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How to Have Godly Friendships with Guys

By: Kristen Clark

Interacting with guys on a regular basis is a normal part of life. Some girls go out of their way to make sure they get plenty of guy time in their life, while other girls awkwardly avoid contact with guys.

Whether you feel natural and comfortable around guys or not, you need to learn what the right and biblical way to treat them is.

I love what Leslie Ludy says about this topic, “It’s not more spiritual to act shy and insecure in a conversation with a guy. You can be friendly, outgoing, and confident toward any guy you meet. The key is to be God-honoring in the way you speak and interact with guys.”

The way any girl treats a guy is a direct result of one thing – the way she views guys in her mind.

Which girl are you more like?

Girl #1: She views all guys as a potential boyfriend and naturally acts flirtatious and loud around every guy.

Girl #2: She views all guys as a “brother-type” friend and naturally treats guys casually and similarly to her girlfriends.

Girl #3: This girl is really intimidated by guys acts insecure and nervous around them. She is scared to have a one-on-one conversation with any guy.

Do any of those girls look like you? With so many different mindsets and viewpoints out there, what is the best way for you to treat the guys in your life?

To get some answers, we need to check out the Bible and see what God says about guy/girl interactions.

There is a section in the book of Romans titled Marks of a True Christian.

The apostle Paul is teaching the new Christians in Rome how they should treat one another. He says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality” (Romans 12:10,13).

There is one other type of girl I haven’t mentioned yet, and I think she has the answer. She is girl #4.

Girl #4: She is the type of girl who views all Christian guys as her brothers-in-Christ. She views them as valuable humans created by God for a specific purpose. She views them as fellow Christians and saints who are servants of God just like herself. She views them as future leaders, husbands, and fathers of the next generation.

That is exactly how God wants you and me to view Christian guys as well.

Our culture is so obsessed with pushing romance and sexual relationships down our throats, that we hardly know how to view guys in a proper light anymore. God wants us to view the Christian guys in our lives the same way we view any Christian – as a brother or sister in Christ.

As a Christian, you’re a part of a spiritual family where God is your Father and King. You and I are called to love one another with brotherly affection and to outdo one another in showing honor.

Brotherly affection. 

That verse doesn’t mean you treat all guys with the same physical contact that you would treat your own physical brother; it means you show brotherly affection (which isn’t romantic or sensual) and honor to all Christians alike.

You should display the godly form of “brotherly affection” (kindness, genuine care, respect, purity, etc.) to all the guys in your life.

Also, the way you treat the older men in your life (pastor, dad, or godly older man) should look similar to the way you treat the younger guys. Just because a guy is your age doesn’t mean you need to automatically flirt with him. Treat him like the man God wants him to become and always keep in mind that you’re most likely dealing with someone else’s future spouse.

So what does this look like in everyday life?

It looks like this: You, as a Christian girl, should be making wise choices every time you’re around guys from now on. Your mindset should change from “guys exist to make me happy,” or “I’m scared of what guys think about me” to “God created guys for His glory as valuable saints in His kingdom. They don’t exist for my own pleasure and security, they exist for God’s purposes and plans.”

Your mindset shift should also bring along some outward changes as well.

Flirting, playfully hitting them, jumping on their backs, sarcastically joking with them, making fun of them, etc. are not honoring ways to treat any brother in Christ. Your words, conversations, actions, physical contact, and body language should be built around honor and respect when you’re around the opposite gender.

You and I are commanded by God to love our brothers in Christ with the same kind of love that God loves us. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

God’s love is pure, holy, honorable, kind, admirable, etc. That is the kind of love and respect we should show for our brothers.

It’s the kind of selfless love that looks out for the best interest of the other person.

When our mindset changes to view guys in the same way that God does, we will finally be free to truly love and care about them as brothers in Christ.

Let’s get personal…

  • How do you treat the guys in your life? Be honest now…are you more like girl 1, 2, 3, or 4?
  • What changes do you need to make to have healthy, godly friendships with guys?
  • How can your words and actions encourage your brothers in Christ to become godly men?

Photo credit: www.flickr.com | Lulumière 

Guy walking in woods

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  • Rosalie

    Personally, I fall somewhere between 2 and 3; it depends on what guys I’m with. :/
    Why is appropriate joking and teasing not okay? Is it because it can borderline on flirting?

