A couple months ago Michael posted a rather dicey article (depending on who you are) about women making the first move in asking guys out. I was, personally, a big fan – it challenged my stubborn ideals about relationships and altered my thinking, as I hope it did for those that read it.
However, even though I do not place the pursuit solely on a man’s shoulders, I would like to emphasize that they should have an active role in this whole “dating” deal.
That’s probably something you read (guys especially) and think, Well, duh.
I know, I know. Pretty obvious, right?
The thing is, I’ve heard from one too many guys how hard it is to ask a girl out – that they are scared of rejection just as much as any girl would be and people should stop putting so much pressure on them.
Now, the title of this article may not make much sense, but there are two different sides of risk played out in the book of Esther. First, think of how the the book starts. There is a whole section at the beginning called “Queen Vashti’s Refusal”:
“On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded [his servants]…to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, for she was lovely to look at. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command…At this the king became enraged, and his anger burned within him.”
Here we see a dude get rejected. And not just any dude – a king. And it wasn’t like this was some quiet dinner with a few friends—it was a huge party. Commentators say we’re talking upwards of 15,000 people here (Side note: Guys, if anything, let this keep you humble when asking a girl out. If King Xerxes the Great—who according to history was the Ryan Gosling of his time – got shot down, chances are you could too).
Luckily when you’re a king you can save face and just banish the girl who wounded your pride in front of all your friends.
Unfortunately, when you’re Esther, you have a lot more to lose when facing rejection:
(Esther to Mordecai) “‘All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.'”
For Esther, she knew that if she got rejected she would die.
If you get rejected, your pride may have to take one for the team, but…that’s it.
Do you see that girl over there?? She was placed in your path for such a time as this! Just imagine me, your cousin Mordecai, shaking you by the shoulders telling you, “If you don’t ask her out, some other guy will…”
Here is the thing—if a girl you never even noticed or considered dating before lets you know (in whatever way) that she’s interested, it’s okay that you didn’t initiate things. I’m not saying that’s a terrible thing. But whatever you do, don’t be passive. There may be a lot more things in front of you worth fighting for than you realize.
And, here’s a hint: Passivity is super unattractive, or should be unattractive, to girls.
So, you fear rejection? Well then good luck interviewing for a job, or writing a budget proposal, or preaching a sermon, or writing a book, or making any decision ever—because guess what? When there are other people involved, you are bound to get rejected in your life. In fact, you should expect for someone, at some point, to reject you. I’ll just go ahead and say it: You’ll get rejected.
But sometimes you won’t get rejected. One day you’ll go out on some crazy limb and ask this incredibly pretty (and smart, don’t forget smart) girl out and she’ll say yes. And it could be just the best thing ever.
So c’mon, guys. If a young, orphaned, Jewess-in-hiding can risk death by talking to her man, then you can ask a girl out at the risk of her saying “No, thanks. But let’s be friends.”
I mean, sure. She’ll probably go and tell most, if not all, of her girlfriends. But that’s just the reality of the situation. And you knew that with a girl you were getting yourself into this anyway, right?