Per the request of a friend, I’ve decided to address a commonly overlooked topic among Christians. I’m a big fan of opposite sex friendships within the Christian community. I believe they foster healthy individuals who know how to relate to a different way of thinking.
With that said, it’s common to run into hiccups when attempting to do opposite sex friendships well. Here are a few ways we can encourage one another in those friendships in a manner that honors Christ:
- Use common sense. Listen, if it feels like a sketchy decision, it most likely is. Always keep the appropriate safeguards in place. Stumbling in the area of purity with a friend of the opposite sex only leads to shame and regret.
- Laugh a lot. Many of my female friends share my sense of humor, which makes for some great hangouts. Enjoy spending time with those that laugh at the same things you do, regardless of gender.
- Share what God is teaching you. The Lord may be teaching you something that both your male and female friends would find inspiring. Don’t withhold a rich bit of guidance by selling your friends of the opposite sex short.
- Be faithful to listen and pray for the concerns in their lives. I would advise against one-on-one praying with the opposite sex, but I would never caution against intercession for all your friends.
- Handle yourself with dignity. Ladies, you know what makes men stumble. Fellas, you know what will connect with a woman’s heart in a way that sends mixed signals. Be conscious of your behavior, and guard against crossing the line.
These are just five simple reasons, but I think they’re good starting points. Let’s handle all of our friendships in a Christ-like manner.