    • Hey Rosalie! You ask a good question. We’re not opposed to girls joking with guys in an appropriate, non-flirtatious way. The problem we see is that most joking (and especially teasing) tend to become very flirtatious really fast. Just look at the kind of jokes you’re saying and the type of teasing you’re doing and ask yourself, “am I being a flirt? Am I treating this guy in an appropriate way considering he is probably someone else’s future husband?” Like we mentioned in the blog, always strive to show Christ-centered, Christ-like love to everyone.

      • Rosalie

        OHHHHHHHH. 🙂 Okeedokee! 🙂 Thanks so much!! I will definitely try to watch myself. 🙂
        Thank you SOO much for having this blog! It has seriously been such a blessing to me! 🙂

  • Brooklyn Mikinzie

    Im kinda more like girl #1, sadly. I have a hard time getting out of the mindset that EVERY guy likes me. Ive been struggling recently with this. This post came at the perfect time! Thank you. 🙂

    • Hey Brooklyn! Thanks for being honest. When we were younger, we looked more like Girl #1 as well. The more began to understand how every Christian guy is our brother in Christ as well as someone else’s future spouse, the easier it was for us to view them as Christ views them. We are so grateful this post was helpful to you. Keep praying for God to change your heart in the way you view and treat guys. 🙂

  • Joy

    I am more like girl #2 (She views all guys as a “brother-type” friend and naturally treats guys casually and similarly to her girlfriends.) I treat every guy as a brother. I am going to start being girl #4!
    Thank you for this post!

  • Karen Slabach

    Wow! great post Kristen! I fall between 3 and 4 but number 4 has still opened my eyes to ways I can improve in how I interact with my guy friends. Thank you so much for the work you are doing, Bethany and Kristen! I have been incredibly blessed and inspired! 🙂 God bless you and your ministry! I want you to know that you ARE making a difference !

    • Karen, we are so grateful you found this post encouraging and helpful! Thank you so much for YOUR words of encouragement to us. That means a lot! We are praising the Lord that our blog is making a difference for God’s kingdom!

  • Allison

    What about 12, 13, or even 14 year old young men? (I’m 16) Is it biblically ok to laugh and joke around with them? How can I treat even them purely?

    • Hey Allison! Great question. Even though 12, 13, and 14 year old guys are young, they are right on the verge of becoming young men. As Christian girls, we have the opportunity to help them become all that God created them to be by choosing to use our words to build them up and push them in a godly direction. They are the future husbands, fathers and leaders of our nation. Yes, joking can be totally fine, just be careful you don’t go overboard. Be intentional about using your words and actions to encourage them towards purity, maturity and godliness.

  • Elizabeth Williams

    I definitely know that we as Christian girls shouldn’t be flirting with guys, but I’ve never thought about it like you said “You’re most likely dealing with someone else’s future spouse”. I think about how I’m single right now, but my future husband is out there somewhere, and how would I want other girls acting around him? I’d want them to dress modestly around him, not to tempt him, to encourage him, etc. I hope I can encourage other single guys around me that YES, there are Godly girls out there worth waiting for!

    • Great thoughts Elizabeth! Thanks so much for being honest and for sharing.

  • A.A.

    I’ll be completely honest. I’m girl number one. It’s like I’m always expecting the next guy I meet to be my boyfriend. And I always flirt with every guy because I thought there was no harm. But I don’t like feeling that way. I just prayed about this, and I can already see myself beginning to view guys different. Thank you!

    • We know where you’re coming from…we used to be more like girl #1 as well. Our prayer for you is that this blog post will continue to challenge your thinking and actions when you’re around guys. Keep praying for God to change your heart girl!

  • Joana Mae Pongasi

    i really like everything you post..

    when im reading half way of your post..

    i really wanna share its post already, hehe..

    KEEP THE FIRE ON SHARING YOUR THOUGHT,

    GUIDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.. 🙂

    • Thank you Joana!! You are very encouraging! We are so grateful to the Lord that our blog posts are helpful to you. 🙂

  • CT

    I’m striving to be like girl #4, but occasionally I will drift back to girl #1… it’s a war zone, and I almost failed part of it at work yesterday with my coworker. What are some specifics that you can advise me on how to treat guys like my brothers in Christ?

  • Jenna

    I am in between girl 3# and 4#. Thank you, I did not know how to act around guys.

    • So grateful you found this post helpful Jenna!

  • I’m thankful that I have learned to treat all guys like I would treat my own blood brother, at church I have one guy that I call my little brother and he calls me his sister, we treat each other as brother and sister. Not many in our youth group understand how we can be good friends with out all the sappy romance. I just say it’s pretty much the same as with my girl friends, just a few differences with what we will talk about and how we act around each other (not being in a room by ourselves etc.) I wish more people would understand a friendship like this, it is really cool and helps you understand the other gender with out getting hurt. And I have one more brother, that is the best part for me.

