How should christian married people handle friendships with the opposite sex?

“We’re just friends. Can’t I have any friends?”
“We’ve never even touched each other.”
“We aren’t doing anything wrong.”
“You have jealousy issues.”
“You’re too controlling.”
“Don’t you trust me?”
“You’re the only one who sees a problem here.”
“I have no feelings for him/her other than friendship.”
“They’re like that with everyone.”
“You’re over-thinking and imagining things.”
“It’s not like we’re kissing or anything like that!”
“So I’m not allowed to have friends any more?”
“I’m sure they don’t have any romantic feelings for me.”
“I don’t have to tell you every single detail of what I do. What if I
forget something?”
“They’re in a relationship too, don’t worry.”
“You’re really insecure. You should have more confidence in yourself.”
“I don’t want to hurt her/him by not being friendly any more.”
“That didn’t come across right, but I know his/her intentions aren’t bad.”
“I trust him/her to not go over the line.”
“She/He’s just different and acts differently.”
“She/He doesn’t have same-gender friends to talk to.”
“She/He’s christian too.”
“I can’t believe you’d think I’d cheat on you!”
“You’re too conservative and old-fashioned.”
“You don’t know what she/he’s like, but I do!”
“I wouldn’t question anything if the same situation happened to you
because I trust you.”

If you’ve heard this from your spouse or you yourself have said these things when your spouse wants to talk about your friend of the opposite gender, be careful! It doesn’t have to be physical to be wrong. And just because you may not like them “in that way” doesn’t mean it’s ok either.

This is a very important topic that is many times ignored because it is difficult, can seem too restrictive and conservative. But it has to be discussed with your spouse. As soon as possible, raise the topic in an adequate moment when both of you are alone, wide awake, in good humour, with no distractions and have time to spare. (I know – when that adequate moment comes, you’d rather have intercourse with them, but bear in mind that this conversation will spare you from future rocky roads when both of you won’t even want to have intercourse because of a situation that happened.)

Initial, obvious and important considerations:
– Physical and emotional adultery are wrong and painful for both sides (and many times even for the third person involved, family and friends), have a snowball effect, are difficult to forgive and forget, cause (even more) lack of trust and honour and love that are hard to build up again. On that note, emotional affairs can be just as or even more (!) painful as physical affairs;
– The most common way of committing adultery is, by far, through developing friendships with the opposite sex that naturally grow “by mistake” (not by actively seeking it or being coerced by a random person – ex: prostitute);
– Alongside prayer (and fasting), setting boundaries is the most effective way of getting out of trouble.
– It is possible to change your mindset and lifestyle on this matter no matter how long you’ve been in the old one, what culture you live in or what general society has to say about it. Besides, honouring God and having a happy, healthy, long-lasting marriage relationship is totally worth the effort!
– You are not as strong as you think you are! As humans, we have a sinful, prideful, selfish and self-righteous nature that can very well bring us away from God and our spouses if we are not careful.

Insightful verses:
– Proverbs 27:12 “Those who are prudent see danger and take refuge, but the naive continue on and suffer the consequences.” (ESV) “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (KJV)
Matthew 5:27-28 “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (KJV)
Proverbs 4:23 “Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life.” (ISV) “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (KJV)
Malachi 2:16 “Indeed, the LORD God of Israel says that he hates divorce, along with the one who conceals his violence by outward appearances,” says the LORD of the Heavenly Armies. “So guard yourselves carefully, and don’t be unfaithful.” (ISV) “For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.”(KJV)

The Bible talks about the danger of sexual immorality (fornication) many times and gives guidelines for people to have a good marriage. Do not take this issue lightly or naively! Do not think you’re automatically protected from sin or third-parties if you are married! The devil will use any little door to get in your life and destroy your marriage because he hates marriage! So do not open those dangerous doors and think you are in control of the situation. Study and pray about it and do your best to obey the Lord.

We live in a fallen world that is so corrupt that it has been influencing many christians without them realising it. What’s “normal” to the world doesn’t mean it’s ok. Our minds have become so sexualised that we have been loosing our senses, stretching our boundaries like elastic bands until they snap in our faces and we don’t even know where we went wrong. Please understand that I am not trying to make you scared or apprehensive. Instead, I want to show you the vaccination in order to not get the sickness to not have to show you which remedy may heal the problem you’ve got because you did not have precaution.

