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Making a Knight

Making a KnightDating that Delights God, Man and Woman!

Knights are Made and Not Born
A single woman asked me how she could encourage the brothers so they would want to initiate dates. There are as many answers to this question as there are single men. All are different, but there are some basic themes. I believe that all men want to be the “Knight in shining armour” of legend. A man strong, courageous and noble enough to protect a woman whether she ends up being his or not. Someone who embodies the spirit of Isaiah 32:8 - “But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.” Not many women I know would complain if one such should come into their lives, either! However, kingdom-of-God Knights are made through discipleship and encouragement, and do not come fully-formed straight out of the baptistry. Married men help in molding these fledgling Knights, but so do the single women in the church. Let us focus on the part the sisters can play in making a Knight.

Champion His Competency
Men are used to being compared to others - unfavourably. At school they were told they were not as good at football as the other boys. At home they were told they were not as clever as the neighbour’s son who got 5 ‘A’ levels and went to Cambridge. In TV commercials the man is the idiot while the woman is the smart one. Many men students are out-done by women students at university, and a good few are out-performed by women at work. Men are terrified of being seen as incompetent. That is why many don’t even try. The pain of rejection because of lack of competency is crippling. Sisters, you have a tremendous opportunity to help the single men. You are to become champions of their competency. Here is what I mean ....

Fan the Fire - Don’t Find the Fault
If you want single men to be zealous about dating, don’t “disciple” them. I am not talking here about when they sin against you, but about the things that can be overlooked (Prov 19:11). Allow the men to disciple the men. Your part is to notice, point out, and applaud the things the single men do right. Every man longs to hear, “I am proud of you”, “I trust you”, “I respect you” - as long as it is sincere. Wives are told to “respect” their husbands (Eph 5:33) for good reason. Their husbands will be inspired to carry our their responsibilities to protect, nurture and love their wives in a positive atmosphere. They will make the necessary sacrifices willingly, not reluctantly or under compulsion (Eph 5:25, 2 Cor 9:7). Grace really is more powerful than judgment (James 2:13). The same principle of respect holds true for conversations between single men and women in the church.

It’s Not About the Date
It will be good to offer such words of encouragement on a date. But for the dating culture to change the advice above must be practiced more widely. A brother cooks at family group - don’t just say, “Thanks”, but “Jim, thank you for remembering that we have vegetarians in the group and going out of your way to cater for them. I really respect your thoughtfulness.” You see one of the single men bending down to talk to a young child during the fellowship, so you say, “Hi Jim, I noticed you talking to young Tom just now. The men I know in the world are afraid of kids, and don’t even bother to talk to them, let alone get down to their level like you did. I am so impressed - that’s just like Jesus. I am really proud to have you as my brother.”

Believe me, sisters, this is huge. Just one word of warning. When you do this don’t be surprised if you find a few men somewhat speechless. Catch them doing something good - it will be good for you too!

Malcolm Cox (Nov 2010)