    • Violet

      Hey, girl! I have a guy friend who’s like a brother, too. He has his faults like everyone else, but he’s the sweetest ever! 🙂

  • JUnderewood

    Really wish yall could make it were you can be shared on Pinterest would love to share!

  • Julie

    I really needed to hear this. Thank you so much for posting. 🙂

  • Melea

    Such a helpful post!!! 🙂 I needed to hear this- thanks for being so encouraging, I really enjoy your blog!

  • Abby

    Really encouraging post! I totally needed to hear this. So glad I read it!
    Thanks 🙂

  • Kristina Stutzman

    I’ve always had a bit of a struggle with the “how to relate to a guy” without coming out flirtatious or with an I dislike you attitude. This is really helpful. I’m girl #3 with a touch of #2 in the process of becoming #4. One thing that I have noticed that happens, since I’ve started becoming #4, some guys immediately think that I want to start a relationship:/…is that normal or am I doing something wrong?

    • AJLA

      I like how Sarah Mally put this in her book “Before You Meet Prince Charming”. She wrote: “Godly young men are drawn to young ladies who guard their hearts and embrace protection. Immature guys, on the other hand, are often afraid of the girls they respect.”
      When you raise the standard of how to treat guys, they will notice and it will draw them to you. By becoming girl #4 you are transforming yourself into a rare, true gem of God. This is a natural thing. BE WARNED. You will have to learn to say no to boys (nicely), but if you can’t…then ask your father to say it for you:) remember, satan brings along his best before God brings along His best. I hope this answers your question.

      I’m praying for you!

      • Kristina Stutzman

        Yes, this does! Thank you so much! And I’m greatful to have a father that will do just that… I’ve always heard Before You Meet Prince Charming was a great book, but I’ve never say down and got it an read it. Definitely on my list to read! Thank you again!!

  • Roanne Grace Legaspi Celiz

    Great post! ^_^ I’m always encouraged and blessed by your blog..Thank you..

  • Bleise

    Thanks for this! I was really struggling on how to treat my guy friends especially that I have lots and I’m really close to them. I was worried whether I already went beyond limitations. This is such a great eye-opener since unknowingly I did not treat them with honor and respect for I was thinking it was ok since we are very close.. Thank you! Though it would really be hard for us in the process of adjusting ourselves in the situation but I know God will help us through this since I (with his participation) will be doing it for His glory! Thank you! 🙂

  • Quite Distinguished

    This post is so timely! The Lord has been working in my heart throughout
    this entire year exposing my lack of Christ-like love for others, and relationships with men is one of those areas that He has recently brought to my attention.

    I don’t have brothers, so my exposure to male-female relationships before college was limited mostly to church or our homeschool group. Even at church I was hesitant to talk to guys for fear of looking like a flirt or foolish girl (oh my ugly, prideful heart)—so I didn’t proactively cultivate healthy friendships with any male peers. Instead, I cultivated that prideful heart-attitude (under the guise of “discretion”) for years without understanding how unbiblical and toxic it was. I thought I was protecting myself and being oh-so-holy and upright because I wasn’t like girls #1&2. Now, by God’s grace, as a single in my late 20s I can look back and see the ugliness of my pride—and understand why I now often struggle to develop friendships with male peers. (For someone who has lived like girl #3 for so long, opening up to genuine relationships can feel like turning into girl #1 or 2—even if I’m not.)

    How gracious God is to reveal our sin and provide fellow sojourners to walk the path alongside us and encourage us on. I can’t tell you how encouraging it is to read your blog and know there are other young women asking the same questions, wrestling with the same truths, and seeking to live Biblically, grow in Christ-likeness, and thrive in the identity, role, and location God has designed for them.

  • Bree

    I LOVE THIS! IT really made me think. Thanks for sharing!

  • Gods_girlcoco

    I loved this article! I really needed this article because all of my friends are male. I used to be girl number 1. I just have a natural flirtatious personality. However, I have been changing over the last couple of months and I am slowly turning into girl #4. 🙂 Thanks for this awesome article.

  • Melonie

    I’m never flirty, I just like to joke around. And honestly most guys don’t mind it when you’re sarcastic now and then, honestly that’s just how I am

    • Amaris Watje

      YES. I hate it when guys think I like them just because I am friendly and outgoing. Not to mention kinda playful.

