“All The Single Ladies” Have to Take Personal Responsibility
All The Single Ladies is a new Own Network television show. It showcases women of color sharing their dating and relationship stories in documentary-style interviews. I got a chance to catch the first episode and half of the second episode this past Sunday.
Several lessons stuck out to me as the women told their stories. The first one was taking personal responsibility for one’s actions. It’s easy to look at the stories as one-sided when you see what the women went through but even based on the women’s accounts the men weren’t the only ones responsible for the experiences leading to the breakups.
I believe the show tried to be responsible in making clear that the point of the show was not to demonize the man and only share one side. The initial interviews in the first episode start out sharing about the women’s family upbringing. They share how their parents were and how it shaped their views on relationships moving forward in life.
Our Needs Can Lead Us to Ignore Red Flags:
One of the girls shared how her father was not the affectionate type and her mother wasn’t nurturing. Sometimes, what we miss in our homes we seek to get within our relationships without doing the work to make sure the foundation is solid enough to hold that desire that we are seeking. A healthy foundation includes things like stability in all the following areas: mental, physical, financial, emotional, and spiritual. Also, shared values, a complimentary vision, self-discipline, healthy boundaries, mutual respect, and humility.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking a desire within the right context. When we take the responsibility to seek our desires within the right context—it generally lasts longer. Plunging in headfirst without the proper foundation can often lead to us ignoring the red flags.
Red flags don’t just show up in potential partners, but sometimes they show up within us—showing us that we aren’t ready to pursue what we think we want just yet. One common mistake several of the single ladies made was failing to take accountability for choosing men who did not practice self-control when it comes to sex outside of marriage.
Our Lack of Boundaries w/Sex Attracts Men Who Don’t Have Boundaries Themselves
This is because the ladies; themselves, weren’t practicing self-control in waiting for marriage to have sex. The woman who missed out on the nurturing affection coming up could have easily mistaken the closeness of sex for affection.
The rush of the thought of being close to someone could have caused her to miss huge red flags. We have to be careful how we get our voids filled. The dating field isn’t the best place to seek to get our voids filled. It’s best to come to the dating table as full as possible so we aren’t choosing scraps because we’re hungry, but we’re choosing fine dining because we’ve developed an acquired taste based on the healthy character we’ve developed through practice.
Many ignore the importance of temperance and self-control when it comes to sex outside of marriage thinking that marriage or a relationship will fix the lack of self-control. This is not so. Marriage will magnify the lack of self-control in that area. One of the women said it herself, “Marriage doesn’t flip on a switch that says I will now be faithful.” This was a lesson she learned. If a man is unfaithful before marriage; he will be unfaithful after marriage.
Develop the Fruit of the Spirit in Your Single Season & Seek it in Men You Date
I’m reading an awesome book called, “Watch the Red-flags: Discerning Relational Signs in Dating.” This book discusses something important to look for when dating or evaluating a potential partner. He says we should look for someone who already demonstrates the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. Of course, for someone who demonstrates the fruit of the Spirit to be interested in us; we must embody the fruits of the Spirit as well.
This should not be done as a ploy to get a man. The fruit of the Spirit as believers should become our character. If you see fruit opposite of that within yourself; stop dating and ask God to help you to develop the fruit of the Spirit within yourself.
Single Ladies, Don’t Pursue a Man and Respect When a Man Isn’t Interested in You
In another story, a woman shared how her mother was very strong, take charge, and was independent. On the other hand, her dad raised her in the same manner that many men raise boys. He encouraged her not to cry and to chuck up hurt just taking it without expressing her emotions. She carried some of these characteristics into her adulthood–even to the point of pursuing a man she worked with. The man told her he was not interested in her. She continued her pursuit anyway.
The man eventually gave in. The two got a place together going all in. He would never post about her online or share about her with others. He discouraged her from posting as well. One day she finally posted him and the gentleman’s mother called her sharing that she was ruining her son’s marriage. Yes, the gentleman was married. The young lady had been informed they were separated.
This is an important boundary that should not be crossed. Separated is still married. This means the married persons have a responsibility to one another. No one else should come between that. That was the 2nd red-flag this young lady made by allowing herself to be in a relationship with a married man.
The first was to pursue him. Women should not pursue men because men are the natural leaders. It’s their responsibility to pursue. It’s our responsibility as women to position ourselves to be pursued by doing what God calls us to do. When a man shares, he isn’t interested; women should always take him at face value and leave him alone. There is a reason for that. Some men can be worn down and will take advantage of a woman who pursues them for sex while he continues to pursue the woman he really wants.
Ladies, we deserve more. To get more, we have to require more for ourselves by taking personal responsibility to get more. I pray that many women learn from the mistakes of these brave ladies who so vulnerably share their stories.
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This content is published by Russelyn Williams of Intercession for A Generation on https://intercession4ageneration.org/.For more encouraging content & books on “Life & Relationship Lessons from a Biblical & Practical Perspective” please visit https://russelynwilliams.com/.