How To Know If He’s In Love With You

As a business graduate, there’s one rule I got out of my accounting classes that I continue to live by today: never assume unless otherwise stated. Being such a stickler for rules, I made sure to adhere to this one. Apparently, that one went down for better and for worse. I literally never assumed – even if my discernment already told me otherwise and even if I no longer needed discernment because the man’s intentions were already so blatantly obvious.

The good thing is that through the muddy process, I learned that more than holding on to that rule, it was even better to hold on to wisdom.

And it was wisdom that taught me when to confront and when to step back. It was wisdom that taught me when to put up walls and when it’s okay to keep them down.

I’ve noticed that females have this reputation for being assuming. I will in no way defend that because I have been so deliberate to not turn out like that, but I also want to say that to a degree, I get why most girls assume. We live in a world where muscles and ego have been given a premium over humility and where ladies are frequently treated like a commodity (cat-callers, anyone?). It shouldn’t come to us as a surprise that when someone acts like a gentleman, the receiving end can turn it into something more than it actually is. It has become difficult for us to believe that someone can actually take us home and feed us good food without requiring anything more than friendship in return. And since we have a culture that glorifies casual relationships and blurred lines, the difficulty in identifying when a gesture means something and when it doesn’t becomes even more intensified.

But beloved, none of these actually justify anything. I am here to tell you a simple truth: if a guy truly likes you, he wouldn’t lead you on. A guy who has it in his heart to serve you will let you know very clearly what he wants. Furthermore, he won’t just tell you or show you he likes you, he should then proceed to pursue a relationship with you.

I vividly recall writing a blog post on how relationships shouldn’t be tied down to a formula, because they truly shouldn’t be. There is no one formula. But when it comes to this part of the relationship, a man’s pursuit, there’s really no way around it: a man in love with you will love you.

Love does not dishonor you nor does he defraud you.

Love is not self-seeking. Love does not go beating around the bush because he might get rejected. Love lays itself on the line because he would rather get hurt now than hurt the beloved in the long run.

Love rejoices with the truth. Love is intentional, clear, and does not attempt to confuse.

Love always protects. Love guards your heart and does not force his way in. Love guards the eyes of others because he does not want to taint your reputation nor your testimony.

Love perseveres. Love pursues.

Love does not tell you he loves you just so he can get it off his chest, knowing that it might confuse you. Love does not show you he loves you if he’s not ready to back it up with clarity and commitment.

I’ve been in both the situations I just stated above. Men have told me they loved me just so I knew, without any intention to do anything about what they said they felt. Whether I was interested or whether I was not, it always ended up one way: me cutting the guy off for a season. Why?

Here’s the thing: if a guy really wants to be with you, then it wouldn’t have mattered if you lived halfway across the world, he would still commit himself to you. The fact that someone would tell you that he has feelings for you without any plan of action shows that he’s not ready to take responsibility for his emotions. As women, we can make as much excuses as we want regarding why he just can’t commit right now, but those are just mere facades to cover up the truth you don’t want to admit to yourself.

Don’t allow yourself to be kept on the hook. You wouldn’t want to spend your life waiting on a man who claims he loves you but has no guts to actually ask you out.

On the other hand, men have tried to “make paramdam” (drop hints) without actually giving clarity as to why they do what they do. Now please, make no mistake in this and don’t assume the guy is dropping hints about liking you when he’s actually just being nice to you.

But since you’re already on the fence about it, the best thing to do either way is to ignore. If you’re sure that a guy is trying to “damoves” and he’s not offering a shred of explanation, then ignore him and don’t give him the time of the day. Just stop entertaining him. If you think that a guy is trying to “damoves” but you’re not sure if he actually is, then ignore the thought and don’t give it the time of the day. Don’t dwell on it until he actually goes and says something to you. The last thing you want to do is taint a caring friendship that was offered to you in purity.

If this guy is a part of your spiritual community, it’s best if you get to talk to his leader or mentor about it just so he can be guided accordingly. You would want to serve him as a sister. I also highly encourage you to talk to your leader or mentor to give you another perspective because you wouldn’t want to cut off someone who has been nothing but an honest-to-goodness brother to you.

At the end of the day, you draw your line. Confront when you feel like it’s already necessary to. If he won’t be clear, then you be clear about where you stand – and make sure you both know it.

Dear Ladies: Guard His Heart

We hear a lot about how we ladies should guard our hearts and we tell men a lot to guard women, but how often do we think about guarding the hearts of guys?

