Brothers in Christ

Recently, I’ve been learning a lot about treating other young men as brothers in Christ. I happened upon the written-and-spelled-out idea last year through a friend who posted this article by Elizabeth Botkin on her forum. As a person who is deathly afraid of being wrong and of hurting herself, I recently panicked. What if, what if, what if…I grew so attached to a guy that when he got married, I would miss him — too much — because he would have a wife to talk to and not me. True, I’d be sad because I lost a friend, but missing him to that point? Wouldn’t that mean I was friends with him just because he was a potential? I talked this out with my mom and friends. Since I couldn’t even get my fear into words, neither really helped. But I finally came to a conclusion on my own.

When my brother gets married, I will be, in a sense, lost. He will move out of this home and will start his own family, separate from ours. And more than that, even best friends of the same gender are frustrated when one moves on and no longer needs as much as they once did from their friend. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen more than once.

In the same manner, if I am truly a sister in Christ to young men, something would be wrong if I didn’t miss a guy once he got married. Because of this, I have begun calling my guy friends “brothers” (since that is what most are to me) to get myself in the frame of mind that that’s what they are. Not “guy friends”, as if they have the potential, nor mere “acquaintances” because that sounds as if you’re distancing yourself, but “brothers” because there is a bond of fellowship and that is the way we are to treat them.

As a girl, my brain does at times kick into a “marriage-mind”. These are the times where I must be very careful not to let myself go places I shouldn’t. I don’t care if girls naturally think about marriage. Maybe I am just different, but I believe young women should be prepared to be Christians, not wives. We should have the cooking/cleaning/etc. skills to be a wife, but so should a man, in my opinion.  The unneeded excess emphasis on raising wives not only kicks female hormones and emotions into overdrive, but also creates the giddy-flirty-hyper-feminine image that most people hold of girls. If you don’t support that, you are now creating the snobbish-holier-than-thou-demanding-respect feminist image. Why can not we girls be ourselves? Laughing, having fun, teasing, feminine (yet fun; what I mean by this is let them get the door for you, etc. but don’t be so obnoxiously feminine that you need them to save you every minute of the day), playing with your brothers.

Would you flirt with your birth brother? Hopefully not. 😛 Then there is no reason to flirt with your brothers in Christ. Get over the fact that we’re all marriage material. Why worry about one certain young man when there’s half a gazillion others? When the time is right, you’ll know. When one certain young man starts pursuing, you’ll know. It’s not your job to make sure everyone knows you’re single and available. If someone’s that interested, they’ll know.

Would you hide yourself from and refuse to socialize with your birth brother? Then there is no reason to do such with your brothers in Christ. Get out there, get to know them, learn from them (here’s another rant: why are we listening to girls tell us how to associate with guys? :P), learn to love them (there’s that word again :P). Learning to love them is tough. In a culture where everything is sexualized, we freak when someone loves someone else. But here’s an idea: Love your neighbor as yourself; The greatest of these is charity. Love does not always mean Eros. Love can mean Affection, Friendship and Charity. When you refuse to love your brothers, you are not only falling for the myth that love=sex, you are disobeying God’s command. We won’t love them to obey God’s command, but the irony of it is, not loving them is breaking God’s command.

Would you admit your birth brother is cute? Has amazing eyes? Has beautiful hair? A wonderful smile? Why not admit the same about your brothers in Christ? Well, I must admit, it would be uncomfortable to admit so to his face, but that is because of the over-sexualization (I made up a word) of everything. “He has nice hair” does not mean I want to jump in bed with him. 😛 It merely means (*gasp!*) he has nice hair.

Oh well. Maybe I’m making mountains out of molehills. But this is a big deal to me. When I say, “I love so-and-so”, people look at me funny. “Well, is there anything there? Does he like you?” You know what? No. There’s not anything there. Nothing but “I love so-and-so because he’s a good guy. A good brother in Christ to me.” I’m tired of having to explain my motives for liking someone’s eyes, saying someone’s attractive, or just plain loving someone. kthxbai. 😛

(Really, if you’ve read this entire thing through, I want to thank you for listening to me. It’d be amazing to reverse a lot of the sexualization of this nation and I’m starting with myself. Are you going to fall for the myths and feed them? Or are you going to stand up and show them love?)

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~ by neverxxforsaken on July 7, 2009.

6 Responses to “Brothers in Christ”

  1. :approves:

    🙂 nice writing

  2. Good thoughts, Kayla – very practical, well-written, and straight-forward. From my older and more-experienced-less-idealistic viewpoint, my main response is that I wish it were this simple to implement into real life. 😛 Sometimes one tries their best to keep responses and relationships in their proper places and it still gets all tangled up…guess that’s ’cause we’re human and emotions just don’t stay neatly in boxes as we’d like. Can be pretty frustrating at times. But it keeps us desperately clinging to Christ (always a good thing) and He has amazing ways of bringing good from it all in the end. I’m ever so thankful for that.

  3. For the record, when my sister heard me say that the stars were beautiful, she almost fell over. No, I do not use such descriptors of even my siblings very often.

    The comparison to your brother getting married is an appropriate one. Friends do marry and their focus changes but they are still around occasionally. Life was not designed to remain the same all the way throughout anyway.

  4. I agree, Kayla. Thanks for your thoughts! 🙂

  5. Very good. Thanks for writing.

  6. Sara, Carrie, Kim: Thanks! 🙂

    Abi: Thanks! So true. It can be very difficult to separate that sometimes. I’m starting to be more bold and straighten things out when people assume. I’m also beginning to remind myself that it’s not easy to remain physically pure when the relationship gets deeper. We can’t use it as an excuse. Praying everyday that the Lord protects my mind and heart is helping, I’m sure. Asking Him to do so is not a one-time thing; it’s a continuous action.

    Chris: I tend not to say such things myself. Training myself to do otherwise currently. You’re right, it never remains the same. One of the many beauties of life. 🙂

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