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.

How to Pursue Your Boaz (Like Ruth Did!)

Is there anyone here not familiar with the story of Ruth? So often cited in Christian circles as justification why women can make the first move, we look at her story with profound interest. I’ve always been intrigued by the lives of the women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus and every time, I find myself thoroughly enjoying the way they were, in their own ways, rather scandalous.

Every year starting December 1, I re-visit the stories of the people part of Jesus’ ancestry and so once again dwelled on the story of Ruth. I thought of her as scandalous in the sense that she went and “made the first move”, which I figured was acceptable in their context and culture, but I came to see that things went much deeper than that.

The overarching theme of Ruth was Naomi’s bitterness turning into joy as she saw God redeem her and her family. Ruth’s story is that of an outsider being taken in and shown love and mercy. It’s much more of a testimony of God’s grace and faithfulness than anything else.

Don’t we all want our love stories to look like that? Here’s how Ruth got it right.

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.
-Ruth 1:16-18

Upon closer inspection, we could see that Ruth was anything but the take-control, aggressive woman we made her out to be. All throughout her book, we could only see one thing she was determined about: going where Naomi would go. In fact, it was when she was eligible to get married to younger, richer men that she decided to leave everything behind and follow wherever the Lord, through Naomi, would lead her and call her to. She basically gave up her right to live her life the way she wanted to.

Forgive me for saying this, but we have become a culture so obsessed with self. Instead of looking at our singlehood as an opportunity to serve, we see it as a time to focus on self.

I’m not saying that self-development and discovery is wrong in any way, but while we’re busy bemoaning our relationship status, complaining about the lack of available men, and scrolling through social media sites, children out there are dying of starvation, women are being sold and prostituted, and families are broken apart by sickness and poverty. We are present at every singles get-together and retreat, yet we wouldn’t even sacrifice a couple of hours to be of service to other people.

And then we have Ruth, who laid all of her to serve the person entrusted to her.

She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.’ So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest.” She gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. And she took it up and went into the city. Her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also brought out and gave her what food she had left over after being satisfied.
–Ruth 2:7, 17-18

From the very beginning, her intention and her service was for her mother-in-law. Every decision that she made from the time her husband died was not to her own advantage. In fact, she basically shunned the thought of marriage and prioritized working and providing for Naomi. Her desire was not for herself. Naomi then had to be the one to convince her to get back in the game again.

And even then Ruth in her humility responded,

“All that you say I will do” (Ruth 3:5).

I think one thing a lot of us overlook is that when Ruth approached Boaz, she didn’t do so because he was the one she desired or because he paid attention to her. She did so because he was her kinsman and culturally, one of the few people who can redeem her family lineage and legacy. She did not do so out of her own volition, she did so out of submission.

Her act of going to Boaz did not speak “I like you Boaz so please marry me” as most of us would interpret it. What she was truly saying was, “In order to redeem the family name of Naomi, I am willing to be a living sacrifice and thus offer myself as your wife.”

Ladies, let’s be completely honest here. We all want to be in a relationship, but how many of us are ready to offer ourselves like that? And if we wouldn’t even let God refine our hearts to get to that point, then why bother magnifying your desire for a guy in the first place?

At one point or another, you have probably come across a Jim/Elisabeth Elliot quote, but I love this one certain line from a letter before they got married:

“Let not our longing slay our appetite for living.”

We’re all always longing for something. Love. Relationships. Family. Peace. Provision. Security. Health. Beauty. Purpose. We’re all longing – each and every one of us. Yet all of these must not in any way hinder us from living; from embracing and thriving where we are now, with what we have now.

I’ve talked to countless women who said they were praying to end up with a godly guy, only to find out 5 sentences later that they’re doing so in the throng of bars, speed-dating, and matchmaking sites. I’ve had single women older than me come up to me and ask me to write about how we live in a generation where men are afraid of commitment and pursuit, more so than any other generation before.

And I’m not going to deny the statistics. The trend goes far beyond the romance department. Working for the ministry, high on the list of our greatest, most pressing needs are male missionaries who would be willing to go places and spearhead certain pursuits. We have a huge pool of women volunteering themselves to go to the most dangerous of places because there is such a lack of men willing to rise up. (While I would love to discuss that in length, this isn’t quite the place or post to do so).

Either way, I believe that this does not at all hinder God’s stories for His children. Our frustration does not in any way give us the right to grab the pen from God’s hands and try to overwrite what He has already spoken. The fact that the cute office-mate you have is brave enough to pursue you does not change the fact that he’s not a follower of Christ. You being convinced that it’s your season to be in a relationship does not mean that you’re right.