I know we tend to have general boundaries, yet I think now would be a good time to remember to set our boundaries not just according to our weaknesses but also according to theirs. It helps to know that these men are wired differently as individuals and have different triggers, and I believe it is always good to gauge where a man stands in his emotions and vulnerabilities even as you examine yours.

I’ve said this before in a previous post, but it’s worth repeating. When Solomon wrote that one should guard the heart, he was speaking about having wisdom in his heart and protecting it. And so this is a lesson that we should probably never outgrow, keeping this wisdom and guarding it.

Ladies, we’ve all probably heard of the people around us warning us about guys, how they’re only “after one thing” and how they can play around with emotions of girls. And while it is true that some certain guys do that, isn’t it also true that we can be considered just as “dangerous” to them? There is a reason that Proverbs is full of warnings against “the vixen.” We may be aware or unaware of our charms, but trust me when I say that men notice and it is because of such that we ought to be careful. I'm not saying don't be friendly. I'm not saying don't care. I'm simply saying that we have femininity that is considered alluring, and we can choose to use it either as a Delilah or as an Esther.

I want to tell you not to “casually” bump into him on the street. I want to tell you not to do things and even post things on Facebook in attempts to subtly catch his attention when you know he’s not yours to keep. I want to speak about how it’s possible for a girl to play so closely near the line, for no other reason than to see if he’ll show any sign of attraction. I want to go on and on about flirting and leading guys on and body language and a million specific things, but I won’t. I won’t give you a list of dos and how tos. I don’t need to. The only thing I need to tell you is to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself; to love the men in your life with purity and wish no harm – emotionally or otherwise – upon them.

Women, we have a part in inspiring, encouraging, and protecting the men in our lives, no matter how “big, strong, and capable” they already appear. They long for affection and love just as much as we do – and we may be unknowingly filling their tanks when we shouldn’t be. We have just as much power over their hearts as they have over ours.

In the same way, guard his heart from your tongue. Let’s admit it. We can be nagging and condescending and criticizing. We are able to build them up and tear them down with our mere words. Don’t use the power you have to demean, manipulate, or bash. Use your words to challenge, motivate, and set them free to become who they were called to be.

It’s so easy to say that it’s not our obligation and that it’s all up to them to fix their responses to what we do, but isn’t that extremely selfish? It may take a little more effort on our part to be aware of us and of others, but isn’t that what relationships are about? Isn’t that what loving is about?

Doesn't the fact that we're created from man's rib imply how we have a role in  guarding his heart?

It’s amazing to think that the Greek word kosmos translates to adornment in English. As a woman, your source of adornment comes from the source of the cosmos. You are most beautiful when you are immersed in His universe, filled to the brim with His love, grace, and joy, leaving a trail of stars wherever you go. And in the same way that people can feel either belongingness or loneliness as they stare off into the sky, you have the same ability to uplift and to bring down.

You can either pull people into your orbit and get them lost in sheer darkness, or you can show them galaxies of dazzling wonder and inspire them to get launched into worlds of possibilities.

Would you rather use your gravity to make them crash or to make them fly?

Beloved, Let Him Go

Just a little confession: I am in no way an expert at this. I have loved and I have lost and I have spent months and years in an emotional limbo, hopelessly stuck in a place I don't even think I want to move on from because it's the only place I can still find him.

But maybe that's exactly why I have to speak to you about it. Because, my dear, it's 2017 and my heart breaks just watching you bringing the pain and confusion into the new year. Just when you thought you can begin anew, you found yourself in the same cycle again.

It's ironic when you know that breaking up was what's best and the relationship was already doing more harm than good, and yet here you are still at the same place you began.

It's a tug-of-war, you see. Your hands grasp so tightly to the rope, fighting to hold on and at the same time fighting to let go. You push and you pull and you always end up finding yourself bleeding and calloused and oh so tired.

And you know what, it's okay. It's okay that it's hard. It's okay that it hurts. The pain is valid. It's normal. We all need to go through our own journeys, with our own processes. Please go at your pace for wounds take time to heal. Two steps forward, one step back, it's fine. As long as you keep moving.

But if you're honest to yourself and you know that you're not even going anywhere and you're just stuck there, then let me be honest here too. The battle isn't really between you and him. The battle is between you and yourself.

