Respect and Protect Your Brothers
Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. 1 Timothy 5:2
You may be thinking, “How do I respect and protect my brothers? Isn’t it their job to be the protectors?” Hang in there with me as we go through some practical steps that can help us to respect and protect the brothers that God has placed in our lives.
1. Interaction with the men that aren’t blood related, married, or engaged to you
First Timothy refers to the male treating the young women as sisters, however it takes two for a brother-sister relationship. I know that at a certain age most women are out to find “the one” but in doing so, women treat most guys as a potential mate instead of a brother. If you are wondering how you will know if they are “the one”, how well do you know your sibling (if you have one)? How did you get to know your sibling? Did you need to cross any lines to get to know them (flirt, date, and mess around with)? NO!!! So then why cross those lines with guys who we are supposed to treat as brothers in Christ? When we cross those lines we aren’t honoring God, ourselves, or our brothers in Christ. By being careful in our interactions with our brothers, we can better protect them from the schemes of the enemy that try to destroy and keep them from fulfilling what God has designed for them to do.
2. Conversation with the men that aren’t blood related, married, or engaged to you
Stay away from deep intimate conversations that bare your soul. This is dangerous for both you and him. We as women tend to be emotional beings. We may unknowingly make unhealthy emotional ties with a man who listens and empathizes with us. Save the intimate talks for your girlfriends. Refrain from conversation that can seem flirty. It might be harmless banter to you, but he is probably taking it as a green light. Essentially, do not say anything to him that you would not say to your own brother.
3. How you dress around the men that aren’t blood related, married, or engaged to you
This is a big one! Men are highly visual beings, which mean that images they see are burned into their minds, not easily forgotten. We can protect and respect our brothers by being modest in our actions and clothing. Romans 14:13 “therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.”
So when we say things like, “Well he needs to control his lustful desires and stop looking at me in that way” or “I shouldn’t have to change the way I dress because he can’t control himself”‘, it doesn’t align with scripture that is clearly telling us not to criticize, but to make sure we are doing our part to help keep a brother from stumbling. So ladies, when you are about to step out of the house, please take extra care of how you are dressing. This is not only for the benefit of our brothers, but also to honor God and ourselves. Our brothers are bombarded on a daily basis with lustful images which try to chip away at their resolve. This means there is a daily battle raging within, and we should not want to be part of the problem, but part of the solution.
Heart check: We are not asking for behavior modification. We are challenging you to look deep inside of your heart. If we have inappropriate interactions, conversations, or find ourselves dressing immodest for attention, we should be asking the ourselves if there is something we feel that we are lacking which should be found in Christ alone. It is only when we find our ultimate satisfaction in Christ alone that we will be able to treat our brothers with honor and respect.