He Said-She Said: Brother and Sister, or Something More?
- Thursday, September 27, 2012
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to He Said-She Said (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: I recently met this amazing guy at church and we are becoming good friends. He makes me want to be a better person, more ladylike, and a better daughter of God. I tend to call things out a little too soon, and I know it's only been a few months, but I am especially interested in him. My close friends really like him, too, and they all agree that there is definitely chemistry between us and that he is interested in me. I see it too, even though it's hard to decipher whether or not he really is interested.
When he suggested that we meet up one afternoon, just the two of us, I was sure that he was interested. Then I realized that he often refers to himself as my brother in Christ and to me as his sister in Christ. I love how devoted he is to God, but it also leads to my question: How do you go about the "brother and sisterhood in Christ" and pursue a relationship with someone? It seems tricky and almost like a strange thought.
When the term “Brothers-in-Christ” among men or “Sisters-in-Christ” between women is used, it is often stated to signify a closer than “standard” friendship type of relationship, more of a spiritual connection between the two.
However, what I have noticed when the same term is used as an “introduction” to describe the connection between opposite sexes, in some situations it seems to take on an almost contrary connotation. Occasionally it is used in a sense to say, “We’re friends because we are both believers, but we’re not in a relationship.”
Since this guy has been asking you to spend time together, this doesn’t appear to be the case in your situation. He may in fact really like you and is just using the terminology to protect his emotions, and your friendship, in the event you don’t have reciprocating feelings for him.
When it comes to dating within the church environment, some guys get sort of “gun-shy” and are slower to pursue especially when the whole “church family” gets involved. The expectation of a budding relationship often takes on a life of its own when many people are “praying” for it to happen.
Encourage one another and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
In any event, it sounds like you have found a solid Christian man, someone who brings out the best in you (which all relationships should do for one another). Continue to challenge him to be a more committed believer and encourage him to grow personally and spiritually, as he does you.
Discover what he feels called to do so you can help to inspire and pray for him. As your friendship grows, there will be an opportunity for you, if he hadn’t made it clear by then, to inquire where the relationship is heading.
It is not out of line for you to ask, “Where are we headed with ‘this’?” You have a right to know.
I certainly cannot venture into the waters of “whether or not he likes you” – your girlfriends will have to do that! However, there are a few things to be said for your question of pursuing romance while being “brother and sister” in Christ.
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