Category Archives: Friendship

Best Friend Or Lifelong Rommate?

When we know a guy has no relational chance with us, it is unfair to foster a best friendship with him. It confuses and breaks hearts. Best friends are inseparable. One is usually nonromantic, the other sways toward love. The signs are clear and it doesn’t take us women long to figure out whether we want to pursue a relationship with a great guy friend or just keep things simple and generic. When we have a best guy friend at our beck and call, we’re not looking for relationships elsewhere. We are too bonded with someone we’ve spent hours of quality time. We need to be discerning about our friendships. Best friends will always contribute more of their hearts than average friends or breezy acquaintances. So when a future is not foreseen between the two people in a friendship, it is often torturous to give away more time, effort, closeness, vulnerability. These things draw people together, knitting their hearts closely into a bond that is hard to break. I have felt the pain of close friendships broken and it has been as though a break up has occurred. Had I been more careful with my heart or theirs, my friendships could have been salvaged.

Picture this scenario: two best friends are hanging out. They adore each other’s company. He, in fact, has the strongest feelings for her. He’d die for her, bend over backwards to make her happy. She knows how much he loves her and she has a strong bond of friendship with him. She likes everything about him, but doesn’t have a romantic interest in him. Another guy doesn’t come along in her years of friendship with him. Finally, she thinks no one else will come along. So she settles for her best friend. She would rather have an adoring roommate for the rest of her life than no one at all. But does she want to make love to him? Not in the least. The idea sickens her. So, she gets what she wants: an adoring roommate that she ignores at night. As a man, he quite normally longs for an expression of love from his wife. Without it, he is plagued by the sexual images that pop up like targets on a hunting game, attacked on the daily with ideas and maybe even attention from other women. If he’s not getting any at home, he is more susceptible to the lure of other women. Let’s say the worst happens. He sleeps with his openly flirtatious co-worker. He feels terrible and does right by admitting the sin to his wife. She only married him to have an adoring fan follow her around the rest of her life, so when she hears his atrocious confession, she is ruthless in her judgments. How badly do you think that might destroy his masculinity? First, he’s finally accepted by the woman he loves, only to be cast into the roommate zone. He feels emasculated by being denied the gifts of marriage. So when adultery takes place and his best friend brutally exiles him forever, he’s left confused and unsure of the right approach for relationships in the future. I surely do not want to be the kind of wife who provokes unfaithfulness while donning the façade of loving wife. A best friend does not do this to someone. This behavior is selfish and unloving.

The summation is we shouldn’t just marry our best friends because they love us. As wives, it will be our opportunity to build our husbands up in Christ as leaders. Of course we want to marry someone who will adore us. It is unfair to settle for a best friend if the adoration and honor are not reciprocated.

It’s hard to say what the right direction is in every situation because each is unique. Friendships are not always best but neither are dating relationships. The main concern in each encounter we have is how we resemble God in the relationship. God wants to teach people beautiful lessons through our lives. We are able to minister to people just by being ourselves and living real lives. We have the ability to cause ripples in the world and touch immediate lives that will later affect other people-complete strangers to us. We have to open our eyes and see beyond the little details of one particular relationship in front of us and realize how we interact with this person may change the lives of other people he comes in contact with later. The way we interact with guys and how we respect and honor them will uplift their spirits and give confidence so that when they meet other girls they will treat them with respect and honor as well. We need more respect and honor in the world. But that isn’t going to happen on wishful thinking. It takes strong young women to say, “I’ve had enough of this broken world, I will be the difference so desperately needed.” Our guy friends and acquaintances deserve better and so do the women they will encounter later.


