5 Mindsets to Avoid the King David Complex

King David complex

One of the main characters on a show I’m watching is a good-looking rich guy. He dates a lot of women and sex is pretty much a first date obligation. He’s convinced that the attractive and passionate object of his affection will change him. Being in a committed relationship with her will be what settles him down for good.

It’s a pretty common thought process today – I can date and sleep with whoever I want to, but when I find the right woman, life with her is going to be great. When I finally get a date with The One, all my troubles will be over. Old habits will disappear.

But then, a few weeks later, you begin to notice how attractive one of her friends is. Then a cheerleader catches your attention or you make eye contact with an olive-skinned beauty. A trip to the beach or even the pool is a complete disaster…innumerable young women tanning in barely anything.

Before you know it, you’ve convinced yourself she isn’t The One after all, so you break it off and move on, often with a trail of broken hearts in your wake.

Why is it that no matter how attractive or fun the girl is you’re dating, she’s never quite perfect?

Congratulations, you’re a typical male. You’ve stumbled across what I call “The King David Complex”–one is never enough.

David was the king of the Hebrew people back in biblical times. As a humble and faithful warrior, he loved his first wife well. After she was taken from him, he honorably pursued and married the wise and beautiful Abigail – the kind of woman we still hold in high regard today.

Yet David soon realized that Abigail was not fully satisfying, so he immediately took a second wife and started down a path that led to a woman he spied naked on a roof…Bathsheba.

David pursued and slept with Bathsheba, got her pregnant, then had her husband murdered so he could take her as another wife…not exactly a healthy start to a marriage.

It took at least 18 women (all at the same time) to satisfy David’s desire for sex.

For many of us guys, it’s not that much different than what David felt. Since David was king, he could have just about anything or anyone he wanted. To many guys, that sounds pretty good. However, I don’t know many women that would want to be one of your 18. For his son, Solomon, it was one of a 1000+.

Entering a relationship, we should have 5 mindsets to avoid the King David Complex. The goal is to love one woman the way it was intended and she deserves.

Mindset #1: No one is perfect.

You’re not perfect, she’s not perfect, the world isn’t perfect, and your relationship won’t be perfect. Many young couples get a fairy tale idea of what relationships and marriage are supposed to be like. The early stages of love are as intoxicating as any drug and you look past many of the faults and imperfections for a while. I could write a book on this topic alone (and many have been written). For now, just remember while you’re single and thinking clearly that there is no one who will never disappoint you.

Mindset #2: Soul mates don’t exist.

Have you seen couples that seem to get along so well and are so in love that it’s tempting to think they were made for each other – soul mates? It’s an ancient Greek idea with no basis in fact. Experiences, cultures, parenting, other relationships, and so much more change us throughout the course of our lives until we become the person we are today. That person is still constantly changing in response to the world around them.

You’ll change and so will she. Stop pretending that if you find your soul mate, everything will be perfect.

Mindset #3: No one is going to fully satisfy you…all the time

You are going to have disagreements and disappointments is any relationship. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fight with your best friend, a lack of communication with your parents, or not being able to agree on which movie to watch on Netflix with your girlfriend.

All relationships involve imperfect people that have different tastes, thoughts, hopes, and dreams on some level. Relationships take work and sacrifice. That means there are times when you need to watch a romantic comedy because the smile on her face is more important to you than what happens in Rocky 24 (or whichever one they’re on now).

If you can’t put her ahead of yourself, you’re more in love with yourself than you are her.

Mindset #4: Men are visual

Guys are wired visually. It’s one of the reasons porn is so easy to get hooked on. Just because you’re in an awesome relationship doesn’t mean your wiring will change if you see an attractive woman other than the one you’re with. It’s not a sign of weakness or that things aren’t going well. It’s also not a license to lust.

If you have an out-of-control addiction and can’t keep your eyes off of every woman that crosses your path or away from porn sites, then don’t date.

Mindset #5 Going from single to committed requires training

As a single guy, it’s okay to look around. Once you’re taken, your brain doesn’t stop seeing the other women around you. You have to work to train your mind to focus your affection on only the Lady in your life. It’s just like training for a triathlon or working out in the gym.

