Review: “The Boy Who Changed the World” by Andy Andrews

The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews is a wonderful story of how the small things we do and the choices we make day-by-day can have an impact for years to come and on people whom we will likely never meet.

The illustrations are beautiful for kids of any age. However, I found the stories themselves to be at a higher age level than the illustrations themselves would let on. Even reading this book to someone, I think, would be over the heads of children 5 years of age and younger. It easily could have been dumbed-down even further than the original stories to reach a broader reading audience. It’s also heavily Americanized. Perhaps this is the target audience the author intended for; but I recognized many nuances and assumptions within the stories that were particular to an American audience. As noted below, extended versions of each story would help this.

This was a book I was hoping to gift to my 5 year old nephew. I think he will appreciate it, but may not take the point of the story to heart until he is older. But perhaps I am short-changing some kids of that age. These are just my initial thoughts.

I could see this book separated into four books, by the four stories it tells. Each story in and of itself would be fascinating and magical for children to consider and listen to the deeper details of the children’s lives, so that they can further relate with the characters. Creating a series of books would allow for deeper thought to each story, while encouraging reading each book, and ending off with the “big idea” that this book ends off with. I would recommend this book for 5-10 year olds.

Review: “The Butterfly Effect” by Andy Andrews

Let me preclude this review with a disclaimer that I detest “gift” books such as the The Butterfly Effect. They are useless like the little wooden knickknacks my grandmother loves to decorate her house with from ceiling to shag carpet, or the teddy bears who sit on her chairs and couches, taking up any possible seating area for visitors or the occasional friendly cat. Coffee table books, as some choose to call them, can make for a nice gift to a friend “just because” or a pastor at Christmas or a teacher at the end of a school year. But ultimately, if they are read at all, afterwards they sit on a shelf or a side table collecting dust, or hide under the 9-month-old Chatelaine magazine, or show up on the yard sale table of that best friend you gave it to–and never get read.

Ok. Now that I’m off my soap box, with the above in mind, let me say that The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews, was a beautifully laid-out book with a life-changing message to deliver.

It does, however, suffer from its own flaws. What was delivered in 60 pages easily could have been told in 20 or less. (But that’s what you get when you print one sentence per page.) While the message Andrews looks to give is one worth reading and one worth taking to heart, again, the format which the message was delivered, a segmented picture book, takes away from the readability of the stories he tells. Considering I’ve learned the stories from this book are ones he tells on speaking engagements, I can see how such a talk would be uplifting and inspiring. But in this format, it’s lacking.

I also found the book to be somewhat self-serving, repeating what I found in The Boy Who Changed the World, Andrew’s children’s storybook of the same stories: the writing is whole-heartedly, proudly, American. While I can’t knock the feats and accomplishments the people of the USA have attained over hundreds of years, they are less than humble about it–and it’s annoying. While it’s not wrong for Andrews in this book to gush over the USA’s ability to fight WWII in both Europe and the Southern Pacific islands, he seems to celebrate and boast about the sheer population of the States, not the American’s willingness to lend a helping hand to those wrongfully attacked. If he’s proud about the population size of the USA, whoop-dee-doo! This isn’t a big deal in the context of the book; it’s just annoying.

Overall, I’m obviously not the target group of a book such as this, so I digress. I’d rather receive the message Andrews looks to communicate through a simple video, where the passionate emotion of the stories he tells in The Butterfly Effect can be communicated in a way pretty pages cannot do.

I finally settled on purchasing a 32GB iPhone 3GS this past weekend. And I NEED to tell you the adventure that it was to get it into my pocket.

I’ve been saving up for the iPhone 4 since Christmas 2009, agreeing with my wife that I could purchase it as my birthday present this year, as my birthday is in June. So June comes, Apple introduces their brand new, beautiful peace of art in the iPhone 4 and I’m set to win my prize. However, amidst the waiting I had to suffer as I waited for iPhone 4 to be released here in Canada, I had a change of heart.

