Today I was presented with a friendship that exist between two dudes I know that caused great joy and pain in my heart. It brought great joy because I value friendship to a degree that I find other Christians don't and to see it naturally occur and have amazing fruit gives me hope that my idea of friendship is true. But it also causes great pain because I also long for a “best friendship” that can last years. And for many reasons, I can't handle that type of friendship or the expectations I have for it are not the same standards most men want in their friendships. But today is about the friendship I saw and I want to encourage others to have that type of friendship within the Church in order to benefit the Church.
I am not to close to the guys I am talking about, but I have spent some time hearing them talk about their friendship as well as heard some really cool stories about their friendship from others. And honestly, just scroll through their Instagram account and you will see how great this friendship is. It is full of affectionate posts towards each other, its awesome!
These 2 guys grew up together and played soccer together since they were 8. In all their pictures they are either hugging each other, carrying each other, doing something fun, laughing, and saying very affectionate comments about the love they have for each other. They are always writing “My main man, best friend, brother, I miss you, I have been with this kid forever, etc.” Apparently, in their senior year, they won “BEST FRIENDS FOREVER.”
On one of the guys most recent post on Instagram it said this,
"Laying on the beach in December with my day one. Ten months ago I got selfish and flew up to Washington to bring you down to Biola so that I could play one more year with you. The way I wanted to end my last college season was playing with the best friend I've ever had."
The comments under the picture and caption were funny. Friends were pointing out their friendship was better than the Twilight love story and another wrote “#relationshipgoals.” This friendship is sweet and I pray to God it never ends and if any transgression occurs there exist an everlasting amount of forgiveness.
What I find interesting about social media is that most people like posting pictures of themselves with friends, family, and what their community looks like, especially around the Holidays. There exist some idea if your pictures look fun and happy your life is great. There are many blogs about this type of false reality, but what I am most intrigued with is if people that are posting these pictures actually have deep committed communities and friends that are long lasting. Do people have friends that will stay loyal and back them up when the time is right? Or do they just post this stuff to feel good for the time being
In one of my favorite movies, Good Will Hunting, there is a scene in which the math professor is asking a therapist why does this extremely smart person hangout with these low life losers, “retarded gorillas?” The therapist responds by saying, “Because anyone of them if he ask them too will take a fuckin bat to your head, thats called loyalty.”
How many of us want that?
When I was at a soccer game where these 2 dudes that I am talking about were playing, there was a little scuffle and I saw someone from the other team push one of the friends and the other friend stepped in right away to defend him and was even ready to fight. The goalie grab the heated friend (they were on the same team) that stepped in to calm him down. It was pretty cool scene. The next day I met the goalie at the Church I attended and we were talking about the game that occurred the night before. We talked about the scuffle that broke out and the goalie said, “When I saw 'so and so' get pushed and 'so and so' was there I grabbed him because I knew he would get really mad and want to fight the other team or something. You don't mess with his other half.” I thought it was awesome. That is sweet and loyal friendship right there.
Many of us want this type of loyalty. We want someone to back us up, be there for us, and show us affectionate time, touch, transparency, and teamwork. We want these friendships, but many try to find this loyalty in a marriage instead of friendships. Especially with christian conservatives and gay communities arguing about what marriage should be and how it is the most important relationship a human is going to have, it makes sense there are going to be a few amount of people searching and staying committed to life long friendships. Besides, friendships don't offer sex, and for us pleasure seekers, that is an upset. I get sad when friendship is put in a place on a lower level when it comes to relationship humans can have with each other. Here is what Justice Kennedy said about Marriage this past summer when he ruled in favor for gay marriage legalization.
"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were,"- Justice Kennedy
If this statement is true, friendship cannot be as profound as marriage.
If this statement is true, friendship cannot keep up with the ideals of the highest love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In a marriage, two people become something greater than once they were.
For the record, friendship can do all of this!!!! If you are a Christian and believe what Justice Kennedy said, I would really question your wisdom and knowledge of what Church community is and how Jesus Christ wants it to be.
Friendship is an amazing form of love, devotion, fidelity, and sacrifice. Please Christian, pursue it. It is a beautiful human relationship. You can live with each other, give each other hair cuts, spend a lot of time together, back each other up, confidently say you know your friend will get a bat and hit someone in the head if you asked them to do it.
My two friends I am talking about are always calling each other friend/brother, other half, etc. They have something very few have and are lucky to have. I hope that many can have this. I want this. And Church, if you really want to help those who struggle with homosexuality, give them deep loyal, committed, lifelong friendship. It really starts with this. And I mean lifelong.
If you were to ask most of my friends who are gay or who struggle with homosexuality, if they would want a best friend or someone who is always there for them calling them brother, other half, family, etc., they would say yes in a heartbeat. Besides, isn't that what gay people really want when it comes to marriage? Someone to live life with? Deep life long friendship will would meet the very deep longing for loyalty that all us humans long for.
Lifelong Friendship is beautiful, give it a try.
And if you have a best friend, don't ever replace it or be reckless with it. You may not know how life giving it is for you until you lose it. Most people don't have friends like that and so they try to find it in their spouse and then end up being to needy in their marriage and can mess things up. Keep your friends, love your friends, give them your time, give them your physical touch, give them transparency, give them, teamwork. Point them to Jesus and help them live a life for Jesus.
Love your FRIENDS the way Christ loved the Church.