by Motte Brown
We received this message from a premium member who had just deleted his profile. There was no other explanation than just, “I’ll never have a woman.”
There’s no way for us to follow up with him, but it’s obvious he is despairing. It could be because of repeated rejections or it could be that he’s shy and is afraid to initiate or it could be more complicated than either of these. Whatever the reason, it’s possible that a response as hopeless as this one is rooted in unbelief. In other words, he doesn’t believe God is good or in control of all things (even very difficult things) or both .
In Martin Lloyd Jones’ classic book Spiritual Depression, he explains that no Christian has a right to be downcast. Though he acknowledeges that some people are more prone to depression because of a physical or emotional ailment, for most of us, it’s just misguided priorities. Meaning we are putting our desire for something above our love of God.
And though a cognitive understanding of this truth doesn’t automatically heal a broken spirit, there are ways to deal appropriately with disappointment that can help minimize the pain.
Here are five principles to help men deal well with rejection:
1) Talk to yourself. It’s what the Psalmist did over and over again. For example, in Psalm 42, the Psalmist talked to his spirit instead of allowing his spirit to talk to him. He reminded himself that God is good and is trustworthy. If you develop this habit, it’s likely you will notice a difference in your joy and contentment.
2) It’s your responsibility. Remind yourself that it’s your job to risk rejection. By initiating and pursuing a relationship with a woman, you are protecting her from having to put herself out there and risk getting hurt. You are also preparing yourself on this side of marriage for what your responsibility will be in marriage, to lay down your life for your spouse.
3) Learn from it. If you are continually initiating and getting rejected, instead of allowing yourself to become bitter, ask others who know you well if they see anything in you that could prove prohibitive to finding a spouse. Be teachable and open to the possibility that your edges need to be softened.
4) Check your priorities. For example, has your idea of beauty been affected by what you see in movies, on television or in magazines? If you haven’t cultivated a biblical perspective of beauty, you might find you’re pursuing a ’10′ over and over when you yourself might be more like a ’6′.
5) Unconfessed sin. Examine yourself and be open to the possibility that your lack of success could be the result of unconfessed sin in your life.
We know risking rejection is hard. But you can choose to respond to it in ways that honor God and may actually help you on your path to marriage .
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