I have a cousin who bought the original iPhone when it was first released in the US, the one that was never released in Canada. He was looking for a 3GS to buy himself with the iPhone 4 now available. He didn’t want the 4 because he does not want to pay for data, same as he has not done with his existing original iPhone. After finding out how he gets away with preventing any data usage and how easy it is to do, I was convinced I wanted to do the same, as I find my data plan to be an unnecessary luxury at this point in my budget.

So I set out to find a 32GB 3GS instead. eBay didn’t have much to offer. Apple was only offering the 8GB brand new for $550, and 32GBs were priced around $500 on Kijiji. So I kept an eye on available black iPhones on Kijiji. I’m not big on buying from Kijiji sales as there’s very little accountability from sellers and you normally have to pay cash. But to get a 32GB for that price, I didn’t have much choice.

Well, I found a phone that seemed decent enough. It was purchased in February, so there was 6 months still left on the warranty, and the seller was selling it because he bought an iPhone 4. (The hope being in making such a statement that the phone isn’t stolen.) I sent a message to the seller, he called me back and we set a time to meet up.

We met in a Fresh Co. parking lot. We was a young guy driving his father’s Cadillac around. He seemed legit and was friendly. Julie and I took a look at the phone, trying to see if there was anything physically wrong with it. I couldn’t check its functionality as the phone had been reset to factory already. That seemed a bit shady, but wasn’t completely unreasonable as of course he wouldn’t sell it with his personal info on it. He also offered it at a good price too, much lower than what was generally on Kijiji, and he reduced it even further because he thought I was a nice guy, asking him where to meet instead of demanding he meet me somewhere for this.

So we agreed to buy it. I followed him over to a bank so I could get the cash and he waited in the parking lot. I brought the cash out to him, jokingly saying “You got the stuff?” as I brought it to him. I counted it out for him so he knew it was all there, and we made the exchange. I went back to my car, and he went on his way.

When we opened the box however, we found the phone had a crack in the screen on the lower corner that we never saw before. Your ultimate concern suddenly appears reality–did he swap the phone while he waited in the car? I was freaking out, feeling as if I had been had.

I quickly called the seller back, telling him about this crack we didn’t see. He said he didn’t know it was there either, and he said he would come back to us. We waited for a few minutes, wondering if we were waiting for nothing, wondering if we had been “had”. Sure enough, the seller came back! I showed him the crack and I wasn’t sure what his response would be. He felt bad about it, as he had not seen it before. You could only see it if you moved it a certain way in the light.

I was going to tell him to forget about it, but waited for his response instead. He said he had a friend who had his screen replaced for $50 and said he could do that for us. I told him I would go get it fixed myself, and he could just give me $50 off the price. That way he doesn’t have to worry about it and I get it cheaper. He agreed to that. He gave me the money, and we parted ways feeling a little better about it all.

I got in and started my car, when a policeman walked up behind the car and knocked on the trunk, asking me to turn the car off and step out of the vehicle. Having done nothing wrong, I got out without argument.

The policeman asked me if I knew “that man,” pointing towards the guy I just bought the phone off of. I said, “Yeah, I just bought an iPhone off of him. Is it stolen?!? Please don’t tell me it’s stolen!” (I was afraid my biggest concern was coming true.) The policeman said, “What??” I told him, “Kijiji! I just bought an iPhone from him.”

He turned his head and laughed with a big smile saying, “Are you kidding?? Someone called us saying there was a drug deal going on! Carry on.” And he walked away.

So that was the exciting experience of buying an iPhone 3GS. The seller called us on our way home, asking us what happened. We found it pretty funny that we had been talking about $50 and crack for 10 minutes before they showed up. Haha.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the phone works great! Hopefully I won’t have to buy from Kijiji again any time soon.

I just finished reading Plan B by Pete Wilson, and I wanted to give a few impressions of the book. If I had stars, it would get a 3 1/2 out of five. It was a good book. The first four chapters were a bit slow, and uninteresting. But then there were a few chapters that hit home more with my own life experience.

The book reads like a sermon. Each chapter starts off with a story of someone who has experienced loss, and then Wilson adapts his next point around it. I would recommend the book to those who are seriously doubting their faith in God, as Wilson offers up a lot of hope for those who just aren’t sure.

