We are talking about ‘crushes.’ That fun little name we have for when a young lady, or old lady, really really really likes a guy for whatever reason. Usually, regardless of how bizarre this sounds, crushing on a guy often implies a desire to marry him.
Some girls have their ‘Cinderella’ crushes- the crushes on guys completely out of their leagues or not even in their lives at all- the singer, speaker, author, actor, football player, basketball player, prince, etc. Others ‘crush’ on guys closer to home- the youth group leader, the college classmate, the Bible study coordinator, the single pastor, etc.
As I mentioned in my last post, ‘crushes’ range in definition from just a basic attraction to, essentially, worship of another human being.
Obviously, we want to steer clear of lust and idolatry, but crushes (as in the act of ‘crushing’ not the person you are ‘crushing’ on) can be helpful in providing valuable information about our own hearts and minds.
Remember, our thoughts are a gateway to our hearts so who you are ‘crushing’ on, how you are ‘crushing’ on them, and why are all valuable windows into the state of our hearts and minds. I would divide crushes into three categories:
Fantasy– with emphasis on the ‘fan.’ Fantasy isn’t always sexual. This does not mean you are imagining yourself in bed with this guy; that’s lust. This category is filled with the people you will likely never meet, let alone have a potential love relationship with. You may feel an ‘attraction’ or admiration, but the reality is, you actually know little about them and likely will never know more.
Admiration– this category can be filled with a mixture of men and women (which can really trip some of us up! I’m going to talk about this is a future post). These are people you are drawn to because of something you admire. They are people you know, maybe not well, but you know them. By the time we’re done, I think you’ll find most of your ‘crushes’ end up in this category.
Attraction– this is the one we’re scared to death of. When we’re still immature, I think this category is all on its own. There are the guys we admire and then there are the guys who are ‘hot.’ In time, we come to find the things we admire make different men attractive, so this category starts to become an extension of admiration. That makes it even ‘worse’ because it is hard to admit attraction to someone you also admire.
However, that being said, if you plan on getting married, some day, you will meet a man you either admire or find attractive, and then you will come to both admire him and find him attractive.
So, the crush of admiration is not a bad one. Neither is the ‘crush’ of attraction or even the crush of fantasy (both within their limits). They can teach us. They can help us better understand what we are looking for or even how far we have come in our journeys of freedom. Are we lusting after this man, fantasizing about him, drawn to a good quality of him, or experiencing a God-given attraction?
Here are 10 questions to ask yourself to help you put this crush where he belongs.
1. Is he even eligible? He might be attractive but if he’s married, way too old for you, or a non-believer, that can disqualify him from the ‘potential mate’ running. Best to just stick him in the ‘admiration’ category.
2. Are you even eligible?
3. What are some of the things that draw you to him? (This is a telling question)
4. What are some of his flaws? We all have them. Stay grounded in reality by recognizing that Mr. Perfect actually isn’t.
5. How does he treat others?
6. What does his circle of friends look like? Does he hang out with the athletes and no one else?
7. How strong is his faith?
8. What do others say about his character? Nothing ruins attractive looks like a rotten character.
9. How does he come up in your thoughts? Is it through impure thoughts (inserting him into a sexual fantasy)?
10. Does thinking about him challenge your faith or draw you away from it?
Ultimately, the guidelines of Philippians 4:8 hold true in any part of our lives. Thinking on truth is important for us. Imagining your wedding with a man who doesn’t even know your name is not focusing on truth. Acknowledging that you are interested in a brother in Christ is different. Picturing yourself sleeping with him and, essentially, idolizing and idealizing him is not ok. We should not be giving our hearts to men who never promised to care for them.2