Healthy Same Sex Friendships

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HEALTHY SAME SEX FRIENDSHIPS

 

Numbers 13

Majority think its too hard

Giants in the land - things to overcome

What are these Giants -

a.Lack of honesty within ourselves

"don't kid yourself" except from "Craving For Love"

 

Four types of women:

  1. Married - use marriage to hide & not deal with issues

  2. Single - isolate oneself to avoid issues

  3. Ministry with superficial friends

  4. Faces issues - seeks healing & takes risks in friendship

 

b.Other peoples misperceptions

  • individuals

  • church

 

c.Previous wounding

  • rejection

  • abuse

 

What Healthy Same Sex Friendships is NOT

Many of us struggle with Emotional Dependency.

 

What is Emotional Dependency?
 (Notes on ED taken from www.livehope.org)

The condition resulting when the ongoing presence and/or nurturing of another is believed necessary for personal security.

This Nurturing comes in many different ways from o­ne person's life into another's:

 

- Attention

- Listening

- Admiration

- Counsel

- Affirmation

- Time spent together

 

ED relationships may appear harmless, if not healthy at first, but may lead to a destructive relationship that causes bondage

 

Is ED sinful?
When any relationship is made to be more important in our lives than our relationship with Christ, then it is sinful.

God must be the provider of our needs because he can do so perfectly. Other humans can only meet our needs with less than perfection. Any relationship made central to our existence instead of God is a relationship that results in sin. Than includes seemingly healthy relationships.

 

1 John 5:21
Dear children, keep yourselves from idols

Characteristics of ED relationships

How do we determine normal interdependency that occurs in wholesome relationship from that of unhealthy ED relationships?

Healthy Relationship - free and generous. Both are eager to include others in activities. Experience joy when other person finds new friends. Desire for other person to reach potential. Develop new interests, skills. Balance reactions to others life - Do not overreact to person or events. Feel normal disappointment when relationship struggles or plans do not work out. Is joyful, healing and not binding. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 "Two are better than o­ne, because they have a good return for their work: If o­ne falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no o­ne to help him up!

Unhealthy Relationship - Overreact to comments or activities - either ecstatically high or devastated. Emotional roller coaster. Emotionally and socially exclusive, hidden interest in keeping person from growing if that means separation. Threatened by new people or activities in other's life. Separation may cause anguish, panic, or depression. Produces bondage for self and partner. Proverbs 14:12,13 - There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death. Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.

Characteristics of ED Relationship

-Jealousy, possessiveness, exclusivity, threatened by other potential relationships.

-Prefers to spend time alone with this person; becomes frustrated when does not occur.

-Becomes irrationally angry or depressed when person withdraws slightly.

-Loses interest in friendships other than this o­ne.

-Experiences romantic or sexual feelings about that person.

-Becomes preoccupied with person's appearance, personality, problems, interests, whereabouts, activities.

-Unwilling to make short or long term plans that do not include person or fit around their schedule.

-Unable to see other's faults realistically.

-Becomes defensive about relationship when asked about it.

-Displays physical affection beyond what is appropriate for friendship.

-Refers frequently to the other person in conversation; speaks for the other person.

-Exhibits intimacy or familiarity with the Person that causes others to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed in their presence.

Questions to Consider.

Do I see characteristics of ED in my relationships?

How can I distinguish healthy relationships from ED?


BUILDING HEALTHY SAME SEX FRIENDSHIPS

Firstly focus on building a strong relationship with Jesus. Allow Him to meet your needs first. Make Him even the focus of your friendships enabling your friend to grow in Christ firstly too.

Genesis

It is not good for man to be alone....

Includes not just a partner but our friendships!

Godly friendships include David & Jonathon, Ruth & Naomi

 

HOW TO EXPRESS YOURSELF IN FRIENDSHIP

  1. Know your boundaries

  2. Accountabilty - God & Others

 

Boundaries -

Culture of others:

We must consider the "culture" our friends come from. What is their background - what was their family like. Do they like hugs etc What is their "love" language.

Keeping our Boundaries will NURTURE a friendship.

Remember to examine your motives in doing these things

NUTURE not MANIPULATION

(LOVE LANGUAGE apdapted from http://www.valleypresbyterian.org/curriculum/family_issues/LoveLang.htm)

1. Words of Affirmation

2: Quality Time

3: Receiving Gifts

4: Acts of Service

5: Physical Touch

 

Love Language: Words of Affirmation

 

"I can live for two months on a good compliment." -- Mark Twain

(Prov 12:18 NIV) Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

(Prov 12:25 NIV) An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.

(Eph 4:29 NIV) Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

 

 Love Language: Quality Time

Real quality time is when we give someone our undivided attention.

 

Love Language: Receiving Gifts

 Gifts are visual symbols of love

The Gift of Self: Physical presence in the time of crisis is the most powerful gift you can give.

 

Things to Consider

What gifts have you given a friend that were particularly appreciated?

 

Love Language: Acts of Service

... doing things you know your friend would like you to do

Make a list of things you know your friend wants you to do. Be specific and practical.

 

(John 13:12-15 NIV) When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. {13} "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. {14} Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. {15} I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

 

Love Language: Physical Touch

(Mark 10:13-16 NIV) People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. {14} When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. {15} I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." {16} And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

The Corruption of Touch - Touch is more than sexual.

Don't make the mistake of believing that the touch that brings pleasure to you will also bring pleasure to your friend

Story about handshake at clowning & Sue

We can offend by not using wisdom in our touching.

Prov 18:19-21 NIV) An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel. {20} From the fruit of his mouth a man's stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. {21} The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.


Love of Jonathan and David (1S.18-20, 2S.1:26):

   Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. (1S.18:3-4).

    David was anointed to the crown to take it out of Saul's hand and Jonathan's head, and yet here we find, that Jonathan, who was heir to the crown, entered into covenant with David.

   

The story is simple and beautiful:
    King Saul wanted to kill David. Jonathan protected him and told David to hide on a great Rock. Saul found out and he was going to the rock to kill David, but Jonathan got there first and told David to run far away. He asked David to remember that they will always be friends.

    The farewell:
    And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, for as much as we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, The LORD be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And he arose and departed; and Jonathan went into the city. (1S.20:42).

 

Jesus is the greatest love in the Bible... he gave His live for you and me!...  "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends" (John 15:13).

  

 A friend is a jewel: 

    A friend is a jewel as difficult to find as a diamond, but more valuable. A friend in Christ is a divine jewel.    David and Jonathan had a friendship that was mighty in spirit because it was a true, steadfast, strong, unconditional friendship based on the love of God.  

    You are called to great friendships like that of Jonathan and David-relationships in which your heart is knit together with others in a lifelong commitment to love and loyalty. You will make an astounding difference in someone's life by treating him or her with the affection, kindness, and respect of a true friend.

    Of course, it takes courage to love people that deeply. As people around you face trials and difficulties, you have the unique privilege of spurring them on to become all God has called them to be.

"A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother." - Proverbs 18:24

   

Helpful Sites:

http://www.cyberparent.com/friendship/

www.valleypresbyterian.org

www.livehope.org

http://www.exodus.to/content/view/509/186/

 

Books

Craving for Love by Briar Whitehead