Guest ‘Week’ 1: HOW SHOULD CHRISTIAN BLOKES TREAT CHRISTIAN WOMEN?
We kick off this season of guest contributions with these thoughts from Pastor Pete from CCB – they may seem familiar as they’re adapted from a talk he gave at a Lads’ Weekend Away last year. But that makes them no less valuable! Do give your thoughts below… or the big man will be heartbroken!
How should Christian blokes treat Christian women? We could spend weeks talking about this but here’s a starter for 10!
We should treat women as sisters
1 Timothy 5:1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father. Treat younger men like brothers, 2 older women like mothers, younger women like sisters, in all purity.
Treat the women like sisters, in all purity.
Women at church are our sisters. We are their brothers. We need to treat them with all purity. Therefore we must not mess them about, treat them shamefully. We need to consider how we relate to the women and think how we can do that in all purity. For the purposes of this blog I’m just talking about relationships between men and women of a similar age. I think generally with the demographic and narrow age range of this blog (I didn’t say narrow readership!)
Now what does that look like? I don’t have any biological sisters, but it’s not hard to consider how that relationship should work. We should protect them, if I had a sister I would hope that I would work hard at protecting her. Also, there is an aspect of leadership; a brother should take the lead in his relationship with his sister. But the word purity particularly makes us consider the issue of how we treat them relationally. Not simply sex, but the purity of our thoughts, the purity of our intentions. What do we desire most for our sisters?
Surely, we want them to grow in faith? Surely we want them to love Christ more? They need us to model devotion to Christ. They need us to encourage them to love and serve Christ more. These are not pie in the sky unobtainable desires. This is what will result if we strive for personal maturity in ourselves and treat the women at church as sisters.
Much of this will be the same whether or not we ourselves are married. For the health of the church it’s important we think about how this applies to each of. What does it look like for us to treat the women at church as sisters?
When in bible study groups, be the first to pray. Take the lead, it’s our role. Make sure we prioritise attendance at church, at house group, at KG, and of course at the monthly prayer meeting. Of course it will be good for us to do these things, but it will also help the women at church grow in their love for Christ, as they see how we are growing in maturity, they can learn from this.
We need to take the lead evangelistically. This is an area we have not been as good as the women at. Fabulously, our church (CCB) is not as bad as the national imbalance between men and women. But we do have more women than men in church. I went through the directory and we have 14 more women than men listed in there. There are a number of factors for that, but it seems to me the women have taken the lead evangelistically. We need to do it. We need to take the lead and evangelise men. This helps model the priority of evangelism, but it is also a loving thing for us to do for the women at church.
The women in church are not stupid, they can count. Many, most, of them want to get married. They recognise that if things stay the same, then 14 of them won’t. Wouldn’t it be a loving thing for us to for our sisters to work hard at evangelising single men, so that our sisters can have someone to marry?
So we need to treat the women in church with purity, they are our sisters.
Now this next bit is specifically aimed at those not married. However, married guys need to listen too. Why? Because they need to encourage the single guys and also to hold them to account for the way they are treating their Christian sisters.
To have any romantic ambiguity with a girl at church is a no-no. The constant refrain from Christian girls is for us men to “BE CLEAR”. For a girl to think there might be a romantic possibility with you because of the way you’ve acted towards her and you’ve no intentions with that girl is mean. It is a long way from purity.
Now, please don’t get me wrong, please be friends with girls at church. It’s a normal and good thing to do, they are our sisters, and it’s the most natural thing to want to be friends with them. But, avoid spending exclusive time with a girl without explaining what is going on.
Men and women think differently, you might say; “we went for a drink she knew it was just as friends.” Are you sure? Generally speaking, women psycho-analyse things far more than we do. They read into things stuff we wouldn’t even imagine could be there. So be very clear, don’t mess the girls at church around with them speculating whether there is a chance of something more when you’ve no intention of that. We must take the lead and be clear.
But do make friends with the girls, as an email I got said, “Our girls are brilliant!”
But what do you do if you are keen on a girl?
Not sure. But how about this for an idea.
1. Pray! Ask God to give you wisdom about whether you should go out with this girl.
2. Ask the advice of others who you trust.
3. Ask to meet with her and explain your desire to date her.
Say you wish to go out with her and you do have a view to the future, you’re not asking her to marry you at this point, but you are saying you would like to see if you have a future together. If you do not have a view of the future, DO NOT GO OUT WITH HER. Equally it doesn’t mean you should marry her within the next few weeks, you could but it doesn’t mean you have to.
So now imagine she said yes, she would like to see where things go. 2 questions when you are going out and to keep asking.
- If relationship ended tomorrow could you say that you both grew as a Christian during the time you were courting?
- If relationship ended tomorrow could you say that you honoured her, both physically and emotionally?
If you say yes to both of these and it does end then it’s not been a failure, you’ve both grown as Christians.
In all areas, whether we are married or single, we need to consider carefully how we are striving to treat the women at church as sisters.
But additionally, and to help us to do that:
We need to encourage each other to be men.
ESV Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
ESV Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Look at these proverbs. We know they are true. Let’s encourage, challenge, rebuke, and train each other to be the men at church our women need us to be.