My response on a relationship science class debate at BYU: Can man and woman be “mere” friends? Another male response: Yes! If they refrain from becoming too well acquainted.
Today in class it was said that men and women can’t be friends, and are always romantically inclined to each other. One student even publicly shamed another in class for not sharing his opinion in this. No, he was not speaking in behalf of the males present as he had claimed! I am a male with quite a different opinion than this loud mouth froward fellow.
This is a very secular opinion. The truth is that when we see the opposite gender as our brother or sister and love them as Christ loves us, with pure love, that of the celestial law, then the counterpart can be a friend.
Yes, we marry someone of the opposite gender, such is the plan of God, but all of God’s children can be friends. One need not be an isolationist after their marriage. I like the saying of having eyes wide open before marriage and half shut after marriage, but this need not suggest that mankind may not befriend womankind in general. Yes husband and wife should be totally open with each other about all relationships they have, and should be fiercely committed to each other as top priority, and never should there be flirting by a married person with anyone other than his spouse. But too many people believe that once you are married, you are to ignore half of the human race in the name of virtue. What a twisted idea!
Yes we are aware and careful and avoid 1 on 1 time with them once married, and yes prolonged proximity to another of the opposite gender can cause attraction, but when we have a purpose, these things are subdued by the spirit of God, and the man of Christ is friends with all the children of God, not just those of his own gender. We can be of a friendly countenance to everyone without getting into improper circumstances.
What a shallow life we would have if we refused to befriend half of the human race once we have married someone! Indeed, in the last days, the hearts of men will fail them. Christ was called a champion of women! Don’t we take upon us the name of Christ? So lets emulate him.
If the man has weakness that disables him to some extent in these regards, he recognizes that and takes needed measures, but he does not plan to remain weak in these things. He plans to become perfect in Christ, and empowered by Christ, and become as Christ, and he doesn’t wait around about it. He makes every needed sacrifice to align his life with Christ, and consecrates his all to building up the kingdom of God, and if in the line of duty to Christ his lot is to befriend women as well as men, then God bless him and help him. Indeed, without the Holy Ghost and charity these things are not possible. You would think that at a religious university we would recognize the Christian aspect of this conversation, namely that men can handle having female friends if they have the spirit of Jesus Christ.
All are invited to come unto Christ, and we risk obstructing the work of God if we put limitations on ourselves about our participation of that work. Is not being someone’s friend often a first step toward showing them the ways of Christ? Then let us all be friends.
If the reader does not understand this, let it be commonly known that the purposes for friendship go beyond this present letter, the letter was confined to a narrow argument, and was not meant to cover all aspects of the joys of friendship. Truly friendship is a virtue in and of itself which blesses participants !