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Clearly, this is not the popular secular view of the “liberated” woman’s role.Hollywood’s perfect woman runs with the boys, knows what she wants and is aggressive en route to getting it — especially romantically. “What if I’m really interested in a man and he just isn’t getting it and I need to move him along? When men drop the ball on leadership (as we often do), it presents a temptation for the woman involved to pick up the reins and lead for him. Picking up the reins sets a terrible pattern that only confuses the roles in the relationship and encourages both of you to take the role of the other to the detriment of the relationship and ultimately the marriage. If it doesn’t work out with a particular guy because he didn’t step up, the Lord will cause something else to work out.Are you generally humble and teachable, and do you respect authority?As a practical matter, are you responsible and holy in the way you possess your own spirit, mind and body?I mentioned the woman’s father or family because until the second half of the 20th century, that’s largely how it was done.The idea was to protect the woman from potential hurt or awkwardness, to aid her in evaluating a man whom she might not have known well at the time of his initiation, and to help ensure that the relationship was carried out honorably.Certainly, this norm spread beyond the believing community and became more of a cultural phenomenon, but it still gels well with attempts to carry out a godly dating relationship — especially among those believers who hold a complementarian view of biblical gender roles.In this day and age, however, the hard fact is that many single Christian women have fathers who are not involved in their lives at all, are not believers, or are indifferent to or unaware of the notion of protecting and shepherding their daughters and potential suitors in a dating context.
Ladies, this doesn’t mean that you have to cut your would-be suitor off mid-sentence, take off running and shout your father’s (or whomever’s) name and phone number over your shoulder as you go.It is simply God’s design and assignment of equally valuable roles among spiritually equal beings. Briefly, biblical support for this position is found, among other passages, in the creation order in Genesis 2, in 1 Corinthians 11: 7-9, and Ephesians 5.True, these passages refer to marriage, but it is wise and right to set patterns that will serve you well in marriage, especially if one accepts the premise that the purpose of dating is to find a marriage partner.What does this actually look like in a budding relationship between two people?First, the man should initiate asking the woman out.
Whether this means approaching the woman herself or her father or someone filling that role instead of her father, it should be the guy that starts things off.