After taking the Boy-Crazy Quiz, girls often ask me, “Is boy-craziness really all that bad?”
Attraction Isn’t Wrong
What a great question! Let me start by stating that being attracted to a single guy isn’t wrong. After all, God made guys and girls. Genesis 1:27 says, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
There’s a world of difference between thinking a guy is cute and being obsessed.
And marriage, the most intimate relationship possible between a man and a woman, was His idea. Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
So “liking” someone of the opposite sex who isn’t yet married isn’t sinful in and of itself.
But there’s a world of difference between thinking a guy is cute and being obsessed.
Obsession Is a Problem
My obsession looked something like this. Time after time I would:
Spot a cute guy,
Daydream about him all day long, and
Do whatever it took to get him to notice me (even swallowing a live goldfish!).
When he didn’t fall for me, I’d get over him by hating him.
Then I’d transfer all my affections for him to the next cute guy and begin the cycle all over again.
When I was younger, I often joked about my boy-craziness with my friends. It didn’t seem harmful, just funny. But as the years passed, my crushes became more and more frequent . . . and more and more costly.
Your boy-craziness might look different than mine did, but the root sin is still the same. Faith wrote:
I have prided myself in not being boy-crazy . . . but most of my answers to the quiz were “yes”! I guess I am just one of those “on the inside” girls. But I have never acted on my feelings ever since seventh grade. I am pretty good at pretending I am not always thinking about guys.
Faith’s comment raises an important question. Is boy-craziness okay as long as you don’t act on it?
Well, in the first of the ten commandments, for starters:
“I am the LORD your God. . . . You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:1–3, emphasis added).
Only God is worthy of being first in our hearts.
A “little g” god, or an idol, is a cheap substitute for the “big G” God we were made by and for. An idol can be any good thing—food, sports, anime, horses, or fashion. But when we set it up as the ultimate thing in our lives, it becomes sin. Only God is worthy of being first in our hearts.
Once, when God’s people had turned away from Him to serve idols, He told Jeremiah the prophet to proclaim:
“My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13).
God is painting a vivid word picture here to communicate that His people have left Him, the Fountain of Living Waters. He is the best and only source of life available to them, but they have settled for “little g” gods that compare to stale-tasting water polluted with dirt and debris. Not only that, but their water source leaks. It’s broken and useless!
How about you? Do you know what your idols are? If not, ask yourself, When I’m feeling empty and needy, where do I run for satisfaction?
As for me, I’m convinced boy-craziness is a serious problem. Treason, actually. What about you? Do you see boy-craziness as idolatry, or do you see it as an innocent but bothersome issue almost every girl struggles with? Oh . . . and why?
Don’t think you’re boy-crazy? You just might be surprised.
Take the Boy-Crazy Quiz
Take the Boy-Crazy Quiz to find out where your focus is. Simply answer “yes” or “no” to these thirteen questions.
In a room full of people, do you always know where “he” is? (yes/no)
Are boys your number-one favorite topic of conversation with your friends? (yes/no)
Do you often dress to catch a guy’s attention? (yes/no)
Do you replace one crush with another almost as soon as you realize the first relationship is not going anywhere? (yes/no)
Have you asked a guy out? (yes/no)
Do you have your eye on more than one guy at a time? (yes/no)
Do you believe you’d finally be completely happy if you had a boyfriend? (yes/no)
Do you change your schedule or plans in order to bump into him? (yes/no)
Do you tend to have more guy friends than girlfriends? (yes/no)
When you’re relaxing with a good book, movie, or song, do you pick those that are filled with ooey-gooey romance? (yes/no)
If you journal or pray, are your pages or prayers filled with thoughts and requests about guys? (yes/no)
Are you always trying to figure out which guys like you? (yes/no)
Would you be willing to get a total makeover for a guy? Not the hair, make-up, and new-clothes kind, but the “I’ll change who I am at my core if that’s what it takes to get you” kind? (yes/no)
Where to Go from Here
If you answered “yes” to several or all of these questions, that says something important about your heart. It clues you in to what your heart loves. What your heart fears, even. Do your answers point to you being more crazy about your Creator God or about guys?
Speaking from experience, boy-craziness is a road that will ultimately lead to heartache and loss (Ps. 16:4). True joy and freedom, on the other hand, are found in God’s presence (Ps. 16:11).
We’re giving away three copies of Confessions today. To enter to win one, log on to the giveaway widget and then leave a comment below by Valentine’s Day, letting me know what you learned from taking this quiz.
In the meantime, let’s continue this conversation. Over the next couple of days, we’re going to explore two questions:
“Let him go. Move on, already,” your friends tell you. “Like, yesterday. You should be over him by now!” After all, it has been months. Years.
