The other day I walked into Starbucks to find a couple of friends having a conversation at one of the tables across the coffee shop. I walked over, sat down next to them, and began to start a little bit of my homework. One of the girls is a very passionate Catholic who lately has been seeking answers to a lot of questions about her faith. She and the other girl were discussing why there aren’t more passionate men in the faith, namely when it comes to relationships. She looked over and asked me, “Why don’t more men want to be passionate for God in relationships? Why aren’t there men who have such a strong obedience to God that they are willing to move mountains for Him?”
She poses a very good question.
So many times I have read article after article, book after book that tell men that they need to be more passionate. They need to fight the battle for a woman’s heart, but what exactly does that mean? Do you need to go back to ancient Rome, take up a sword in the Colosseum and slay a lion to save the damsel in distress? Should you be seeking out a girl who is being creeped out by some guy at a bar so you can tell him to back off, and then you look like the hero who pushed him away? Hollywood has certainly given us some unrealistic ideas on what a true battle is.
The first man to fail at this true battle was way back in the Garden of Eden. The cast is God, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent. God has made an unprecedented beauty for His two wonderful creations, whom He loved, to live in and gave them one simple rule: do not eat the forbidden fruit. Of course having free will, we are able to fool ourselves into all kinds of lies that justify our actions. Should Eve have known better than to eat the fruit? Yes. But then again, where was Adam? He was right next to her. What if he said, “No Eve! It’s a trick!” Do you think she would have caved? Instead, Adam’s silence caused not only Eve, but himself to eventually fall into temptation as well.
Right here is the basis for the battle men must fight to win a woman’s heart, the battle against temptation and sin. Our “Eve” will be tempted in many ways throughout her lifetime, constantly battling the devil’s empty promises. Imagine that sin is a thick, mesmerizing fog moving towards those who fall victim into it. If you saw the woman you loved moving closer and closer to this fog, wouldn’t you want to scream at the top of your lungs “get away! It’s just a sham!”
Instead, many men in today’s world push women into that sinful lifestyle, convincing and manipulating women into believing the only way to be a good girlfriend is for her to please her man sexually, or trying to get her to take shot after shot even if she doesn’t want to. Satan is very pleased with these men, they are doing his job for him. Ultimately, the battle is whether or not you are pushing her closer or pulling her away from that sinful behavior.
In the Prayer of St Francis of Assisi, he preaches about being an instrument of the Lord’s use and my best advice is to be God’s instrument for her. Let Christ shine through your actions to take her away from the fog and into His glory. When you have the option to stay over at her apartment where you know you will fall into lust, but choose pray with her and leave early, you have won the battle. Taking her to church and praying with her rather than to a bar or club, there you have won the battle. Sin is the ultimate reason for failed relationships and marriages. A house without a strong foundation will fall for anything. But a house rooted in Christ will stand tall forever.
We must first lay our foundation in Christ before we can give ourselves to her. One of my favorite quotes says something like, “A woman’s heart should be so lost in God, that a man must seek Him in order to find her.” But if she is not quite invested in the Lord, a true man is the one who will lead her closer to Him. We men need to have the discipline to stand firm against sin and temptation, but the wisdom to know that some days we will fail. Once we have this understanding and wisdom, then we can fight the battle against Satan for her heart.
Striving for Sainthood,