Yet, it seems that temptation often comes the other way, from the married person to the single: for example, Joseph and Potiphar’s wife (Genesis –18), or at least ambiguous, in the case of the church member and his father’s wife (1 Corinthians 5:1).
The point isn’t to condemn or idolize any one marital status as more protected than the other.
” we must realize that each new possibility of a friendship between a woman and a man may require a “no” or “yes” in various circumstances, or at various stages of life. But even between single people, the dangers are significant. This is called “the friend zone,” and it’s very easy for tectonic plates of desire to create exciting and heated friendship when that heat is, in fact, caused by motivations moving in opposite directions.
Since any godly male-female friendship will be friendship between two disciples of Christ, the first step in building that friendship is to “count the cost, whether [you have] enough to complete it” (Luke ). Male-female friendship always brings the possibility for awkwardness, for conflict, for heartache. Whether we’re the desiring or the desired, let’s be honest with ourselves: do we both want the same thing from this friendship?
And we need to be careful, in the context of rigorous community, that we’re not fooling ourselves about our own intentions.
Once we have been honest about our own intentions, we must articulate them clearly.
So what is the appropriate path for female-male friendships?
The answer is, of course, different for each kind of relationship.Patterns of one-on-one intimacy between members of the opposite sex cultivate the kind of intimacy that leads to romance. ” If your attitude about your intimacy is relaxed, it is likely set to blaze.It’s common for single people to be demonized as the “temptresses” or the “bait,” while the married folk are just the victims of preying mistresses (or misters).It’s easy for the church to split itself into men’s ministries, women’s ministries, and couples’ ministries.The singles become the wild card, often throwing what might have been an easy system of purity out of sync.What may be a beautiful and holy male-female friendship in one instance may not be translatable to every male and female, and certainly cannot be absolutized to every male and female. But when the risks have been weighed and the rewarding structures have been established, we can, with a clear conscience, come before God and ask him to bless our friendships with the opposite sex. And like all beautiful things, it requires patient investment, open-handed humility, ruthless selflessness and self-awareness, and self-control.