“I want you to swear, O daughters of Jerusalem, do not arouse or awaken my love until she pleases.” (Song of Solomon 8:4) Is it possible to have casual friendships with guys without awakening love? I believe it is not only possible, but it is necessary.
Genesis 1:27 says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” It is no secret that men and women are different. Yet, the image of God is found in both of them, and therefore, is only complete with both of them. If we deny ourselves the company of the opposite gender, there are aspects of God’s character that we will never fully understand.
In today’s culture promiscuity and immorality are the norm. When the only women that men see are provocative and worldly, it would be very easy for beauty to be tainted and for them to lose hope in finding a virtuous woman. If we are looking to be world-changers, we should not be abstaining from relationships, but cultivating pure God-centered ones. Listen to the command in Hebrews 3:13 where it says, “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
It is easy to develop unhealthy emotional attachments, and that is why we must be active to keep our hearts and minds centered on God. How then are we to treat the guys that we are friends with? Because men are so different from women, this can be a challenging question to answer. However, we should treat them like what they are – our brothers in Christ.
Everyday, our prayer should be as David said in Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” When God’s glory and the encouragement of the body of Christ are our focus we will be fulfilling the command in 1 Timothy 4:12 where it says, “…in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” So then, “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22)