But still, he haunts your thoughts—dropping by frequently, oblivious to the fact that he’s not welcome—threatening to sabotage not only your past but your present. Like a shackle attached to your ankle, you drag this dead hope of a relationship with you wherever you go.
Meet Someone Else Who Couldn’t Stop Looking Back
You’re not the only one who can’t seem to stop looking back with longing. Over and over in the book of Numbers, God’s people, the Israelites, rebel against Him. They get hung up on their cravings, (“What I wouldn’t do right now for a leek!”) and wish for their past as slaves to Pharaoh. Here’s just one example of them looking wistfully over their shoulders:
Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt” (Num. 14:1–4).
“Let us go back to Egypt”?! The Israelites had been enslaved in Egypt for 420 years. It had not been a vacation. There were bricks to be made and backs to be whipped and no relief in sight . . . until God intervened. He sent Moses to perform mighty acts and deliver His people from their hard labor and heavy burdens.
So Close . . .
He then began to lead them to the Promised Land, the land He had promised their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In this particular passage above, they were poised to enter the Promised Land. Twelve spies had been sent to spy it out, and ten came back with a fearful report:
“The land . . . is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height . . . and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers” (13:32–33).
Two of the twelve spies, however, reported:
“The land . . . is an exceedingly good land. . . . Do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them” (14:7–9).
Stop looking back, and instead believe that your God is good—and that all He does is good—and move on.
But instead of believing the two spies—and ultimately believing God—the people of Israel chose fear over faith. They cried out with longing for the “good ol’ days” in slavery.
As a result of their unbelief, God destined them to forty years of wandering in the wilderness (one year for each day the spies spied out the Promised Land), and ensured their fears would become reality:
“What you have said in my hearing I will do to you: your dead bodies shall fall in the wilderness . . . not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except [the two spies who gave the good report]. But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in” (14:28–31).
Let Him Go, and Move On
This is more than just a Bible story. Did you know that 1 Corinthians 10:11 tells us that these accounts were written for us, for our instruction? I know your circumstances are different, but like the Israelites, do you believe God made a mistake? That God held out on you? Do you believe life would be better if only this guy had pursued you?
Are you obeying God’s command to avoid idolatry (1 Cor. 10:7)? My guess is that if you’re still living under the shadow of this relationship that didn’t materialize, you have most likely idolized this guy. Please don’t confuse love for lust, covetousness, and idolatry.
Please don’t confuse love for lust, covetousness, and idolatry.
Repent of making the hope of this relationship your ultimate hope. Believe God and move forward under His leadership. He wants to bless you, if you will only trust His heart. He is drawing you away from the slavery of idolatry and covetousness and into the Promised Land of contentment as His treasured possession, living under His rule.
Stop looking back, and instead believe that your God is good—and that all He does is good—and move on. Move forward, and watch God bring you out into a broad, spacious place.
Have you ever thought a guy you liked was interested in you, but at the same time you’ve felt super confused after your interactions with him? Yeah, me
too. I think it happens a lot, unfortunately. Here’s what one girl asked me recently:
I’m in so much emotional turmoil. I cry almost every day over whether he’s interested in me or not. I know it’s absolutely silly and I determine not to do it, but I can’t help how I feel. I don’t know if I should just end my turmoil by telling him how I feel and then let whatever happens happen. Is that acceptable or is that wrong to tell him I’m interested and let him accept or reject me? I’ve never believed in the woman pursuing the man, but he is okay with that. I just don’t know if this is an issue if I should tell him I am interested in him. Please help!
Here are a few questions I sent her in response. I pray they will also help you if and when you find yourself in a similar bind in the future:
What specifically leads you to believe this guy is interested in you?
Have mature, wise adults in your life also noticed this guy’s special interest in you (Prov. 1:5)?
Are you aware of other girls who are confused by this guy’s interactions with them and who also wonder if he’s interested in them? If so, you may need to gently confront him about his unwise interactions with young women (Matt. 18:15).
If you put yourself out there and tell him you like him, how do you know your turmoil will end? What if he responds by telling you he’s not sure how he feels about you?
What do you think would be best for this guy at this point in his life? If he’s extremely busy, do you think he even has time for a committed relationship?
Can you trust God—and this guy—to open this conversation if and when it’s the right time (Ps. 25:3)?
Do you believe that if this guy is settled in both his feelings for you and in God’s blessing of your relationship that he will have the courage to tell you how he feels about you? If you’re not certain he has the guts to do this, is he really a man you could respect for life (Eph. 5:33)?
Imagine this guy doesn’t respond as you hope. Will telling him how you feel about him leave you feeling free and peaceful . . . or desperate and worthless?
What if, rather than pressing the issue with this guy, you changed your focus and began seeking and serving God wholeheartedly until He sends a guy who makes his intentions for you clear (1 Cor. 7:24)?
