I received this e-mail:
"I have a question I would love for you to blog about: how should we, as young women seeking to keep our hearts and minds pure, interact with young men? I always feel completely awkward and shy, and wind up, usually, completely ignoring them, which isn't treating them like a brother in Christ, either. It's especially difficult for me, because I have no brothers, and don't even have any male cousins around my age that I grew up with! I want to treat them with kindness and courtesy, but I never want to go too far and I don't know how to balance that. Suggestions would be hugely helpful!"
I am so thankful for this e-mail! I know you're alone in feeling confused about how to remain emotionally pure and interact with young men in a God honoring way. I've seen young women just sit in silence around guys because they are unsure in how to interact. Almost as if they are scared of guys.
For some young women this is just their personalities, for others it is coming from fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of your own emotions, fear of what others will think...just plain ol' fear!
Anyone who reads my book or blog knows that I firmly believe that one should guard their emotions for marriage. But, I also believe you can have healthy relationship with members of the opposite sex before marriage.
I think my reader answered her own question: "I want to treat them with kindness and courtesy." This may require you to step out of your comfort zone. Know that just because you ask a young man: "How was your week?" at church doesn't mean you are coming across as a flirt or like a girl who is being aggressive or self-seeking.
Check the motives of your heart. Trust that the Holy Spirit will speak to your heart if you are overstepping any lines that should not be crossed. Trust that the convictions you have to remain emotionally pure, will be strong enough to keep you from going "too far" emotionally.
Now, in saying that, keep accountable. Make sure there is someone in your life who is aware of your desire to be kind and courtesy to young men in your life and is willing to ask those tough, heart seeking questions, like: Is treating him this way causing you to think too much of the relationship?
I hope this helps and please ask away if there is anything I can help clarify!