Boys. Girls. Friendship. Relationship. Confusion. Frustration. Joy. Wonderfulness. Exhaustion.
haha...so what you're probably thinking now is "Sara's got boy issues!" and you're right, though probably not in the way you think. There is no "special someone" in my life right now nor the hopes or possibilities for that at the moment. I am however finding myself confused and often frustrated in my friendships with males. There have to be boundaries to keep our hearts pure and prepared for the one God has for us. However, how far must those boundaries go? Are there certain situations where I can step beyond a normal boundary to connect with someone new and learn about them without it appearing that I am interested or pursuing a relationship beyond friendship with them?
A good, recent example is that there are a few new guys coming to the Pier. They've only been there a few times now but they mentioned really wanting Christian fellowship. Amy and I instantly thought "We should invite them to hang out with us and our group of friends sometime." BUT for this to happen we would need to ask them for their phone numbers and that seems like a step beyond the boundaries or a situation where our motives could be brought into question.
So what should we do? Ask for their numbers and hope they know we don't mean anything more by it? Pretend like we never heard them say that and continue hanging out with the friends we have, never really reaching out to them? Wait until one of our guy friends is around and have him get their numbers so he can do the inviting?
The problem with #1 is that I feel like Amy and I have been questioned, or challenged may be a better way of putting it, to make sure our motives are always pure and that what we are doing won't distract ourselves or others from God. Though Amy and I know our motives are pure, will others stray or become concerned because they see it differently? The problem with #2 is that it goes against our nature to not reach out and befriend new people. We just can't do it and it's a terrible way for the Pier to act as a whole. If people want to get more involved we should make sure that can happen for them, not turn them away. The problem with #3 is that, for the most part, our guy friends aren't really around anymore. Several of the guys are gone for one reason or another. Some are away at school. Others are preparing for upcoming deployments and then there are some guys that just haven’t really been around the Pier lately in general and honestly from what I’ve seen, probably wouldn’t be super comfortable in this kind of situation anyway.
So where does this leave us? I feel like both Amy and I have been put in positions of leadership at the Pier, which we love and enjoy, but we feel restricted when it comes to inviting new people we see at church or taking extra steps to reach out to new people that are coming. Why? Because most of those people are male.
For the most part Amy and I have come to the conclusion that we should reach out to people, male and female, and let the chips fall where they may. My apologies in advance if anyone sees our actions as unwise or stepping over boundaries but I refuse to let possible friendships slip by me because that person happens to be of the opposite sex. Even more importantly, I refuse to deny people opportunities to meet and fellowship with other Christians simply because there are no boys present at the time to invite them along. Jesus invited both males and females to hang out and fellowship with him, so why shouldn’t I? :)
*As I reread this I realized it might have come off a little hostile. That’s not the way I meant it. This is just something that has been frustrating me because I just so desperately want to befriend people and make them feel welcome and I hate feeling like I can’t or shouldn’t do that simply because they are guys. I hope that makes sense… :)