What I appreciated the most about Plan B is that Wilson doesn’t claim to have all the answers. Instead he reminds the reader of the God whom they serve, and the kind of faithfulness He has shown throughout Scripture, and that we can have that same hope in God, even if things don’t work out as expected.

I would recommend this book to those who are feeling like they have somehow missed plan A and have been forced to move on to plan B.

I’ve now been married for 9 months. Considering how long I intend to be married, I suppose this isn’t a long time. Nonetheless, since we are still renting, I have had the future prospects of mortgages on my mind since tying the knot. (A man’s gotta provide a roof for his family!) So the opportunity to read and review Mind Your Own Mortgage by Robert J. Bernabe was an easy one to accept.

While this is another book taking advantage of the cultural subject matter at hand–reflecting upon the housing boom and resulting crash of the past ten years, the book was both incredibly informative and invaluable for a newbie like myself who is new to the housing market, and I don’t doubt it’s usefulness for those looking for some practical advice for something they may have many years of experience from.

Bernabe spends most of the book peddling his MYOM formula, which is a good formula by the way. But most of all I appreciate the time he spent in encouraging the reader to be a responsible spender, repeatedly reminding the reader that when you have a mortgage, any other unessential purchase you make is costing you much more in the end due to the option of using excess cash to pay down your mortgage, and thus paying less interest through amortization. I look at this as the best possible viewpoint I can have as a future new homeowner.

Bernabe also stresses the importance of shopping based on cost, instead of interest rate and payment. I’m actually excited to apply the knowledge he provides and the system he’s developed aided by the extras made available on MindYourOwnMortgage.com. But having completed the read and wanting to apply what I’ve learned, I’m in an unfortunate position now to see how these American rules might be similar to the Canadian rules of mortgages I find myself in. Most of the ideas will be very similar, but of course, it was the Canadian market that did not crash as hard. So I am anticipating differences in the process.

Now I am left to search for a Canadian equal to Bernabe’s excellent homeowner’s guide. Any suggestions?

My wife recently asked me to speak to our youth members about some of the subjects I’ve been contemplating on this blog. I thought I would post pieces of that sermon on the blog to add to the conversation. This is Part 3–checkout Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t already.

Step 1 is to setup some guardrails, some personal standards of behaviour that become a matter of conscience, big red lights and flags that pop up when you’re bumping into them and fast approaching danger.

What’s STEP 2? Step 2 is to look in the mirror. And I don’t mean in the conceited, oh is my hair in place, makeup straight, and skirt short enough. I mean look in the mirror and find out who YOU really are. Take some time to examine your inner self.

STEP 2 is to ask yourself, what am I doing physically, mentally, and most of all spiritually to prepare myself as a good future husband or wife.

I could write an entire sermon on this subject. But let me just go through a few things for you to check your own heart and see how prepared you are to be in a relationship with a future husband or wife. And I’m going to list them in the third person, as if you were looking at someone else from a distance in the mirror.

  • Is she kind? Does she do nice things for people because she wants to, not because she’s expecting something in return?
  • When someone asks for help lifting something or putting tables and chairs away, is he the first one to offer a hand, or does he sit in the corner with another group of people pretending as if the clean up is already over?
  • Does she dress modestly? Or does her shirt have so much cleavage we’d all need to repent at the display if she were to sneeze too hard?
  • Does he have a job? Is he working on a career, and saving his money to buy a house and make sure he has a way to provide for his family for the future? Or does he waste his money on his cool car, Xbox, Nintendo Wii, and Playstation 3, with assorted games of course?
  • How does she talk to her parents, and those who are older than her? Does she treat them with respect? Or does she talk back and feel she can talk to people however she wants to, because she’s a “strong woman.”
  • How does he talk to his parents and elders? Does he love and respect his mother? Does he treat all women with respect?
  • Does she tithe? Does he tithe?
  • Is she involved in ministry in the church or elsewhere?
  • Does he open doors for people?
  • Does she think of others before she thinks of herself? (This is a big one, you realize after you get married. You realize how selfish each person is.)
  • Does he exercise? Does she eat healthy? I don’t know who you’re going to marry, but I can guarantee they’re likely going to want you around for a while. Take care of yourself.
  • Does or she have guardrails and barriers that she clearly lives by?

