In Genesis 2 we get God’s story of Him creating women and men with unique and complimentary natures. Guest author, John MacDonald, reminds us of the importance of teaching guys how to interact with girls since all but one of those relationships will be friendships versus marriage!
Likewise, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.
Growing up in church us guys talked a lot about girls, most often though in the context of lust, sex and dating rules. However most of my time spent with girls, in both high school and now marriage, is just talking.
Women desire to be known for their character far above their beauty. How can we train our young men to treat young women well beyond the hype of (as camp calls it) “thick and chewy” relationships and into daily friendships?
Tucked away in 1 Samuel 25 is a great story of how non-romantic relationships with the other gender can be beneficial. David and his men helped a wealthy shepherd named Nabal. When it came to shearing time, Nabal was a real jerk to some of David’s men and ran them off. In a fit of rage, David sets out to kill Nabal. But Abigail, Nabal’s wife, meets David on the way and reminds him of God’s purpose and the consequences of David’s anger.
In response (v 32) David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. (33) May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.
As David experienced, the conversation with Abigail provided critical insights to keep him focused on God’s promise.
So how can we instruct our sons?
- Have conversations. Conversation (verbal and non) is how we get to know someone and become better known ourselves. Start with small talk and keep practicing to understand how women respond differently to words than men.
- Gain perspective. For women, conversation creates a kaleidoscope of context in their minds. They can quickly and easily imagine the many ways a situation may turn out then use their verbal skills to help us guys see the bigger picture.
- Make intentions clear. Language is more strongly connected with emotions in the female mind. As guys open up, girls may be attracted to draw closer. Let’s remind our boys that if they’d like to date, say so (of course within the boundaries you’ve set up as parents). If not then use phrases like “I’m glad to have you as a friend”. The courage to initiate, clearly stating intentions, shows strong character, and alleviates any gray areas in the relationship.
The more we help our young men understand a woman’s unique nature, the better chance they have to focus on their character in daily interactions. Instead of lecturing, tell your story about what did/didn’t work as you were growing up. Stories and vulnerability go a lot further than a lecture.
1 Samuel 25:3 says Abigail was “discerning and beautiful…” How might this story have gone differently if David focused on her beauty over her discernment? Young men, it’s normal and healthy to be attracted to women. Think of some ways your interactions can show a priority for their character.