If he was a loser, I liked him.
If he was going to treat me bad, I had to have him.
If he needed to be fixed, I figured I was just the girl for the job.
For so many years I liked the wrong guys for all the wrong reasons. I guess my picker outer was broken. And there’s only one result of a broken picker outer . . . a broken heart. Picking the wrong guys led to the wrong expectations and the wrong kinds of relationships.
By God’s grace, I eventually married the right guy, but I still remember the pain of picking the wrong guy over and over (and over) again! Here are some truths I learned along the way.
Bad Boys Make Bad Boyfriends
There’s just something about a bad boy that’s so . . . intriguing. We may be drawn in by his brooding, his recklessness, or his disregard for the rules. Bad boys just seem so mysterious that we are pulled to them like a magnet.
But bad boys don’t make good friends. They don’t make good boyfriends either, and with that kind of track record, you can bet they aren’t great husband material. Contrast that “I can do what I want” attitude that makes a bad boy a bad boy, with the kind of man God describes in Titus 1:6–9.
“An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
A Godly Guy Is:
- hospitable (That means easy to be around.)
- what is good (That doesn’t mean simply what is good for him.)
A Godly Guy Is Not:
- quick tempered
I get the appeal of bad boys. I’ve dated more than my fair share of them. But those relationships all ended . . . badly. God’s Word champions the good guy who will not do things perfectly, but will seek to honor God and others in all that he does.
Fixing Someone Is Exhausting
In my mind, most of my relationships played out this way:
- Girl meets boy.
- Boy is trouble.
- Girl rescues boy from his trouble.
- Boy is so grateful; he sends the girl flowers every day for the rest of her life.
In reality, things played out more like this:
- Girl meets boy.
- Boy is trouble.
- Girl tries to rescue boy from his troubles.
- Boy doesn’t want to be rescued.
- Girl gets frustrated and exhausted.
- Boy gets angry.
- Boy and girl part ways.
The truth is, I am no one’s rescuer. Only God can play that role. I’m not the one who can change hearts. Yep, that’s God’s job too. And my attempts to ride in on the white horse and save the day never work out like I planned.
I’m sure you’ve heard this verse before, but it’s a tough one to get to stick.
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14).
Here’s another verse with a farm reference you might not be as familiar with.
“Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together” (Deut. 22:10).
I happen to own a donkey named Bart, and he is as stubborn as they come. If I tried to yoke, or tie, him to another animal, he would kick and bray and stomp his hooves. He might even lay down and refuse to move. If Bart doesn’t want to do it, Bart is not going to do it.
Bad boys don’t make good friends, good boyfriends either, or good husbands.
This is a good analogy for what happens when we start a relationship thinking it’s our job to fix the other person. They likely don’t want to be fixed. They are probably a square peg who doesn’t want to be jammed into the round hole we create for them. And, even if they do want to change, they cannot do it on their own, or even with our help.
In John 15:5 Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
It is God who produces fruit in our lives. He shapes us to be more like Him. We cannot do it on our own. In fact, the Bible flat out says, “apart from me you can do nothing.”
If you head into a relationship thinking you can change your guy to be more like Jesus, you will end up feeling like an ox dragging a donkey. Take Bart’s word for it, that is not what love is supposed to feel like.
Remember What Love Is
Love isn’t pain. It isn’t struggle. It doesn’t have to be constant work.
This is how God’s Word describes love.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Cor. 13:4-7).
You may define love as butterflies in your stomach or the way he makes you feel when he looks at you, but God’s Word says it’s way deeper than that. Only God’s definition of love can last.
If you’ve got a broken picker outer, let me encourage you to take it to God. Ask Him to fix it. Ask Him to show you what real love should look like and for the courage to wait for the right guy in His timing.