You need to find out what kind of person you are. Are you the kind of person that others can stand to be around? Are you preparing your own heart to be a loving husband, or an honourable wife? Do you have a pure heart before God?

Pastor Mark Batterson says, “Your potential is determined by your purity. If your motives are pure, there is nothing God cannot do through you.” Your potential is determined by your purity! (Ask someone what that means.)

Step 1, setup some guardrails in your life to warn your conscience against potential sin. Step 2, check your own heart if it’s pure before God, and see what you need to do to prepare yourself for your future husband or wife.

Have everyone pray in pairs (girls with girls, guys with guys), first asking them the top 3 things they are looking for in a future mate, and why. Then pray for the other person as they prepare for marriage, and for their future spouse.

QUESTION: What choices have you made already to set yourself up to be the husband/wife God has called each one of us to be?

(Read more at everythingispermissible.wordpress.com and everythingispermissible.com)

My wife recently asked me to speak to our youth members about some of the subjects I’ve been contemplating on this blog. I thought I would post pieces of that sermon on the blog to add to the conversation. This is Part 2–checkout Part 1 and Part 3 as well.

What guardrails did we setup in our relationship to help prevent this scenario from EVER even coming close from occurring? What did Julie and I do to keep our purity in check? Let me give you a list of our personal guardrails:

  1. We chose a mate who had similar beliefs and values as ourselves. The Bible says, “Do not be unequally yoked.” You’re like an ox carrying the burden together. I promise you, if you don’t follow this, you’re setting yourself up for heartache for your ENTIRE life! Marriage is all about compromise. Don’t tell me you’re going to change him after you’re married. I can’t emphasize this enough.
  2. We never hung out at each other’s homes unless there was someone else there. (Movies, food, etc.) If nobody was home, one of us had to leave, or we had to go somewhere public to chill together.
  3. Another guardrail à No sleepovers! 8 year-olds have sleepovers! This meant, even if someone was home, I never slept over at her house, she never slept over at my house. It just wasn’t allowed. (Now we did sleep over at our parent’s place. Due to the circumstances, this was unavoidable. But even this should be avoided if possible.) A guardrail is there to keep you from danger before you engage it.
  4. No kissing! Another guardrail. Now this one is probably for most of you an act of an insane person. Julie and I didn’t actually kiss until our wedding day. And a mighty fine kiss it was, I must add. Now even if you don’t wait until your wedding day, I encourage you to at least wait until your engaged. I can feel another sound of disgust out of many. But here’s why à You need guardrails to guard your heart. Girls, you especially. Don’t give any of yourself away, until you know he’s worth giving it to! Can I get an amen?? The world tells you that you need to compromise, or you will be left alone for the rest of your life. Don’t believe it! It’s a lie!
  5. Along the same lines, DON’T SAY THOSE THREE WORDS! “I LOVE YOU!” Most of us throw them around like we do our boxer shorts, not caring where they fall. Let me tell you, these are some of the most POWERFUL words you will ever speak to your future wife or husband. Keep them sacred by waiting. Setup another guardrail here to guard your heart. (Ask Julie to share on her experience.) You don’t HAVE TO say it to the person, even though our culture says you must.
  6. Don’t rush things! NO MATTER WHAT! You’re going to have to live with this person for the rest of your life. You had better make sure it’s someone you’re going to be able to stand in a year.  (Compare the lasagne to Chef Boyardee)
  7. Last guardrail I want to share, this is a BIG one: You NEED the BLESSING FROM YOUR PARENTS. You just do! Girls and boys come and go. But your family is with you forever. It should be VERY important for you to have your family approve of the person you are considering marrying for life.

Those are just a few Guardrails we’ve had in our lives, and found they had a major impact on us individually and now together as a married couple.

Also… get this! You need to share these guardrails with the person you’re in a relationship with. If you’re afraid to, get out of the relationship because you’re not mature enough to be in one. If she rejects your request for boundaries, get out of the relationship because she clearly doesn’t care about your own spirituality.