  • Jesusfreak17

    Great post! I was wondering if you had any ideas on how to deal with guy friendships with non-Christians. I have a guy friend that I’ve been reaching out to and stuff (I don’t like-like him) and I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong per se but any tips would be helpful.

  • Rachel

    I’m a little bit of both 1 and 3 but #4 really makes me think about my own life! I NEED to be like girl #4 please pray for me!

  • Amaris Watje

    LOL. I am SOOO girl #2.

  • Kelly Hertig

    I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now and would just like to say how thankful I am to you both. Your words have been such an encouragement and challenge to me to become a better woman for Christ. I love that you are so aligned with the Truth on every point and state our beliefs so eloquently. I am currently preparing to counsel a group of teenage girls at a church camp and your blog has been instrumental in the conversations that I want to have with these girls. Especially this particular one since this is one that really struck close to the heart for me and I think it will with God’s help with the girls too. Thank you for speaking God’s Truth in a darkened world. Keep up the good work!

  • So if I tease or mess around with guys its taken the wrong way?

  • Changemaker101

    Well…I guess I am a little odd. I am typically girl #4 but that did not happen overnight. I was the desperate manipulative girl who needed to have a man in my life in order to breathe. Then I came to Christ and I told him that I felt bad that men were my idol and that I wanted to change but couldn’t and before you knew it, I just viewed men differently. I discovered my purpose and now when I relate to men, my burning desire is for them to know the Lord and to become the men that God called them to be. My problem is that my passion is sometimes interpreted by guys that I am romantically interested. Like the article said, our culture is so obsessed with sexual relationships, that Christian men find it hard to see a sister in Christ as just a sister. So I have to be cautious. I think discovering your calling is significant because when that becomes your focus that special person then emerges in your life along that path.

    • kristina

      I am actually in the boat of how you were before you were #4. I came to Christ, and I haven’t been honest with Him that I feel bad that men are my idol and I want to change. I haven’t spoken to Him about it, but I sure am! I am more of girl #3. Anytime I’m around a Christian brother, or a male in general I feel awkward and insecure. I want to try to stay away from them. Just today, a nice guy who I regularly see at my job asked if we could talk later. I said sure, because I thought it could be an opportunity to share the Gospel! Though, I can’t help but think that the man is trying to be more than friends or tell me he likes me, and when that thought arises, I don’t want to talk to any male at all. Any wisdom the Lord has shown you that could help?

      • Changemaker101

        All of our insecurities whether it be related to a guy or our looks or social status comes from one core reason: We don’t know just how precious and valuable we are. Sure, we know that God loves us or at least we say that we do but truly believing it, is altogether a different matter. I would know because for most of my life I thought I was worthless and the only time I felt like I had worth was when a guy paid me some form of attention and so any relationship which begun from this perspective was doomed for failure. Our security can only be found in Christ and seeing ourselves the way he sees us. By replacing the lies we have been told with the truth that is in his Word. That does not mean I don’t have my struggles but I find that I am most secure is when I am closest to him. When we have a strong relationship with God then those relationships that God desires us to have will thrive. As it relates to guys, we have to exercise wisdom since Christian or not, they can easily get the wrong impression. I have had to deal with this in the past and it can be embarrassing for the guy so while I am friendly I still maintain some distance. It is great to share the gospel but if you already feel vulnerable then that may not necessarily be the best situation to put yourself in. As it relates to being girl #3, I would suggest that you begin with seeking God for direction. Open up to him about your insecurity, what triggers our insecurity is usually deeper than we think and God is more than able to pull back the layers with us. Allow him to build you up. It is a process of being brutally honest with God and deciding to adopt his mindset. And then overtime when you have grown spiritually stronger perhaps you could get involved in Christian groups/ministries at your church where you can interact with guys but in a group setting where it becomes less about male/female interaction and more about you being yourself with a group of friends serving God in the area that you like.

  • Sarah

    i am honestly girl 3 bit i am so scared of talking to guys because its awkward and i don’t even know why i really want to just make friendships with guys without having a crush on them! i want to look past that and have the mindset of girl 4 and treat them just as id treat sisters

  • Amaris Lancaster

    A survey taken in 2015 just for a fun, indicated that a guy mostly started having feelings for a female friend when their female friend was touching them in just a casual friendship kind of way. I found that interesting. I don’t think we realise how much we can affect guys, even subconsciously.

  • Pingback: Como tener amistades piadosas con chicos. |()

  • Emily Maynard

    This was so helpful! I have a crush on a guy at church, but I decided years ago that I would not at least until I graduate high school. I would still like to be his friend, though. This post helped me figure out how I should interact with him. Thank you!


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