Can men and women ‘just be friends’?

found photo: business leaders

found photo: business leaders (Photo credit: squareintheteeth)

I’m sure there used to be a time where it was easier for men and women to live separate lives… the woman used to be home cooking and cleaning (just a generalization for a purpose) and the guy would go out to work… so the separation of couples mingling was purely just for starting something romantic…

The problem is… it’s not like that anymore… guys work with and for woman… women work alongside and for men… and the work relationship has developed. From here you start to see a lot of work romance… guys sharing their feelings with a woman… women sharing their feeling with a man… and it can start to get pretty personal.
Now if you take what society says you would be in the sack faster than Usain Bolt doing the 100m sprint because isn’t that the next step in getting closer to each other?
As I have pondered in other blogs… why does it all have to be about sex?

The fact is we are mixing with each other in ALL aspects of life now… so the question still remains can men and women ‘just be friends’?

I have found the answer to be ABSOLUTELY…
However… there needs to be boundaries, and it just so happened that Paul wrote some of these in a letter to Timothy… he wrote:

Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers.  Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.
1 Timothy 5:1-2 (NLT)

As Christians we should be using this to create our boundaries.

Being a guy I should address what this looks like to guys first:
Guystreat the women in your life like your own sister… or mother… it’s about respecting them it’s about caring for them, it’s about supporting them… don’t be a creep about it.
Listen to them… you’re not better than them… and here’s a headline for ya… you don’t have all the answers so don’t try and fix everything… sometimes it’s just good to listen.
Honour the woman you’re with by how you communicate and act with other woman… You can be friends… however they can’t be elevated above your wife/partner/girlfriend.
Communicate… get out of your man cave and tell them how you feel… make your intentions clear EARLY so there is no confusion…
Trust.

Woman… stop dating the guy before you’ve even said “Hello” to the guy… don’t assume he wants to be more than friends until he communicates that… too many times a pretty girl makes advances on a guy, and it goes to a place where no one intended it to go.
Don’t flirt… If you’re a Christian you’re to direct people too Christ not towards you…
And lastly don’t manipulate… Don’t go out of your way to grab a guy’s attention.

Can men and women be just friends?
Can we still be mates?
Absolutely, when we treat each other as our own family, remembering it’s not about US, it’s about honouring each other.

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Can men and women ‘just be friends’?

  1. From Jay (via FB)
    From a Christians married mans point of view I think boundaries MUST be put in place to protect marriages (which we both agree on from what I read). The sticking point is that from a Christian point of view we know, Satan’s gameplan for taking Christians out of the game is quite simply yet it works every time (Gold, Glory and Girls). We all have one of these “G’s” which Satan is currently strategising to take us out. Once you identify your area(s) of weakness (we all know it if we are honest) then boundaries need to be OTT (over the top). Ephesians 5:3 says “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”. So that why many Christians don’t go into business (because Gold is a weakness), many don’t preach (because they struggle with Glory, or getting approval from man) and many don’t have have indepth relationships with the opposite sex (because they know they can get emotionally and physically attracted to another person). I like Matthew 5:30 because he writes that we need to eliminates or cut off anything which makes us stumble. My thinking from readings your post is if you struggle with Gold or Glory then you MAY be able to have a mixed relationship outside your marriage (with boundaries still). But if you struggle with Girls, then I think the boundaries need to extreme (more than you have written). I remember hearing that Billy Graham wont go into a room with another female by themselves unless they are family (even lifts – he said he would take the stairs). So boundaries are good but sometimes they have to be MASSIVE because John 10:10 says , the enemy is out to kill, steal and destroy and 1 Peter 5:8 mentions that “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Life is too short to screw this up and we need to do everything we can to finish the race in one piece. In my case I would be raising the bar higher in those mixed relationships than you recommend because the stakes are too high and its not worth the fall (if something ever did happen, no matter how innocent it begins)