I’ve researched intensely about how christians should deal with having opposite-sex friends and have found some webpages that have been very helpful to me. So, if you are having doubts about this topic, I greatly encourage you to read these external links that talk about this issue practically:

Detailed explanation of how important boundaries are and where place them. (Disclaimer: This is not a Christian website, but it is spot-on on the issue of opposite-sex friendships.)
– List of questions to ask yourself or to give to your spouse to answer them honestly in order to know if a certain opposite-sex friendship should end.
Rules to apply and example of a true story of a woman who had to change her views and ways regarding opposite-sex friendships when she married.
Case study for married people and insight for single people as a means of precaution.
How to avoid emotional adultery and chemical reactions “I’m not just talking about sexual attraction. I’m referring to a reaction of two hearts, the chemistry of two souls.”
How to deal with jealousy issues. Is jealousy the problem or is it a consequence of a problem?
Rules, real case for married and single (women especially).
Explanation specifically to men in a humorous tone, explaining why the psycho crazy jealous wife is actually right.
I am thinking of having an affair (for women).

When talking to your spouse about this issue, don’t just say things have to and will change. Set actual rules and boundaries, talk about real and imaginary situations and what to do in each example. Highlight what needs immediate change and be completely honest and transparent with each other about the past and the present. Be practical and be quick! Give each other your passwords to everything online, get rid of all friendships with former lovers, always let them know about who you are engaging with, talk about former and present friends that have bothered you or them at some point, be bold about your marriage to other people and put your priorities straight – God, spouse, then others!

Because of certain “passages” that were open – be it by sinning knowingly or by naivety – there may be demons that entered into your marriage life. To get rid of those demons, I recommend reading this website page that has helped me get rid of a specific demon that was tormenting my marriage.

Onward married christian soldiers!

Advertisements

Why God designed marriage to be between a man and woman. – A different approach.

I’m not going to write here about the “normal” approach given on this theme (about it being “natural”, about God creating man and woman, about the Bible forbidding homosexuality, about being fruitful and multiplying, etc) for there are many posts saying those things. I’m going to write about something more personal and emotional that has been on my mind these past weeks, that I’ve never read anything about or heard anyone comment on. I’ll try to make it as simple as I can.


Man and woman are different. 

Men want and need more respect. (Eph. 5:25) Women want and need more love. (Eph. 5:33) Therefore, men find it easier to show respect. Women find it easier to show love. Men are more rational, logic, tough, not-touchy. Women are more emotional, sentimental, delicate, touchy. Men have a waffle mind (dividing everything in compartments). Women have a spaghetti mind (linking events together).

All these things make man and woman’s coexistence complicated. Including marriage.

Girl plus Girl and Boy plus Boy = Easy peasy.

Girls know what girls like. Boys know what boys like. I can’t help but think how much simpler and easier relationships would be if one person knew about how the other person would react to everything, know exactly what to say to the other person without hurting them, knowing what gift they’d like best… simply by using the phrase, “How would I like them to treat me?” because, in all seriousness, having a relationship with someone that is your “opposite” (man x woman) is hard. It takes a lot of effort. I know not all girls and boys are the same, but we do share the same “principles”, dreams, desires and even “love languages” a lot of the time.

Why would God want, and better yet – design – the hard way?

When we have a loving relationship with another person (especially by marrying them) we mould each other. We are like a rock full of lumps and spikes that keep hurting and bumping into each other. Man and woman have different lumps and spikes, and by coexisting, they keep pushing against each other and eventually smoothing one another, making them more perfect, making them Jesus-like by taking away their selfishness and making them humble and true. This isn’t possible in a relationship where both people are almost the same, in other words, in a woman-woman or man-man one. They wouldn’t smoothen each other out! They wouldn’t perfect one another!

To me, marriage between man and woman is a beautiful, miraculous gift from God. It’s complicated and difficult, yet joyful and wonderful. Not to mention that God designed husband and wives for different purposes (who’d have whose role in a gay relationship?) that were perfectly entitled to each one according to what they do best and who they are.

Also, keep in mind that the ultimate marriage model is of Jesus Christ and the church, which is no easy goal, but a really worthwhile one.

“Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.” (Matt. 7:13)

God designed man for woman and woman for man for a much greater purpose than the little keyhole we can look into. He knows what’s best for us. He knows what He’s doing. “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” says Jesus. (Matt. 19:6)

PS: The “man” and “woman” descriptions I used are generalisations about how man and woman are – as God designed – none better than the other one. I know that some girls are boyish and some boys and girlish, but that’s another matter.

He’s coming! :D

As most of you know, I’m in a long distance relationship with my fiancée. We’ve met online and live 5000 miles apart. He’s booked his ticket to come and see me and I’ve been preparing for his arrival on Tuesday morning. Yesterday, when we were chatting, he said he had something he had been keeping as a secret from me, something that he’s been working on for several months, wanted be a big surprise and figured he’d tell me on Saturday (today). I got really excited and tried to guess what it was, but failed. The only thing I could think of that matched what he’d said was him being pregnant – an alternative that’s obviously impossible due to him being male. In other words, I had no idea and had to sleep with those doubts in my head, waiting for him to call me on FaceTime at 6am (10am there) so he could tell me the news. He called me and I was really eager to know what it was. He said he wanted to tell me today because he knows how much I hate the weekends and wanted to make this one better. (I hate the weekends, by the way, because I spend the whole of them in my room studying. I never go out or do anything fun and that means I have to take all the fighting that goes on at home. I don’t have any friends either, so when I go to university from Monday to Friday I feel like I’m doing something right and not so alone. To me, Fridays are dreadful.) Anyway! The news, my dear friends, was that he is arriving tomorrow. Tomorrow! I couldn’t believe it. He had already packed his bag and was heading to the airport as soon as he told me the news. I, of course, started crying like a little baby. He had told my parents and his family that he had anticipated the flight but for them to not tell me. He had also emailed me a false itinerary with switched dates some time ago. I know it may seem a bit silly to people since it’s just a 3-day change, but guys, to me this is HUGE. You see, every day is a huge struggle for me to survive. Simply keeping on living takes a huge amount of effort to me – especially during the weekends. So knowing he’ll be here tomorrow is such a relief! We haven’t seen each other since January! If he had kept it as a secret all the way and surprised me here at home it’d be somewhat dangerous for my health, for I’m taking medication for panic syndrome and could possibly have a panic attack, so yeah. This is all so unreal! He’s on the the plane now. My tummy is full of butterflies! I love him so much. :’) ❤

PS: Sorry about the diverse and random usage of verb tenses. I can’t really think straight right now. alskdfjhdsjgkdsakfj

I dreamt with you again.

I like hanging out with you over there, where we can talk, I can tell you my inmost secrets, you can tell me how your life is going and compare what has changed and what hasn’t. I like it how you always listen to my stories and thoughts without interrupting me and make me feel good. I like your patience with me and your sincere hugs. It’s incredible how just seeing you makes me happy, how your smile hasn’t changed after all these years and how much love I have for who you are. You’ve always helped me so much. You’ve always been there when nobody else was. Thank you.

Last night, in my dream, I told you I was going to marry next year. You got surprised, then hugged me and said, “Wow!” Looking into the horizon you smiled and I smiled with you. You said it was amazing how things had changed and I had grown into such a lovely woman, making me blush. “He’s lovely. You’d like him”, I said. “I’m sure,” you said, “you’ve always been very cautious with your choices.” We laughed together and I felt at peace.

Although we’ve talked on the phone 2 years ago and you’ve sent me chocolate, I haven’t seen you in 10 years. You must be in your forties already and my respect for you only grows. I hope I’ll get to see you again someday. You, your wife and your kids. They must be so lovely! They have a wonderful Father.

I’m sorry for sometimes calling you, “Daddy” in class. I understand that, as a teacher, it must have been embarrassing for you. But it wasn’t on purpose that I did that. I guess it was because my inner self was very, very fond of your character. You were the “man of my life” and my hero – emotionally substituting my biological Dad that I seldom got to see and be with. To me, you’ve been and are more important than you know.

I miss playing and singing with you. I miss you’re encouraging words and your voice. I miss going out with you, watching films and playing instruments. I even miss doing school work with you and you giving me exams and telling me how awesome I went. But, most of all, I miss you. I truly hope you are well.