We’re Not a Couple, We’re Not Family, We’re…Friends?

notacouplenotfamilyfriendsI was late. My good friend Bobby was in town for a few short days and we were finally going to get to catch up… and I was running late. He had already staked out the comfy chairs in the corner of Starbucks and had his Bible open. It was one of our favorite things – discussing Scripture and ministry. We initially bonded over Scripture and southernness in the snowy northern land of South Bend, Indiana. We were deep in discussion over the issues in his youth group when a gray-haired man walked up and tapped our table with his cane. “Are you brother and sister?” He asked, squinting at us. “Um, no.” I answered, looked at Bobby in confusion. Granted, we were both tall redheads, but most people know that being a redhead does not make you automatically related. “Are you dating?” he interrogated us with a frown, banging his cane in agitation. “Um, no,” this time Bobby replied. “Well! Are you not dating because you look like you are brother and sister?!” The old man demanded, then turned on his heel with a huff and hobbled away.  Speechless, Bobby and I stared at each other for several long seconds before dissolving into a fit of laughter. What in the world had just happened?!

However odd he was, the man had a point – exactly what were we? Not related, not a couple, we were friends.

But what does that even mean? In a world of friends who provide each other with sexual benefits, girls who have a posse of non-sexual guy friends and guys who date girls without calling it dating…. What does it mean to be friends with the opposite sex?

It’s no wonder that Christian singles are confused. Can single guys and girls be ‘just friends’? Should they be? What does the Bible say about male/female friendships? While you can walk into any Christian bookstore and find an entire section devoted to godly dating, courtship and relationships, you would be hard-pressed to find a book about appropriate boundaries in male/female friendships. It was this very question that sent me to Scripture… two days and 13 books of the Bible later, I realized that it’s a complex question that is intricately connected to the issues of church, marriage, family, and witness. While there is no chapter of the Bible specifically devoted to male/female relationships before marriage, the entire Canon of Scripture applies to Christian friendships.

Friendship in the Bible

In reading about the New Testament church, I was struck by the lack of male/female non-romantic, non-familial relationships. The primary goal of male and female relationships in Scripture is marriage. All interaction between believers takes place within the context and under the umbrella of the church. Male and female believers – unmarried, married and widowed – walked through life together in groups while serving at church, meeting the needs of the poor and fellowshipping together in each other’s homes (Acts 2:44-47, 4:32-37, 9:32-43).

The body of Christ is designed for the edification of believers and to bring glory to God. And edification means encouraging faith, growing in knowledge of God, recognizing sin/false teaching, practicing spiritual gifts, and speaking the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:12-16) Edification does not mean getting emotional, spiritual and physical needs met by someone that isn’t your husband. Toward that end, there are several general Biblical truths that have specific application for Christian male/female relationships:

  1. Your friendships should be with believers.

God is very clear on this subject of close relationships between believers and unbelievers. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.” This verse applies to all types of relationships with non-Christians, but since the purpose of single male/single female relationships is marriage, it is extremely important that these relationships be under the authority of Christ and the Church.

  1. Your friendships should be above reproach.

Your interactions with Christian guy friends (as well as Christian non-friends and non-Christians) shouldn’t raise any questions in the minds of believers or unbelievers who observe your life. It means going out of your way to make sure that God’s reputation isn’t tainted because of thoughtless behavior with a Christian guy friend. “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” Ephesians 5:3

  1. Your friendship should be pure.

God calls His children to lives of absolute purity – before, during and after marriage. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled.”  Appropriate male/female friendships must be on guard against having emotional, physical or spiritual needs met by a person that is not their spouse.

Your Brother in Christ is Not One of the Girls

God created us male and female as a living visual of the relationship between Christ and the church (Eph. 5:22-33). In the same way we were designed female to bring glory to God, men were designed male to bring glory to God (Gen. 1:27-28). God created men to function as provider, protector and spiritual leader, while he made women as a helpmeet, complement and responder (Gen. 2).

It honors God when we function as male and female, not when we treat our brothers as a gender-neutral lapdog of a ‘best friend.’ The men in your life and church were designed male by God and we, as women seeking to honor God, should respect their masculinity. There is never an instance where it is okay to treat a male friend as one of the girls – that is disrespectful to God’s design for you both as male and female and it opens doors for temptation on both sides.