What do you think? Have you ever told a guy you liked him? How did things turn out? Do you think this girl should tell her crush that she likes him? Why or why not?
I hear a really nice guy has been showing you a lot of attention lately. I know you’ve gone on a couple dates, and you like him a lot. He’s told you he’s a Christian, but you’re not sure how strong he is in his faith.
Maybe he is a Christian; maybe he isn’t. I don’t know. But here are a few thing I do know . . .
Be on the lookout for the fruit of faith. Anyone can claim to be a Christian (just like anyone can claim to be an astrophysicist), but there should be
evidence of Christ’s transformative work in His followers. James (Jesus’ brother) puts it like this:
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? . . . So also, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead (2:14, 17, emphasis added).
Pay attention to how this guy lives. Is he living like a young man who has been redeemed from the slave block of sin? Or is he still living like a slave to sin (Rom. 6:15–23)? Put him to the test (1 John 4:1). I’ve included one below.
You shouldn’t have to wonder if this guy is a Christian or not. It should be obvious. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says:
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
No, he’s not going to be perfect. Yes, we’re all in process. But if he truly has the Holy Spirit of God living in him, he will look more and more like His adoptive Father.
If he truly has the Holy Spirit of God living in him, he will look more and more like His adoptive Father.
Trust me on this one. You don’t want someone who maybe, possibly, probably, hopefully is a Christian. One who just barely squeezes by. You want a thriving Christian. A white-hot Christian. A young man who is well on his way to being able to lead you spiritually.
So here are a few questions to ask about him, straight from 1 John:
Does he walk in “light,” or does he walk in “darkness” (1 John 1:6–7)?
Does he confess his sins, or does he claim not to have sin in his life (1 John 1:8–10)?
Does he keep God’s commandments, or does he live differently than Jesus lived (1 John 2:3–6)?
Does he believe that Jesus came to earth and took on human flesh, or does he not believe this (1 John 4:2–3)?
Does he have the Spirit of God? The Son of God? Or is he just doing life on his own (1 John 3:24; 4:12)?
If the majority of your answers were on the right side of the comma rather than the left, this guy is not for you, nice as he might seem. God is the
treasure in this life—and in the life to come—and you will want a man who will consistently point you to this treasure . . . through his words and his life.
How about you? Are you currently dating or considering dating someone you have doubts about? Where does this post find you today? I’d love to hear from you.
Christian guys can seem like an endangered species. So when suddenly you find yourself serving alongside a hardworking, Jesus-loving, baby-carrying brother, it can be easy to lose your mind.
If you should ever find yourself on a mission trip with an eligible bachelor or two, consider me your sane voice of reason and remember these five things:
1. Keep the mission the mission.
You didn’t sign up for this mission trip in order to snag a man, right? I know you chose to travel to this particular place because you want to share Christ with others through your words and actions. You want to bless others. Maybe even change a life or two for good. Don’t deviate from your mission. The mission hasn’t changed; your focus has just shifted momentarily. Cry out to God to help you live and serve fully in the moment—seeking His pleasure and others’ good rather than your crush’s attention.
2. Expect a struggle.
I’m about 92.385% sure you’ll develop a crush on someone on your team while you’re on this mission trip. (Been there, done that!) Speaking from experience, I’d encourage you to be suspicious of your sudden, intense feelings. Stop and think about it for a minute. You’re spending a concentrated amount of time with a member of the opposite sex in super-close quarters on an intensely “spiritual” trip. Throw in a little culture shock, and you’re sure to feel more for this guy than you would if you met him anywhere else.
Don’t beat yourself up over this inner struggle. Instead, share your innermost thoughts and desires with your Father God in your prayers and/or a journal. Don’t pretend that these feelings don’t exist, but also don’t let them steal the day (or week or month). Remind yourself of the mission. Stay focused, soldier!
No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him (2 Tim. 2:4).
3. Guard yourself—and the guys on the trip—from unnecessary distraction.
Dress to serve, not to impress.
Reserve your deepest prayer requests and thoughts for your female team leader or trusted friend. Pray in group settings or with other girls, but steer clear of praying one-on-one with a guy on your team.
Keep your hands off the guys. Save your backrubs and hugs for those needy kids in the orphanage or that cute baby Koala.
4. Decide ahead of time not to start a romantic relationship during the mission trip.
Emotions run high on these trips, and your feelings may very well change after you return home. Also, you may find that the guy is someone different entirely when he’s back in his day-to-day routine. Now is not the best time for a brand-new romantic relationship. (Remember, I’m your sane voice of reason here!)
5. Be yourself.
While we should always be wise in our interactions with guys, this doesn’t mean you need to leave your personality or voice at home. Be your normal, lovely self. Enjoy this adventure of a lifetime!
Have you ever been on a mission trip? If so, was it a real struggle to stay focused on the mission? Can you think of anything else that might help other girls who are planning on going on one soon?
