My friend Noah Stewart is a stud. As a 17 year old young man, he is already further ahead than most 30 year olds. He is aggressively going after Jesus and desires to live, even now, a life of honor, integrity, purity, and holiness. Though it is hard to find a young man living Biblically today, I have been increasingly encouraged as I continue to come across more and more of them. There are men in this world that want to live separate and other-than the world. Men who refuse to give into lust and the sensuality of the world. Men who passionately pursue Jesus, study the Word, spend time in prayer, giving themselves to the needs of the world, allowing Jesus to use them to turn the world upside down. Recently I came across a blog my friend wrote specifically to men. Though women are welcome into the conversation, this exhortation from one young man, is sure to encourage and press you deeper into Jesus.
by Noah Stewart
Don’t pretend like you’ve never felt that desire to be a stud. To not look weak. To look put together. In the flesh, We…(let me make this personal)…I…I like that image. I like seeming approachable, easy to talk to, and strong. I like looking on top of my game. In my natural state, maintaining a studdly look appeals to me like few things do. And hey. Us guys know quite well that THAT is culturally acceptable. We hear about how cute One Direction is, or how good looking Ryan Gosling is, and there can be quite the pressure to match up. Whatever qualities define a dateable guy, culture tells us we want to be THAT. Culture tells us to have a top-notch looking girlfriend in high school. We’re told to put our heart on the line, chase a girl, and try to win her heart. We’re told to make our feelings known to her and pray that she feels the same. We’re told that it’s okay to chase girl after girl until we find “the one.” We’re told it’s okay to be obsessed and have her on our minds all the time.
But…what happened to the Highest Common Denominator? In a storm of emotions, it’s so easy for that to get lost. What happened to living like Jesus? What happened to having Him on our minds at all times? Let me tell you now – I’ve ridden a long ways by culture’s rules and ideas. They don’t work. It’s a roller-coaster of endless ups and downs. It’s all drama, no love. There’s no joy in that endless chase and pursuit; it’s only fleeting pleasure that vanishes with break up, unkind words, or bad nights.
Let me introduce you to a different cycle. A cycle that may freak you out. That’s okay; it’s weird, and I know it. If you start living this way, the world will be creeped out. However, it also promises a lot less drama and little of the roller-coaster lifestyle. My gut tells me it’s a lot more like Jesus would have lived too. But don’t worry; I’m just going to ask questions and state my opinion. How you answer the questions is entirely your choice.
Q1: What if…we didn’t chase girls in high school?
Q2: What if we spent none of our time trying to be more appealing to girls and spent all of our time trying to be appealing to Jesus?
Q3: What if we trusted that Jesus has His eye on the sparrow and can most definitely orchestrate our love lives?
Q4: What if we didn’t tell girls when we crushed on them when the impulse hit us, but took it to Christ and prayed that His will be done?
Q5: What if…we gave our heart completely, wholly, utterly, totally (get the idea?) to our future wife and refused to let any other woman have it other than her?
Q6: What if we started writing letters to her even before we met her?
Q7: What if we treated all girls like we’re interacting with someone ELSE’s wife and refused to treat her with anything less than our purest behavior?
…Crazy. I know. But I think the effects are priceless. Picture this scene. A year or so after you’re married, your wife and two of her friends are talking. It sounds likes this:
(Romantically Skeptical) Friend 1: The world is so full of broken love. I wish there were good guys out there to marry. They all seem so centered on self and getting what they want. I want a guy who truly respects me.
(Romantically Skeptical) Friend 2: I just don’t see how relationships can last. The world is so polluted with heartbreak. I don’t see HOW a guy can have eyes for only one girl.
Your Wife: …My husband promised me his heart when he was 17. And has loved only me ever since.
Friend 1: Wait…you didn’t meet him until he was 23…
Your Wife: Right. But at 17, he set all his affections for other girls aside. Around his 17th birthday, he started writing letters to me. He refused to give his heart to any other girl, and kept himself pure for me. He fought to respect me, even though he’d never even met me yet. I know true love. I’ve seen it in my husband.
…As far as I’m concerned, that’s worth fighting for. What a testimony to the power, love, and beauty of the gospel message! Marriage, an institution designed to be a picture of Christ and the church, actually showing that picture. A husband selling his heart totally to that one bride and fighting for her, just as Christ did for us. 2 Corinthians 11:2, “I betrothed you to ONE husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.” If that’s the pure picture of marriage; us holding fast for our Savior, and Him fighting for His one and only bride…Then boy. I’m willing to fight to look like that. To love Jesus, and let Him orchestrate my love life, not daring to take the wheel. I’m not advocating “Hey! God picks your spouse, marry that person, and if you marry anyone ELSE, you’re SUNK.” (That happens to be a direct contradiction of 1 Corinthians 7:39, which tells us to marry who we choose, provided they’re in the Lord) But. I can tell you this. You’ll marry ONE girl. Not four. One. And as for me, I plan on being pure for her. I’ll be the first to stand up and admit I messed up. But from here out, I’m willing to fight for this woman I may or may not have even met.
You can answer those questions I posed however you like. But I know how I’ll answer them.
In my book, love like that makes us real studs.
Question: What resonates with you? Leave a comment in the section below.