Your Brother in Christ is Not Your Brother

He is a man – an available man – and you should guard your heart accordingly. Labeling a guy friend as “like a brother,” can be very dangerous when he isn’t your actual brother. There’s no point at which you would consider marriage to your brother an option, the subject is completely off the table. That cannot be said of Christian male friends, because who knows what God may do in the future? Applying the “like a brother” label (while it may be true that we currently have brotherly affection for him now) often tempts us to operate outside the boundaries of accountability. I mean, why would a person need accountability for a relationship with someone who is like a brother? Well, because he isn’t your brother and you want to honor God with your life. I have seen many girls fall into sinful relationships with guys who are like their brother, because they viewed those relationships as “safe” and “above temptation” for emotional, physical and spiritual affairs (Ephesians 5:3, Hebrews 13:4 ).

Baring your heart and soul to a guy friend is not honoring and respecting your future husband or marriage. Having an emotional affair with a best guy friend to meet the needs that only God should meet during singleness does not make room for God to bring along your future husband. Even friendships with a guy who is ‘like a brother’ should be checked regularly within accountability.

Your Brother in Christ is Not Your Husband

Until the point that a brother in Christ says ‘I do’ – he isn’t your spiritual leader. God appointed your father as Spiritual Leader until you leave your family to make a new family through marriage (Gen. 2:24). Your male Christian friends – no matter how godly – are not God’s spiritual authority for you unless you marry one of them. The authority of spiritual leadership transfers from family unit (father) to family unit (husband) with no exceptions. In cases where the father is an unbeliever, not following God or deceased, his leadership is still honored but God often raises up godly older couples as mentors and spiritual advisers for a girl pursuing godliness.

That doesn’t mean that Christian guys can have no voice in your life, but they are to function as members of the Body of Christ rather than a Spiritual Leader. As my friend David explained it, “Christian guys are a voice in a girl’s life, not the voice (until marriage). They can offer advice that is insightful and helpful, but they are not in authority over you. So their counsel is strictly alongside and not over the girl.”

We Are Friends

Can Christian guys and girls be friends? Yes, if both parties guard their hearts, have appropriate boundaries, practice accountability for these friendships, and realize that these friendships are designed to function within the boundaries of the Body of Christ (mainly in groups). Just remember, a Christian guy friend can be a wise advisor, but he is not one of the girls, not your brother and not your husband, so treat him accordingly!

Some M/F Friendship Checkpoints:

  •  Are you accountable about your friendships with guys, just as you would for guys you date?
  • Is everything you discuss appropriate? (would you feel comfortable having a friend overhear the conversation?)
  • Is your time investment appropriate for the level of defined friendship (groups vs. alone)?
  • Are you guarding your heart from emotional affairs?
  • Are you protecting your brother in Christ?
  • Are you honoring God’s reputation to a lost world by how you function in friendships?

Read part 2 with a male guest blogger as we address the lie of “the friend zone.”

23 thoughts on “We’re Not a Couple, We’re Not Family, We’re…Friends?

  1. Thank you for this post; it seeps with wisdom. I probably would have avoided a lot of frustration, confusion, and probably even pain had I read it 5 years ago. Fortunately, God has protected me from my own ignorance (and often stupidity) more than once in this regard and is continually growing me in this area. I am a bit of a tomboy and often find friendships with girls frustrating and tiresome. The hardest I can ever remember fighting God was when I felt Him leading me to focus more on ministering to ladies. 🙂 But I have begun to realize the critical need for having close friendships with godly females. To this day, one of my closest friends is a boy and I don’t see us ever being anything more than friends. But as you said, we still have to guard our hearts, our witness, and the hearts of our future spouses. I love the practical checklist you’ve included – I do believe you hit the nail on the head!

  2. Wow! This is great! My best friend and I have been discussing the fact that there are not really any books to single adults that deal with friendships between men and women. We would love to remedy that and have toyed with the idea of writing a book but we have not made tons of progress. But this is an encouragement to me that we aren’t crazy and that there really is a need. Thank you very much for this post! My friend and I may have questions for you in the future on the same topic if you’re open to that. Thanks again.

