As women in the dating era of 2019, we often set ourselves up for failure. I can attest, as well as close friends of mine, that we often pick and choose red flags to ignore based on feelings and the idea that “well, not everyone is perfect. I can’t expect him to not  ___.” 

And you can fill in the blank with whatever you make excuses for.

We all do it, but in case you’re lost, here are some examples.

 “Well, not everyone is perfect. I can’t expect him to not get blackout drunk all the time. That’s just college.” 

“Well, not everyone is perfect. I can’t expect him to not do drugs every now and then. He swears he only does it casually with friends.” 

“Well, not everyone is perfect. I can’t expect him to not try and have sex with me or get photos from me. He’s just being a guy.” 

“Well, not everyone is perfect. I can’t expect him to not yell at me and lose his temper. It may seem scary when it happens, but everyone can lose control sometimes.” 

This fill in the blank attempt because “nobody is perfect” cheapens our values and weakens our standards, leaving us with something we settle for because we either don’t believe better is out there for us, or we’re afraid we’re being too picky. The good news, and I’m so excited to get to break it to you, is that it’s not picky to not make excuses for shady morals and poor behavior. In a lot of cases, you’ll also be saved the heartbreak of a toxic relationship that beats you down and leaves you wary of every other guy out there–even the good ones.

All of this is to say, that deep down, nobody is actually perfect. But a man of God bears the fruit of the spirit. In Galatians 5:22-23 it says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control.” When you are looking for a man, does he exhibit gentleness? In his moments of anger does he display self-control? Is he kind? Does he exude joy? Chances are, a guy who is more than just “not perfect” won’t. However, a true man of God who can love you like Christ loved the Church, will.

It is so easy for us to make excuses for the bad guys. They make us feel like we can trust them. They just seem a little lost, and we’re okay with finding them, because it “feels right.” But feelings are fleeting, and poor behavior only hides for so long.

Here’s what I challenge you to do whenever you begin seeing someone knew, whenever you feel like settling, or when you just need to take a deep breath and remember God has a plan constructed just for you.

Remember 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

It states,

“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. Love never fails.”

Then, as Diane Stark once shared, fill in the blanks.

___ is patient.

___ is kind.

___ does not envy.

___ does not boast.

___ is not proud.

___ does not dishonor others.

___ is not self-seeking.

___ is not easily angered.

___ keeps no record of wrongs.

___ does not delight in evil,

___ rejoices with the truth.

___ protects.

___ trusts.

___ hopes.

___ perseveres.

___ never fails.

If you are looking for a man of God, that is what you look for. Find someone who fills in those blanks, and be the girl that fills them in as well. Sure, nobody is perfect, but if you can’t see God shining within someone, the chances are, they weren’t made for you. Don’t make excuses for bad men. Allow good men to honor God enough to love you correctly. It’ll be worth the wait.

Danielle E