I’ll never forget the first time a guy asked me out.
Well, at least I think he was asking me out.
One mid-summer afternoon, he walked into the office where I worked. After a few minutes of small-talk, plus scheduling an appointment, he leaned against the door, quirked a brow, and remarked, “Man, that Chinese food across the street smells good.”
I inhaled. I couldn’t smell a thing.
“Would you like some?” He asked, still leaning against the door.
I laughed nervously, “No, thank you.”
“Okay, well, goodbye.” And with that, he left, leaving me with my mouth hanging open, thinking, what was that?
He hasn’t come back since, and I’ve never been asked out for Chinese again. Still, I’ve had a few more awkward encounters with young men that have left me confused and longing to curl up with a book, and lose myself in a world where relationships made sense. Or at least weren’t borderline weird.
Last month, I shared six do’s and don’ts for guy/girl relationships. Before we jump into six more, let’s recap:
1. DON’T stalk
2. DON’T be just (best) friends
3. DON’T be afraid to interact
4. DO set up boundaries
5. DO pray for them
6. DO love them
(Read the whole article here)
Here are six more do’s and don’ts to help eliminate awkwardness, uphold purity, and ultimately seek God as we choose to honor him with our relationships.
1. DON’T flirt
There are a lot of misconceptions about flirting—especially in conservative Christian circles. Many young people have been brought up to think that merely talking to a guy or girl equals flirting, and have completely left out the possibility of healthy and pure interaction.
But even so, flirting is a trap many fall into, and versions of “innocent and Christian flirting” have been invented to fit in with Christian culture.
But flirting is flirting, Christian version or not. It has way less to do with if you interact and way more to do with how you interact. No teen ever needed to attend “Flirting 101” to learn how to flirt or what it looks like. Believe me; you know if you’re doing it. But flirting has no place in a Christian teenager’s relationship with the opposite sex, especially if there’s no intention or possibility of a serious relationship.Flirting has no place in a Christian teenager’s relationship with the opposite sex, especially if there’s no intention or possibility of a serious relationship. Click To Tweet
Flirting for the mere sake of gaining attention is self-focused. It’s choosing to place the way you feel above the consequences of flirtatious actions. Be genuine and mature in your interactions—other-focused, instead of “me-centered.”
2. DON’T forget to consider their feelings…and their future spouses
This ties into the above point. Just ask yourself this question: “Would I want my future husband/wife stalking/flirting/spending a lot of time with another person in this way?” If the answer is no, then don’t act that way yourself. And also remember that (if God wills it) every other person you know is also someone else’s future spouse.
3. DON’T make assumptions
A lot of the confusion in relationships is due to misguided assumptions. In two words: Don’t assume. If someone smiles at you, don’t assume they’re your soul mate. If they say hello, don’t assume a proposal is forthcoming. Save yourself the stress, and let a smile be just a smile, and a hello be just hello.
4. DO (Guy’s) Intentionally Pursue
It’s your job, men. God designed for the man to be the leader of his household, and that starts with the man being the leader of a relationship.
Seek God, ask for advice, consult your parents, pastor, or mentors, be wise, and then please be bold enough to pursue us at the right time. Don’t allow your holy act of seeking God turn into a complacent act of procrastination.
Please don’t leave us wondering what your intentions are. Be chivalrous and gentlemanly. Make us feel cherished and valued by protecting our hearts and guarding our purity with your words and actions.
We’ll thank you for it.
5. DO (Girls) Let him pursue
And girls, it’s our job to let them pursue. To allow them to take the initiative.
This chafes against our society’s feministic views, but it aligns with how God made us and what Scripture tells us. We each have roles in life and relationships—the man’s role is to pursue and initiate, the woman’s to respond. Neither roles are inferior, but both are important. This doesn’t mean we hide under a rock, can never start a conversation, or stick our noses in the air while we complain that no one ever pursues us.We each have roles in life and relationships—the man’s role is to pursue and initiate, the woman’s to respond. Click To Tweet
It means being intentionally available and acting with femininity and grace. Let the man pursue, and as he does, seek God, respond, affirm, and build him up with your words and actions as God leads you.
6. DO seek God
As in every relationship and situation in life, seeking God is the most important and powerful thing we can do.
Seek him for the strength to choose purity. Seek him for wisdom in how to act. Seek him for guidance about what to do. Seek him when waiting and patience is tough.
Seek him when you don’t have the strength to lead, or when you want to lead. Seek him when you know your attitude is wrong, when you’ve made mistakes. Seek him when you’re confused. Seek him when you don’t understand your emotions and actions.
Seek him in faith, humility, and patience, and trust that he knows how men and women should act and respond to each other. Trust that he created a perfect system, if only we follow his leading.Trust that he created a perfect system, if only we follow his leading. Click To Tweet
And always remember, you’re not the first person coming to him with questions, doubts, and confusion about problems like these. He already knows you need his help, and he’s well-versed in matters of relationships and the heart.
Our culture has low expectations for us as teenagers. They also have low expectations of how we’re going to navigate relationships. Let’s not give in to the pressure of these low expectations, but rather do hard things and make hard—but God-glorifying—decisions in our lives and in our relationships with the young men and women around us.