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Friendship dilemma July 9, 2017

Posted by Christine Smith in Uncategorized.
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Dear Christian Agony Aunt,

I understand yours is a blog for Christian women, but I do hope you can still help me out!  I’m not a woman, but a young Christian man. The thing is, there just doesn’t seem to be any other resource like this where Christian men can seek help, so I’ve come to you for advice! And I think mine is a problem for a lot of Christians.

I have a best friend of the opposite sex who’s not a Christian. We’ve spent a lot of time together, but not physically, because she lives in a different country. We spend several hours a week talking to each other over Skype.

Recently, we have come to the realisation that spending so much time together alone could result in one or the other developing romantic feelings for the other, and given how compatible we already are as best friends, such a possibility doesn’t seem to be an entirely unlikely prospect in the future as there seems to be mutual attraction.

As a Christian man, I understand that we aren’t to be yoked to pre-believers (I use this word in the optimistic hope that every unbelieving friend I have will one day come to know the Lord), and so will definitely not pursue a romantic relationship with her before she knows the Lord. I also realise that these continued Skype sessions are in a way dangerous, in possibly fomenting a potential romantic attraction that will be a difficult matter to deal with in the future.

That’s why I’ve decided to tell her that we should probably take a break from Skyping one another for a month, just to sort ourselves out. However, sometimes I feel like this ‘one-month break’ feels like a disobedient compromise, in that if I truly want to guard my heart and remove all sources of temptation, I should be making a clean break and never Skype her again. I am, however, uncomfortable with this latter option, and do not believe it is the right thing to do, for the following reasons:

  1. I do not wish to stop being friends with her because we’ve gotten quite close (platonic) and have grown to trust and confide in each other. To stop Skyping her completely would mean that we would not be able to be in touch with each other in any significant way (we’re close to 11,000 km away from each other). I still want to be friends with her and maintain this treasured friendship for many years to come.
  2. Our Skype sessions have also been an opportunity for me to discuss God’s word with her so to terminate it could make the possibility of her salvation a more remote one.
  3. It seems to me that “cancelling” this relationship would be exceedingly hurtful, and it would first and foremost be a terrible thing to hurt her feelings to this extent, but also secondly reflect rather badly on Christians as people who would terminate friendships without thinking just to follow a code.
  4. Objectively speaking, I believe she could potentially be a fitting life partner when she comes to know the Lord.
I am not sure whether to continue Skyping her or do it less frequently. Firstly, as already mentioned, there is a good chance that a romantic relationship might arise from it, and that would be sinful and difficult. Secondly, I come from a church with stringent rules about male-female relationships, one of them being that one-to-one meetings are absolutely forbidden between people of opposite genders. Although I may feel such a rule is harsh, I can now understand where they are coming from. But furthermore, even if this rule might not be perfect, it still feels like if I were to Skype her I would still be disobeying an authority God has placed in my life.
I am thus in a dilemma. Should I Skype her as per normal (once a week), take a one-month break and see how it goes, or never Skype her again? How should I progress with this friendship?
Thank you so much for your time!

Mr annon

Christine’s reply:

Thank you for writing to my Christian Agony Aunt. 

You are right when you say yours is a problem for many Christians, and the sad thing is that many have thought that once they married a non-Christian they would automatically become one.

The Scriptures are not there to spoil our fun but are there for our protection from ruining our lives.  Marrying someone who does not become a Christian can turn into as very complicated life. You end up with totally different interests. going to church alone; having different friends from one another; one wants to do things the Christian isn’t comfortable with. It eventually becomes a lonely way to live. There  can also be be a lot of jealousy when one loves the Lord as the other begins to feel second place not being able to understand it.

A little sadness now in ending a relationship is nothing compared to a life of friction, unhappiness, and the pain of a divorce.

You mention pre-believers’ but the Scripture only states ‘unbelievers’  which rules out presumption. And you say yourself that this relationship can be dangerous.

Many ‘skype relationships’ have fallen apart once a couple have met and one is left disappointed and hurt, no matter how long they feel they have got to know one another via skype.

You comment on your church’s disapproval. I don’t know anything about your church so it is difficult for me to say if they genuinely have people’s best interest at heart or just a desire to control the lives of others.  But if your church is a good one with sound Biblical teaching, I would take notice of them otherwise you are going to feel more and more guilty and deceitful about hiding something from them that they would disapprove of, and eventually you’ll feel isolated.

If it were me: I would be determined not to get romantic with this person because I am a Christian and she is not. I would seek skype friendships with believers only. I would be aware that there are sure to be things that I cannot know about anyone via internet, and I would be aware that people can surprise us later as people have been known to with ho,d the truth.

I would keep in in that marriage is already challenging even when married to a Christian! This girl lives 11,000 miles away from you so either you or her would have to leave their own country and culture. I know of some who have done it and it can become a  complicated and very expensive life as the one who left their country misses their own culture and family

I personally would prefer a spouse from my own country of my own culture, and a Christian I could meet with face to face and get to know their background, family and relatives.

The Bible is full of Scriptures that says we are to keep the world at arms length and the reasons for it. I can send many if your require them.

It is noble that you are witnessing to her.  But I don’t believe what you say: “a loss of a positive Christian influence in her life, and make the possibility of her salvation a more remote one”  God does use us to win people, but people’s salvation does not depend on us and no-one will be lost if we fail in any way. It is God who shines His truth into someone not us.

God wants us to look after our soul, “Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Cor 15:33). I realise that not all unsaved people have bad morals are but things that are wrong to a Christian will not be to the unsaved who are influenced by world’s standards.

You say “terminate friendships without thinking just to follow a code” The ‘code’ is the Word of God and is what you believe in.

Every blessing

Christine.

Christian Agony Aunt

Christine’s books    www.christinesmithbooks.com

Reply from Mr anon

 

Thank you very much for your reply.

It’s been helpful.

God bless and thank you for such wisdom and advice!

Mr anon

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