You have to actually want to get over it, sweetie. From deep within you, you have to decide to. It's impossible to help someone who doesn't want to be helped. It's you who gets to make the decision to stop replying. You make the decision to take captive every thought and stop imagining the 1,000 ways the two of you can reconcile and get back together in the far off future. Most importantly, you get to choose whose hand you're going to hold: his or His.

This isn't about actively getting yourself into church activities or finding laughter when you're out for fellowship. Those can help, and they're good, but they're not the answer.

He is.

I don't want to make it sound easy because it's not. It's actually incredibly difficult. However, it's also rather simple. I'm not saying that the moment you choose God, all your feelings will miraculously go away. It doesn't work that way. But beloved, He works.He will work through your emotions and He will work through your situation and you will see Him working this heartbreak for your good.

It's terrifying letting go of what you're so used to. Some days, you just miss having someone to love you. Some days, you wonder whether you'll find a relationship that great again. Some days, you get frightened once you realize that all your plans that always included him are now scrap. But then, that's a wonderful place to start again.

Endings make for good beginnings. 

I beg you, close the door. You need to. Losing him might mean finally finding yourself – and much, much more. Don't chain yourself to the past and miss out on embracing all the future holds. The world is waiting for you to fully step into who you are. You were not created to retreat. There's a million opportunities ahead of you, an endless array of open doors and chances, so stop holding yourself back. Stop holding on to a guy you always believed would die for you when there's One who already did. This Guy, He's not just a band-aid for your broken heart, He'll take all the broken pieces and put them back together. You shouldn't treat Him as a soothing balm when He is the cure. You may have thought love meant grasping, but now there's a love Who would hold on to you. And this Love, just a little tidbit, His hands bled for you too. 

Palms closed tight keep the shadows in. We capture the light with open hands.

Breathe in. Breathe deep. Exhale.

No matter how long it takes, no matter how difficult it is, no matter how stuck you feel sometimes, no matter how many times you have to decide over and over again.

Slowly, fingers uncurling, relinquish. Let go.

Not because he found someone else, not because you want to find someone else, but because now, you are found.


Welcome the new.


Dear Pretty Lady: You Are Not Cheap

Dear Pretty Lady,

I know there’s so much more to you than a pretty face and an attractive body.

So let me say this: you are worth far more than a booty call or a flirty text. You deserve more than mixed signals and promises unfulfilled. You cannot be demeaned by catcalls and lingering gazes.

You do not have to reveal your body to get men to like you. You do not have to distinguish your value based on the number of likes you get on social media. You do not have to post an album of selfies and bikini shots just to show everyone how pretty you are. You do not have to have a new boyfriend every time a relationship fails because it makes you feel secure. You do not have to starve yourself thin just so you can be as physically attractive as the photoshopped women on magazines. You do not have to change your values so that your peers would like you.

Just because everyone else is lowering their standards and values doesn’t mean that you should too. You were made to stand out. You may have had a messy past, but who doesn’t? You don’t have to doubt your worth, and you don’t have to prove it to other people.

Therefore I plead you, do not give in to someone just because he gives you the butterflies, because emotions are easily manipulated. Wait for the one who will pursue you like a dying man in the desert would pursue water, wait for the man who knows your true value – the way God sees you. Do not expose your precious body and soul to a man who does not understand that such a treasure is worth waiting and working for. Do not succumb to the pressures of this culture and cover yourself in piles of makeup and facades of personality just to be “cool” and accepted. You are beautiful just as you are, and friends who do not see that might not be real friends at all.

You are not defined by how many men court you, by how many followers you have, nor by how pretty everyone else says you are.

Your value was declared and decided when the One who is love gave up His life for you. Know who He says you are, His beloved, His princess. You are worth pursuing, you are worth waiting for, you are worth dying for.

You are worth so much more.

You are a series of complexities, layering upon the other, an endless adventure to the people who are privileged enough to be let in on your journey. You are every possible color slammed together in one canvas, an abstract appreciated by those who are educated enough to know that art encompasses a broad range of wonder, and induces a wide range of emotions.

There may be times you feel so filled by darkness that you cannot see beyond yourself, but trust me, you are the universe. And there are so many stars and galaxies living inside of you, waiting to burst and show true stellar potential.

You are gold, constantly being refined. You are a precious jewel, rare and hard to find.

You are a pearl, and you do not throw pearls to pigs.

Dear Young Lady: Regretting a Broken Heart

I got inspired to write this when a friend of mine told me of how ladies in his school VG were sharing about how much they regretted their past relationships and how they wish they waited. 