  3. This was awesome! I’ve had many discussions with young girls about why the guys aren’t asking them out and I think one reason is exactly what you addressed — they don’t have to. Their emotional (and often physical) needs are being met in these friendships with beautiful, Godly girls so they can go home with a spring in their step feeling all puffed up about themselves and not have to make a committment to anyone. And then you lovely ladies feel lonely and confused. When you set your heart on loving God first, you won’t worry about these little Bozos and you’ll be willing to wait on your Boaz. Thank you for sharing!

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  5. I have a question.

    I am a male who has a friend that I used to date. We became best friends and were pretty much inseparable until another guy she knew came back into her life. She calls him bfsm (Best Friend Soul Mate) and to me… It is kind of offensive. She posts about him of on social media sites yet never once said anything about myself and her. Even while we were dating. Its always about her bfsm. Now he has a girlfriend, and they are still bfsm. He plans on marrying this girl (Not my ex) and yet my friend is still very close and does not see it wrong at all that they remain close even if he marries this girl. We are all Christians, however it has caused me to have very hostile feelings towards this man. And now he’s about to join the armed forces and she (My ex)Spends more time with him. Talks to him everyday and posts even more stuff to the point where I had to remove her and him because it hurt so much…. Am I wrong to be so Hurt? I still have feelings for her… But she no longer does for me.

    • Zack.

      Thank you so much for reading and responding with sincerity. I’m sorry you found yourself in a situation like the one with your ex-girlfriend. And to be honest, the concerns and frustrations you raised are exactly the logical reasons behind why relationships between men and women can never be intensely close unless a marriage proposal in lingering in the near future. Addressing your question, “Am I wrong to be so hurt?” is hard to answer because feelings are so intrinsic to the individual that often they cannot be seperated and judged as fair by another. I can, however, throw a question back at you which I hope will guide you to recovering from the hurt: What are doing about how hurt you are by this situation, by your ex-girlfriend? If you are choosing to dwell, refusing to forgive her or her bfsm, thereby becoming embittered by the imbalanced situation, then yes…I would say that’s wrong (the actions, not the feelings). On the other hand, if you are choosing to walk in grace, extending forgiveness to all parties involved, and thereby learning from the situation how better to approach relationships, then I would say, no…you are growing from those hurt feelings, and allowing God to mold you into the man (and someday, Lord willing, husband and leader) that He intends for you to be. I hope this advice helps you in your journey with the Lord, and we, as a team of women at Unlocking Femininity, strongly reccommend you seek counsel in your pastor or male leader in your church who can help give insight and guide you as you grow in your relationship with the Lord. But as your sisters in Christ, we pray with you and for you in this situation, Zack.

      God Bless.

