FRIENDSHIP OF THE OPPOSITE SEX
There are youth/people who do not feel right or morally clean to have friends of the opposite sex or even to be to be in their company. They actually feel guilty about this! Some feel this way because they haven’t been taught about the blessing of God of having friends who should be as brothers or sisters to them. But some feel not right to have such friends because they have been taught the opposite, that it is wrong and sinful, and that it is lustful, dangerous and immoral to be a friend with the opposite sex.
When such youth find themselves in the middle of a company of opposite sex, they become totally uneasy and they really get disturbed, psychologically and spiritually. Yaani you can find them, even praying for themselves or to even to the extent of rebuking and casting away devils or evil spirits of immorality, whom may not be there, (I have seen these people and I have talked to them, as they were seeking/finding help).
Some of these people, when they are shown normal friendly interest they think the other person wants her/him as a lover or they think the other person wants her/him for marriage! This is a problem, especially in the church! And also in schools and families where teenagers do not mix up much. Listen! Men/boys are not there just to be husbands to you. Women/girls are not their just to be wives to you. Friendship and sexuality was not made only sex, marriage and for baring children. Friendship is God’s plan and purpose for many reasons. Friendship is God’s work and design. Friendship is psychological and spiritually healthy.
Did you ask yourself why you matured at the age of 14 or 12? This is approximately 15 years before an average African marriage age. Have you ever asked yourself why these “second growth characters” (Biological changes) didn’t come on us a year before each one’s marriage. It could have been a better signal for one to start thinking of marriage. It could really be a good help for us, not to trouble ourselves, thinking of life partners, before these signs come! But why did God have to bring these body changes which result in “attraction” between opposite sex, 15 years (approximately) before your marriage?
I once asked God that question, when those “disturbances” were hitting me, and the Holy Spirit, our teacher, helped me to understand that, physical maturity can happen quickly, (one year is enough) but mental, psychological and spiritual maturity takes time. The Holy Spirit asked me this question; “If the world needs something like 20 years to prepare good doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants, etc, from primary school to professions, how much time does God need to prepare a good husband, wife, father or mother, spiritually and mentally?”
The future adulthood life has soo many demands and challenges. One needs to be adequately equipped, trained and prepared to handle all such life challenges. I believe, that’s why God had to bring the experience of friendship many years before, so that through the spiritual ministry and friendly experiences, one can be adequately prepared, with a good foundation to carry the entire load and the pressures of the adult and parental life. That’s why God invented friendship. Friendship is God’s plan, that’s what Paul is advising his “son” Pastor Timothy, on how to handle “girls” in the church. He told him, “Treat men as young brothers… and young women as sisters, with absolute purity” (1Tim 5:2).
Notice this, Paul did not say that, he should treat girls in faith as “cats and rats” but as sister, and not as enemies or ‘danger zone’. He didn’t say “separate your self from them”. But Apostle Paul was trying to say (paraphrasing) ‘Pastor Tim, your relationship with girls in the church, should be of a brother and a sister in absolute purity and holy and perfect”. That’s God’s plan and God’s will for us. He wants to see boys and girls live in perfect godly love, with pure and honest friendship between them as a brother and sister in Christ.
Casual friends, weather same sex or opposite sex, are very helpful and good. It is a gift from God “Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the father of lights” (James 1:17). It is for the future fathers and mothers, to know and understand the other creation of God (species) well, but also to receive the blessing of love, care, concern and attention, the same sex can not provide. A ‘clean’ brother-sister relationship, has many ‘blessings’and things which you can learn from the opposite sex, which you may/will never learn/get from the same sex friend. But absolutely speaking, there has to be a Holy Spirit balance and wisdom in between the friends, in order to experience all God’s blessings He has intended for us to receive from these opposite sex friendship.
“All scripture is God-breathed, and is good and useful for teaching and rebuking and correcting and training in uprightness, so that the people of God may be adequately prepared and equipped for every good work” (2Tim 3:16-17.) “I praise you God, for you have created me in a very wonderful and fearful way” (Psalms 139:14.) “God saw all that He made, it was very good…” (Gen 1:31)