Are You My Brother?
Ok, so I've been reading a book that I thought I never would (Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?) and now I am. hehehe. But the book isn't about those who have given up marriage (something I have not done), but rather, how to use our single years as women as a gift from God and growing in our feminity!!! Well, I read a chapter last night on how to treat Brothers (it was a small portion) so afterwards I wrote up this. Tell me what you think! (Guys, if there's anything else you see that could be added, please say so!).
There's just one way we as women are to treat believing single men: As Brothers!
With this in mind, I'm not just talking about guys who you struggle with treating as Brothers, but for ALL the guys in your life. Young guys, old guys in between guys... all are to know us as Sisters... and they are to feel like Brothers! But in what ways can we treat them as Brothers?
Pray: By praying for guys as brothers, we put our heart in the right posture about them before God. In this way, we serve them as we pray for their needs as well as thanking God for them and their friendship! Plus, guys need the prayer =D. (And I would also to encourage you to first pray for your real brothers if you have any, and your father, then not just the guys you may 'like' but every guy! This helps, I believe, in treating them all the same).
Encourage: Encouraging guys is a simple way of saying "God's growing you, and I have noticed!" It gives God glory as well as guys energy and desire to keep going! We ought to be looking for evidences of grace and applauding the work of God in the lives of our Brothers around us. With this in mind, we have to be looking for ways to encourage guys... we must be intentional about noticing and being aware of the positive that guys do (don't get stuck on the disgusting things they do).
Pursue girl friendships: I hear you, "Dell, what does this have to do with treating guys as Brothers?" Well, it has a lot to do with it =D. Guys don't need us to be their main friends, and we don't need to have guys as our main friends. We need to be friends! YES! My point is this, we can't grow in the same ways that we must when our main friendships are with guys (I know this from experience). I know its often harder to have closer friendships with girls, but its neccesary!! For us girls and for the guys! Guys need us to be growing... and we girls will do that a lot more in girl friendships. We can grow in a much deeper friendship since we are not having to worry about guarding our hearts and guys hearts in the 'anything more than friendship' way. . And we can grow much more since as girls we struggle with the same things; we can see sin issues that guys can't in each others lives, and we can bring it to each others attention and help each other grow in a way that guys just can't.
Help them mature in Biblical Manliness: This can be played out in several ways as we seek to grow them into leaders. 1. Let guys take initiative - conversations, friendships, planning things... the list goes on. A guy is called to be the leader, but if we're filling up that role then where is he going to step in? 2. Serve them: Making food - hahahaha- guys love this, my brothers give me 'extra points' for this. Guys can see a cheerful effort you put out for them and they are grateful! Serve guys by cheerfully following their leadership - whether in a game of Frisbee - or where the group goes for dinner - or the topic of the conversations (assuming it is edifying). Guys won't lead if girls won't follow cheerfully! Who wants to lead a bunch of whiny girls anyway?
Be Friendly: Don't be someone hard to become friends with. Guys like to be around happy friends - guys or girls. Don't be fake - shallow or cold (cough... unless dad says... cough). But really, if we want to pray, encourage and serve guys, the first step is to be their friends eh?
Be Honest: A guy can't serve, lead or be friends with someone who isn't real with him. So, you're having a bad day, then one of your guy friends comes up "Hey ____(insert name here)! How's your day been?" "Actually, its been pretty rough, actually, I could use some prayer." Not to hard huh? Hmm... I struggle with this a lot. Guys don't like us having fake smiles and not letting them help... whether its when you can't open a jar, or you can't walk cause of high heels. (Now granted, we as girls must be careful that that we don't jepordize our emotional purity with what we share with him, for both us and him! There's a difference between being honest and seeking wrong attention.)
Seek to point them to the cross: As Sisters, the best way we can serve is to CONTINUALLY, (by our actions and words) be pointing guys to our Savior! In the way we act around them, talk to them and treat them, lets have it be our goal that they come away feeling closer to God, not closer to us.
We are Sisters, as Sisters we love them like Brothers. Let our goal be to point them to the cross!!!!!
~DON'T MISS THE NEXT EXCITING EPISODE~
"Are You My Sister?"
Girls need guys. Girls need guys to do a bunch of things for them too; from opening jars, doors or leading us towards Christ. But everything you do will fall under the special role of brotherhood. What does this look like in a nutshell?
Pray: Give us to God! This is something that says to God "I really do care for her as my sister" plus, all of us agree, we need all the prayer we can get!
Encourage: Often (sadly) it is hard for girls to keep on after godliness and feminity. We need God's strength, but also being encouraged is such a major blessing and often motivates us to keep going. Simple ways to encourage girls would be (as long as its truthful!) is: Her modesty - its so hard in our culture to keep our style covering most of our skin - and after a week of hopeless or depressing shopping, its so nice to hear that our efforts aren't meaningless! Another thing would be our serving, especially when you see someone serving with joy! Whether its making your food or watching little kids or serving in church! And another simple thing that is so encouraing is when you mention our love for Christ! Nothing can please us more than others seeing how absolutely we love our Savior! TO know that our hearts of love towards Christ are affecting others in a positive way is amazingly encouraing! (PS. Many other ways to encourage to... be creative. lol).
Help us grow in Biblical Feminity: That does not include yelling "Submit woman!" (although in the right context, this is humorous). This would simply mean you stepping in your role of leadership so that we may fill the role of submissive follower. Btw - we really enjoy guys taking initiative in leading! No matter if they are younger or the same age as us! Its so hard to let guys do stuff for us sometimes, but the more you do it, the easier it is for us to thank you and realize that this is a way of serving you (by letting you do things... that still confuses me). So make it a habit to be a Gentleman! And quite frankly, you'll see a lot more ladies!
Be A Gentleman: (!) Noble, knightly, caring, strong, protective, godly! This is such a big thing for a guy to do, but you have no idea how much it serves us as sisters as well as glorifies God! I notice when anyone hold a door open for me - from my 9 year old brother, to my brothers in Christ, to a random guy at the mall. I am so thankful that even in our culture there are still guys who are courteous and caring! I can't help but wish guys still stood up when a girl came and offered her their chair like the olden days. When my brother gives me his seat I see someone who is seeking to serve others more than himself, and to glorify God! Yes, the list for being a gentleman is long - but possible! I've seen it (no, in real life, not just Pride and Prejudice). Being a Gentleman requires guys to be able to see needs then fill them. It requires guys seeking to serve (in-paticular) ladies with utmost care and respect... to cherish us! And I'd like to say this... you aren't going to be able to be a Gentleman to us when you can't be one to your mom.
Point us to the Cross: (!!!). Now this is what we truly hope for in a brother sister relationship! Be on fire for God, have conversations that are edifying and God glorifying! Worship God, read His word. Have it be your goal that after every time we see you we feel closer to the cross!
With this said, I hope that you are encouraged (since I think most of the guys who will read this are already on their way to being a great Brother if they aren't already!!). I'd like to have a special shout out to my 'little brothers' Jarred, Ben, Daniel and Jordan! I am so blessed to be able to have your example of what a Gentleman truly looks like, and yes, a lot of these practical ways of being a Brother I derived from your examples!!! Thank you so much! I pray that you all would be growing in these ways (and the other ways I didn't mention. lol).
Thanks and God bless!
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