Dear Young Lady,

I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to have loved at the wrong time; to have given too much than you should have; to have gone against what your conscience was telling you because something felt good, because someone made you feel wanted. I know what it’s like to have enjoyed it for the moment being, and later look back and see nothing but trainwreck and regret.

Did Prince Charming turn out to be the villain? Did the evil stepsisters triumph and have left the townspeople making rumors about you? Did you fall in love not with the prince, but with the princess? I don’t know, I don’t know your story.

But I do know this: you’ve been injured, you’ve been hurt. Whether you like it or not, a part of you has been broken. You’re now partly jaded, kind of cynical. Does it still leave you aching? The thought of how you’ll never have a chance to have your first ever kiss at the altar? Of how your first didn’t turn out to be your last? Of how your most recent love didn’t turn out to be the forever kind?

To a certain degree, you probably think you lost your chance at a fairytale.

But see, life has never been about being a fairytale. It has always been the story of redemption.

Don’t dwell on what you have lost, on what you have given away – physically or emotionally. Of course there’s pain, of course there’s regret. However, with God, there are new beginnings. He can make beauty out of ashes. Yes, acknowledge what you have done, acknowledge how far you’ve fallen. But then fix your eyes on the cross, and realize that He has long declared that pain finished; He has nailed your failures to the cross. Please stop trying to take them down from there.

I know you wish you didn’t make the mistakes you did, but you have. Now stop magnifying them, and magnify God’s forgiveness, magnify His renewing power. I’m not going to lie, there will be scars. Those are the consequences of something done out of God’s will, that’s why He has always been so intent on getting us aligned to Him. But God is able to take back what seemingly has been stolen, and He will restore it back to you a thousandfold. Walk in light of His forgiveness, walk in the transforming power of His grace.

This is His word for you: No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

Forgive the person who has hurt you. Forgive yourself. Allow yourself to be forgiven.

And sweetheart, don’t be afraid that your future spouse would not be able to accept your past. Love covers all sin, and he will accept all of you. I’m not saying it will be easy for him to handle, but I’m saying that if he’s the right one, he’ll look at you as how God sees you – redeemed, lovely, and pure.

Do know that not all people are out to hurt you. I understand that the world is full of predators and you really do have to be wise about the people you trust, but don’t instantly assume the worst in everyone. For example, while it is true that there are boys who are seemingly epitomes of playboy-ness, there are also men who fear God and live such honorable lives. We just have to be careful to discern who is truly who.

Also, don’t think that your mistakes disqualify you from a beautiful, loving relationship in the future. I know ladies who have been attracted to the same gender, and yet they chose to surrender and embrace how God created them to be so now they have come to have blooming and joy-filled romantic relationships with godly men. I have heard testimonies of women who lost their virgnity to someone before their husband came along – some willingly, some without consent. But because they chose to repent, to trust God and believe that He has called them pure in spite of everything, they didn’t settle for less than what God wanted for them still and today they have such lovely families. So don’t be afraid to give away your heart again when God gives you the go. If that guy loves God more than he loves you, then there is no need to fear. When the time comes and when the right man comes, you can love and be loved the way God has always planned true love to be.

Stop listening to who the world says you are. Don’t be affected by who your friends expect you to be. Renounce every curse ever thrown against you, every lie about yourself that you ever believed. Hear what the One who made you says for only He knows who you truly are and how you were created to be. 

You are precious, a treasure that the Son of God Himself was willing to die for. And this Maker of heaven and earth calls you worthy; He calls you beautiful. The King of the entire Universe claims you to be His daughter, whose identity is founded in Him. So don’t listen to the voices in your head or believe anyone who has told you otherwise. 

You can’t change your past, but there is hope for your future.

For this is the hope of a broken heart: Christ.

In Him, there are second chances. In Him, all things are new. He is the Hero of this story. He is your Knight in Shining Armor. He is your Prince Charming.

God is still writing your love story. I know it’s cliche, but it’s true. Until then, just focus on what God wants you to do this season. Know Him, spend time with His people, grow in your character and interests. And wait, very patiently wait.

Because this is redemption: a second chance at a fairytale. The true kind. The eternal kind.

Your fairytale isn’t over yet. In Him, it’s only just beginning.

P.S. To the teenagers who have read this and would somehow want to use God’s grace as an excuse to do whatever they want – don’t.