Why Asking for “His 5 Year Plan” Upfront Isn’t Always the Best Idea

Posted on February 26, 2013 by


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A guest post from a single Christian guy.  I personally need tissues for this one:

Many years ago, a sister in Christ, who I was good friends with, requested that I sit down after a Sunday morning Church service so she could ask me a question. I could tell it was serious from the look on her face and the intensity of her voice. She wanted me to share my “5 year plan” with her. Though taken by surprise, I tried to give her about 90% of my answer before someone else interrupted and requested her help with something urgent. She apologized for leaving abruptly, but we never spoke again after that conversation…….Ever! A few times she passed right by me in Church, but she never looked at me or talked with me again from that moment on. I learned that one “wrong” answer in a single moment could cost me a good friendship and potential wife. It hurt! What she didn’t know was that I was already starting to consider asking her for a deeper relationship, and would have made a lot of sacrifices for her. She never gave me a chance because she was too focused on HER plan and HER expectations.

A few years later, I moved to a new city and a new Church, and started meeting some new people in small groups. One of the young ladies, knowing some of my skills and background, pretended to want my help with some project at her work, and so I was nice (and naive) enough to help. She wanted to “Thank me” for helping by taking me to dinner, so we went to a restaurant she liked with a waitress that she knew personally. The waitress recognized her immediately, looked at me briefly, and gave her an odd look like “So, this is your new date?!” It turns out that she brought all her previous potential boyfriends to the same restaurant, probably under similar dishonest and manipulative means. I spent the entire meal aware of what was happening, that both she and her waitress friend were watching and critiquing me, like I was the subject of a condescending joke happening right in front of me. She asked me a bunch of questions about myself, including my “5-year plan.” We finished eating, and she paid for my “Thank You” dinner, and she drove me back to my car. After that, she never looked at me or talked to me again, and she avoided going back to the small group she was in. I learned that Christian women will lie to, use, manipulate, laugh at, and end all communication with their Christian brothers to find their IDEAL “future husband.”

Both times, I felt very disrespected, de-valued, and judged!

No woman would want to be treated this way, but many young Christian women have no problem doing this to their own brothers in Christ. They are too busy looking for their IDEAL “future husband” to see their own brother in Christ sitting right in front of them, or they really don’t respect their brothers in Christ enough to care whether or not they are hurting them, which probably is at least partially true!

I can understand why women might want some idealized future “5 year” or “10 year” plan, but life doesnt always turn out how we plan, and many men are aware that a plan is just a plan. It is not a guarantee, and it says very little about his actual character. An honest answer should mean more than a perfect answer. When that plan becomes more important and valuable to you than your Christian brother sitting right in front of you, then something is very wrong.

Many Christian women treat their Christian brothers like an obstacle to their own happiness. They act like they have to change, subdue, overcome, or steamroll those men to find everything they want in life, and yet at the same time those women expect those same men (their Christian brothers and future husbands) to “provide” that same “happiness” for them. In essence, they each say,

“Hurry up and give me what I want! If you can’t do it now, I’ll find someone else who will, because I’m more interested in having everything I planned for than honoring you anyway! I don’t care if you’re my brother in Christ, because that has nothing to do with me getting everything I planned for in my life. Give me what I want or get out of my way!”

We can’t be your enemy and “savior” at the same time. You are either for us or against us. Pick one!

We can’t be summed-up by a surprise-attack two-minute conversation, or an endless barrage of hypothetical questions! (Under those circumstances, even the “right” answer won’t guarantee you found the “right” person to base your future hopes and dreams on, because your hopes and dreams should be on Jesus, not any man. By asking these questions, all you are likely doing is searching for someone clever and dishonest enough to tell you everything you think you want to hear. To quote a recent movie, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?” Happiness has nothing to do with hearing all the right answers to all your questions or having the picture book life that your friends would envy.)

We shouldn’t cease to be treated with love and respect as your brothers in Christ because we didn’t give you the answers you wanted to hear on your pop-quiz! (In fact, please stop giving us ridiculous little behavioral tests, hypothetical questions, and pop-quizes altogether.)

That is not loving!
That is not respectful!

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

WOW!

Ladies,

We are sometimes sabotaging ourselves and our men and relationships because we are so focused on trying to secure the future.  Look at what these women lost!!!!  It breaks my heart for the women and for the man involved.

Many women think that men won’t lead.  THAT IS NOT  GENERALLY TRUE!  Most of the time when we think they won’t lead – the truth is that we take over so quickly we don’t give them time to lead.  Or sometimes they want to lead in a direction that is not where we think we want to go – and we often only want to follow if we are going the way we want to at the time.  It’s so easy to think we know best!  But God knows best and God can and will lead us through our men.  If he is asking you to sin – do not follow him!  If he is not a believer, don’t date him.  But if he is a strong believer in Christ, try cooperating with your man, wait on him, be PATIENT.  Give God the chance to lead through the guy, don’t jump in and try to force things to happen. 

HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS

I have to agree with my brother here – some of us are AWFUL about this!  I was.  I used to ask Greg (my husband) hypothetical questions all the time when we were dating – it was one of my favorite things to do.  For me – it was a way of dreaming and imagining my “perfect future.”   I guess that helped me idolize marriage and my future life.  Probably not very helpful!  Thankfully, I was too young and naieve to ask too many really difficult questions.   But most of the things I asked about DID NOT HAPPEN.  Most of our plans fell through.  Things went “wrong.”  Or maybe more accurately – neither of us are sovereign, only God is.  God’s plan is what matters – not mine.  And God does not reveal His plan to me ahead of time – usually.  

I understand wanting to map out the future and PLAN.  We LOVE that!  We want to ask all these questions because we think that if a guy answers the way we want we can guarantee our future happiness, security and safety.  Did  you catch what the author said?  All that question asking does NOT guarantee us anything.  My life is living proof of that. We tried to make plans way back in high school and college about our careers and when we would get married and have babies and where we would live.  Then it ended up being 6 years for my husband to find an engineering job and all kinds of obstacles and problems happened that we could not have foreseen.  Our plans became completely useless.  We THINK we are in control – but we are not!   That is actually a VERY GOOD THING that God is in control, not me.  Sadly, we miss out on some SERIOUS BLESSINGS from God in our rush to try to get what we think we want.  God is perfectly capable of leading us.  He is trustworthy.  We don’t have to have everything all figured out.

The biggest thing I believe we need to figure out is if we are seeing the fruit of the Spirit in a man’s character and if he is serious about putting Jesus first in his life.   That is the main criteria a Christian woman ought to have when looking for a guy – in my view.  And I also believe we need to be looking at ourselves to see if WE have the fruit of God’s Spirit and if we do not – then it is time for us to repent and ask God to show us our sin so that we can be the godly women He desires for us to be.  When we are abiding in Christ and sensitive to His Spirit – He can and will direct us to His good, pleasing and perfect will!

THE FIVE YEAR PLAN

I find it shocking that he has had this happen twice.  Ladies – I truly understand our desire to want to know the future.  But I have to agree with this brother in Christ of ours.  As an almost 40 year old wife who has been married almost 19 years – we are not in control of a lot of things in life.  Our plans don’t always work out.  It’s great to have a plan – but a plan cannot be more important than Jesus or more important than people.  Let’s trust God to lead us through our men instead of giving in to this illusion and fantasy that we can control so much ourselves in our lives.  Let’s live in today and enjoy and appreciate what we have now and not rush or push ahead in our relationships or try to force men into commitments or into saying what we think we want them to say.  God knows best.  We do not.  He can and will lead us – but we do not get to know the plan ahead of time!  He only gives us light for today most of the time.

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