Relationships: Confusion Defused

I was sitting in a coffee shop enjoying the humor of my best guy friend. We were about to get on separate planes and lose each other’s delightful company for the next several months. Our laughter started to dissipate. Suddenly, I felt the temperature of our conversation change. He cleared his throat. I started to get nervous, having seen this scenario play out in previous friendships. I started to chew my wooden coffee stirrer into miniscule pieces. Subconsciously, I must have been chewing this stick into the shape of a weapon, ready to stab him for taking our quality friendship there. As he carried on, my mind was racing. Where was he going with his tirade of madness? I felt like I was in Spanish class and only catching every fifth word that was spoken. He mentioned something of appreciation for my friendship, personality, and relationship with God. I knew I needed to be patient and give him time to finish his thoughts. I also needed to gather my own before blurting out my defense which was coming to my mind in clumps at this point. I began to pray as he summed up his rabbit-hole, ‘round-the-bush escapade. He didn’t quite hit the mark he was going for by the time he finished. Truth be told, I had feelings for him that may have been deeper than friendship as well. I was terrified of messing up something so sublime by coughing up a crush-confession. Throughout the rant, I wondered if it was an ideal time to share. I sensed God say, “Now is not the time. Just wait.” When God and I have these conversations, I gain such a renewed boldness and patience in any situation. I chose to stay quiet. Apparently, he realized things weren’t clear to him either. He shrugged it off and said we would talk when he could think clearly. I teased him about his delivery and how we hadn’t established anything through that conversation, but deep down I was sighing with relief that he didn’t know how to address the relationship and I knew I wasn’t ready to face the music. As we parted ways, the greatest of friends, I felt very bonded to this man. I enjoyed his friendship immensely, but I knew something was changing for us. A few weeks after, I received the ill-fated email of affection and interest. By this point, I was more certain the answer was a negative for a deeper relationship. I sent a loving, but straight-forward response. We were just meant to be friends. Our lives began to drift apart. It was at this point I wondered, how close am I allowed to get in a friendship with guys? It seems to always end badly for one or the other party. Even if it is just a friendship, someone lets their guard down and opens up to emotions that go beyond friendship. I won’t put a black & white on this rule, but deeply personal friendships should probably be reserved for the same gender and one day, the spouse God brings into our lives. Profound friendships with guys, though fulfilling and appealing, can be dangerous. If not for us, then the guy-friend involved. One of the concepts of real love is when we allow the slow sacrifice of selfless love take precedence over the quick fix of emotional release or intimacy-building, opposite-gender friendships. Building close bonds can be unhealthy and distracting.

This begs the question; in the world of singlehood, how are those intimate friendships unhealthy? Even though we do not give our bodies to our guy friends, we still exchange pieces of our hearts with them. As deep friendships drift apart, I feel remorse for losing something so dear to me. I have a permanent reminder filed away in my brain for a rainy, lonely, dark moment when I am potentially at a weak spot in my faith. The reminder can twist the truth and tempt me to think I’m not good at relationships. I break hearts or get too close. “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts” (1 John 5:21). If anything pulls my attention away from God, why would I want to nurture it? I cannot leave any of the doors or windows of my heart open for Satan to sneak in and cause mayhem.

God writes our love stories. We can listen intently as He reads each chapter to us, or we can rush ahead, rip the book from His hands and try to decipher the coded script. This will only bring chaos and unnecessary pain. When I understand this about God, nothing takes too long. I gain a deep sense of peace that allows my heart to be comforted even when I feel I am being misunderstood by the world. There’s a deep sense that God will defend my honor, He will bring all things to light. When I walk in this peace, I am more sensible about relationships and conversations. I know that I need to be still at times and speak up at others. I know I need to comfort and encourage one minute, and possibly confront and admonish the next. We do all things in love when we walk in this peace, a sweet surrender of our lives to God.

Emotional Vomit

It was apparent from the intent look on his face, he was serious. And he was really sharing his deepest love for me after just two weeks of interaction. “I can’t help it. It’s what YOU do to me,” he stated. I was blindsided with his awkward emotional vomit spilling down my front. I didn’t know how to react. How in the world did I get myself into a situation where another hapless fellow was sharing his physical attraction to my outer shell as though it were the next top love story of the 21st century? We were friends, I assumed! How did such a healthy friendship spiral downward so quickly?

We do not need to share our hearts with the object of our affection the moment we begin to feel the emotional uprising. Song of Songs states clearly, “Do not awaken love before the time is right.” This phrase is used over and over again throughout the book. Sharing one’s heart abruptly strains a friendship. It destroys, not builds upon a solid foundation. It seems as though we-as a generation-do not focus enough on discernment and self-control as desirable attributes to possess. People are so quick to blurt out their infatuation for fear of losing the chance or missing out on some of the fun and excitement of romantic relationships. But something happens when this confession is not received well. Once we have spewed those emotions forth-at the wrong time-there’s no back-tracking to the friendship zone. Like a maze, it is nearly impossible to find our way back. Why would we sacrifice a quality friendship because our gag-reflex is hyper-sensitive due to emotional gorging? Consequences ensue even after forgiveness. We will always face the repercussions from previous mistakes. With those specific friendships, we may never gain that closeness again. But now is the time to turn a new leaf. There are too many broken relationships in this world. Something needs to change. I do not believe we will ever regret waiting for the “right time” in relationships. It is a serious topic: two lives are at stake for a dramatic change. After interaction and closeness with one another, a bond is created and when the two are separated, that bond is severed and hearts are broken. Relationships are not meant to be pursued in “trial by error” form. It is not worth injuring another person’s identity, heart, and self-esteem level. We need to grasp this without needing to “practice” our way through life, leaving broken hearts, or pieces of our own heart strewn through life along the way.

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