You need to consciously remind yourself that’s it’s no longer okay to evaluate how attractive other women are. You also need to create boundaries that will help you fend off other women that may be interested in you. As much as you need to train your mind for commitment for yourself, it’s also very reassuring to your Lady when she sees you maturing from single boy to committed man.

6 Responses to 5 Mindsets to Avoid the King David Complex

  1. jarid tolson March 31, 2016 at 8:28 pm #

    Good article man, I definetely agree with your outlook on dating. If you cannot stop lusting and watching porn, do not date. Its really about a heart condition. People will try to dress it up as much as they can as an (every guy struggles cop-out.) This is a true statement, but what seems to be left out is not every guy chooses to stay that way. If a man cannot abstain from filling his heart with the lie of I can use porn and lust to fill a need, then when he does meet a woman he will use her for whatever he can get. His ability to care for her will still be all about him and that spells disaster. A man should learn how to say no to himself, and lead a womans heart rather than conquer it.

    • Kris Wolfe April 2, 2016 at 1:34 am #

      Great to hear from you, Jarid! I really like some of the wisdom Kenny has been dropping lately.

  2. King Muindi April 4, 2016 at 4:42 am #

    Where in the Bible does it say David slept with / had 18 wives?

    • Kenny Koehler April 6, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

      8 wives are named throughout I Samuel, II Samuel, and I Chronicles, though II Samuel 5:13 tells us he married more in Jerusalem without giving us a number. His named wives were Michal, Abigail, Bathsheba, Ahinoam, Maacah, Haggith, Abital, and Eglah.

      II Samuel 15:16 and 20:3 specifically number 10 concubines David left to care for his house and were publicly violated by his son, Absalom.

      There’s certainly room in these texts to interpret David had more wives and likely more concubines, but these were the only hard numbers I could find.

  3. Yehuda May 10, 2016 at 4:03 am #

    With all due respect, other than David indiscretion with Bethsheba. I do not see or know of any Hebrew and Arameic passages or commentary where King David was admonished for marrying many women. Men in the Torah/Tanakh had many wives. As I have studied the cultures of King David’s era, it made perfectly good sense to have many wives. Political and social bonds strengthened Israel. Shlomo Melech (King Solomon) was admonished by G-D, for marrying women who practiced idolatry. HASHEM never punished anyone in Torah/Tanakh for having many wives.
    Your message is wonderful! I do not know, if King David is good example.

    • Kenny May 11, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

      Hey Yehuda,

      Thanks for your insight and respectful reply! I will grant you up front that I am not up to speed on all things Hebrew, but I think there are some things worth talking about.

      I agree with you – I cannot find a single instance of David being admonished by God specifically for his polygamy. Culturally, it certainly did make sense from the perspective of protection and provision, especially given the alternatives of prostitution, slavery, or simply starving to death. Even though God allowed the relationships, it would not have been as intimate or as meaningful as a marriage that between just two people and God.

      The cultural acceptance perspective is tainted by sin though. In Genesis, we see that God provided Adam with Eve to be his wife, not one of his many wives, before sin entered the picture. It didn’t take long after sin entered the picture (Genesis 4) before the first polygamous marriage is created by Lamech and it went from there.

      Strangely (and I realize this may be where you and I walk different paths), by the time the New Testament rolls around, monogamous marriages seem to be back to the norm.

      New Testament teaching gives multiple examples of Christ and His Church being parallel to marriage. Given that the Christian Church is an exclusive Bride (no other religious groups are saved), it would serve as further proof to Christians that God’s intended design for marriage is also exclusive to one man and one woman.

      I realize this opens up a can of worms to all kinds of debate on current cultural issues, which is not my intent. I’m just hoping this helps you to understand the perspective from which I take the idea that even David’s polygamy, while allowed by God and even beneficial to the women he took in, was still outside the original design for marriage and that it would have had challenges to overcome.

      This is an insanely short response to a great point you bring up. I hope that it leads you to further research the context (it sounds like you have a great foundation already!) and keep digging. I hope that we can agree that thanks to the introduction of sin, many things that God allows to be culturally acceptable are clearly not within His intended design across many more topics than just this one.

      David is a fascinating historical figure – dubbed “a man after God’s own heart”, yet rife with flaws. His relationship with God is such an incredible picture of what repentance looks like and how much God is willing to offer grace and mercy to those who love Him.

      Thanks again for your respectful and open-minded reply!

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