  6. Sarah, Diane, or Gabrielle,

    I’m in a kind of similar situation as Zack, and I agree with what you said for him in advice and already have applied that in my own life. But how do you seek counsel in your pastor or male leader in the church when you don’t even feel accepted by your male leadership, and in truth they truly don’t know you? Im finding it really hard for me to accept any advice from my male leadership within my church, because they haven’t tried to get to know me as a man and as a person. They like my family only see me for the wrongs I have done, but unlike my family the men in my church see the potential of God’s work in my life at the same time. They form inaccurate opinions and speculate to my face the motives of my heart and not allow me the freedom to express myself and explain my heart clearly and effectively to them. They always shut me down and say, “Okay son, you’re time to talk is over, it’s time for you to just listen”. I know the word says to be slow to speak and quick to listen, but really? I already addressed this issue with my pastor the best way I felt comfortable, but until that situation is done and over with I really don’t know how to approach my leadership…..they’re not bad guys but I feel like I don’t have freedom to express my heart to them, and because of that a very simple situation has blown out of distortion and is now a very deep entangled web of dichotomy. The simple situation does involve a female friend and from what I read in this post and “the lie of the friend zone” post we both are trusting Jesus Christ and are treating our gender roles accordingly and we are not doing anything that either article has warned against. It’s really a true blessing, but according to my male leadership men have no business being friends with women at all for any reason, if you want a friend go be friends with another guy. I told my pastor to stop making his matters of conscious laws of sin and we got into a debated argument (like the some Christians say drinking alcohol in general is sinful, okay if so then Jesus must be a sinner as he drank wine! God’s word said Jesus became sin, who knew no sin. Getting drunk is the sin, not drinking alcohol. Don’t make matters of conscious matters of sin. Period, end of discussion), because I simply don’t view his point at all the way he does and I will never. I understand that friendship should loom into the prospect of marriage, but that’s why we’re just friends. We both expressed that dating is not an option at the moment because we’re still healing from past hurtful relationships. We’re equally yoked in our walk with Jesus and we’re guarding our hearts against sin, temptation, and even just simply hurting one another. But hey! she’s an amazing woman in Christ and my friend and if she’ll put up with me someday she’ll be a great wife, but until then we just naturally follow what both this article and the “the lie of friend zone” article talks about especially with scripture and how its involved. I may have made the mistake to say to her, “Listen I know you’re afraid of becoming close to a man chasing after Jesus first and foremost before all things, but I’m falling in love with you…I can tell you that it’s not going to be a matter of “if” I fall in love with you, it’s a matter of “when” I’m gonna be in love with you.” I totally defined parameters and spoke from my point of view (though she already knew this was happening and she understands it perfectly and accepts this with the hopes that the Lord allows something to form) But recognizing we’re both not ready for that kind of relationship I just totally made lines in the sand. I wanted to temporarily abstain from communication with her for a time so I can just focus on being single and being with Jesus, but she doesn’t think our friendship hinders our walk with Jesus, which is true I must confess. I don’t act on my feelings and I offer them up in prayer and cry and to me it’s just beautiful. Point blank is, we don’t put ourselves in compromising situations where there is a provision for sin or temptation to take place. If we meet it’s in public with a bunch of other people around, if we were to go to dinner we’d bring our friends and “group date” What gets me is I don’t talk about her at all to anyone like a pre-teen with an infatuation. I’m not “obsessed” or so intrigued to the point where she’s all I can think about. Though I do think about her and I do cherish my friendship and I love how God is working in both our lives and how he’s bringing us together I feel there would be no self-control, or patience, or kindness if I was boasting and insisting on my own way to other people. That’s contradictory to scripture (1 Corn. 13:4-7 and Galatians 5:22-26). Like I explained earlier my male leadership and even the female leadership for the females totally discourage and speak out against male/female friendships even if they have the outlook of a looming possible future in marriage. It’s frowned upon if I even witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ to a young lady that walks in our youth center. I literally mean, me as an individual but the other men are okay with each other doing it and passing the girl off to a woman leader to better speak to them about whatever, which is cool, but I get frowned upon doing that. It’s really frustrating, especially since I’m 27 and my friend is 34. Any insight you ladies might have for a frustrated man and woman in Christ is greatly appreciated.

    • Alex,
      Thanks so much for taking time to consider what would be the right thing to do both personally and for your church. BTW this is Diane’s husband, Alex, addressing your comment. I thought I’d offer a guy’s perspective on this.
      First, I do not pretend to know the rules, spoken or unspoken, of your particular church. However, I can safely say that it is very appropriate at times for us to speak to and be friends with people of the opposite sex. Jesus modeled this in various ways, and there are no biblical rules against men and women speaking to each other in public anywhere in the Bible. The Bible does set up the ideal mentoring situation as man to man and woman to woman, though. As friendships go, we do have some Christian freedom in this area. One person’s matter of conscience or personal guideline should not become a rule for all Christians when the Bible is clearly silent on the issue.
      Second, we need to be very careful about what seems to be “pre-dating.” It appears that you and the young lady have had some sort of discussion that has the two of you waiting for each other. Any advice I would give on this issue would warn against this arrangement. I know I’ve been there too, and it wasn’t a good place to be. When you’re dating, you need to be moving toward marriage. When you’re not dating, you should not be moving closer together and closer to marriage. Your hearts and expectations cannot be lined up with what the outward non-dating situation is.
      With regards to your pastor, you have a couple of options depending on the situation. The one that you have to keep in mind is that the younger men are supposed to learn from the older men, and members need to submit to the pastors. (cf. Heb. 13:17, 1 Peter 5:5) Hopefully, your pastor will give you some good advice. No matter what, you need to begin the situation with a humble attitude, assuming that your pastor has something good to offer you. Analyze what he tells you, and take the best biblical advice that you can from him. I know you are not the leader in this situation, but hopefully he will teach you with the knowledge that you will be the one who ultimately makes the decision, and he is the one who is helping. Especially in matters where blatant sin is not at stake, this should be the attitude of both parties – discussion with the understanding that you are ultimately responsible for your action.
      There is probably much more to say, but I hope you continue in this situation looking for what is best for her and for your church, diligently searching the Bible and following the leading of the Holy Spirit.

