MEMORY VERSE: “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” – Romans 13:14
BIBLE PASSAGE: Romans 12:9-10, Proverbs 6:27-28
LESSON INTRODUCTION: Christian youths come together for diverse reasons such as academic activities, business/social engagements, spiritual exercises and so on. In the process, making friends with the opposite sex may be inevitable. This is not a sin as long as the motive is pure (friendship with no string attached). However, it becomes an issue of concern when we consider the common mistakes foreseeable. We shall attempt to unravel some of the mistakes as well as discuss some of the tips for a pure friendship with the opposite sex.
- COMMON MISTAKES IN A PLATONIC RELATIONSHIP
- TIPS FOR PURE FRIENDSHIP
1. COMMON MISTAKES IN A PLATONIC RELATIONSHIP
Here are some of the common mistakes youths make as they relate with their friends of the opposite sex.
- Ignoring proper boundaries.
- Misinterpreting the attentions of the opposite sex.
- Tolerating too much in the friendship and hanging on too long.
- Giving a blind eye to danger signals such as emotional attraction, attempt to touching sensitive parts of the body, holding hands, cuddling, pecking, and so on (Prov.6:27-28; Rom.12:1).
- Getting involved much too soon and going too far such as involvement in family functions, financial/business commitment and so on.
- Ignorantly sending potential spouse away.
2. TIPS FOR PURE FRIENDSHIP
- Define the friendship and set clear boundaries.
- Never assume anything but ask questions when in doubt.
- Do not allow anyone form a canopy over your life under the pretence of friendship.
- Do not take advantage of your closeness to your friend to seduce him/her into any dirty game or romantic pleasure (1Thess.5:22; Col.2:21).
- Differentiate friendship from intimacy.
- Do not always seek to be in lonely places, dark corners, with a friend of the opposite sex.
- Try and include others in activities instead of isolating yourself with one person.
- Make a priority of same-sex friendship. Your bosom friend should not be of the opposite sex. You can have them as close friends but not as closest friend.
- Seek opportunity to serve and not to be served or entertained. Real friendship is not on what you can get from others but on how to serve others. In service, we find true friendship (Rom.12:10-11).
- If you are in a relationship leading to marriage, make sure your partner meets with your opposite gender friend.
- Guard your heart. Do not allow premature romance ruin your heart, which is the centre of your destiny (Prov.4:23).
- Keep everything strictly platonic (surface and plain friendship).
CONCLUSION: Prioritise same sex friendship. If you must have a friend of the opposite gender, know your boundaries and make sure you talk about them.