Should a Christian girl pursue a guy? Should a Christian girl ask a guy out? Should a Christian girl make the first move? Should a Christian girl play hard to get?
Perhaps the most common Christian dating advice often given to guys and girls is that a man should pursue a woman. “You don’t want a man that isn’t going to pursue you” they say. Since the Bible does not anywhere directly say how dating should happen or how a romantic relationship should start, where is this advice actually stemming from?
While dating rules and tips on how to start a healthy relationship are not in the Bible, roles for husbands and wives are. In Ephesians 5:21-33 for example, we are clearly told that a husband is supposed to lead his family and a wife is supposed to support that leadership. This doesn’t mean she blindly follows or has no authority to make decisions. It just means that husbands reflect the leadership of Christ and wives reflect the role of the church. Christian marriage is supposed to be a visible gospel representation to the world.
Therefore I understand this common advice that a Christina girl should not pursue a guy. I get that it is more biblically consistent for the Christian guy to pursue and ask out the Christian girl. So I am in no way saying guys shouldn’t pursue girls. What I am going to challenge is that a Christian girl can never pursue a guy or make the first move.
Let’s Not Over Apply Marriage Roles
While the Bible clearly defines roles for husbands and wives, I think Christians often over apply what the Bible actually says. Again, dating is not even a topic mentioned in the Bible, so to say the Bible would forbid a girl asking a guy out is ludicrous.
Again, I get the heart behind telling young Christians that a guy should pursue a girl. But just because a girl asks a guy out on a date does not automatically mean that if they get married she will need to be the leader in the home.
Additionally, just because God calls a husband to lead his family does not mean wives cannot show initiative. Good leaders are not dictators. Good leadership takes counsel well and includes other people. While God will first look to a husband if a family is living in sin, that husband would be a fool if he relies solely on his own judgment and not on his wife’s judgment as well.
Christian wives are not called to mindless followers just waiting for the husbands to act. Wives are called to be leaders while also being examples of respect and love so the world knows how to respect and love God. But she is called to act, to lead, and to assert her opinion. And she’s called to do all these things while lovingly respecting the leadership of her husband as well.
Therefore to say a Christian girl is doing something wrong by “pursuing” a Christian guy is an over application of what the Bible says in my opinion.
What Do You Mean By “Pursue”?
I think these questions are confusing because we all attach different meanings to the words we use. If by “pursue” you mean “lead,” then I see the problem with a Christian girl pursuing a Christian guy she likes. If by “pursue” you mean lead around like a little boy who doesn’t know what he’s doing, then again I see the issue.
But if by “pursue” you mean make the guy aware that you like him, I really don’t see the issue. If by “pursue” you mean make the first move to let the guy know you are romantically interested, again, I don’t see the problem. If by “pursue” you mean you stop playing hard to get and you start using clear words the dude actually understands like, “I like you. Do you want to go out?”, I think this should be encouraged and not discouraged.
(You may always want to read my article, What Does the Bible Say About Flirting?)
When Should a Christian Girl Pursue a Guy?
So in summary thus far, yes, husbands should lead their wives and families. And yes, it is a good sign a guy will be that type of husband in the future if he is pursuing the girl in the dating process. So I am pro Christian guys pursuing Christian girls in most circumstances because it is the most natural fit. But I also believe that a Christian girl pursuing a guy is not the same thing as leading like a husband or acting like a guy. Sometimes I believe a Christian girl should pursue a guy she likes.
So the harder question to me is not if this is okay but when should this happen. When should a Christian girl pursue a Christian guy and make the first move?
There will surely be scenarios I won’t mention here, but here’s a few examples of times I think a Christian girl should pursue a guy:
- If a Christian girl likes a guy but he has no clue, then I believe the girl should let him know somehow. Do what comes natural (obviously within biblical and moral reason), but perhaps a good rule of thumb is to start subtle and move towards more obvious methods if he’s not getting the message. I know some girls don’t have the guts to just tell a guy she likes him, but some guys are relationally clueless and would start pursuing her if he knew he had a chance. Guys may be relationally clueless, but they understand the words, “I like you.” Using words is always helpful (profound, I know).
- If a Christian girl previously turned down the advances of a guy in the past, but now her feelings have changed and she is interested in him, she should not expect that guy to know her feelings have changed. The ball is in her court and she should hit it back in an obvious way so he knows things have changed. Again, using words is always helpful, for example, “My feelings have changed. I like you now.” Boom. Done. Stop the madness and just tell the guy.
- If a Christian girl really wants to get married or she feels like she is getting up in age but all she has ever tried is to sit back and wait for a guy to ask her out, she should consider being more active. I’ve written about healthy and unhealthy desires for marriage in other places, so at this point I’m just assuming the girl has a good, biblical desire to be married but for whatever reason it’s not happening. She needs to try something different. It might sound wrong to some people, but I really would give a 22 year old girl different advice than a 32 year old girl. You can cling to the way “it supposed to be” and wait for a guy to come ask you out. Or you can get over the way you imagined it would all pan out and give yourself a better chance at actually meeting a great Christian
(Note: I’m not saying every 32 year old girl needs to change her approach if she is not married. Some Christian women are perfectly content to be 30 or 40 and single. I believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Singleness is a gift! My advice here would just be tailored towards someone getting a little older and discontent about being single still. My point is simply this: If you are content, keep doing your thing. If you are discontent, change it up.)
Should a Christian Girl Pursue a Guy?
In summary, yes, sometimes a Christian girl should pursue a Christian guy. I don’t think this will be the norm or should be the norm, but I don’t think there should be any shame if a relationship started because a Christian girl asked a guy out and made the first move by pursuing him.
My only caution is that again, husbands are called to lead which will involve pursuing their wives. Therefore a Christian guy should eventually get the picture that a girl likes him and start showing some initiative. If the Christian girl is doing all the pursuing, all the initiating, all the decision making, and the guy just keeps being passive in the relationship, then I do think this is a red flag.
I believe it is right to want a man who will pursue you. You shouldn’t have to lead or mother a man. But that’s a lot different than being inviting, clear, and helping a guy out by letting him know he actually has a chance with you.
You never know, maybe saying these three little words to a Christian guy you like could change your life, “I like you.”