Brothers or Boyfriends

Jun 29

The title of this post may be somewhat confusing to you now, but I pray The Lord will anoint me to communicate what He has been teaching me lately on this topic.

What are your motives, actions, and attitudes in relation to your friendships with the young men in your life?

1. Are you friendly or flirty?
2. Do you seek to encourage or impress?
3. Do you have a God-ward focus or Self-centered focus?
4. Are you praying for God’s will in their lives or do you Pray “let me be the one for him, Lord!”?

Developing healthy friendships with young men as brothers in Christ is vital. However, it is a lot easier to talk about seeing every young man as a brother in Christ, but actually putting it into practice is where it is most difficult. When we reach a marriageable age, we begin to struggle with thinking more into every conversation, look, or handshake as a prospect instead of an opportunity to encourage. By giving in to this struggle, we make it awkward for us to develop a healthy friendship and impossible for the young men in our lives to treat us as sisters.
So, now you may be asking, “How can I see every young man as a brother in Christ?” Well, I believe God has given me some specific ways in which it can become a reality in your life.
1. Pray fervently, yet generally for every young man God brings into your life as brothers in Christ. Pray for God’s will to be accomplished in and through their lives.
2. Deliberately choose to reject self-centered thoughts and replace with a focus on serving.
3. While in conversation, consistently check your motives to make sure they are pure and God-centered. Your conversation should be filled with the present goodness of God, testimonies of God’s faithfulness in the past, and encouragement as to God’s will in the future. In essence – if they are true brothers in Christ, God should be the center of the conversation.
4. Ask sincere questions. I have learned from my own brothers and other young men I have talked with that asking sincere questions is a great way to gain wisdom and insight. In one of my latest conversations with two brothers in Christ, I asked, “What do you see as necessary topics to address with young ladies.” They responded with valuable insight and I’m sure you are dying to know what they said… Humility and Genuineness are the two topics they mentioned.

I plan to share more about this topic in the upcoming weeks.
Please feel free to comment and share things that have helped you. I appreciate your input.

16 comments

  1. Joanna, I have to admit I was ecstatic when I saw the title for this post. Godly guy/girl interaction is a topic I’ve enjoyed pondering ever since I began a journal about it on my 12th b-day, several years ago. I’ve tried many times to share what I believe God has been teaching me on the subject only to be told I was unique and even going against nature. After that response I was tempted to 2nd guess my convictions but your post just confirmed many of them for me.

    I’m so glad to be able to say that I’ve never struggled with flattering or being flirtatious, but I find being friendly a struggle. I replay conversations with young men in my mind only to realize that I probably came off as haughty and cold. I doubt I’m the only girl with this dilemma. Too often I find that amongst the godliest youth there can exist unnecessary suspicions and mistrust that make healthy conversation difficult. My best guess for why this is is that perhaps perhaps we put to much emphasis on defending ourselves and not looking out for each other. I seem to hear a lot like, “Those boys know just what to say to get you to compromise” and to boys, “All you see is the pretty face, but beware, that girl will be your ruin”. Very rarely to I hear about protecting one another’s purity. Lately I’ve been thinking much about what a truly christian youth group should look like. Here are my thoughts,

    1. All conversation and deeds should be pleasing and glorifying to Christ.

    2. Each young person should cultivate respect, honor, and loyalty for their future spouse by conducting themselves in a way that make their future spouse feel loved if they were watching.

    3. Young people should highly value one another’s purity and defend it by guarding their attitudes and thoughts towards one another.

    4. Young people should focus on encouraging one another to seek Christ and His will and should also pray diligently for one another.

    I believe these goals would help to create an atmosphere of mutual trust, make pure conversation easier, and encourage appropriate brother/sister-in-Christ relationships. My goal for myself is that one day I’ll be able to introduce my husband to guys that I’d had been friends with while single without being ashamed. Instead I want my husband be able to thank them for helping me become a more godly woman.

    • Tonya Burgess /

      Amen, Joanna! There is a fine line here and so often we know when we are crossing it in our heart, because we know our intentions. By approaching each friendship Biblically and prayerfully a lot of hurt and wrong feelings can be avoided. Thanks for sharing Sis!

      • Joanna Martin /

        Thank you, Tonya, for the encouragement. I whole-heartily agree that there is a fine line – we must take time in God’s presence so that He can keep our motives pure and godly.

    • Joanna Martin /

      Natalie, WOW! You have truly shared words of wisdom. You should have been the one writing this post instead of me! You truly took it a step deeper and further through your comment. Thank you very much!

  2. Sarah /

    How true! This post has really helped me. In the past few days I was talking to a single young preacher about how his message had helped me, and we were sharing words of encouragement. But even during the conversation, I kept thinking of being single, and not wanting him to think I was using his message to flirt with him. I wish I would have read this sooner. Sometimes I won’t even have much to do with guys, because I don’t want them to think I’m trying to flirt with them or consider my options. Sometimes I’ve isolated myself. This has helped me so much in knowing how to have a godly friendship with guys. Thanks, Joanna!

    • Joanna Martin /

      Sarah, Thank you for sharing your struggle with this subject as well. It’s many times easier to go to one side or another, but hard to find a balance in our friendship with young men. Yet, God by His Word has given us an answer. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” We must have God’s wisdom to truly guide us to keep our friendships with young men pure and God-honoring.

  3. This is an excellent topic and post, Joanna! Thanks for sharing your insights.

  4. olyvia Wilson /

    Thanks for ur encouraging post Joanna!! Its so wonderful and helpful to read ur posts thank u!

    • Joanna Martin /

      I am thankful God gave it to me so that I could share. I appreciate you and the dedication you have to the Lord and His ways. Keep up the good work, Olyvia!

      • olyvia Wilson /

        Thank u Joanna! I’m trying my best to serve him, but just like everyone else I do fail him sometimes….buy praise God he never fails me or forsakes me!

  5. Thank you Joanna for posting this! It is kind of hard to talk to guys when you are single.. I have had some trouble with this these last 2-3 years.. I don’t mean anything by it when I talk to them. So I try to avoid conversations with most guys.. lol :)

    • Joanna Martin /

      I understand your struggle, Kaetlyn. Yet I know God desires to give us a proper perspective toward the young men in our life as our brothers in Christ. The essential element in building brothers in Christ friendships is to keep any conversation God-centered and not self-focused. Thank you for commenting!

  6. Tori Burris /

    Great message Joanna!! It really helps me cause my birthday was last week and I turned 15. People are already talking about getting a job, driving, and soon be old enough to date.And this really helps me to wait and ask for Gods will and not mine. I know I am not dating for a long time, but this really helps me for the man God has in store for me . Thank you so much!!!!

    • Joanna Martin /

      Tori, I appreciate your desire to be all God would have you be and wait for God’s will to be performed instead of allowing your fleshly desires to dictate what you do. Yes, we all want to be loved and cherished by a young man. Yet, it’s important that it happen in God’s time and way. This is the time for you to focus on developing your relationship with The Lord and allowing him to prepare you to be all you need to be.
      Be encouraged: God has a special plan for your life.

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