One Of The Guys

Ever since high school, I’ve always been one of the guys.

It was never a conscious decision, or something that I “planned” in any way, it just sort of happened, and to be honest, it’s not something I’ve thought too much about. It’s just sort of a fact, similar to the fact that I love hot tea and binge watching sessions of Friends.

Something commonplace and totally normal in my life.

Nonetheless, one day, not too long ago, I actually did happen to think about it—due to the fact that I was going to a graduation with a group of friends to watch three bros graduate. I was naturally nostalgic, as these were people I grew up with, so I decided to google one of those articles on Buzzfeed like “What it’s like when you have a lot of guy friends” or “Humorous things that happen when a lot of your friends are guys“. And, while doing this, I ended up stumbling across an advice column on this very topic.

Long story short, this person was borderline negative at the prospect of having a friend of the opposite gender – accusing it of simply being a way to “get attention from guys”. After, researching further commentary on this topic, I found other articles from similar viewpoints, one calling it an avenue for “confusion and frustration” – even going so far as to call opposite gender friendship a sin!

Sadly, as much as I’d like to believe otherwise, I don’t believe these viewpoints are all too uncommon in some circles. Oftentimes, both the church and society can become so obsessed with sex and marriage that any kind of platonic interaction between guys and girls is viewed with suspicion.

Even movies, such as When Harry Met Sally, that address the age old “can guys and girls be friends” question typically end up with the two friends becoming a couple. And while I don’t disagree that this can sometimes happen, I personally find it rather ludicrous to say that every guy-girl friendship has some kind of Fruedian undertone just waiting to emerge at the worst time.

Thus, to contrast with an article in support of guy-girl friendships, I’ve decided to list a few reasons why having friends of the opposite gender can be a good and godly thing for us as Christian teens and young adults.

  1. Jesus did – As Christians, Jesus is our ultimate role model. In the 80s, the old slogan WWJD was popularized, and ever since, faithful Christians have asked the famous question, “What would Jesus do”? If we’re going to look closely to His example, we’ll be quick to find that Jesus spent time with both men and women.

In Luke 10, it is clear that Jesus was close friends with two sisters named Mary and Martha, even going over to their house for dinner. Furthermore, in Luke 8, Jesus travels with friends of both gender, and the women traveling with him helped support Him in His ministry. According to www.gci.org, this was simply unheard of during this time era. Nonetheless, it is evidenced that Paul follows a similar pattern later on in the New Testament, and even calls Persis a “dear friend” in Romans 16:12.

2. We learn from each other – I have always believed we grow through having friends who are different than us. Whether it be culturally, racially, gender-wise, or anything else, we understand those who are different than us through relationships. We learn to appreciate each others’ differences while learning that we’re not as far apart as we usually think.

While guys and girls have their differences, we are ultimately all human beings, with individual stories, testimonies, and personalities. Having friends of the opposite gender can help us realize that maybe guys aren’t so much from Mars and girls aren’t so much from Venus—maybe we’re all actually from the same planet earth.

3. It reduces stereotypes – When I was in middle school, I used to have a legit fear of the opposite gender. It sounds crazy in retrospect, but because of some of the stereotypes I was hearing about guys at the time (They’re all crude, they’re only interested in one thing, they have no manners etc.) I used to feel borderline panicky around anyone of the opposite sex.

Nonetheless, once I started making friends with actual guys, the stereotypes began to fall away one by one. No longer did I characterize the whole male species as being somehow dangerous. I began to realize they’re just people, like myself. And, I soon found that a lot of them can actually be pretty cool.

4. It lets you feel comfortable having a feminine/masculine side – According to psychology, no one is all “masculine” or all “feminine“. This doesn’t mean anything strange or that gender differences aren’t important. It simply means that we each have different sides of our personality—and not all of them fit neatly into boxes.

