Bible Love Notes features 1-minute devotions each weekday. This is a special feature post.
Can men and women be "just friends"?
According to Scientific American, two careful studies of opposite-sex-friendships "suggest that men and women have vastly different views of what it means to be ‘just friends’—and that these differing views have the potential to lead to trouble."
"Although women seem to be genuine in their belief that opposite-sex friendships are platonic, men seem unable to turn off their desire for something more.”(1)
Obviously, these studies do not take into consideration a person's faith, but they do warn us of something we already know: God designed men and women with different thought-processes and tendencies. We shouldn't assume we understand what the opposite sex is thinking.
This study doesn’t necessarily give us all the answers in the age-old debate about the health of platonic relationships, but it encourages us to use caution and make our intentions clear.
Should husbands and wives have platonic opposite-sex relationships? Or are they likely to lead to extramarital affairs?
My personal opinion: It's better to be cautious and limit opposite-sex platonic relationships to groups that include our spouse. But I can't confirm that with Bible passages. What do you think? And what about single women?
Here's some Biblical principles that impact our answers but the specific ways we handle platonic relationships is something each of us must determine:
Proverbs 4:23: "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life."
2 Corinthians 6:3: "We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry."
1 Corinthians 8:9: "But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble."
Matthew 5:27-28: “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
Ephesians 5:3: "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people."
I'd love to have your feedback on this subject. And while you're here, please check out my home page where I feature 1-minute devotions each weekday. And sign up for a free subscription, if you'd like.