  7. Thank you for putting up such a wonderful and much needed post. While we are on the subject of these guy/girl friendships, I have a few questions if anyone is up for giving their opinion. In these types of friendships I tend to get quite attached even when I know that God has not called me to date anyone at this time. I have a friend who is leaving for college and he has expressed that he is not wanting a romantic relationship. I am fine with this and I want to continue my friendship with him. The only problem is that I have reservations about our only interaction being one on one (email or phone etc.). When a friendship leaves a group setting it becomes more and more intimate so I’m not sure exactly what to do…I’ve considered asking that a restriction be put in place on how much we email or even writing snail mail so that we aren’t distracted from what God has called us to by checking our email everyday. My parents ask that I not be emailing him consistently every single day and I would like to respect that. Any ideas or words of advice for protecting both of our hearts and continuing a friendship without getting too intimate? Would love to hear from ya’ll 🙂
    Thanks again for a great post!

  8. This helped me a lot. I’m meeting up with a friend next week to talk about this very issue. He’s struggling with all manner of complex feelings relating to his female friends, and I think this will help him a lot. Great to see an article founded in scripture as well 🙂 thanks

  9. Thanks for your article, I have a situation like this, It is becoming a problem and I am not sure what to do and can’t seem to get any answers.
    I met a guy at church and we go to know each other and I started to have feelings for him at which point I got down on my knees and prayed for God to lead me and asked God to please not let me get into a relationship that would not end in marriage, I still felt that it was right and so allowed things to progress and we began dating, both of us talked about marriage and a future and He was telling me he wanted to marry me etc. (I have had a rather mangled past of bad relationships and totally outside of Christ – to which I have confessed and been forgiven and am now determined to walk with Christ, He on the other hand has never dated anyone and kissed one girl previously – and the girl “stole” the kiss – He knows my past) Anyway just before our 1 year anniversary he tells me he doesn’t know what love is and as such cannot continue dating me, there was a lot of tears and hurt on both sides but we remained close friends, I unfortunately did not lose my feelings for him and coninued to love him – as would be expected this clouded our friendship and made it very difficult, I still – and I heard this put simply like this and it truly discribes how I feel – feel in the deepst part of me that doubt cannot reach that we are actually meant to be together, however he while not discounting that God may plan for us to be together in the future feels that he is waiting for a sign as to who to be with, All this is fine and I eventually have gotten to a place where I have put aside my “romantic” feelings and focused on the friendship side. God did actually have to split us up physically (A picture out bible study leader got confirmed this) – My ex now works for a month at a time out of town and a weekend in town. Neither of us has terribly many friends and certainly no close ones so while dating we ended up living in each others pockets, in fact from before we began dating we spent every waking moment not at work together – not good and hence God needing to put distance between us, God has been trully faithfull in doing for us or making us do in one way or another the things either one or both of us could not do – like spliting us up. We are now in a complicated place of trying to find the best and most appropriate line for our friendship to take and your articale really helped me to see things, I realised I do things – even thos i put those romantic feelings aside – based on the premise that he will be my husband one day and unfortunately he acts the same I am not sure how to make him realise he is treating me as though he feels somethign more than he is saying, He looks at me and the look in his eyes is like he is falling in love wiht me and he tells me how beautiful I am and he is so protetive of me – He is in the truest sense a “knight in shinning armour” I don’t want to lose his friendship and I have prayed and when I pray and think on completely stopping our friendship and lopsing contact I am not peaceful and have come to the realisation that we can be friends but we have to find a way to take a step back – in part because I feel God is also saying if I don’t He cannot work in this gentlemans life and as such this gentleman will never be able to be lead to the place of truly falling in love with me and moving forward to where we were ment to be. I feel God is teaching me that by living in each others pockets we hindered our relationship from being where it was ment to be – marriage – because we almost became to reliant on each other and less on God without out even intending to. I don’t know how to do this however I am scared of loosing him for good. I guess this is where trusting God and his plan is what is necassary.
    So to anyone out there who is in a similar situation or heading in to one, please take head of this article it is valuable and will save a lot of heartache and time.
    And if you have any advice for me I would greatly apprecaite it.

