Is it Wise to be “Friends” with Unbelieving Guys?

Posted on December 3, 2012 by


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After my post Time to Nip that Relationship ASAP – I heard from a reader – and I am really excited to share her comments.   I think her message is IMPORTANT!  And I will share my thoughts at the end:

FROM A READER:
 
Might I add… because you know its wrong to date an unbeliever – you maintain you will remain just friends. Be Careful ! You may very well sincerely treat him as just a friend and keep your boundaries. But that is no guarantee of protection from attraction: if he is masculine and you have admiration for him and are sociable with him attraction can build over time.  Sometimes we think we are hiding our butterflies well by all the while insisting you want nothing more than friendship but he is not blind.   He can see you admire him and he’ll milk it for all its worth. All my guy friends have known whether I had a little crush on them: my face can’t hide it and I tend to smile a lot. I discovered personally if I open up to a male friend by talking a lot about every day life in general with frequency and over time I start to like them! : o
 
HOW WE GET HOOKED
 
Just a steady stream of frequent casual conversation makes me begin to bond with them and once I start confiding in them then exactly what you quoted happens:” he wants to “counsel” you or “guide” you in your life.”  So true: everything from how you should think, what you should do, career decisions, trying to bring up doubt about how you were raised, questioning your beliefs… spot on!!  Another area of caution: he may initially agree to be just friends; all the while hoping to become closer and win you over …. or later on over time he can be attracted to you as more than a friend. Familiarity breeds liking and boldness in men.
 
MY MOTIVES WERE PURE – HIS WEREN’T
 
I was chipper, bubbly and VERY conservative and restrained with this one guy who knew I am a Christian and date only Christians. I kept the friendship very pure and I knew he liked me……. Fast forward months after – I was gob-smacked when said guy tried to cop a feel of my breast while we were chatting on campus, then had the gall to try and kiss me as I hugged him (as I do all my friends make and female) to say goodbye!! I was livid!
 
Of course knowing that he doesn’t respect me and wanted ultimately to bed me –  our friendship died a natural death.  
 
So…..what is a girl to do… is it wise to say a single Christian woman should not embark on platonic friendship with a unsaved man? What are your thoughts April?
 
HIS TACTICS
 
That former acquaintance said things like:
“If you don’t want me,  why don’t you leave me alone?”
 
When he asked to date me and I said no he got so angry….
“What, do you scorn me do you think I’m not good enough for you?”
 
This is even after I explained being why being unequally yoked is sin and that Christians are only able to stand because of grace and faith in the Lord Jesus
 
TRYING TO “WITNESS” TO A GUY CAN LEAD TO TEMPTATION FOR US
 
Him: – “What do you want from me”
Me: – “uh…… uhmmm I am just saying ‘hi.’ Did I do something wrong?”
Him – “what are you trying to do?  Save my soul?” 😡
 
Of course I responded ” I cannot save your soul, and I won’t try to, your relationship with God is a deeply personal matter. I can only show and tell you my experience and hope and wish and pray that you come into a saving knowledge of Christ.” We can be the best of friends as long as there is absolute purity.
 
I will never make the mistake of pressuring him or any guy to come to church in order to date me or try to play Holy Spirit Jr. What happens if there’s a breakup or by some twist of fate I were to grow lukewarm? Does he lose his faith? I want him to come to God for the right reasons. Even though at the end he harshly rejected my friendship in a harsh, degrading manner I still pray about him and think of him hoping he’ll find his way back to Christ and that God will bless him and give him a wife, kids, a ministry a hope and a future.
 
NEW INSIGHTS
 
I sought God desperately about Him I didn’t want to leave any room for error. I kept my Mom and youth leader as accountability partners. I prayed often and when I found myself getting infatuated I said God if you don’t want him in my life move him out. He lived on nearby and sure enough months later he literally moved away to another city! I wondered how God would have worked it out. Well as it unravelled God prompted me ahead of time with dreams showing me his true character and any time I knew I was gonna bump into him I prayed and God covered me and prepared me.
 
I really reaaallly wanted to be his friend,- a hey can you do me a favour, sure buddy what is it kind of friend. It reminded me of David who was trying so desperately to be friends with Saul meanwhile Saul wanted to annihilate him.“See I am being nice to you/ kind to you… why do you resent my friendship? Why do you seek to insult me and bring me pain (insert pout)
God had to create a diversion a the rock of escape and moved Saul away so David could escape unharmed, Yes sometimes we are so blind and naïve to people’s true intentions but God is merciful to us!

