in exchange of Butler stories, I created this blog.
Topic: Can Men and Women Be “Just Friends”?
Can men and women who are not married to each other be friends? That depends on what we mean by the word “friend.” Jesus was a close friend of Mary and Martha of Bethany—both single women. (John 11:1, 5) The apostle Paul was a friend of Priscilla and her husband, Aquila. (Acts 18:2, 3) We can be sure that these individuals shared warm affection. At the same time, we cannot imagine that either Jesus or Paul ever allowed these relationships to drift in the direction of romance.
Modern society thrusts men and women into each other’s worlds more than ever before, and it is becoming increasingly necessary for people of both genders to know how to have appropriate, friendly relationships with each other. Couples too benefit from wholesome friendships with other couples and with single people.
“Distinguishing between romantic, sexual and friendly feelings, however, can be exceedingly difficult,” cautions Psychology Today magazine. “The reality that sexual attraction could suddenly enter the equation of a cross-sex friendship uninvited is always lurking in the background. A simple, platonic hug could instantaneously take on a more amorous meaning.”
For married couples, being realistic and practical is especially important. “All forms of intimacy with others can threaten a marriage,” writes author Dennis Prager in his book Happiness Is a Serious Problem. “It is not sex alone that makes for an intimate relationship, and your spouse has the right to expect to be your one truly intimate friend of the opposite sex.” Jesus pointed out that maintaining moral chastity is a matter of the heart. (Matthew 5:28) Therefore, be friendly, but guard your heart and scrupulously avoid situations that could lead to improper thoughts, feelings, or actions toward anyone of the opposite sex.