As a Christian man, you probably know that it’s your job to pursue the woman you are romantically interested in. Sadly, however, that’s the extent of what most Christian men are taught about dating – that they should pursue the woman.
But how should they actually pursue her specifically? Should they try to become friends first, just ask her on a date, or do some confusing combination of both friendship and dating? What does the Bible say about pursuing a woman?
There are not a lot of direct Scriptures relating to this topic, but there are many biblical principles that can help a godly man succeed in pursuing the woman he desires.
So here are 7 biblical things a man should do to pursue a woman.
1. Get Right with God and Yourself Before You Pursue Her
At the end of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he said:
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
Any man can pursue a woman. You can go on YouTube and find thousands of videos of worldly men giving other worldly men dating advice on how win the woman. But I’m talking to godly men. It’s not enough to just know how to pursue a woman. You have to be ready to take care of her and manage yourself once you do pursue her.
God loves when his sons act like men and pursue godly women for his glory. God is the one who made relationships. If you desire to be with a godly woman one day, this pleases the Lord. But if you are not right with God first, your relationship efforts will be a disaster. One of the worst thing that can happen to you is for you to win a woman before you are ready to handle this blessing. As Proverbs 20:21 (NLT) states, “An inheritance obtained too early in life is not a blessing in the end.”
So how can you get right with God? Through the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you are not a Christian, you can become one through putting your faith in Jesus, depending on his grace purchased on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins, and through repenting and turning to follow Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-10, Romans 5-8).
And even if you have already done this, the gospel is still the daily bread you need to stay right with God as a Christian man. Through depending on the newness of life in Christ, God will sanctify you and grow you. Not only will you find peace with God, but you will find peace with yourself. You will lose your fears and self-hatred as you embrace your new identity as a man in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:16-18).
Once you are right with God and yourself, then you are ready to pursue a woman.
2. Put Your Physical Life in Order Before Pursuing a Woman
Not only do you need to get your spiritual life in order, but you need to get your physical life in order too.
Are you overweight and unhealthy looking? I’ve never seen a man who’s so ugly no woman will ever love him. But it is harder to find a woman when you are unhealthy looking. You can’t control your height, hair color, or facial features. But you can control much of your health through the choices you make in exercising and eating habits. Women are attracted to healthy looking men.
A godly woman isn’t going to care what type of car you drive. But is it clean? Are you keeping up on the maintenance? A clean car is more impressive to a woman than a nice car that is filthy inside. She will know your income can grow as a man. But if you don’t take care of what you have right now, that might be a character trait that never changes. And she will be leery of linking up with you then.
It’s fine if you live in a small apartment or rent a house with other guys. But do you have laundry everywhere, empty pizza boxes laying around, and a video game console that is clearly your most prized possession that receives most of your time? A good woman isn’t going to worry about the size of your place but rather how well you take care of it. Again, she will know you and her can build a life together and grow financially. But she needs to see potential in you. She’s looking for a man to partner up with, not a boy she will need to clean up after.
Now, don’t go too far with all this. If you wait until you are perfect spiritually and physically, you will never pursue a woman. But start making strides towards getting yourself in a worthy condition to pursue a woman before you actually start pursuing her.
Proverbs 19:2, “Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.”
3. Choose the Right Type of Woman to Pursue
Before you go and pursue a specific woman, first make sure you know what “type” of woman God wants you with. I’m talking to Christian men who want to glorify God in their life. Therefore, your choice in a partner is of the utmost importance.
Her appearance, her charm, and her desire for you are secondary issues. I’m not saying things like that are not important. But don’t even get into a relationship with a woman no matter how pretty she is and no matter how much she likes you if she is not living for the Lord.
As Proverbs 31:30 (NIV) states, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
4. Change Your Definition of Success
Many guys define success in pursuing a woman when she accepts the pursuit and likes you back. This is a mistake. Your desire should not be to win the woman you are interested in. Your desire should be to figure out God’s will for you and this woman. As our Lord and Teacher himself said to our Father, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).
