Is it possible for a guy to like you, but not value you? Or to value you – but not “like” you?
These questions popped in my head as I was walking my daughter the other day. I thought about when Josh and I were dating – how, before it was “official”, he’d often say things like, “I appreciate you,” or “I admire you,” which eventually gave way to “I love you” later on. But there had to be stage in our relationship where Josh didn’t yet know he appreciated me, but liked me all the same.
There are a lot of guys, too, who “like” a girl but don’t value her. So what’s the fundamental difference? I think it comes down to our inner being.
Value is More Than Skin Deep
Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matt. 10:31)
Infatuation is defined as an “intense but short lived admiration” for someone or something. That’s basically what “liking” is. A more mature version of your average crush is based on things a bit more lasting – admiration for walk with God, career goals, and personality – but it’s still more emotional than tangible.
Value, however, is to consider someone “important or beneficial; to have a high opinion” of them. It’s possible to like someone you don’t particularly value. It’s also possible to value someone you don’t particularly like (see Matt. 5:44).
What does this have to do with dating? Everything. If you’re dating someone who likes you but doesn’t value you, you’re an emotional-physical prop to their own self interest. We value what we prioritize. When a man doesn’t value the things God outlines in Scripture, he won’t appreciate the way God’s Spirit is manifested in you.
Things like love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness – the fruits of the Spirit in a Christian’s life – are deeply valued by those who know Christ personally. But the man who neither knows Christ nor seeks Him won’t appreciate this things – or cultivate them himself. He might like your kindness and joy as long as it affects him, but he doesn’t value it. If he doesn’t have a high opinion of Christ, he won’t have a high opinion of Christ in you.
This is very troubling, and it’s why Paul commanded us not to be unequally yoked. Paul, in the Spirit of Christ, was warning us to recognize our value and not waste it with people who are dead to God (Col. 2:13). Our value should never be leveraged to “save” someone’s soul (which we can’t do anyway). When we trust God’s Word about our identity and realize we’re already valuable, we’re far less likely to hang around guys who can’t appreciate who we really are.
Value is Everlasting
Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Peter 1:18-19)
Your value was hard-won. You were ransomed: Basically, you were being held captive by the Enemy because you were born into sin. Jesus said, “I’ll stand in for her,” paid your price, and put a new identity-robe on your shoulders. You are clothed in white, pure and holy, because of Him.
When a guy says he “likes” you because you’re nice, pretty, kind, sweet, and “good”, that’s fine – but it doesn’t mean anything. Everybody likes nice people.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. ” (Luke 6:32-34)
What Jesus was saying in this passage is: “Go above and beyond in your love. Anybody can love someone who makes them feel good. It takes supernatural strength to see someone’s sin and love them anyway.”
A man who loves God will know you’re not just a “good girl” who wants to be liked. He’ll know you’re a sinner saved by grace. He won’t just like you for what you can offer him; he’ll love you for what God is doing in your life, and for how well you’ve submitted to His leading. Only a man who knows Christ can see your flawed, failing heart and choose to love you anyway – and do it over and over again for the rest of his life.
That’s why being equally yoked matters.
Don’t sell out for a guy who just “likes” you. Know the difference between short lived admiration and long term appreciation.
You already have value. You have nothing to prove; no one to keep. Allow God to confirm these truths to your heart, and wait on His good, perfect, pleasing will.