There’s no direct verse to women about loving a man who is not pursuing her. However, there are many verses that contain relevant principles which can be extremely powerful and helpful.
Here are 3 biblical things a woman should do when she loves a man who is not pursuing her.
1. Prayerfully Encourage the Man to Pursue You If You’ve Been Too Passive
The reason I said you should “prayerfully” encourage a man to pursue you is because there are times that God does not want you to be pursued by a certain man. Sometimes God is protecting you from a relationship that he knows would be harmful to you. If a man lacks godly qualities or you sense a “no” from the Holy Spirit in prayer, then don’t invite this man to pursue you (1 Corinthians 15:33, Proverbs 13:20).
However, far too many Christian women are passive when it comes to their own love life. Christian men are the ones who get berated from the pulpits about being passive. But Christian women are just as guilty in many cases. Yes, a husband should lead in the relationship (Ephesians 5:25) and thus it is right that we require a Christian man to pursue the woman so we can see that he has the leadership qualities needed for his future role in marriage.
But we have overreached on what the Bible actually says about the pre-marriage process regarding men pursuing and women not pursuing. To be clear, I do believe men should pursue women and I don’t believe a women should pursue men. However, “not pursuing” doesn’t mean “sit on your hands and do nothing” (James 2:17).
As a woman, you must prayerfully take responsibility for yourself and make efforts to receive the good blessings you desire (Proverbs 13:4, Proverbs 14:23, Proverbs 16:3). When you want a new job, you pray and send out your resume. When you want better health, you pray and make better decisions with your body. When you want to retire one day, you pray and invest your money wisely. This same pattern should be seen in your relationships.
Pray and encourage the man to pursue you. Pray and do something!
2. Encourage the Man to Pursue You By Showing Him Attention, Expressing Your Respect, and Being Available
Perhaps you’re asking, “Well, how do I encourage the man to pursue me?”
There is no one way. God has made you as a unique individual with a unique personality (Psalm 139:13-14). Therefore, it’s not wise to follow a script written by someone else.
Think of yourself like an artist or a chef. God will tell you what to make, he will give you the ingredients to make it, but he still wants you to use your unique abilities to create. There would be no point in making humans (Genesis 1:26-28) if God made us all do everything the same, as though we were simply his mindless robots.
So rather than tell you exact phrases or exact ideas on how to encourage a man to pursue you, here are a few principles that you should seek to apply through your unique personality and temperament:
- Show him attention. Nothing says, “Not interested” like ignoring a guy (Ester 1:12). Likewise, nothing says, “You have a chance with me” like talking to a guy and focusing on him. Some of you are confident extroverts and know how to start a conversation. Others of you are not comfortable with this. But you can still do something. For example, next time you are in the group that he is in, you can ask him a follow up question after he says something. Or you can learn something about him and then ask him about that topic so he is comfortable to talk and knows what to say since you are focusing on an area of expertise to him.
- Express your respect. When you compliment a guy when you see him doing something you admire, it lets him know you respect him. Oftentimes this makes him like you because men like to be respected (Ruth 3:10, Ephesians 5:33).
- Be available. If you are never around him, how can he pursue you? If Ruth wasn’t in Boaz’s field, he wouldn’t have met her (Ruth 2). If he invites you to do something, make sure you go. As the old saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
3. Let Him Make His Choices and Respond Accordingly
This point is important for the two possible outcomes when you are a woman who loves a man who is not pursuing her.
First, you could try different things yourself which could then cause him to act differently. But even if he does pursue you, let him pursue you in his own way. Don’t be hypercritical or have too many expectations. If he pursues you and you still like him, respond positively which will cause him to pursue you more.
However, it’s possible that no matter what you do, this man will never pursue you. Here too you must respond accordingly. If you encouraged him to pursue you but he doesn’t do it, you can now take comfort in the fact that you did what you could. You can be at peace and know that it’s simply not meant to be. In the end, you have to move on.
Never wait forever for a man who is not pursuing you. It’s okay to wait a little bit to see if he just needs some time. But eventually (think in terms of weeks or months, not years), you have to let him go in your heart and fully move on from him.
Stay focused on the bigger things in life as you follow Christ, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). As you put Jesus first, he will take care of the rest in his timing (Matthew 6:33).