The following guest post is by Emma of Creative Explorations.
Bringing all my thoughts on this topic into an organized place is no small task. In fact, I feel nearly unequipped to be instructing all of you, when I myself have so much to learn. To be honest, I was flattered when Kara asked me to post for her, but also mildly terrified. Dealing with guys is such a big topic, and there’s so much more to it than I’ll be able to write about in one blog post. I can only offer you the few things I have learned, and hope that you might learn something from them too.
But I can see in everybody who surrounds me the very big problem that girls nowadays have with guys and I think that all of us girls should be educated about dealing with boys in a way that is pleasing to God.
Life as a teenager is tough, and adding boys into the equation only makes it tougher. We are all inundated, in everything from literature, to TV, to music with the idealization and glorification of teen romance, so much so that it’s become a new kind of normal.
Our culture fills our heads with romantic thoughts, that, while enjoyable, are ultimately empty. And think about it: what in the world is acceptable about two people forming an intimate relationship at the time of their lives when they’re the least qualified to judge and discern biblically? Especially when parents are left out of the picture, this is a recipe for disaster.
Before I go on: some recommended reading. It’s (Not That) Complicated, by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin is an absolutely wonderful book to help you navigate the stormy seas of boy + girl. I should also note that many, if not all of the lessons I’m here to impart to you have come from this book.
Building them up in Christ.
The first, most important thing that we need to remember when we’re thinking about guy-girl relationships is that our goal with all the people – not just the boys – we meet is to build them up in Christ (1 Peter 1:22).
The way we speak, the way we dress, and the way we act all have to work towards this aim. We should not be focusing on making boys like us, or want to be with us; in short, we shouldn’t be pursuing what we want or our own desires, but God’s. Everything we do should be pointing them towards our Savior.
Us girls have been given a serious responsibility. We are have the nearly unique ability to point the men in our life towards God, or away from Him. Our goal right now, whether we are married or not, is to fulfill our created purpose as helpers to all the men who are around us now (not to the one man who we hope might be our husband some day).
Attraction isn’t sinful.
An attraction towards the opposite sex isn’t something unnatural or sinful. There isn’t anything wrong with enjoying the company of our guy friends, or in wanting to form a deeper relationship with a boy. In fact, we are pre-programmed to desire these kind of things as we get older. We were created from a man’s body, and our natural desire from the beginning of time is to be restored to his side. Moreover, we are created for man, to be his helpmeet and companion, and to save him from loneliness. (Genesis 2.18)
Brothers in Christ.
One practical way for us to practice dealing with the guys is to deal biblically with those who are closest to us – and who deserve the greatest level of deference, love, and respect, namely, our brothers. In fact, we are to treat all of the boys in our life as brothers in Christ (1 Tim 5:2).
Here is an eye-opening statement from the Botkin sisters that illustrates what I’m trying to say: “If you really treated young men you know exactly the way you treat your biological brothers…what would that look like?
Think about this honestly for a moment.
Even more importantly, you have an influence on the men that your brothers will become. What greater responsibility is there among all your guy-girl relationships? And what better way to practice, so that when you encounter other young men, you can treat them with the same grace, humility, and kindness?
Look at your life and ask yourself: could this particular aspect of my life become a stumbling block for my guy friends? Although Christians may have varying standards for modesty in dress, the most crucial aspect is modesty of the heart…why are you dressing in this way? Who are you trying to please?
Remember that many of the boys you might be tempted to flirt with and posture before have a future wife, whether or not they’ve met her yet. Could you, with a perfectly good conscience, act and dress the way you do in front of him, in front of her? And the same thing goes for your future husband, whoever he may be: would you want him to know that you did this or that with someone else?
We are not naturally pure.
In the end, we need to remember that our hearts are not naturally pure. We are born with a dark heart that is horribly tainted with sin, and each and every one of us has the potential to do the greatest damage or the greatest good to the men in our life. This is a choice we are called to make every day – with our brothers, our guy friends, and the strangers we meet at the grocery store – but only through the strength of Christ will we be able to become a shining light in someone else’s life.
Thank you so much for reading my post, and thank you, Kara, for the marvelous opportunity!