May 3, 2008, 8:00 am
Filed under: Leadership, Roles and Relationships

By Walt Alexander

Last week I asked the question “If I say goodbye to courtship (for now), what do I say hello to?” I mentioned three things: say hello to the Lord, say hello to more friends, and say hello to serving. But how do we relate to girls – to the people we are trained to dream about all our lives?

Treat them like sisters. In 1 Timothy 5:2, Paul commands Timothy to treat “younger women as sisters, in all purity.” This is God’s word for young, single men. Treat all young women like sisters.

This means, treat them like a sister! Encourage them, point them to godliness, guard their hearts, serve them, enjoy worshipping the Savior with them, correct them (as needed). And (for the girls’ benefit), guys, be creative with this! Refuse the temptation to sulk through singlehood. Enjoy this season and draw in groups of girls and guys to enjoy it with you. Plan trips. Plan events. Brainstorm encouraging things to do for and with the girls.

One compelling example of this is how Kevin Shipp used his singlehood. As you know, he was married last weekend after spending some twenty odd years single. Kevin constantly planned things for groups of girls and guys to do. He took groups to DC and NYC. He took groups to punk rock shows. And much much much more!

However, this also means, do not treat them in any other way than you would your own sister. Do not flirt with them, do not lead them on, do not (with your words or actions) allow them to assume you will pursue them at any point in the future, carefully subdue unruly affections. In all your words and actions, guard their hearts. Be wise and think these things through carefully.

Specifically, guys, I want to encourage you to carefully choose how to communicate with girls. There are several methods of communication, like facebook, txt messaging, gchat, and iChat, which seem to allow unguarded and unintentional conversation and interaction. Oftentimes, we can chat with someone intentionally on the Internet and yet gradually (as sin usually works) slide into more flirtatious, unhelpful dialogue. The danger with these conversations is that they often leave girls wondering why you said that or how you said that, because you were not there to clarify. They, in effect, provide a longer leash for romantic imagination and, in so doing, can disrupt a girl’s undistracted devotion to the Lord.

Finally, we are to treat all girls like sisters; meaning, we are to be impartial. We are not to single out some girls to receive our attention, while neglecting other girls. This is implicit of Paul’s use of “all” in 1 Tim 5:2. But this doesn’t mean you must have equal relationships with every girl you know, as if you must run from girl to girl updating them with more attention. The thought alone is just exhausting! But it does mean that you should carefully interact with girls, allowing no one to perceive that you relate to one girl and several girls too much and in an exclusive manner.

P.S. Fellas, if you want a real idea of how you interact with girls, ask one of the intern girls or other mature girls in VFC! The answer may be shocking.


5 Comments so far
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Here is a question for ya Walt….How do you get to know a girl, when the only way of communication is by email or ichat or facebook, without coming off the wrong way?

Comment by chappy

Thanks for posting these Walt I’ve been saving them to my computer for future reference. They’ve really served me and definitely challenged me!!

Comment by J Pud

If chat is the only way, first I would test my motives against scripture. Then I would stick to the truth, forget foolish talk.

[Eph. 5:4 — Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.]

I believe the best thing to do in all conversation is to converse with an attitude of thanksgiving. By which I mean, let’s keep the Cross at the center. Keep the main thing, the main thing. Of course, we have to admit also, that we are pretty pathetic, and we will probably mess things up. But this should not deter us, we should keep practicing and train our selves in the Gospel and trust in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Chat and texting are so subjective because our usual sarcasm and joking that we use in our daily lives can’t be transmitted in writing. Scripture is pretty clear that conversation has its place, so when chatting or texting, ask what is proper and is what I am saying out of place?

What do you think?

Comment by Tyler Thayer

I think that is wise Thayer…thanks for speaking truth. Of course it is hard sometimes to convey to someone the simple fact that you want to get to know them better, when the only way is email or chat, and not make that person think that you are hitting on them or being flirtatious. I guess my question is how can you convey that message and be intentional? Just come out and be honest? Your thoughts?

Comment by chappy

If you want to get to know a girl simply hang out with them. I think AIM is a monster on relationships. I’d much rather talk with a girl in real life – go watch a movie together or something and get to know them by simply conversing in real life.

Comment by jamesthayer

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