The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I need help because I have just hurt my best friend and she is angry at me.

I have been friends with a girl from my church for two years. She is 15 and I am just about to turn 16, so she's a freshman this year and I'm a sophomore. It started with me having a crush on her and then we became friends. She is a very admirable Christian with good values and has helped me grow in my relationship with God. We have built up a strong friendship by helping eachother through tough times and using God's Word to encourage each other. We have gotten to know each other well. All the while I have still been attracted to her, and she may have had a crush on me at one point too. When she is sad, I have the strong desire to be there for her and help her. I think that I am realizing what love really is, and it keeps getting stronger. She said I was her best friend, and I feel the same about her. We have never gone on a date, and I wouldn't consider this a boyfriend and girlfriend relationship--not now anyways. I had never told her straight out my feelings for her, but I had given many hints and I think she knew. I still want to be that close to her someday and maybe, if God wills it, to marry her.

Here's where the trouble started. She is a freshman this year and going to a different high school than me. She is very busy and is not able to contact me as much as we used to. She likes her new life in school and her new friends she has made. She acts differently to me now. She says she still cares about me, but I am no longer her best friend. This hurt me massively; I still think of her as my best friend. I became jealous of her many friends and I was afraid of another boy stealing her away or that she would just be seperated from me with her busy life and her own interests.

I told her that I liked her and asked if she wanted to start dating me, now or in the future. She is not ready for dating yet, and I'm fine with that, but she talks about "very nice boys who have become great friends." This makes me jealous. I want her back as my best friend. I ended up brooding over this for weeks and my fear consumed me. I acted desperately and impulsively to try and get her back. This made her angry at me and I recieved an email from her saying that all that I was doing was pushing us apart -- the exact opposite of what I wanted. She is very angry at me.

I am in agony of what I've done. I have been a terrible friend to her these past weeks. I think that is one reason shy she no longer wants me to be her best friend. I apologized with an email saying that I sinned by letting worry overtake me. I prayed earnestly about this and I felt God's forgiveness, but I don't know if things between me and my friend will ever be the same. She is a fine Christian and I know she will forgive me, but I am still worried that she won't be my friend anymore. I want to make up for what I've done to her. I want to go about this in a way that God wants. I don't know if I can ever get her back as my closest friend, and this is a great sadness. But I still have a small hope that she will love me someday.

What I'm asking is this: what should I do to show that I am sorry? And also, how should I treat her if she no longer wants to be my best friend? Is it sinful for me to want her back as my best friend and to love me?


Answer

I asked one of the women at the congregation to reply because I think it would help some to have a woman's point of view in this matter:

It sounds like in the past you had a positive relationship with your friend. You were able to encourage each other and use Scripture to help each other through difficult times. You had already made the transition to high school and now your friend is experiencing a lot of new things being in her freshman year. From a woman's perspective, it sounds like your friend might be feeling like you are smothering her. This can be one of the worst mistakes when trying to start or pursue a relationship.

The first verse that I will mention is a great verse to think about when you are starting to get frustrated with the situation. No woman ever desires to be with an upset or anger man. "Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare" (Proverbs 22:24-25). It seems like you are mostly over your anger and now are looking for ways to make things right with your friend. There is no better way to show your love than to trust your friend. "The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain" (Proverbs 31:11).

There will be a lot of ups and downs throughout both of your high school experiences. The best thing you can do is to be there for your friend. Rejoice with her success and help lift her up when she is going through struggles. Let your friend know that you are content to being a good friend to her and continue to pray about your relationship. "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind" (James 1:2-6).

Sarabeth Bowen