    Thank you and could some one please write a couple hundred books on this topic!! 🙂

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  11. This article just saved me a lot of heart ache. I’ve been an adult leader at a youth group for two years now, and suddenly our church had gotten two new youth pastors. One of them being around my age, so naturally he an I started to become good friends. We started texting about spiritual questions such as “Does God care if a believer listens to unholy music?”
    But then he asked me if I think he’s intimidating because he wants to start dating girls again because he hates being single. Thinking “oh wow, he’s being super open with me. He must be thinking about dating me.” I was wrong, he likes my best friend based on her looks. It’s super hard for me to wrap my min around the fact that he’s a pastor and being this open with me and not liking me in the romantic sense. He said I was like his sister and I or super mad. I started to become distant from him and he noticed and dragged me back into this emotionally draining relationship. I’m not sure what to do now.
    But this article helped me a lot. Thank you!

  12. Thanks Gabrielle. I’m a female in my mid-twenties and have found it to be difficult dealing with male friends in the church who have yet to learn the fact that there are indeed to be boundaries in their friendships with women. I recently dealt with a young man who is an actual Praise Team Leader in the church and have found it extremely difficult to introduce him to the fact that yes we are friends, but there are boundaries in our friendship, especially because we are of the opposite sex. I have found it particularly difficult because in his church upbringing, the topic of Bible-based friendship between members of the opposite sex was not discussed. So it’s really disheartening and sad to me when this young man tells me that as long as physical intimacy doesn’t happen there is nothing wrong with being completely emotionally invested and open with a member of the opposite sex. Which is dangerous not only for himself, but for me and other single Christian women he starts friendships with, especially when he is attracted to them and see them as potential mates, which is how he has told me he sees me, BUT he does not intentionally plan to commit. It’s also sad because He is surrounded by people who also don’t understand the need for boundaries in friendships between the opposite sex in the church. In fact, some of the dating I’ve seen in the church that he attends is dramatically similar to the dating and “boundaries” I see in the worldly definition of dating. So in short, here I am feeling alone in this fight for Biblical purity in a friendship with a man who’s surrounded with men and women that identify themselves as Christians yet believe in a self-fulfilled, selfish, distorted definition of love that does not reflect love taught in the Word when it comes to male-female friendships.

    Prior to being exposed to the importance of Biblical based boundaries in my relationship with opposite sex, I naively crossed emotional and informational boundaries with this young man, for which I am deeply sorry for. Now that I know better, I refuse to cross certain emotional and conversational boundaries, and unfortunately he borderline mocks my need for boundaries and acts as though boundaries aren’t necessary and I’m just over thinking it. His reactions have really made him unattractive to me as a friend to the point I do not want to talk to him and really cut our relationship off for now. I still pray for him, but wisdom tells me that I emotionally I can’t allow myself to get close to him. He still thinks everything is suppose to be shared between he & I, but the reality is it’s not. We are not husband and wife, nor am I God. In fact, we haven’t even remotely entered a courtship, which is a fact he use to remind me of after he would emotionally lead me to “think” we are on our merry little way to courtship land.