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I believed when I was first married that having male friends was totally fine. I thought I was safe because they knew I was married. And I thought I was above infidelity. Now that I am 40 years old and have a lot more experience under my belt and understand the deceitfulness of the human heart and the utter sinful wretchedness of every human being much more clearly – including my own – I know that I was extremely naive and unwise in my beliefs.

Just like this reader discovered, I, too,  figured out in time that just because my motives are pure at the outset of a “platonic friendship” with a guy, that doesn’t mean my motives will stay pure.  I am vulnerable to developing feelings for men who are off limits to me.  And I don’t really know what the guy’s motives are – but even if his motives are pure in the beginning (which is unlikely – in my view), he may develop an attraction to me, too.

Is it possible for men and women to have platonic friendships that don’t eventually turn into attraction or romantic/sexual feelings?  Maybe.

But in my mind – the risk is MUCH too great of a risk to take.  I have seen in my own life, in my friends’ lives and many women I have heard from WAY too many times when attraction eventually became an issue – even if it wasn’t at first.  And once you have those feelings of being “in love” – your heart and feelings will happily deceive and mislead you and you will be willing to rationalize all kinds of reasons why it’s ok to date or even marry this unbelieving man.  And then you will suffer greatly for disobeying God’s clear command in scripture – His will for you to marry a believer.

CLOSE FRIENDSHIP WITH UNBELIEVING GUYS/LUKEWARM CHRISTIAN GUYS/CARNAL CHRISTIAN GUYS IS NOT WORTH IT!

Satan wants to take us down.  And he would be VERY happy to do this by bringing a handsome, funny, magnetic, understanding, attractive unbeliever into our lives who will tempt and convince us to water down our faith and convictions and make compromise after compromise that will erode the foundation of our faith and the Lordship of Jesus in our lives.

For single Christian women, my advice is:

– Do not become friends with guys who are obviously carnal Christians (fruit of the flesh is very obvious, not fruit of God’s Spirit on a daily basis) or unbelievers.  (avoid private conversations, emails, texts, dates, time alone together, flirting, etc.)

– Be CAREFUL when witnessing to men.  If a guy acts interested in hearing you talk about coming to know Christ, try to only speak with him in public, and – possibly – introduce him to a godly guy who can lead him to Christ.  There are plenty of guys who will follow along and act interested in Jesus as long as it means they have a chance at YOU.  BE CAREFUL!!  GUARD YOUR HEART!

– Only become close friends with AVAILABLE Christian men who show the fruit of the Spirit in their lives on a daily basis and who truly seek to live with Jesus as Lord.  But even with them, it is wise to have accountability partners checking up on you and to avoid being completely alone.  Guard your heart.  Guard your sexual purity and virginity.  Put the will of Jesus WAY, WAY ahead of your own will and desires.

– Dress, act and speak modestly.  Draw attention to your Lord, not to your body or your sexuality.

– I would suggest not hugging or touching guys much in general.  Hugging a guy who is attracted to you is going to REALLY fuel his desire for you.  That is not a good thing!

– Concentrate on developing strong friendships with godly girls/women

– I would strongly recommend finding a godly older woman as a mentor and accountability partner

– Involve your parents, especially if they are strong believers and/or you are still young and under their care and protection.  Your Dad, in particular, can protect you from so much heartbreak because he can immediately detect red flags in young men that you may not be able to see.  It would be ideal to have your dad scope out potential boyfriends BEFORE you are in a committed relationship.  Until you are married, you are under your father’s protection and spiritual authority.  Our culture doesn’t do this much anymore, to our own detriment!  Fathers are in the perfect position to protect their precious daughters’ emotions, hearts and purity.  We need them to be very involved in our lives, to teach us how to expect to be treated by a godly man, to keep the men who want to date us accountable to them, to keep us accountable and to protect our easily deceived hearts from disaster.

– In my view – the closer you move towards marriage, it would be wise to break away from other male friendships.  And once you are married, I believe it is wise to cut off male friendships.  You will obviously see men and interact with them – and maybe go out as a couple with couple friends.  But your focus should be on your husband and on godly girlfriends – in my opinion.  Once a woman is married, I believe it is inappropriate/unwise to have private conversations on any kind of media or in person with a man as a friend – confiding in him, sharing emotions and feelings, talking about your marriage, looking up to him for advice and counsel…  All of the confiding in a man and emotional sharing and spiritual sharing we do once we are married should be with our husbands, not with other men.  It is WAY TOO EASY for us to have a male friend and then naturally turn to him when things are not going well in our marriage.  This is a recipe for infidelity.  Yes – it is possible that infidelity may not ever occur.  But it is probable that it could, or that feelings of attraction could occur.  I would not even want to meet in private with a male pastor or male Christian counselor or teacher.  There is just too much room for the appearance of evil and for temptation on one or both sides.

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