I heard my name being called, and my ears immediately perked up. I was a first-grader at a new homeschool group, and I was nervous. Everyone seemed so intimidating to me. I didn’t really have any friends there, but I was excited that someone was trying to get my attention.
I looked around, searching for the owner of the voice and spotted Jack* across the room.
Is he calling me? I wondered, hopefully.
As another girl answered his call, I suddenly realized he was calling the other Grace. I figured they were already friends, and he wanted to tell her something. I stood in line, feeling slightly embarrassed. And, many years later, I often feel the same way.
Not Just Childhood Hopes
Except now I feel more than just embarrassed. I feel rejected, lonely, and afraid. I wonder if any guys will dare to notice me and call out my name.
And you know what, ladies? Almost all of us are wondering the same exact thing. We all crave attention. Some of us get it more easily and more often than others, but we all desire to be noticed.
Was it wrong of me to hope that Jack was calling my name when we were in first grade? Nope. Is it wrong of you to hope that a guy will give you attention? Nope again. It’s not a sin to want a guy to want you!
We can’t overcome our craving for a husband—and that’s largely because of the Fall.
To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16 NASB)
Both Ends of the Spectrum
Many young Christian women are on one end of the spectrum or the other when it comes to seeking guys’ attention. They often either quietly attempt to repress their desire for it or boldly communicate it through their words and actions. Neither extreme is good.
I’ve stayed busy with school, work, and friends while acting like I didn’t want guys’ attention. However, the truth is, I do desire attention from guys. I feel jealous of my peers at college who have boyfriends and wonder how some girls have such close guy friends and acquaintances. I hope that one day, preferably soon, I’ll get an ounce of attention from one of them.
Our desire for a boyfriend and husband isn’t something to hide, repress, or ignore. But it can become obsessive, which can become idolatry.
That’s the other end of the spectrum that many young women gravitate toward. They recognize their desire for male attention, and they freely announce it and act on it. They try as hard as they can to get it, even if it means texting guys nonstop, stalking them on social media, asking them out, and dressing seductively.
Both ends of the spectrum can be unhealthy because they involve unrealistic expectations. Believing that we’re strong enough to suppress our craving for guys’ attention will lead us to disappointment. Since one curse of the Fall is that we will desire and be ruled by a husband, it can’t be ignored. In contrast, believing that we can’t live without a guy’s attention will also lead us to disappointment. In the long run, guys aren’t going to be attracted to girls who pursue them.
It’s normal to feel lonely and wonder if you’ll ever have a boyfriend or a husband. It’s also normal to want to have a boyfriend or a husband. We don’t need to be ashamed of our craving, but we also can’t ignore our ultimate craving for the holy Groom.
*Name has been changed