As we tackle the subject of friendship this month, here’s a question you might be itching to ask: Is it possible for Christian guys and girls to be just friends? I am not talking about the kind of guy/girl relationship where you say you’re “just friends” while you secretly pine for one another or a friendship riddled with flirtations and innuendoes. I shouldn’t have to say this, but tugging each other’s heartstrings under the guise of friendship is a bad idea. But what about honest to goodness platonic friendship? Is it wise for a Christian girl (or guy for that matter) to be friends with members of the opposite sex?
As questions about relationships often are, the answer to this question is fairly layered. I can’t say all girl/guy friendships are a great idea, and I can’t say that they’re all a mistake. To some degree it depends on the specific guy and girl we’re talking about. But God’s Word does provide some interesting insight into this topic. When applied to our lives, I think we can develop some good guidelines to follow in our friendships with fellas.
Jesus had female friends
Whenever questions pop up that aren’t clearly addressed in Scripture (example: Exodus 20:16 clearly tells us not to lie), I find it helpful to study the example of Jesus. In this case, we find that Jesus had female friends.
Mary and Martha are mentioned several times in Scripture. Jesus went to their house. They called for Him when their brother, Lazarus, died, and He came to be their comforter. In John 11:5 we read, “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” Sounds like a great friendship to me.
Another one of Jesus’ friends was Mary Magdalene. She spent a lot of time with Jesus. Like a good friend, she cared for His needs when He faced the crucifixion (Matthew 27:55–56). She was among the first to visit His tomb after He died (Matthew 28:1), and she was among the first to see Him resurrected (Matthew 28:9–10). Sounds like Mary was a faithful friend.
If we’re looking for a general stamp of approval for friendships with the opposite gender, I think we can find it in the example of Jesus.
But that’s not the end of this discussion. I think the Bible also offers some specific guidelines for our friendships with guys. We’ll talk about those guidelines in Sunday’s post.