Potential Boyfriend or Forever Brother?

You notice him right away. The new guy at youth group.

He’s seriously good looking. You try to focus on the open Bible on your lap, but the letters blur together.

He answers a question, and you listen carefully. He nailed it. So he’s model material AND he knows God’s Word, you celebrate.

But only for a second. Pull it together. You shake your head and force your attention back on what the youth pastor is saying.

After a few minutes you raise your hand, share a thought, and . . . Mr. Model catches your eye and smiles!

You don’t get much out of youth group that day; you’re too busy praying the new guy will ask you out or at least talk to you. Hey, you’d even settle for him following you on Twitter!

It’s hard, isn’t it? Christian guys can seem like an endangered species. So when one day the heavens open and an eye-turning Christian guy is dropped into your life, your brain instantly jumps into high gear trying to figure out how to get his attention. (Let’s be honest, you know the other girls’ antennae are up, so you want to snag him before they do!)

In the heat of the moment, it’s hard to think of the new stranger as more than a potential boyfriend. But let’s face it. He is more . . . a whole lot more.

He’s your forever brother. If he trusts in Jesus’ righteousness rather than his own, he’s your blood-bought brother in Christ. You’ll spend forever with him, right there along with Jesus Himself.

So will you ask God to help you view the Christian guys around you as more than potential boyfriends—as forever brothers in Christ? Here are a few practical tips:

  1. Pray for them. Pray the very best for them. Pray that they’d be kept from temptation. Pray that their enjoyment of Jesus would grow like crazy. Pray whatever the Spirit leads you to pray for them.
  2. Encourage them. Rather than admiring them from a distance, let them know when you see Jesus in them.
  3. Don’t dress to distract them; dress in such a way that they’ll be able to worship Jesus without extra temptation and distraction each Sunday.

After all, that’s how we’re told to relate to guys—even the really cute ones!—as brothers, in all purity:

Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity (1 Tim. 5:1–2).

How can you treat the Christian guys near you as more than potential boyfriends?

About Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula no longer tries to catch guys’ attention by swallowing live goldfish, arm wrestling, and jumping down flights of stairs. (She’s married to a wonderful man now!) She spends her days caring for her son, Iren, and writing for Revive Our Hearts. She’s the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom, and she and her family live in New York. You can catch all her writing on PaulaWrites.com.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • anna

    I have a gut friend who’s s truly devoted to God but he has an issue where he still has feelings for his ex who’s unsaved. He got saved before her. But she doesn’t seem like she wants God in her life. But my problem is I started to develop feelings for him. I don’t want to ruin our friendship so I try to suppress them. Like last time we talked he said he really misses his ex and all and Honestly I’m wondering if I should distance myself from him because I’ve never really had a guy friend and it’s hard. Like I’ve always wanted to be friends with a guy for a purpose leading to courtship then marriage. I just don’t feel like I can be a true friend to him right now. Is it right if I distance myself. Cause he’s going through this tough time he wants to cabe in and go back out with his ex but he knows she’s not saved. I told him , God wouldn’t be able to work between them because she’s not saved. But it’s tough. And for me it’s somewhat difficult because I just wanna refrain from him for some time. He always pours his heart out to me idk y because Id figure he would ask a guy for advice. But I can’t relate to his issues. So idk I just wanna refrain a bit is that wise?

    • anna

      I meant I have a guy friend *

    • phendricks

      Dear Anna,

      I’m not sure how truly devoted he is to God if he’s longing for a romantic relationship with someone who wants nothing to do with God. I would encourage you to point him to his pastor or youth pastor or some other godly man to share his struggle with instead of you. And yes, I do think it’s fine for you to keep your distance for a bit.

      Praying for you now,

      paula

    • phendricks

      Dear Anna,

      I’m not sure how truly devoted he is to God if he’s longing for a romantic relationship with someone who wants nothing to do with God. I would encourage you to point him to his pastor or youth pastor or some other godly man to share his struggle with instead of you. And yes, I do think it’s fine for you to keep your distance for a bit.

      Praying for you now,

      paula

  • Claire

    Hi
    I’m a little late to the discussion. Oops! I have the same problem but it’s a little different. I go to a christian school back east btw. I had a very close guy friend last year. We always had eachothers back. But now he has changed first off he has a huge crush on best friend. It’s like there’s a wall between us. We still smile at eachother but it’s not the same. How do I get him back? Please reply!!!!!!! It would mean the world to me!!
    ~missing someone who is so close yet feels so far away

    • phendricks

      Dear Claire,

      I’m sorry for the pain you’re feeling. Here are a couple random thoughts for you:

      1) Friendships come and go. Even when you love someone, if you don’t put a lot of hard work into maintaining that relationship, you’ll naturally drift apart. That doesn’t mean you don’t still care for the other person. It’s just that certain friendships were especially strong during certain seasons. Many friendships will move close, drift apart, move close, and drift apart with time. Maybe a way you can love him during this season is to “let him go,” to pray for him, to smile at him, to be there for him if and when he needs someone to talk to.

      2) We can’t make anyone love us, but as we stay connected to God–who is love–we will be able to love others–even those who no longer love us. In fact, that’s how God loved us–when we were His enemies! 1 John 4:10 says, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

      HIS love for you will never, ever fade or diminish. Rest in Him, sweet girl. 🙂

  • Claire

    Hey
    I have a question that doesn’t really relate to this but maybe you can help. I met a guy last summer and we just got back in contact about 3-4 months ago. He’s a Christian guy, very big about faith. He’s one of my best friends. He lives faraway but he is coming out to see me soon. But, I have a problem. He wants to be more than friends or nothing at all now. Please reply it would mean the world to me!!

    • It’s difficult for me to not read between the lines in your question, Claire. You should never be pressured into a relationship. His “ultimatum” to be more than friends or nothing at all could be real or it could be manipulation. The desire for that relationship needs to be mutual, prayed through, talked through and not be the result of pressure. Please talk to your mom or another godly woman you know about this. They will be closer to the situation and be much better at giving wise counsel than I am. I am praying for you, Claire, for your wisdom, for your strength and for direction.

      • Claire

        I guess I didn’t word that correctly. I meant to say that he doesn’t want to keep playing around if it isn’t gonna go anywhere. I’m still not sure. I’m in high school so it’s defiantly a commitment

        • I understand, Claire! Thank you for clarifying. I don’t know that my advice would change at all regardless. I would still recommend that you pray and talk to your parents about this. They can help you work through the pros and cons of a relationship while you are still in high school. They are there to help you!

    • Paula Hendricks

      Hey, Claire,

      Can you wait and see how the visit goes before you give him your answer of whether you want to be more than friends or not friends?

      paula