You need to guard yourselves! Don’t believe the lies our culture tells you every day. 1 Corinthians 6:12 says: “Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial.” You can go murder someone. You have that ability. But doing that may not be beneficial. We ALL have free will. It’s a gift from God. But having that free will does not mean it is ok for us to do what we please. Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you should. Even if it’s not labelled as a SIN in the Bible. This is why you need guardrails, so when you bump into a guardrail, the danger is still a good distance away.

If you need to ask, “How far is too far?” you’re already in danger. You’re trying to toe the line of sin without crossing it. That’s the wrong approach. You’re asking the wrong question. You should be asking, “HOW CAN I show respect to THIS GIRL OR BOY/MAN OR WOMAN WITH ABSOLUTE PURITY??” as Paul wrote to Timothy. What can I do to keep my body and my heart pure?


Check back later this week to see what the next step is that you need to take after marking your guardrails!

QUESTION: Have you talked to your boyfriend/girlfriend about your boundaries? What was their response?

(Read more at everythingispermissible.wordpress.com and everythingispermissible.com)

Guardrails & Boundaries – Sermon Notes (Part 1)

My wife recently asked me to speak to our youth members about some of the subjects I’ve been contemplating on this blog. I thought I would post pieces of that sermon on the blog to add to the conversation. This is Part 1–check back later this week for more.

Julie asked me to talk about “HOW FAR IS TOO FAR” tonight.

TO START OFF, I want to talk a bit about boundaries, or guardrails as our friend Andy Stanley refers to them.

What’s a guardrail? (Ask the students.)

The definition of a Guardrail is: a system designed to keep vehicles from straying into dangerous or off-limit areas. You don’t pay much attention to them until you need them. They’re not located in the most dangerous areas. It’s the area on the other side of the guardrail that’s the actual danger. But we don’t really argue why guardrails are there, saying “I could drive there if they took out that guardrail.” The idea is that you’d do less damage if you hit a guardrail than if you went into the danger zone on the other side of the guardrail.

I want to use the idea of guardrails and apply them to our lives. As guardrails relate to life they are: A (personal) standard of behaviour that becomes a matter of conscience. I want you to create guardrails within your own life, personal standards of behaviour—I want you to set standards for yourself—where when you bump up against one of these guardrails, the warning lights should come on that should tell you, DANGER, DANGER, DANGER, you’re about to hit bad territory. It should inform or ignite your conscience. It should be something that protects you from ever reaching dangerous territory.

We need guardrails in ALL areas of our lives. But specifically, I want to talk about boundaries or guardrails in relationships, hence the suggestion of “How far is too far.” What are some guardrails or boundaries you could create in your relationships with the opposite sex?

Now there are some things that are just general knowledge. Most churches of course would promote not having sex until you’re married. Our culture might say “Don’t have sex until you’re ready!” And when I was single, I would say to that… Well I’m ready now! That’s not a guardrail! Telling you not to have sex before you’re married isn’t going to help you much, unless you create some guardrails to help preventing you from doing so before you ever reach the DANGER ZONE!

The majority of us tend to justify sin with the vagueness for which some sin is described in the Bible. Because you don’t have a passage that says, “Thou shalt not force thy tongue down thine throat of thy maiden,” we tell ourselves it’s ok. But the Bible is unspecific for a reason: This is why it is universal across centuries of time!

In the New Testament, a man named Paul wrote a letter to his protégé, named Timothy. He told Timothy this in, 1 Timothy, chapter 5, verse 1, half way through: Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

He advises young Timothy, a man in his late teens, to respect his elders and treat younger women with “ABSOLUTE PURITY.” This applies to you women as well. This is the lifestyle God calls us to as followers of Him. Now, if you’re not a follower of Christ, then you have free reign. But if you claim to believe in Jesus Christ as your Saviour, He is calling you to a life of purity.

So let me give you some examples of guardrails in my own life. Most of you know Julie and I quite well. Most of you didn’t even know we had any interest in each other before we announced our engagement. This was done on purpose. Julie and I… don’t really “believe in” dating. We think it’s a label people put on couples who have an interest in each other, and places certain expectations on the girl and guy of what they should do and how they should act as boyfriend and girlfriend.