Around my guy friends, I often feel a freedom to let out my sarcasm and joke around in a way that might come across odd with a close girl friend. Meanwhile, I was once talking with a guy friend who confided that most boys don’t like to sit around and have discussions, so it would be difficult trying to sit around and just talk with another guy. With our opposite gender friends, we can feel free to let sides of ourselves show that might not come out otherwise.

How about you? Do you have any close opposite-gender friends? How do you believe they’ve helped you grow? Feel free to share in the comments!

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Diary Of A Christian College Student: Chapter One

Hey everyone, I have officially entered the Wattpad community! For those of you who don’t know, Wattpad is an online story sharing site that allows you to share your work with fellow readers! I have begun my first fiction work on the site, called Diary Of A Christian College Student.

Since I already have a faithful audience over here at WordPress, I decided to post my chapters here for y’all to read! I hope to publish a chapter weekly, and I hope you guys enjoy these writing shorts! My longterm goal is to publish a fiction series the traditional way, but I’ve heard that this is a good foot in the door. Since I love writing anyways, I figured, “Why not give it a shot?”

So, without further ado, here is chapter one of Diary of A Christian College Student!

* * *

Dear Diary,

They say that your faith grows the most in the face of adversity – in the face of major life changes. These are the times that make you grow – and show you where you ultimately turn in times of chaos and uncertainty.

If this is true, I’m in for huge spiritual breakthrough.

In just two days, I’m starting my first day of college at Westside Oak, a nearby university in the humble state of Indiana. Leaving my small, Christian school behind, I’m heading into the “real world” for the first time – at least that’s what my dad would say.

Not that Holy Cross Academy was perfect. It had the same problems as every school – cliques, mean girls, boy  problems, and everything else under the sun. But, whenever life felt like too much to handle, I always had my friends to turn to – especially my best friend, Dana Sanchez.

Dana and I have been friends since the 8th grade – when we sat next to each other in English class. We started off talking about the usual things – school, books, music, TV….but soon moved on to more personal details. We were both going through a rough patch during this time and helped counsel each other through it.

We’ve been best friends ever since.

Another close friends – who could be more accurately described as a brother – is TJ. We met when we were only kids and he used to annoy me like crazy. When we met at only eight years old, he would constantly pester me. One time, he planted a frog in my bag when I wasn’t looking, even though he knew I was petrified of frogs. I screamed so much when I saw it, but he only laughed, clearly getting a kick out of the whole thing. I later got even by telling him soda was made with cow pee. For a month he avoided any kind of soft drink like the plague.

Somehow, despite our bickering and childish pranks, we managed to eventually become close friends.

And then, there was Nathan.

Nathan and I have had classes together for years, but we’ve only become close within the past four. My relationship with him was easily the most complicated.

Two years ago, I developed a crush on him, and it hasn’t let up since. It happened on a day like any other. We were both taking a theater class together and we were assigned a skit where we had to play a couple. In that moment – a moment I remember like the back of my hand – I realized that I had feelings for him. I say “realized” because I suspect feelings were dormant much longer, but too subtle to notice at first. When you’ve known someone for so long, it can be difficult to see them any different than the way you always have. They’re familiar, snow on a cold winters day or the sun in the middle of summer.

Nathan had a naturally magnetic personality. His smile was genuine and his posture was confident without being cocky. More reserved and introspective than the other guys, I could easily have long conversations with Nathan, about life, school, current events or literature. I think he’s one of the few people in my life who understands my love of writing – my desire to share the depths of my soul with the world. With dreams of becoming a pastor and a hobby of sketching, he understood the burning desire to make a mark on the world.

The complicated part? He couldn’t be more oblivious to the fact that I liked him. The only people who know are my mom and my best friend Dana. Other than that, my secret crush has remained just that – a secret.

This year, in the midst of an entire new chapter to open, I had one major blessing to look forward to. Dana, TJ, and Nathan would all be at Westside Oak with me. 

No matter how much might change, and no matter how many trials I may encounter, I knew I had one thing I could count on.

Three crazy and amazing friends who would stay together.

No matter what.