  2. A few things… Billy was in a day and age where he could do that the reality is times have moves on and there isn’t many places you can do that…
    I agree that there should be boundaries and I have things in place too…
    I agree with Eph 5:3 my question is what makes you think there is any of these things in what I’m talking about?
    If there is sure… but in James it talks about loving like family… if that is the stance where these things to grow?
    It’s another example of making it all about a relationship it’s not… no wonder the world makes it about sex… because we do first.
    Rumours and miscommunication from my experience are the real destroyers, and while these other things are valid there is a bigger picture and story that each individual works within…
    You quote John 10:10 which is good however the verse talks about Jesus giving you life to its fullness, as a part of a new creation, born again… the old life is dead.
    Why live in the shadow of a dead life?
    If you have a place of struggle sure keep away (it would be silly for a alcoholic to keep going back to a pub)… however sometimes a create our own struggles.
    For me I have a group of ‘mighty men’ from all walks of life I go to talk about these things and that helps me keep my boundaries in place.
    I think the place I actually struggle is work/life balance but I know that and am currently working through that (I’ll blog about that later!)

  3. Interesting topic. I have a simple answer – and that is NO. I mean, yes girls and guys can be friends but they cannot be best buddies. A male needs a best male buddy (or buddies) and females need best female buddies…. cause it is a fact of life, that besties who are of the opposite sex just do not work. One or the other ALWAYS wants the relationship to develop into something more at some point. I know – I have been there, many times.
    I dont know the bible nearly as well as you Goose, or Jay, however I do love the Ephesians 5:3 and Matthew 5:30…..anything that makes us stumble. Mmmm, interesting – as it says about cutting off anything that makes us stumble. The question needs to be ask – how much would you cut out of your life, for the love of your life – your wife/husband/life partner. We all stumble in life, and all sin in some form of sexual immorailty. Yes, we have to recognise this and ask God for forgivness but is that enough? No, I think we have to make physical changes to not only avoid the situation from reoccuring but to show the world that we recognise that we have sinned and to prove to our family that we admit we have sinned and dont want that happening again.
    Yes, there is the case of loving the family – the extended family, the friends, the colleagues, the whanau…. however at what point is it to far? I believe the point has been well passed when jealousy rears its ugly head. Our family that is the most important is our immediate family THEN our friends and extended family. If its not right at home, its not right. If either husband or wife has an issue then the outside “friendship” is just not right…. it needs to be cut off to save the marriage. The bar needs to be raised. My bar is also set very high because I believe, like I said at the start – it just cannot be done.

    • yeah you’re right it really is an interesting topic and the more society becomes closer the more we’ll have to address this issue.
      I think the danger is when the people (guy or girl) you’re spending all your time with takes the place of your own partner or spouse, emotionally or physically.
      And sometimes it can be a fine line especially when you work with these people all the time.
      To totally cut people right off means you’re cutting off community… and I’m not sure that is always the first port of call??
      In a lot of these cases you can’t get away from working with these people, so it has to be more about how you communicate with them rather if you have them as friends or not.
      Is what you are texting/talking/writing/speaking to the other person something your significant other will approve of?
      You can still be friends… they just can’t be elevated higher than your best friend (Wife/husband/partner)

  4. One person is not my community – so taking a major step back from one person is not cutting off my community. My community are those who love and support me and who support me in my marriage…. and dont do anything to jeapordise that.

  5. Gee Chris, I sure hope they can be! otherwise my circle of friends would be very imbalanced. I think that there is a richness that comes in life when both genders have a place in our circle of friends. I know that there are challenges with this but no one ever said it would be easy….but Just because we have to work at something doesn’t mean we should throw it in the too hard basket. I look at Jesus and see that he was able to make the most abused and vulnerable women around the town feel safe in his presence….perhaps that’s because he lived not for himself but for others. I love your thoughts about how we view each other, to help make those boundaries clear.

  6. The boundaries at the end of your post are great…thats the simple part I guess. From my experience for some people its not easy to stick to them. I think its good to examine and re-examine your heart. It’s too easy to answer the question ‘can men and women be friends?’ with a yes but actually I think the more important question is ‘what level of friendship is acceptable?’ If things are getting too close for comfort as you’ve outlined above, in the words of Kenny Rogers – know when to walk away, and know when to run!!

  7. Great article. I really think YES! you can be friends as long as you talk about it and KNOW where you stand. But DONT overcomplicate it. I work as a sailor, where the ratio of men to women are 10:1 . So there’s not much choice.
    I think often it is Christians who try to place a rule down for all situations etc. that put such a stigma around just being friends, that in the end that’s what makes being friends so awkward. Live and let live while holding each other to a standard of grace.

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