You notice him right away. The new guy at youth group.
He’s seriously good looking. You try to focus on the open Bible on your lap, but the letters blur together.
He answers a question, and you listen carefully. He nailed it. So he’s model material AND he knows God’s Word, you celebrate.
But only for a second. Pull it together. You shake your head and force your attention back on what the youth pastor is saying.
After a few minutes you raise your hand, share a thought, and . . . Mr. Model catches your eye and smiles!
You don’t get much out of youth group that day; you’re too busy praying the new guy will ask you out or at least talk to you. Hey, you’d even settle for him following you on Twitter!
It’s hard, isn’t it? Christian guys can seem like an endangered species. So when one day the heavens open and an eye-turning Christian guy is dropped into your life, your brain instantly jumps into high gear trying to figure out how to get his attention. (Let’s be honest, you know the other girls’ antennae are up, so you want to snag him before they do!)
In the heat of the moment, it’s hard to think of the new stranger as more than a potential boyfriend. But let’s face it. He is more . . . a whole lot more.
He’s your forever brother. If he trusts in Jesus’ righteousness rather than his own, he’s your blood-bought brother in Christ. You’ll spend forever with him, right there along with Jesus Himself.
So will you ask God to help you view the Christian guys around you as more than potential boyfriends—as forever brothers in Christ? Here are a few practical tips:
Pray for them. Pray the very best for them. Pray that they’d be kept from temptation. Pray that their enjoyment of Jesus would grow like crazy. Pray whatever the Spirit leads you to pray for them.
Encourage them. Rather than admiring them from a distance, let them know when you see Jesus in them.
Don’t dress to distract them; dress in such a way that they’ll be able to worship Jesus without extra temptation and distraction each Sunday.
After all, that’s how we’re told to relate to guys—even the really cute ones!—as brothers, in all purity:
Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity (1 Tim. 5:1–2).
How can you treat the Christian guys near you as more than potential boyfriends?
I have three girls ages seven, five, and two. And now I’m watching my nine-year-old niece who is crazy boy crazy. Like she couldn’t make a choice of paper color until “boy A” chose his . . . when she was in preschool!
I really want to be able to help so she can not be distracted by the cute boys or men she’s around. Do you have any advice? How can I help them think? How can I help them act? If it is a personal weakness, are there habits to instill that will help? Activities, shows, books to avoid? Anything you can think of would be appreciated. I will be reading your book and trying to see how to apply your wisdom to this job. Thanks and look forward to the read!
With fear and trembling—since when does a single girl know how to parent?!—I responded to her email. With her permission, I’d like to share our email exchange with you, as I’m quite certain she’s not the only mom out there wondering about this:
I love your heart for your girls (and your sister’s girl). God, would You please flood [her] with Your wisdom?
Truth be told, I’ve never been married or parented, so I feel rather unqualified to answer your questions. However, I can tell you this. Boy craziness is really just girl neediness. Boys will never ultimately fill the ache your girls feel inside for love. They were made by and for God, and nothing less will do.
While watching what they intake from culture will definitely help, their greatest need still remains repenting of their sin and falling in love with Jesus. I wish I’d been taught the truths found in Romans 6 when I was a young girl: that in Christ I am now dead to sin, alive to God, and in Christ Jesus.
Better than books, though, I’d encourage you to reach out to older women in your church for wisdom and mentoring. There is no overnight fix; just daily life-on-life as the girls grow and are constantly being taught in the teachable moments the Lord gives.
I breathed a sigh of relief, grateful to be done dishing out parenting advice. But not for long! Shortly after I pushed send, Rebecca Ingram Powell asked to interview me for Lifeway’s ParentLife magazine. That’s right—a publication for parents of zero to twelve year olds!
Praying all the way, I thought more about parenting boy-crazy girls. And as I did, I began to wish I’d told this mom one main thing.
See, in my experience, kids pick up not so much what parents say but how they live. Kids are smart—they see through the veneer of what adults claim—and hope—to love to what truly captures their parents’ hearts.
Turns out the solution boy-crazy girls most need is the very thing moms of boy-crazy girls need. Both need to taste and see just how crazy good God really is. Both need to repent of the “little g” gods they worship and love the “big G” God with all their hearts.
Isn’t that how Moses instructed parents in Deuteronomy 6, after all? Just before he tells parents to teach God’s law diligently to their kids when they sit down, when they take walks, when they lie down, and when they get up, he says this:
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. (And then) You shall teach them diligently to your children . . .
If Christ is your treasure, mom, your life will light the way for your boy-crazy daughter. Because there really is only one way out of boy-craziness, and that is finding Someone to love even more than boys.
If you’ll share this post with another mom and leave a comment below letting me know you did, you might win a copy of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl. I’ll draw two winners at random on Friday, October 4.