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Newton’s third law tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Though this law pertains to physics, it seems equally true in the realm of ideas. Recently, a renewed emphasis on the value of the Billy Graham/Mike Pence Rule as a means of protecting sexual fidelity has provoked an equal and opposite emphasis on the value of male-female friendships. To be clear, what’s under discussion here is not whether it’s okay for couples to be friends with other couples, but whether it is acceptable and advisable for a man and woman to share a close personal friendship while they are each married to other people.
I have been challenged by much of the writing about male-female friendships, I have been thinking about the topic a lot over the past few months, and I’m eager to apply it to my own life and friendships. I have observed that much of the discussion about opposite-sex friendships depends upon the brother-sister analogy that is so common in Scripture. When we put our faith in Jesus Christ and receive his salvation, we are adopted into the family of God, becoming brothers and sisters in the Lord. This relationship is a tremendous blessing and carries great significance. Addressing one another as “brother” and “sister” is not just Christian tradition, but proclamation of precious truth!
Language - Family - Something - Genuine—we - Jesus
While the language of the spiritual family describes something genuine—we are bound together in Jesus Christ—we need to remember that it is also metaphorical. Metaphors are a useful means of fostering understanding, but they invariably have limitations, and we need to be careful we do not push them too far. As a kind of personal thinking challenge, I’ve been attempting to consider the brother-sister to see where I may encounter its limitations.
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