“True intimacy has very little to do with sexual relations.
“A casual friendship frequently progresses to the next level of close friendship and fellowship. Close friendship is based on mutual life goals and friends at this level enjoy the freedom to suggest mutual projects toward reaching those goals. Most people never get this far in their relationships. So many jump straight from acquaintance to “intimate” because that is the model held up by society, and because they do not know how to go through the friendship-building process. What so many people call “intimate” relationships are not intimate at all, because the people involved have never learned what true intimacy is or how to build toward it. Ultimately, true intimacy has very little to do with sexual relations.
Another characteristic of close friendship is that it is the first relationship that involves genuine common fellowship. Fellowship implies mutual interests and life goals because friends are “fellows” who are in the same “ship” together and therefore traveling the same direction. We can have “fellowship only with people who are headed in the same direction as we are. As believers, we can have an acquaintance or even a casual relationship with a Mormon, Buddhist or Hindu, but we can’t really have fellowship with them because they are headed in a different direction. Their beliefs and values are different, their life goals are different, and their final destination is different.
Close friends pursue mutual goals and most often share similar values, ideals, and worldviews. It is at this level where unmarried friends begin seriously looking at each other as potential mates: “Are his dreams and goals compatible with mine? Is she a person I could share the rest of my life with?” If they are not suited for each other as far as marriage is concerned, this is the time to find out rather than later, after binding and lasting commitments have been made. “In our desire to build close friendships we should, first of all, look for and recognize the potential for great achievement in our friends’ lives. Once we see them not just for who they are but also for who they can be, we are better prepared to help them fulfill their potential.
vision, purpose, destiny,