Two weeks ago, I posed this question, both on my blog and social medias. I’ve read many of your responses. I might pose more questions, because walking in this new chapter as a Single Christian women, I’d like some guidance. Yes, of course I always confirm with God. However, it serves to spark a conversation many don’t deem as important.
I can say, it was a tie.
Men and women could have friendships while to establish the boundaries or the proper terminology “friend zone”. It could when no sort of attraction is involved. Once the attraction comes into the mix, well it can take on 3 scenarios:
Scenario 1: unrequited love (one person is attracted, but it’s not reciprocated),
Scenario 2: both are attracted and they’ve elevated the relationship to romantic,
Scenario 3: the lines of friendship aren’t established and they end up sleeping together (friends with benefits concept). I strongly disagree with this last option, avoid it. Feelings will develop and it could be a messy situation.
Before I continue, I want to explain the law of attraction, (not physics people, not my best subject, lol), but the law of attraction involving men and women. Yes, initially we are all drawn into the attraction of a person, visually. No doubt about that! However, there’s another layer of attraction that can, and, in most cases, occurs strongly when you get to know a person more in-depth. As our outer appearance is sort of like the shield which conceals the core of who we are. If a person continues to pursue or invest their time into knowing someone, the attraction deepens and the idea of being “In Love” can take affect. Which means we can engage in reciprocated love, having a “happily ever after” so to speak. It can be unrequited, the love is not mutual and the friendship is over, leaving one heartbroken. Or this last option, “building a friendship first and then falling in Love. Your spouse would be your best friend.” I’d like this option. Lol!
Back to the readers comments: So just like God says in the Bible: “Guard your heart”, do not fall in love with someone at first glance. You should go beyond the first layer and get to know more about him/her, see their unsavory moments in life, so to speak. If what they speak holds value and not just empty promises, then their actions will speak volume. Truth is what you seek, and if their intentions are pure to cherish your heart. Then, I say go at it, you crazy kids, LOL!
Now, some gave me a completely different perspective, the idea of men and women having a platonic friendship cannot exist, because attraction is bound to happen. I guess you could say, lust and temptation is a huge factor. And if we don’t have a strong will to overcome it, problems can arise. Confusion on the status of the relationship because one person has hopes for love to come out of it. Using the other to satisfy their own fleshly desires with a hidden agenda to never make a commitment. The heart is not a toy to play with, it is indeed frail and must be handle with care.
One comment made me consider a different perspective in what you share in friendship versus in spousal relationship: Having a friendships with the opposite sex, doesn’t mean they should know everything about you. Your spouse isn’t just a romantic relationship, they are your best friend, whom will know everything about you. As the bible says, “Your body belongs to your wife and your husband body belongs to the wife.” In seeking advice, it would be better to seek counsel from other married couple who exemplify a healthy marriage. Doesn’t mean you can’t have friends or have friends before you get into a relationship. When your status from single to being in a romantic relationship occurs, your circle of friends will begin to change. This sort of dynamic will reveal the loyalty of your friendships.
Lol, a lot of information here, bare with me. Ok so this last one I got from a friend. It opened my eyes to the Bible in a new way. There’s so much of promises in the Bible, we can overlook and miss something of value.
God designed men and women to initially become each other’s help mate and fulfilling the purpose and calling from God. Thus, Adam and Eve, our first parents, created first sin (of course), procreate life, birth of generations, and built a legacy. Despite what occurred in the Garden of Eden, God still created marriage as part of the consecrated union under God to establish 2 become 1. Nowhere in the Bible does it mentions men and women being just friends. I know many would contest this theory to say “they’ve modernize the Bible to fit the world standards today.” But I can’t help to think this one through. Does the bible mention any friendships among men and women? I know women followed Jesus and some were among the believers spreading the gospel, but did any of the prominent men have best friends who were females?
My overall opinion, I do believe men and women can have platonic relationships. However, if attraction is involved, its important to discuss and establish strong boundaries. If the other person cannot respect them, it is an indication the friendship must end. I do not believe in friends with benefits, because someone is bound to fall in love. This is the worst idea, anyone could have invented. It’s just an excuse to be promiscuous. Thus why God says, intimacy is for the marriage bed. It’s about soul-ties we share with each other, an emotional attachment. When intimacy is involved in a non-committed relationship, can leave the person feeling abandoned, confused, and hurt (damaging). This idea never works.
However, I can say I totally agree about sharing only some aspects of your life with the opposite sex who happens to be your best friend. This would have to be a nonjudgmental, unbiased friend. Be very careful, sometimes people use it as blackmail, pass judgment or gossip about you. I do believe your spouse is your best friend, marital issues should be discuss with someone who is an example of a healthy relationship (not perfect). Its very rare you find a single person who can respectfully provide advice, unbiased, while keeping to respect your relationship. I am single and have friends who are married, I cannot tell them what to do. Most of the time I probe them with questions to help navigate them to the answers. Unless, it involves physical or verbal abuse, I see the person losing their identity as a whole person, Oh! I will surely step in their business to wake them up and help get them out of the toxic relationship. Advice and actions both will work simultaneously, because no person should be made to feel like a slave or worthless in any relationship. Otherwise, I cannot tell you want to do in your marital relationships, because it’s a journey you two embarked on. I have also not been able to witness the entire situation firsthand, so I can only evaluate from one side of the story.
I hope this post helped or encouraged you. I step away learning something very new. If God wants you to have friends, then God will bring them to your life. Friendship to me, is a friendship, with boundaries. Actually, we all should have healthy boundaries in any relationship with both men and women. Only God can show you how to establish them. Without them, you won’t have peace, because you’ll be allowing others to steal your peace. Relationships don’t define your identity, nor can it take away your identity. Who you are rest in God. When you love yourself, you can be happy knowing friendships come and go, but God always remains constant.
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