“How can I build a relationship based on friendship rather than physical attraction?”
“True friendship is the strongest relationship of all, and is the fundamental ingredient of every truly successful marriage. Friendship does not come to full bloom overnight; it takes time to grow and mature. Since husbands and wives should enter marriage as best friends, it is important that they develop their friendship beforehand. Building this friendship is the greatest value and, indeed, the primary purpose of dating.
The strongest and most successful long-term relationships are those that are based on friendship rather than on any sense of need or incompleteness on the part of either “or both persons involved. A relationship motivated by need destroys friendship because it is essentially self-centered. A person in need will enter a relationship seeking primarily to satisfy that need rather than seeking to satisfy the needs of the other person or help build that person’s character. Entering a relationship primarily for what we can get out of it defrauds the other person, and that is sin.
One problem I have discovered through years of experience in counseling and from my own life is that most people do not understand how to build and maintain wholesome friendships. We don’t know how to make friends or how to be a friend. While this is a serious problem among believers, it is even worse in the non-believing world. “Friendship in the world is based inevitably on manipulation. Consciously or not, people in the world use friendships as convenient and expedient opportunities to advance themselves. What the world calls friendship is not true friendship, because true friendship is based on love, which comes from God. People who are without God do not truly understand love and therefore cannot truly understand friendship. “When we became believers and were born again by the Spirit of God, our spirits were made new, but not our minds or our bodies. Those we must renew through knowledge and growth. The challenge we face is learning how to handle ourselves with a new spirit dwelling in an “old” mind and body that don’t know how to behave. We have to learn how to live and act as children of God.
This is probably nowhere harder to do than in relationships, particularly between males and females. Our newborn spirits tell us one thing while our unrenewed minds and bodies tell us something else. Without a disciplined spirit, the chemical and sexual stirrings of mind and body are difficult to deny. That is why we must learn, as Paul writes, to “be transformed by “the renewing of [our] mind[s]” (Rom. 12:2b), and to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5b).
Many people ask, “How can I get to know someone without slipping into inappropriate behavior? How can I build a relationship based on friendship rather than physical attraction?” The answer lies first in understanding the nature and purpose of friendship, which is to build character, and, second, understanding the different levels of friendship and the behavior that is appropriate for each level.
vision, purpose, destiny,