If God wanted you married by now, then He would have found a way to bring a man into your life by now. It would certainly entail obedience from both sides, but He is more than capable of using the most unlikely of circumstances to, at the very least, get things moving. He managed to bring Eve to Adam when Adam didn’t even know someone like her existed after all.

The thing about the book of Ruth was that there was no angel visitation or apparent supernatural manifestation but her seemingly ordinary life was marked with divine orchestration – all started by her humble act of submission and catapulted by her obedience. Ruth did not just happen to end up in Boaz’s field, where he took notice of her, and it was no coincidence that he was her kinsman redeemer. It was all God, moving behind the scenes all along.

God writes the best stories, but only if you allow Him to hold the pen.

So if you really want to pattern out the way you approach your love life according to Ruth, then here’s how you can start:

Yield. Surrender. Obey.

Is It Really Wisest To Wait?

“It is wisest to wait.”

How many of us have heard this, have said this, time and time again?

Wait. Until you’ve saved enough money. Until the window of opportunity opens. Until you’re ready.

And I agree, I really do. However, though this may sound contradictory, I think this advice can be mistaken too.

Please don’t get me wrong. Of course, there are finances to be considered. Of course, timing is a huge deal. Of course, there are steps to be taken. But practical doesn’t always mean wise. The truth is, there are some things we just can never be “ready enough” for and it is possible to overstay a season far too long because we keep waiting until “everything falls into place.”

When I think of Mary, who was most probably around 14 years old the time she had Jesus, I can only think of how she was not ready, being unmarried and a virgin at that. Her wildest dreams could not have prepared her for that twist in her story, yet even as she felt troubled and as she questioned the situation, she took a step out in faith and accepted what was to happen next in her life. There is also Rahab, a prostitute who didn’t wait until she “cleaned up her act” to do God’s work and grabbed the opportunity to help a couple of Israelite spies as it came. David, who was only mentally prepared to go deliver food to his brothers when he decided to go where others dare not to, chose to make do with what he had and faced the giant with mere sling and stones – no sword nor armor.

These people didn’t wait to be brave. They didn’t wait until they had all their ducks in a row. They didn’t overthink the pros and cons and turn over every detail to get to the “wisest” strategy or game plan. They took what they had, here and now, and acted in faith.

You know, I always ask myself, “what is the wisest thing to do?”, and with hammered-in views on what wisdom is supposed to look like, that usually leads me down a path that is well thought out and safe. So “to balance things out”, one more thing I ponder on is, what is the faith-full thing to do? In this situation, at this time, what action will require the most faith from me?

. . . but should it really be wisdom vs faith?

Let me tell you something. After I graduated, I was mentally prepared and rather excited to move on to the next season. I was pumped up and ready to do whatever God would have asked of me.

He asked me to stay still and to wait.

At that time, given how it was the complete opposite of what I expected, it required the most faith from me. So I stilled and waited. Fast forward to almost two years later, when waiting had become my comfort zone, God asked me to step out and move. Even if it was still exactly about moving toward the next season, faith now required something different from me. So I took action. My mind and heart were again ready to fully plunge into what was coming. And then after a few weeks, God asked me to wait again when the “best” thing to have done is to jump the iron while it’s hot. He knew that at that moment, the way I was, it would take more faith for me to pause once I got going. (This tango, my friends, is one of the reasons why it’s so difficult to be an all or nothing kind of girl 😅).

But if all that taught me anything, it’s this: maybe wisdom doesn’t mean being rational and faith doesn’t mean being irrational. Maybe wisdom means forgoing reasonable and faith means forgoing risky. Maybe wisdom means doing what is illogical, choosing what is unpredictable, and taking a chance on the uncertain while faith means doing what is logical, choosing what is predictable, and taking a chance on what you already know.

If that was hard for you to follow, let me put it this way: wisdom isn’t simply being practical or sensible. Faith isn’t about being illogical or unreasonable either. This life isn’t a game of wisdom vs faith. The wise act in faith and the faith-full act in wisdom. It takes more for the impulsive to slow down and plan the same way it takes more for the wary to take a dive headfirst into the uncharted, thus it goes the same both ways – choose what frightens you; choose what stretches you; choose what requires the most faith.

So, is it wisest to wait?

Not necessarily. But always,

It is wisest to act in faith.

. . . without faith, it is impossible to please God.
-Hebrews 11:6

Dear Reader: Stop Copying My Convictions

Hello, my dearest reader.

I mean this in the kindest way possible. As you read through this, don’t hear my voice in your head as someone mad or annoyed. Hear the sincerity and the heartfelt concern.

