I received the following question and thought my answer might provoke
some healthy thought and discussion.
> Do you have any ministry for teens/young people (and their parents) about
> leaving a romantic relationship because it wasn't God's time yet, how to leave
> that relationship and how to pursue that previous friendship as a "friendship
> and sister/brother in Christ" rather than the previous romantic interest? (I
> do hope I am clear - please let me know if I am not.)
> I have read most of your teachings on youthful romance and dating, etc. (which
> are excellent), and have not seen this topic dealt with specifically. (I may
> have not looked in the right places.)
I think I understand your question. If I understand correctly, you are
asking how young people can back out of a romantic relationship to a
friendship state rather than completely breaking it off. I address some
of the principles related to this in the tape "Shameface Romance"
(#907), but let me give my short answer here.
Basically, I don't believe in special "friendships" between men and
women that could in any form be considered a "companionship." As a
married man, I must not allow myself to be "friends" with any other
woman besides my wife. Together we can be friends with another couple,
or either a man or a woman. But individually, both my wife and I must
limit our close friendship relationships to only those of our own
gender. I can be friendly, without being "close friends." I can interact
with other women in ministry, cordially, but their must be a certain
reserve, a cautiousness that is unnecessary in my relationships with
other men. Most married Christians recognize and embrace this dynamic. I
believe this is what 1 Timothy 2:9 refer to as being "shamefaced."
The trap is that while most married Christians understand and apply this
in their lives (hopefully) we have genrally failed to apply it to single
Christians. I am convinced if there is something that is inappropriate
for me to with a woman I'm not married to, it is also inappropriate for
my son to do this with a woman he is not married to.
Thus, I would make a significant distinction between a "brother-sister
relationship" and a "friendship relationship." I have asked my daughter
to commit to not being "friends" (companions) with fellows in the same
way she can be "friends" with other young ladies. She can be cautiously
friendly with men. She can minister to them. She can receive ministry
from them. But she must not allow herself to violate her
"shamefacedness" (the Greek word means literally: "downcast eyes").
Now to your actual question. In my brevity this may sound harsh. I will
trust you to color this with a merciful spirit. I believe any
experimental romance is sin and should be repented of. Even any
"brother-sister" relationship has been irreparably marred, but can be
redeemed over time as both parties repent and seek only to glorify the
Lord through emotional purity. But I believe it is dangerous and
unscriptural (as well as impossible) for the parties to try to be "just
God bless you.
Jonathan Lindvall Lindvall@...
Bold Christian Living http://www.BoldChristianLiving.com
PO Box 820 Voice 559-539-0500
Springville CA 93265 Fax 559-539-0804
...He who has begun a good work in you will complete it... Phil. 1:6