We need to talk more about boy-girl relationships (BGR) in the church.

In my experience, BGR used to be a “hush hush” subject in youth service but, at one point, suddenly became the talk of the town in my church’s service for young adults. 

BGR wasn’t condoned or really talked about before a certain age, until a moment arrived when it was suddenly the “right” time to start thinking and talking about romantic love.

Many of my friends and I had to process this sudden change and were initially taken aback by it. Is BGR suddenly “okay”?

BGR used to be a “hush hush” subject in youth service but, at one point, suddenly became the talk of the town in my church’s service for young adults. 

Personally, I struggled with BGR because I was afraid to talk about it in church.

I never dared to open up about my own struggles, which led me to make my own mistakes before I found a safe space with trusted sisters to have honest conversations about romantic love. 

It was only through journeying together, having honest conversations and supporting one another that I came to be able to accept the truth that my identity is not tied to my relationship status.

Instead, I am one of God’s beloved children (John 1:12-13). 

Being able to have these conversations would have made the struggle as a 13-year-old so much easier, which is why I’d really like to see the church lead more conversations about BGR for my younger friends.

But to really go into the reasons, these conversations are super important because… 

1. If churches don’t disciple young people about BGR, the world will  

We’re living in a time when it’s becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate right from wrong. 

Situationships, flings, friends with benefits – these are all deemed acceptable by many people in the world today.

Such new forms of human relationships show us that the world’s standards have shifted again, which is why it’s important to go back to God’s design for relationships, marriage and sex. 

The world is constantly speaking about BGR and relationships. Indeed, these conversations already saturate our daily lives in social media and the entertainment we consume.

So, if we don’t talk about what is true, noble and real in church, it’ll be a lot easier for us to buy into what the world sells. 

God’s truths and principles are going to be countercultural; there will always be a tension between the Spirit and flesh.

God’s Word should be the guide for how we live our lives. Indeed, the Bible says that it is a light to our path (Psalm 119:105).

As people of God, we shouldn’t allow the world’s views to cloud how we live our lives (Romans 12:2).

Instead, God’s Word must inform how we live and love.

2. If we don’t talk about BGR, stigma remains and no one learns

I’m not saying that we have to talk about BGR all the time. Making space to talk about BGR in church will carve out opportunities for discipleship in a very important area of life, and help to do away with negative stigma surrounding such tricky conversations. 

I know many Christians who have grown up with an unhealthy perception of BGR in their formative years, who would instead have benefitted from discussions about relationships that point to God’s Word.

Though the Bible doesn’t have explicit instructions about BGR (as it doesn’t, either, about driving or using computers), we can always go back to biblical principles and apply them to our daily life. 


Some might see pastors, spiritual leaders and mentors as the “relationship police” that breaks up couples. That sort of fear kills vulnerability and accountability.

We need to do away with that sort of stigma, creating space for truthful and loving conversations, so as to help our fellow brothers and sisters-in-Christ find support in the church, clarify their thinking and align their lives with God’s Word.

3. If we don’t talk about it, we discourage accountability 

“To be accountable is to be authentically, deeply, consistently known by someone who cares enough to keep us from making mistakes or indulging in sin.” (Marshall Segal)

If conversations about BGR aren’t normalised, and are instead hushed up or frowned upon, then there is a chance that some might take it to mean that BGR (and by extension, everything related to it) aren’t normal or healthy.

In such an environment, people will be hesitant to share about BGR.

That is the reason why I’ve seen some friends get themselves into “underground” relationships that their church community and leaders do not know about. 

Bogged down by fear and stigma, they make unnecessary mistakes and even get swept up in things that no one knows about.

The church must be a safe space for all people to come and share; we are to support one another, carry each other’s burdens and lovingly point each other toward Christ.

If we are living in sin, we need to humble ourselves to be willing to listen to those who care about our holiness and love us enough to point it out (Galatians 6:1-2).

And accountability isn’t merely informing the other party.

Accountability is allowing a trusted person to walk through life with you, question you, challenge you, sharpen you — so as to help each other reflect God’s Word and glory in daily living. 

When we normalise conversations about BGR, there’ll be greater accountability.

This will help the church to not just be a building, but become a community that spurs one another on and encourages one another towards Christ (Hebrews 10:24-25).

  1. How does your church view BGR?
  2. Are you a safe person for a younger believer to ask questions about BGR?
  3. When it comes to life’s issues, what is your role to play in creating an environment in church that is encouraging, equipping and edifying?