As much as I am immensely grateful that you hold my convictions admirable enough to imitate, I must say this: please know why you’re doing it. If you do it because you understood my point of view and God convicted your heart, then by all means do so. But if you’re doing it only because you feel condemned for not having better convictions, then don’t.

I personally have gone through that. Books such as I Kissed Dating Goodbye (though I have nothing against Joshua Harris) have held my stands captive for a long time because the thought of the books sounded nice. It seemed like I would have been less a Christian if I didn’t follow suit. It appeared to me as if I was marring my purity if I didn’t have the exact same beliefs. And so my entire high school and part of my college life has been lived based upon the stances of other people. I spent that entire time being so concentrated on living like a good, emotionally pure Christian girl that you wouldn’t hear anything else out of my mouth other than love (friends who have known me for at least 3 years would attest to this). In fact, I made a completely new blog because looking back, I was kind of appalled by how much my old blog revolved on romance – as if there wasn’t more to life with God. After constant reading of Christian books and blogs about love, emotional purity, courtship, and romance, I have turned into a well-meaning person who made the opinions of others her own, obsessed with getting things right. I have become legalistic.

My most popular post so far on this blog has been the one about guy friends. And while I am thrilled that so many people related to it, I dearly hope none of them broke it off with their best friends of the opposite sex without thinking through the heart behind it. Contrary to popular belief, guys and girls can have relationships built on purity and integrity without the need to overthink every little thing because they have God in the center. Loving each other as brother and sister is a beautiful thing. 

I used to have a “no texting guys beyond 9 pm” rule in high school because someone said so. I used to avoid going on one on one friendly dates with guys because I read that you “shouldn’t.” Only to discover eventually that constant communication and hanging out with guys don’t deter my heart, and that I was only doing it because I based upon a set of rules to follow, not a personal relationship with God. But people, being a Christian isn’t based on a formula. It’s based on having intimacy with the Father.

Gain as much wisdom as you can from these kinds of blogs, but never map out your life in such a way simply to fit a box that seems right. If it’s extra-biblical and it’s not sin, then know that we all have free will in Christ, and you have the right to use your own mind. Know what your spiritual family and leader has to say about it and listen intently, for Christianity still has massively to do with us as a body. Take the ideas you get and consider them. Know your past, know what would make your heart weak, know what you struggle with, know not to cause others to stumble. Don’t live off of the relationships God has with other people because everyone has different histories and stories. Seek Him on your own. Ask God what He would have you do. Is it wise or is it compromise? Would it bring Him glory? Would He be pleased? Would He be honored? Then proceed to hold convictions based upon this awareness.

The most important thing here is that you live a life that is led by the Holy Spirit, a life that is worthy of what Jesus has done, a life that worships the Father in all areas. Develop such an interaction with Him that every decision you make and every word you speak is lifted up to Him. Know what kind of person He wants you to be. And I dearly hope that at all times, you will be in tune to His heart.

Again, this is for extra-biblical matters. For convictions on issues such as homosexuality and pre-marital sex, I have this to say: sin is sin. He will never ever lead you to anything that goes against what He has said in the Bible, remember that. If you feel led to hold convictions that goes against the Scriptures, then know that it isn’t the Holy Spirit leading you.

And for everyone else out there, please know that more uptight convictions don’t make you a better person, so don’t look down on people who hold different views. It’s about God’s grace, not our strength or accomplishments. I remember having seen a wedding video of someone bragging about how he chose not to say “I love you” before they wedded and how he told others to do the same. Now let me tell you, saying “I love you” or holding hands before you get married isn’t defrauding. Don’t get me wrong, I hold admiration for people who do, but simply because it’s what they believe in and not because it’s a trophy to hang on their wall.

We don’t live by formula. I don’t post everything I do for God on Facebook because I don’t understand how it magnifies Him more than me. That doesn’t make me more of a Christian than those who do. I no longer have time constraints as to when I text and I meet up alone with guy friends because it’s not something I struggle with. It doesn’t make me less a Christian than those who don’t. Just as long as we take up our crosses and live surrendered to Him, honor Him in everything, don’t steal any form of glory from Him, and stay aligned to His will, then we’re just fine. Life with God is living under His grace and having freedom under His truth, not under a set of made-up rules.

And so as you continue to walk with me through this blog, I hope it imparts wisdom and truth, inspires you to seek His heart, and points you to His glory, not confine you or the way you live. 

Don’t imitate me or any other writer or preacher out there. Imitate Jesus. And live life to the full. 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.

Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.”
-‭‭Proverbs‬ 3:5-7; ‭4:7-9, 14-15, 26-27‬

Dear Guy Friend: I Want Your Wife to Love Me 

Disclaimer: I want to make clear that not much has been said on the Bible about this and thus these are MY convictions and I won’t force them upon anyone else. I have nothing against people whose convictions are otherwise. But if somehow you can obtain wisdom out of it, then it would be my greatest honor and pleasure. No, I don’t ward guys off and I have a lot of close, healthy friendships with males in my life – men that I trust with every fiber of my being and have one-on-one friendly dates with. And in case of any intrigue, this is addressed to a general audience and I’m not writing to one specific person. I would also like to give a shoutout to my closest male friends, three of whom pre-approved this post. Couldn’t be more blessed to have you guys. ❤️

Dear Male Friend,

Before anything else, I would like to say that I am immensely blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for always being one phone call away when I need you – for being my bodyguard when unwanted guys go knocking at my door; for going out of your way to drive me home and make sure I’m safe; for being a shoulder to cry on when my heart gets broken; for being a confidant when my world comes shattering around me. Thank you for exhibiting what it means to be a true man of God and for walking out the kind of strength and bravery that matters.

Thank you for always protecting me, so allow me to protect you too.

You should know by now how affectionate I am, all the while knowing how firm I am when it comes to making sure no one falls beyond the line. You must wonder why I didn’t allow you to go to me when I was sick in my condo alone and you wanted to take care of me, or why I carefully drew up additional boundaries when I found out you liked me.

Do understand, I am thrilled to know I’m one of the closest friends you have and I’m one of the people you trust most. But when I encourage you to go to your male friends and leaders so that you could build deeper relationships with them, believe me when I say I’m doing what I believe would please God most.

See, I don’t want to be the first person you run to when you have a problem. I don’t want to be your main accountability partner. I don’t want you to think of me as your best friend or your closest friend.

I want all those to be your wife.

And until you meet her and build that kind of relationship with her, look for someone of the same gender whom you can trust, look up to, and share life with. Let him be your go-to person, not me. No, I’m not saying you stop opening up to me, please do. I love such conversations with you, and I appreciate you trusting me like that. Just don’t let me be your number one friend.

Also, on the very small chance that you think said future wife is me, just stop right there and hold your horses. Yes, it’s okay to pray for me and ask God for me. But until you full-out pursue me, don’t invest so much emotionally. I am in awe that you, knowing me fully and having seen me in my unguarded moments, would even consider me. So if you want to keep it in your heart, go ahead. Just don’t focus on it. Guard your heart, even if you do like me.

1 Timothy 5:1-2 speaks about how we should treat each other with absolute purity. I want to honor God with this friendship, and I want us to set an example on how people of opposite genders can be amazing, close friends and yet still not blur lines. Like C.S Lewis once wrote, friendship is standing side by side facing something in common, while lovers stand face to face to focus more on each other. Let’s journey this road looking towards God, not each other.

One day, you’ll get married. Probably to a girl that’s not me. And I don’t want us to keep reassuring her that our friendship doesn’t hold a candle to her and that it’s her who you absolutely, truly love. Rather than leaving any semblance of doubt in her about our relationship, I want her to see its purity and how much we protected each other from going too near the guardrails. Rather than driving her nuts and insecure, I want her to thank me for being her husband’s friend and for walking with him through his ups and downs as a sister.

I want your wife to love me and our friendship, too.

Similarly, I’ll get married (I hope). HAHAHAHAHA. And I’m sure somewhere out there, my future husband is building relationships with amazing, godly women who will walk with him in this life. I’ll owe a lot to these lovely women for really guiding him and loving him through his roller coasters; for standing with him even when the ground is shaking; for building him up in God – the same way I hope I’m doing with you now. And I’m just treating you the way I hope they’re treating him right now, too.

Now don’t worry, I am not robbing you of coffee-date privileges and I will still allow you to drive me when you’re worried about my safety and I will still seat shotgun even if we’re with a group. We need close, healthy men-women relationships to fully flourish. But do remember if ever I start to be careful, I’m doing it not only for me and my future husband, but also for you and your future wife.

So in honor of you, I will go a little poetic here. I am vastly honored that in this colossal, tragic world full of smashing cosmos and comets torn apart, the Lord allowed your universe to collide with mine. It is my greatest pleasure to grow with you, super sizing until we explode and shine like the stars God meant for us to be – making earth-shattering impact whenever we come together and leaving others in awe of how we reflect His oceanic, mountainous, planetary glory.

But dear friend, when she comes, the universe won’t just shudder.

The heavens will sing.

And I’ll be on the front row, belting off with the choir of angels.