I am an advocate for Godly friendships with the opposite sex, but I have also heard many arguments suggesting that Christian males and females cannot be friends. A majority of intimate relationships develop from a friendship, which shows the reason why they are necessary. But they are needed for more than just potentially meeting your spouse. They are also essential for learning how to have friendships that require boundaries.
3 Tips for Having Godly Friendships With the Opposite Sex
In this article:
- View them as you would a brother or sister.
- Don’t automatically assess if they are potential.
- Keep it Christ-centered.
Yes, in opposite gender relationships, personal boundaries must be established. The key word there is personal, which means you do not have to have a “talk” with your guy/girl friend stating that you need to have boundaries. This can then communicate the wrong message, possibly resulting in an awkward relationship.
View them like you would a brother or sister.
The bible states in, 1 Timothy, 5:2, “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, your younger women as sisters, in all purity.”
Now, being real, you would not go to bed with your brother or sister, nor would you disrespect their boundaries. We do not need to get technical with the friendship turning into something more. The point is to treat them like you would a brother or sister.
I still, in many aspects, treat my wife the way I would treat my sister, which is with respect, integrity, and honor. I have many opposite-sex friendships that transitioned smoothly when I got married because they were healthy friendships where my wife was 100% included in them.
Don’t automatically assess if they are potential.
This happens all the time when you are in a group and there is that good-looking person you’ve seen at church a couple of times, but now you’re hanging out. Do not build a friendship with the motivation to find out if they are a potential mate. You will then begin to alter how you act around them, and that robs the friendship of its purpose. This will eventually make your friendships with the opposite sex draining, and not life-giving. Take it one day at a time!
Keep it Christ-centered.
When the friendship is Christ-centered then lust, seduction, or any other perverted spirit cannot enter into it. This goes for both opposite and same-sex friendships. Friends with benefits is a concept the world has taken on to stay away from commitment.
Flirting that eventually develops into emotional ties without commitment is a trap many singles fall into with opposite-sex friendships. Texting late at night, being alone together in intimate environments, or sharing personal information opens the door for the relationship to become unhealthy.
This should not be for those representing Christ, for we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, according to 2 Corinthians 2:15 (ESV)
BMWK Family, how do you maintain healthily, Godly friendships with the opposite sex?
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on July 9, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.