1. to follow in order to overtake, capture, etc.; chase.
2. to follow close upon; go with; attend.
3. to strive to gain; seek to attain or accomplish.
4. to proceed in accordance with.
5. to carry on or continue.
If you read any Christian material on the subject of dating, you will most likely hear the word pursue used in the context of relationships. Usually it is that the man should pursue the women. However, I’m afraid that our definition of what pursue means has become a term we just throw around and often ends up misunderstood. Girls understand that a guy pursuing them is a good thing, but what does it really look like for a man to pursue a woman…the right way?
What it’s not:
A texting relationship. This is very popular in our society. If a guy can work up just enough courage to ask for your phone number, he can then just continue to hide behind the phone and send you obscure texts. If a guy is sending you texts but still ignores you when you are in the same room, that’s a problem. I’m not saying that texting back and forth is a bad thing, but it shouldn’t be a substitute for talking in person. Texting is the easy way out. If a guy will text you but not call you or talk to you in person, he is not pursuing you.
A Facebook relationship. This goes along with the previous point. If he likes your status, that does not mean he likes you. If you talk on Facebook chat all the time, that is not pursuing you. If he is talking to you, he’s most likely talking to other girls too. Chatting is fine as friends, but if a guy asks you out over Facebook do not let him off that easy.
A guessing game. This is when you can’t tell whether a guy is really interested in you or not. A man pursuing a woman should not be a guessing game, it should be completely obvious! If he really wants to pursue you he will make it known. If he seems to treat you nice one day and ignore you the next, he is not pursuing you. This is where girls tend to do the pursuing, when a guy gives just enough attention. Don’t fall for this. He is most likely a coward and wants you to do the work to pursue him, which is his job.
What it is:
Awkward. To be honest, when a guy pursues you the right way it can be awkward at times. Like when he asks you out on a date face-to-face, or explains that he has feelings for you… it doesn’t always come out smoothly. But that’s okay. After all we have to give them some credit for their courage! There can definitely be awkward moments, but I encourage you to embrace them. I promise you will look back and learn to love all those awkward moments you shared together in the beginning.
Hard work. If you are talking about a man pursuing a relationship with a woman with the hopes of one day making her his wife… that’s not easy! It’s hard work. I don’t want to get too old fashioned, but he should work to make you feel valuable and special. He should pay for you, surprise you, listen to you, respect you, and show you how special you are. If he wants to win your heart, he had better work for it.
Continuous. A man does not just pursue you the first month of dating, or until you get married, a man is called to pursue you for the rest of your life! If you enter into marriage together, he is still to pursue you. The hard work isn’t over! When a man makes the decision to pursue you, it should be a continuous journey through the rest of your lives.
So far I’ve given you some characteristics of what pursuit is, but there is a great picture of what pursuit in action really looks like. The ultimate example of pursuit is found in the story of Jesus in the Bible.
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
The truth is, you have already been pursued. Because of his great love for you, Jesus chose to pursue you. He left everything he knew and suffered persecution and death, all because of his love for you. His pursuit of you is continuous and never ends. Jesus has never and will never give up on pursuing you. No one will ever go further to pursue you than Jesus already did. In comparison to Him, no man could measure up; however, his sacrificial pursuit of us is a good example to guide us.
I hope that this helped to clear up some of our misconceptions of what it means to be pursued. Maybe you realized that the guys you thought were pursuing you really aren’t, or maybe you realized you are pursuing him! Whatever the case is, don’t settle for less than a man pursuing you. Embrace the awkward moments, make him work hard, and enjoy it for the rest of your life.