As single Christian women we can tend to swing to one extreme or the other when interacting with the opposite sex. Either we idolize them, see every man as a potential husband before we see them as a brother in Christ, and fantasize about them or we completely avoid them.
Neither of these extremes are the biblical best for us. Through out scripture we see examples of relationships of men and women working together for the mission of God. Paul fills a whole chapter at the end of Romans with his greetings and encouragement to his friends and co-laborers who are both men and women. 2 John is addressed to “The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth” Jesus’ very own circle of friends included women who supported him financially, first discovered his empty tomb, and lavished him with love and gifts.
Jesus, Paul and John all give us examples of how to work together as brothers and sisters in Christ to accomplish the mission God has given us.
By working together, as friends, with the opposite sex, we can accomplish far more than if we only ever work by ourselves. I am by no means an expert, but here are some things I’ve found to be helpful in having friendships with guys with out the relationship being weird.
1. Love them and see them as your brothers in Christ.
First and foremost we are called to love our brothers. Love, defined as unselfishly doing what is in another’s best interest, is always selfless. Think of your guy friends’ hearts and souls selflessly.
I can be pretty boy crazy. It takes an intentional action of submitting my mind to Christ to not think of every guy I meet as my potential future husband and to think of them purely as brothers and friends. It helps me to ask myself “Would I treat my actual brother this way?” and “What is best for ______’s soul?”
2. Consider their (future) wives
I have a group of guy friends who I love and respect a ton. And you know what? I’m likely not going to marry all of them. That sounds so silly, but it is true. You will probably not marry every guy you have a friendship with. So be intentional about thinking of their future wife, your sister in Christ. Would she appreciate it if you were constantly flirting with him? If you were fantasizing about your future together? If he consumed your thoughts?
And if your guy friends are married? Be super cautious with your relationship!! Never spend time one-on-one with them, send them private messages, or do anything that could cause their wife or someone else to suspect an inappropriate relationship. Go out of your way to show their wives how much you respect their marriage. I have a few married couples who I’m pretty close to both the wives and husbands. If ever I need or want to communicate something to the husband, I usually just communicate to both of them at the same time via group texts or group facebook messages. I try to stay as far away as I can from anything that could possibly be misconstrued. My rule of thumb is that if I’m questioning if it is appropriate, it probably isn’t.
3. Respect “Guy Time”
There is an inside joke amongst my group of friends that I have a tendency of crashing Guys Night. It was never intentional, but I often end up in social situations where I am the only girl. In fact my roommate even made a meme of it because it kept happening. Ha!
I think the reason is because I tend to enjoy things that are more “guy” oriented- football, sci-fi, action movies, etc. When our small group has Men and Women community nights, I always think what the guys are doing sounds like more fun.
But, (and this is a big but), I know that guys need time with other guys to develop deep friendships and encourage each other. Men need time to be friends with other men.
Don’t make their male-bonding time all about you and how much you wish you could be there because the world and your friendships with those guys DO NOT revolve around you.
4. Do fun things and invite all your friends- both guys and girls
The best way to be friends with guys with out making things weird is to do fun things together. Women develop relationships by talking, things like coffee dates appeal to our nature. Men develop relationships through activities, things like going go-karting or long boarding.
Our group of friends likes to go bowling, watch epic movies (right now we are watching one of Lord of the Rings each week), have game nights, go camping, and watch sports. Find something of common interest and make it happen! It’s not weird to plan an event and invite guys, I promise. Whatever it is that you do, make it fun and invite a bunch of people, both guys and girls!
5. Do eternally significant things together.
Each week, I have a time set aside to go out on campus and share the gospel. I invite everyone to come, but the last few weeks it has just been me and a few guys. (see? again with the accidental boys club!) But even still, it has been so effective when I am partnered up with a guy to go out and share our faith. When I’m by myself or with a girl, I tend to avoid approaching men because I worry they might think I’m hitting on them. And if I want to follow up with someone, asking for a guy’s phone number is kinda awkward.
But when you go out together, it opens up so many more opportunities! Just this week, my friend Nick and I were on campus and there was this awesome street preacher. We got a chance to have a great conversation with this guy and girl who were super interested in Jesus. It was awesome because I was able to get the girl’s phone number and follow up with her while Nick engaged the guy and got his number. If it had just been me, I probably wouldn’t have had the chance to talk to the guy or share the gospel with him. It was way better to be working together!
How are you at having godly friendships with guys? What would you add to this list?
Angi loves Jesus, coffee, baseball and baking cakes. She is a missionary to college students and can't think of anything she'd rather do to serve God. Angi first met the Lord while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa but really understood His love and grace as a freshman in college. Her heart is to invest in college students in the same way that many others invested in her. You can find her blogging over at Stuff Angi Does where she tells stories about Jesus, college students, and life. You can also find her on facebook, twitter, pintrest and instagram.
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