflash!  You don’t have to have sex with a girl to figure out if you are compatible.  Emotional maturity has to precede any marriage and sexual commitment. 

God’s Gift to Women

Eric Ludy has a book called “God’s Gift to Women”.  In it, he talks about men becoming warriors and poets.  That is an emotional tenderness that expresses God’s kindness to the woman.  It means you listen well to her.  You track with her heart and you respond with words of genuine care and respect. The reality is you are doing more to lead her than if you were to brush off any emotions or closeness she wants.  Some women will push back on your efforts.  They don’t want tenderness. What they want is to rule over you.  I would respectfully point out that aggressive, flirtatious women are not going to want emotional maturity and love.  If you find such a girl you otherwise are crazy about, think twice.  Part of a good marriage is emotional maturity.  If one of you can go deep and the other not, that is not a good situation to be in for the rest of your life.

McFly! Get a Clue!

As a Warrior, learn to clue into your emotions.  You aren’t being asked to be a crybaby or to be some passive wallflower.  Manhood is yours for the taking.  But real men, real warriors know how to manage their emotional bandwidth in healthy ways, making course corrections along the journey.  You maintain enough self-awareness that you know when to back off and reel in your emotions.  “You’re about to cross a line buddy; back off!”  That kind of self-talk is essential if you ever plan to mature into manhood.

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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