Liberty to Love

I have a son-in-law who is in his 30s and is still best friends with a guy he started the friendship within kindergartner. I think that’s wonderful. My daughter lovingly teases him that the friend is his bromance. To have had a friendship for most of your life is a true blessing.

In our society, close friendships have become scarce. We know that Jesus and the Apostle John we close friends. John was called by the other disciples, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23). When you look up the Greek word used for “love” in this context, it is the word ēgapa which denotes the love of reason, esteem. They “clicked.” This kind of friendship is something that seems to have been lost in our world.

In fact, I read an article recently that many men are becoming afraid to be close friends with other men because they feel social pressure to make their relationship romantic. It went on to say that because of this, many men keep male friendships at a very superficial level, to the detriment of their emotional health. Men and women, whether married or not, need close, same-gender non-romantic relationships.

It is a significant loss to Western culture that deep friendships are usually considered to be romantic or at least it carries that potential. While much of the world understands the five kinds of love, Western culture, it seems, does not. So much value to humanity has been lost by us making the most essential love romantic/intimate love and trying to force friends in platonic relationships into romantic ones.

Don’t yield to social pressure and, of course, don’t allow yourself to get into a situation that might become inappropriate. Navigating human relationships is a big challenge but, properly handled, they can strengthen you and others.

I have a son-in-law who is in his 30s and is still best friends with a guy he started the friendship within kindergartner. I think that’s wonderful. My daughter lovingly teases him that the friend is his bromance. To have had a friendship for most of your life is a true blessing.

In our society, close friendships have become scarce. We know that Jesus and the Apostle John we close friends. John was called by the other disciples, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23). When you look up the Greek word used for “love” in this context it is the word ēgapa which denotes the love of reason, esteem. They “clicked”. This kind of friendship is something that seems to have been lost in our world.

In fact, I read an article recently that many men are becoming afraid to be close friends with other men because they feel social pressure to make their relationship romantic. It went on to say that because of this, many men keep male friendships at a very superficial level, to the detriment of their emotional health. Men and women, whether married or not, need close, same-gender non-romantic relationships.

It is a great loss to Western culture that deep friendships are usually considered to be romantic or at least it carries that potential. While much of the world understands the five kinds of love, Western culture, it seems, does not. So much value to humanity has been lost by us making the most important love romantic/intimate love and trying to force friends in platonic relationships into romantic ones.

Don’t yield to social pressure and, of course, don’t allow yourself to get into a situation that might become inappropriate. Navigating human relationships is a big challenge but, properly handled, they can strengthen you and others.

Photo by Emma Tin on Unsplash

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