  • You should hold hands.
  • Lean on his shoulder. Make it obvious he’s your man.
  • Obsess over him or her by pushing your other friends away and ONLY spend time with him or her, calling him at ALL hours of the night.
  • Kiss a lot, especially in public, just to make it clear to everyone you’re dating.

And in your private time together, you hang out at each other’s homes while your parents are out of the house, for some “ALONE” time. And the list grows of what could happen there.

  • Lying on the couch together.
  • Lying on top of each other on the couch together.
  • Hands get bored and start to “explore”.
  • Lips lock.
  • The tongue usually gets involved in there somewhere.

Suddenly, you start having sex with your clothes on, until your mom comes home unexpectedly and you’re left there looking like you just wet your pants. Isn’t that how dating relationships go? (Tongue-in-cheek!)

Even if they haven’t worked out this way for you, this is what our culture tells us our relationship with our boyfriend or girlfriend should be. Just look at any TV show, movie, music video, song, whatever. They’re all telling you to do this. And many happily oblige!

Did you know that with reference to the Holy Bible, weddings are PURELY secular! There is no wedding ceremony to consummate a marriage. How is it done in the Bible? “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one.” Sex isn’t just a physical act. It’s also INCREDIBLY SPIRITUAL too! Two become one flesh! Your spirit joins together with the other! Why do you think it’s SO painful when you break up a relationship? A romantic relationship is also a spiritual one. In the Bible, you were legally married to anyone you had sex with. Therefore, according to Scripture “premarital sex” isn’t even possible. You have sex? You’re married. That’s it. She’s yours!

Check back this week for more on Guardrails and what Julie and I personally did in our relationship to keep ourselves pure!

QUESTION: What has YOUR church taught you about relationships, and relating to the opposite sex?

(Read more at everythingispermissible.wordpress.com and everythingispermissible.com)

[Continuing with Donald Miller‘s great series on relationships, here’s his third installment. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 here also.]

Today’s blog focusses on what men really need from women. I start in mid-chapter, and as such in mid thought. So for the first bit, I’m talking about the dangers of victimhood, which is true for both men and women, but then I get into some details about what men really need from women:

“…Weakness isn’t attractive in either sex. Some girls think being weak will attract a strong man, but it won’t. Being weak will attract a predator, which is why girls who show self-pity often get hurt in the end. Bad guys smell it out and take advantage of them. The girl thinks he’s strong because he’s bad, because he’s confident and mysterious, but really he’s insecure and is only using her to make himself feel like a man. It’s a cycle, though, because once a girl gets used, it gives her something to feel sorry for herself about, and she just starts all over, attracting predators.

This sounds very unfair, I know. It sounds unfair because IT IS unfair. A sad reality in our world is those who are hurting are often the same people who are taken advantage of. Our response, without question, should be to defend people who are hurting and protect them, but also to guide them into healing so they can be strong and not get taken advantage of again. If a woman gets hurt, it’s important to get counseling and help before putting herself out there. There are countless exceptions to this, but I still believe it’s true that when somebody is weak, they need to find people they can trust who can help them gain strength. Girls who grew up without fathers are often hurting and looking for strength and affirmation from men, and it’s important they get that from a community or from men who are safe.

Now I am going to say this directly and perhaps offensively, but I want to say it straight: If a girl wants a great guy, she has to stop feeling sorry for herself. She has to do something different to attract somebody different. If you are strong and choosy, if you have a vision for your life, he will sense in you somebody to partner with so the two of you can help others (or raise a family.) That’s what a good guy is looking for. I’m not saying you can’t cry on his shoulder every once in a while-guys love being strong for a woman-I’m just saying if you have the characteristics of a wounded animal, you are going to attract somebody who eats wounded animals.

The sad truth is there are millions of legitimate victims out there, but each one of us needs to access the many resources given us to gain back our strength.

It’s important to note that a strong, confident woman is what a guy needs, but it’s not always what a guy wants. Guys who are weak themselves may feel secure with a weak woman, but girls, this is not the guy for you. Strength attracts strength. Feminine strength is incredibly attractive.