If you pursue this woman and she rejects you, that is a success because now you know this is not God’s will for you. Sometimes you can figure that out without pursuing a woman. But sometimes the only way to know that this is not the woman God has for you is by giving it a shot. Likewise, pursuing a woman and getting into a relationship with her is not automatically a success. If she is not the type of woman God wants you with, you have failed because now you are in a relationship that doesn’t please the Lord and his not his will for you.
So change your definition of success when it comes to pursuing. Make clarity about God’s will your goal. This will also free you to try more often and lose your fear of rejection. When you think rejection means you are a failure as a man, you will rarely put yourself out there. Because you are so afraid to lose, you will avoid playing the game at all. But when you redefine what success is, it gives you freedom to pursue a woman more confidently.
And as a side bonus, women also like confident men, so this will actually make your pursuit more attractive too.
5. Measure Twice, Cut Once
God has commanded us to flee from sin and try to avoid breaking his commandments through depending on the grace of Jesus Christ. But nowhere in the Bible are we told to flee making mistakes.
A sin is when you break God’s command, when you dishonor the Lord, or when you do something hurtful to another person or to yourself. But a mistake is simply when you don’t do something morally neutral in the best and most efficient way possible. It’s a mistake, not a sin, to ask a woman out too quickly and scare her away. It’s a mistake to misinterpret your feelings for a woman, pursue her, she starts to like you, but then you realize you don’t like her and then you have to hurt her feelings.
So as a man, accept that you are imperfect and you will make mistakes. But do your best to avoid making mistakes that could be avoided. The way to do that is to be patient, prayerful, and wise. Just like building something, measure twice and cut once. In other words, before you decide to pursue or make an even greater commitment to a woman, be wise and prayerful to do your best and avoid needless mistakes.
Don’t be like the person described in Proverbs 19:3 (NLT), “People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.”
6. Pursue Her in a Masculine Way that Is True of Your Personality
So how should you actually pursue a woman? What should you literally do?
There is no formula in the Bible on how a man must pursue a woman. When there is information missing in Scripture about a specific topic, I believe this means God wants us to simply use biblical principles and do what is true of our godly character and personalities.
So my advice is to study what it means to be a man in the Bible and then pursue this woman in a manly way. One great passage to look at is Ephesians 5:25-33. There we see that a husband is called to reflect the love Christ has for his church. Christ pursues his church, leads his church, and takes care of his church. So you should seek to express these qualities as a man in the way that you interact with the woman you are pursuing.
But much of it should also be dictated by your personality. There is no exact right way to pursue a woman so long as you are showing godly character and not breaking any commands in the Bible. Some men will want to be friends first. Some men will just go up and ask her on a date. Some men will be romantic, buying gifts and planning elaborate dates. Other men will be more straightforward and practical about things.
Telling a man exactly how to pursue a woman would be like telling an artist exactly how to paint his picture. I may request a tree, but I expect the artist to express his artistic skill. Some people will like his style and some people will not. Likewise, God will lead you to pursue a woman. But he’s made you an individual man and he wants you to express yourself through the way you pursue this woman. Some women like the way you pursue, and some will not. But if you are being authentic and masculine, that’s all you can do.
The main thing is that you do it. Just pursue her. When you know who you are in Christ as a man, you will figure it out.
7. Look for a Woman You Want to Serve and Who Wants to Serve You Too
The primary difference between a biblical relationship and a worldly relationship is where we find our joy. The world wants to find a person that will make them happy and fill their heart. But as Christians, God wants us to reverse this order. He wants us to want to be in a relationship so that we can find joy through serving this person.
Yes, it’s a good blessing to have someone serve you too, but the primary blessing as a man of having a woman in your life is that you get to take care of her and express your masculine, protective strength for her.
As Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Of course you should also look for a woman who has this mindset, otherwise you will end up with someone who is entitled and doesn’t appreciate you.
When a man and woman are both putting the other person before themselves, this is the type of relationship that is glorifying to God and immensely enjoyable.