Monday, April 05, 2010

Can Man and Woman be Just Friends?

Recently Scott McKnight asked in his blog The Jesus Creed, Can We Be Friends (A Woman Asks a Married Man)? He highlights an important question concerning the relationship between man and woman. Should a married couple be inclusive or are the spouses allowed to have different sex friends? The answer is not as easy as it seem. McKnight puts this into perspective when he gave two scenarios.

A scenario: your daughter or your son is now married, and delights in his or her spouse. Your son or your daughter come to you and says, "I have a close friend, of the opposite sex, who is not married. That person would like me to have coffee alone just to chat. Mom, Dad, what is your advice? What is your wisdom?"

Scenario two: what are the principles you use in your cross-gender relationships? Do you have any conscious principles? What are they? Any concrete lines over which you will not cross?

Philosopher Gilbert Meilander, writing in First Things (June/July 1993) Men and Women-Can We Be Friends? pinpoints the problem.

When we ask this question, the first problem that comes to mind is the one raised by Harry Burns in the 1989 movie, When Harry Met Sally. In the opening scene, as he and Sally are driving together from Chicago to New York, Harry says: “Men and women can't be friends—because the sex part always gets in the way.” Harry has a point—indeed, an important point.

In any relationships between man and woman, the 'sex part' are always involved. So is it possible for spouses to be good friends with those of the opposite sex? Will it be detrimental to the sanctity of a marriage? Is there such a thing as a 'platonic' friendship? This is specially relevant for Christians as they consider spiritual friendship and spiritual mentoring.

What do you think ?


Labels: , , , ,


Blogger Paul Long said...

Tough question(s) but an important issue to discuss.

Basic answer: YES.

But there needs to be strict accountability checks and a strong and vibrant relationship between a husband and wife.

One rule of thumb (I have quite a few ... :-)) is that a person's spouse must have no reservations at all to the relationship. If not, for me, the answer should be NO.

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course men and women can be close friends, and there IS such a thing as platonic friendship. The fact that any man would even consider such a question simply means there is a very lack of maturity, and such a man sees a woman ONLY as a sex object, and that is the reason why 'In any relationships between man and woman, the 'sex part' are always involved.'I am appalled by such a notion. A woman is NOT only for sex, for goodness's sakes! It is only when a man sees a woman ONLY as a sex object, that one can come out with such an observation.

11:07 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home