Guys are also attracted to beauty. But that doesn’t mean you have to look like a supermodel. In the vision I have for my wife, she doesn’t look like a model at all. She’s going to be the mother of my children for heaven’s sake. So a girl throwing her boobs all over the place may get my attention, but she’s not getting a ring. At least not from me. Beauty is important, but it’s true there are many ways to be beautiful. I know good-looking girls get more attention, but what that girl most likely wants is to have a conversation and instead she gets guys falling all over her, so her life isn’t perfect either.

A guy who has a serious vision for his life and family is looking for a partner, an advisor, somebody who can work with him to do remarkable things. A bimbo isn’t going to help. And if he wants a bimbo, he doesn’t have a very good vision for his life anyway. Self-assurance is beautiful. A choosy girl is beautiful. A woman who does not manipulate with her appearance is beautiful. A girl who is respectful of other people is beautiful. Intelligence is beautiful. A woman who has deep faith is beautiful. God knows there are plenty of books out there for girls on how to attract guys. I’d be careful and read the ones from dignified, older authors, because there are all kinds of tricks women use to attract men that just leave them more and more lonely.

Here is the last bit of advice: We are not going to get the love we really need from each other. We are going to get it from God, in heaven. Until then, we have an awesome opportunity to practice committed love with each other. We get to be faithful to each other, we get to try to love unconditionally (at which point we will understand how amazing God is) we get to serve each other by being more attractive to our mates, we get to take care of each other, we get to bring children into the world and take care of them, we get to share our lives with a family, and we get to have a heck of a lot of fun together. And as such we get to improve our character. Those are some of the reasons we should be looking for a mate.”

What does a man need from a woman? (This is not in the book, but I wanted to summarize some more practical thoughts for this blog.)

  • A woman who believes she is beautiful and cultivates that beauty, in many ways. He’ll be drawn to that beauty and confidence. Now much of this comes from understanding how much you are loved by God and so have infinite intrinsic value. So pursuing a true answer to that question is important. The other part comes from this whole, beautiful, educational playground God gives us. He has given you ways to cultivate beauty, and He wants to go with you on that journey. Is it memorizing poetry, learning a language, playing a sport, starting your own baking class on the internet, or doing aid work somewhere in the world? Go for it and have a blast. We think  God is going to suddenly make us feel strong or beautiful or confident, but He’s not, He’s going to go with you into an awesome story where character development happens along the way. Tell God you want to live through an awesome story that brings you to an understanding about your intrinsic beauty.
  • A woman who is choosy. A woman who knows she is beautiful waits for a good match. This doesn’t mean you should play hard to get. Games are just confusing. What it means is that you should respond kindly to guys who have done the work you are worthy of partnering with.
  • A woman with a vision for her life. If she wants a family, she’s looking for good dad potential and good husband potential. If she wants to become President, she’s looking for good “first man” potential. Know what you want and look for that in a guy. And don’t lie to yourself. If you want to be a mother and have a family, don’t pretend you’re not interested in that because you are afraid a man will get scared off. Having a family is an awesome vision, and if he doesn’t want that, you aren’t compatible.
  • Show some respect. Emerson Eggerichs rightly tells us men are attracted to respect and women to love. We both want love and respect, but it’s true men strongly respond to respect. Respect makes a man feel great. Men like women who don’t constantly criticize, reminding him of his failures or what’s wrong with him (that’s true for all of us, for sure, but it drives men nuts). If you are dating somebody you don’t respect, either find something to respect about him, or leave, but don’t cut him down on the way out. And don’t cut down other men, either. Just show respect, and guys will start wondering what it is about you that is so great.

Guys feel free to chime in. What do you need in a woman?

* These are, of course, opinions, and so many people will disagree.

**Excepting political opinions, sharing opinions about what men and women should do creates the most tense of dialogues. The truth is, I don’t know you, and we’ve never met, so I promise this isn’t personal. I hope that you’ll understand this advice is intended to help girls who are being hurt by guys, and to help us all understand what it means to have and cultivate intrinsic beauty.

[This is a re-post from Don Miller’s blog. Read the original article here.]

Question: What does your ideal man look like, men?


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