    If it hasn’t been recognized by now, by us emotionally crossing boundaries reserved for husband and wife, our friendship has been convoluted and become toxic for me. And for him, he feels upset for sharing so much of himself with me and me not wanting him to share with me or me with him. In short, me wanting to keep strict boundaries in our relationship. Hopefully, you all can keep both he & I in your prayers. More specifically, that God will heal our hearts, restore them to Him, and if it is in HIS will that our friendship would glorify God, be pure in heart, truly sacrificial, and all that God defines love to be in His Word.

  13. Hey there!

    I am a female believer that is currently in a relationship with a man who is also a believer. Him and I have both grown up having friends of the opposite gender. However, recently he went off for school and after a lot of discussion we decided to continue pursuing a long distance relationship.
    We have been dating for basically a bit over a year, and recently we had a bit of a dispute because he was bothered by me spending so much time with one of my guy friends. At first it was hard to hear because this friend was one of the only friends I have left after my boyfriend moved away, but now I completely understand where my boyfriend is coming from. After talking to my mentor I have decided that I should avoid the appearance of evil (the appearance of evil being the appearance that I am being unfaithful with this other friend) as it instructs us to in God’s Word and cut out one on one time with men all together, along with turning these male friends to a male elder when they seek me out for counsel.
    However, my boyfriend still has a lot of female friends, and he speaks with them one on one all the time and lets them seek counsel in him. Along with this, he discusses our relationship with them, which I find inappropriate. I feel as though he should only be discussing our relationship with other males, and even more so, males who are more experienced and preferably married. I’m just wondering, am I being unreasonable if I ask him to not spend alone time with the opposite sex, and even more so not to seek counsel in them or allow them to seek counsel in him? Please let me know, because I’m lost and broken up over this whole situation.

  14. I am a female christian who is in a relationship with a very good christian but my problem is that, all my friends are guys.And actually my boyfriend and I are having problems because of this guys issues and our relationship is a long distance one.
    thanks for the article so much, I’ve been blessed

  15. As Jesus was speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, and they want to speak to you.” Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!”
    Mat.12:46-50 nlt

    I really appreciate the wisdom of your communication and the intent is significant.
    Well done.
    I do have a concern and a fundamental biblical disagreement.
    Just because a man and a woman aren’t blood family doesn’t exclude God’s intent for them to relate in a relationship as a true brother and sister.

    If you follow this line of reasoning you would have to exclude Jesus’s example of how we are called to follow him when he modeled the intimate relationship between Mary Magdalen and himself as well as even the intimate relationship between John the Apostle and Jesus.

    There’s some really good information and books on how single individuals who are dedicated to the Lord should relate and the true biblical model is a healthy brother and sister if they are peers or mentoring context and even father and daughter context in some situations.
    This is the context used in the intent of becoming a member of the body of Christ when we are “adopted in” or chosen.

    Here are 3 good book examples –
    Relationships: The Key To Love, Sex, And Everything Else (From Dean Sherman) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1576582752/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_tAeCvb0ENWVYH

    Culture of Honor: Sustaining a Supernatural Environment https://www.amazon.com/dp/0768431468/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_uCeCvb020HEYM

    Keep Your Love On: Connection Communication And Boundaries https://www.amazon.com/dp/1942306067/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_gDeCvb0W0R05X

    The issue becomes how do we identify and define intimacy. I submit that because we don’t identify with God’s concept of relationship through Jesus and other good models for us and we use “the Kingdom of this World” vs “the Kingdom of God” mindset or worldwide to define things we subject ourselves to less than God intends for us.

    I believe that appropriate intimacy, between a brother and a sister, is God’s model for us. The problem is that many are uncomfortable with that concept and don’t trust or utilize the leading and conviction of the Holy Spirit in how we function in relationship.
    Intimacy is not sex, nor is it inappropriate to have healthy intimate relationships with individuals who may not ever be our spouse.
    Obedience to God and His boundaries is how we deal with relational confusion. Healthy intimacy is how we heal and mature in our ability to have biblical relationships in our Christian family. The “Phileo” (brotherly or familial) and Agape (God’s) models of love are both the correct context and is identified in the New Testament.

    We cannot regulate or discount love with a worldly mindset just because we are afraid of immaturity. The answer is to present correct models, like Jesus does and then assist people to grow in maturity.

  16. Pingback: Guys as friends?  – Backbone Dating

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