In today’s awesome episode, we talk with Alec and Arden Bevere, two great, single, Jesus-loving men. They are brothers and work at Messenger International. They also co-founded Sons & Daughters, both which are family-run ministries with the entire Bevere clan…. #familygoals anyone?
What does it look like to date as a Christian male? What are some of the biggest struggles you have encountered?
Alec says that there are so many pressures that both men and women face in dating. Instead of just getting to know the other person, many times, people feel like they just can’t have fun or relax. “There’s this big pressure as a Christian to not make a mistake,” Arden adds. “Many times Christians get in the mindset of thinking that the person we go on dates with has to be “the one,” where in reality, we really should just be getting to know the other person.
But where does this pressure even come from in the first place? Arden says, “For us, as Christian guys, we get scared because we want our wife to know that she was ‘the one.’ And coffee dates can often times turn into something so much bigger if the intentions behind it aren’t clarified. A lot of guys don’t want to navigate that system.” Everyone agrees, though, that the conversations that are hard to navigate still need to be had, regardless of how awkward or scary they may be.
What pressures have you felt from women to be perfect? Or maybe from the church as well?
Alec says that the pressure of thinking of the future of a certain relationship early on is one that both men and women experience. “You need to give people a chance. Whether you’re bored by them, you think they don’t think in a way you’re attracted to, they’re not driven… there are so many excuses we can make. And honestly, it’s easier not to date,” Alec shares. Maybe the person was nervous or had a bad day… we need to reframe our perspectives. “It is the easier choice to see a flaw and step back from dating,” Alec continues.
Do you think guys need to have it “all together” before dating? What are some important things you think should be “together?”
Arden shares a beautiful tidbit on how so many people prioritize financial or work stability, but his dad, John Bevere, spent all his savings on an engagement ring for his now wife, Lisa Bevere, and then spent leftover $100 on their engagement dinner. #truelove
But the Bevere brothers both say that, with their careers specifically, they would like their wives to be included in that walk, so it isn’t necessarily non-negotiable to be figuring your career our when you start dating someone. “I think your walk with God is a non-negotiable,” Arden says, though. “The Bible talks about not being unequally yoked. And that’s not ‘saved’ or ‘not saved’, but having a clear stance and firm foundation with your walk with God. Finances, things with family, those are more things that you can walk together in. When you have a firm foundation in God, all the other things will work themselves out.”
Alec highlights that the Bible says that marriage isn’t for everyone! “However, if you’re able to do it, grow in the fullness of marriage. There’s science behind that too! If there’s a high school drop out and he gets married, it’s almost like the woman will take the man to a point where he didn’t drop out. Or if he went to college and the wife has a doctorate, he seems to go to a point where he has one as well.”
MAN. How cool is that?! We love that. We all should desire to GROW in the FULLNESS of marriage.
How have you learned to humble yourselves and admit you have needs in a relationship?
After a LONG silence of figuring out who will communicate first (lol #irony), Arden speaks up.
“I’m more of a reserved person and I like to keep my business my business, or at least close to my chest. I’m in a relationship right now, and I knew I had to communicate.” He says that on their first date, he clarified that he has trouble speaking up about his needs, but ultimately ended up sharing a lot with her.
Alec then chimes in with his opinions. “I actually do think that both men and women are great communicators. But a lot of times in relationships, they don’t know how to communicate to each other. And what Arden says he did – creating a safe environment to share openly – they both could talk. And I think that’s so important to do: opening up the grounds for conversation.” If that ain’t true…. we don’t know what is!
Kait also chimes in with her voice as well. “Men and women really do communicate so differently. I think women communicate very emotionally, and men are more problem-solvers,” she says. She also emphasizes the importance of showing respect and love to the way we say things and communicate with men. On this point, Alec recommends a book called Love and Respect and how men crave respect and women crave love.
“There’s power in having the right conversations with the right people,” Arden says.
A lot of people are saying that men aren’t asking women out enough. What are your thoughts about this?
The two say that they were raised where, if we like someone, we ask them out. No holding back. #justdoit #nike
“We call it supermanning,” Alec says. “Swoop in and do it. But if you do it too fast, you know, you’ll kill them. And if it’s too slow, it’s awkward. There’s actually power in the type of pickup line you use on someone. For example,” he says, “walk up, have a conversation, try to make her laugh, and invite her to some kind of activity or something!” Also, people, just a side note & encouragement to…OWN YOUR AWKWARD! Lead through your strengths and connect through your weaknesses.
Alec also says that there are some pretty simple signs that a woman can give a guy to let him know you’re interested. “There are a lot of ways to approach a man without actually approaching a man. Be kind, let him know you like being around him.”
What do you think it looks like for a man to love a woman like Christ loves the church?
Alec steps in with this answer, first off saying that singleness is the best way to let us grow in our relationship with God and understand his love for us. “And with men,” he says, “you understand that we’re supposed to love women like Christ loves us. God comes into our lives and says, ‘I see you have a past, and I’m looking past your past, and I’m seeing your future. You are strong, courageous, beautifully and wonderfully made…’ that is how Christ loves the church. But honestly, when a man tries to speak into a woman, to call great virtues on her, and she can’t accept them, that’s a kind of pride.”
That’s kind of true, though. If we can’t accept praise or honor or encouragement to improve ourselves, it is a form of pride. Alec also clarifies that men are not made to complete a woman or give women an identity, but he will be able to elevate you and bring you into another area.
From a single male perspective, what are some key qualities you look for in a woman in dating?
Alec says that the number one quality is… how does she eat.
“MEANING,” he says, literally interrupting himself, “Where does she get her energy, her nutrients from. Does she have a healthy fear of God? So many other important qualities come from having God at their center,” he says. So, that one’s pretty symbolic.
“The second thing, though… is ‘How does she eat.’ Literally,” he says. And this isn’t symbolic. “I’ll be honest. In our house, physical eating is very important. My dad realized that his body is a temple of the Lord, and if he took care of it, he had physical energy to take care of his kids, his wife… So it may sound weird to say that physical care is important, but I just mean that awareness of taking care of her body. So, take care of your spiritual walk, and take care of yourself.”
Honesty. We dig it, Alec. Arden’s turn:
He agrees with the eating, but another important quality is drive. “If they’re driven, they’re a hard worker. You won’t have to pull them along in the relationship, they’ll be running with you.”
What are your final nuggets of dating advice for the listeners?
Arden: Be intentional. Be upfront. If you show your intent, there is no gray area and it makes the process so much smoother.
Alec: Keep God first. God should not be surrounding the relationship, He should be in the center.
Where can we find them?