When two people of the opposite sex are “more than friends” and they are not making it clear, they entangle themselves emotionally. One time, after I cleared High School, I went to visit my brother some 800km from the city. I met this guy with whom we became very good friends. We shared very good friendship for about a year if not more. He was there for me in many ways and so was I. We went for missions together, prayed together and did many things together. Then without a deliberate choice, we started having nice times out. He went to a different church from the one I attended. He faithfully gave me escorts home after work and church every day. He bought me gifts of all kind. From clothes to movies to food to jewelry. This was before I came to campus. In fact I remember he came with me the day I was to report to campus all the way! He helped me settle in campus and went back home. He visited me occasionally. One time it occurred to me that we had crossed the line of being friends to being more than friends. All this time, none of us had said anything verbal about our relationship. We just enjoyed being together. I started getting bothered at where we were going and what our friendship was all about. I did an analysis of my heart and realized that I had gotten myself into something that I was previously careful never to get into, an emotional entanglement. I sought God concerning it and wondered whether He wanted us together. God gave me an assurance that I was in the wrong relationship because He did not want me to marry my friend. That was very hard for me since I had grown fond of him and really liked him. To be honest, I loved him. I called him up and we talked about it. He was not happy at all either. We parted. It was the most painful thing that I ever went through. We took time to heal and did not call or visit each other for seven months. During this time I prayed that God would help and since we were both committed to God’s will, we let go. Later we met and discussed it, apologized and allowed each other to move on. Then we were healed. Today we are both happily married and are actually good friends as families.
Breaking from an emotional entanglement is as good as breaking up. The emotions are fully charged at that time and moving away and letting go is very difficult. If you find yourself getting involved with a girl or a man more than you should be, without a defined relationship you are in verge of getting into an emotional entanglement. Elizabeth Elliot writes in her book Passion and Purity ‘..unless a man is prepared to ask a woman to be his wife, what right has he to claim her exclusive attention? Unless she has been asked to marry him, why would a sensible woman promise any man her exclusive attention? If, when the time has come for a commitment, he is not man enough to ask her to marry him she should give him no reason to presume that she belongs to him.”
The dangers of an emotional entanglement go to the extents of defrauding which means stimulating sexual desires that cannot be righteously fulfilled. It is one person manipulating the other either sexually or emotionally for one’s own advantage. When you spend a lot of time with someone of the opposite sex and share intimate things and yet you are saying nothing about it, you are defrauding that person and it is sinful. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.” (1Thessalonians 4:6 ESV)
Girls in the natural sense, begin romantic relationships with their emotions. When a man gets involved emotionally with a woman, her interpretation of it is that you are getting close because you love her. More often than not, it is not love, it is defrauding, cheating. Men on the other hand, begin theirs physically, they believe sex is paramount in a relationship. Both of these approaches are wrong and unbiblical. Let us analyse the story of Samson and Delilah, though a man, he began his relationship at the emotional level, He did not listen to his parents’ wisdom and he went ahead making a decision based on his feelings. The outcome of that relationship was God leaving the scene and him dying a premature death. What about David? He began his at the physical level, he saw a gal and lusted after her, send for her and went ahead to lay with her. The consequences were more than he probably expected, murder and the death of his own son.
Have you found yourself in such quagmire? In a messy situation that is undefined and has no direction and YOU are a Christian? YOU are in a FAKE relationship. The enemy has lied to you that you are ‘just friends’ and this will slowly kill you in the inside and by the time you realize, the guy (most of the time) will be in another relationship. That is the point that you realize that you were not ‘just friends’. Sometimes it is too late.
So how do you know that you are in an emotional entanglement or a fake relationship?
- Spending more time with one person more than the rest. Is there ONE chick/jamaa that you know you spend more time with than the rest of your friends? If you analyse the time you spend together, you would say, being honest, that yenyewe, this guy/chick is with me most of the time.
- Receiving and giving gifts for occasions. What about gifts, is she/he the only one you remember their birthday and a facebook message is not enough? you got to get card and eeeh, may be some chocolate, and they in return do the same? And you are saying you are just friends? Do you go out of your way to make sure you please them?
- Spending a lot of time on phone, facebook chats, SMS, email and such modes of communications. Just look at your call log and SMSes, what about your facebook chats? who features most? It is them? And you have NEVER told them anything, I thought yo said you are just friends?
- Calling “just to find out how you are doing.” This is probably the most common, ‘I was calling just to find out how you are doing?’. If you do this to ALL the chicks/guys in your network, then it is OK, but its just her/him, you are in a FAKE relationship.
- Having a face to face relationship instead of side by side. In other words, your friendship is not about issues, but about YOU guys. All you talk about is me, you and us. C. S Lewis in his book, The Four Loves says friends walk side by side and lovers face to face. Where is your friendship?
- Physical attraction. Are you, being honest physically attracted to this person?
- Undefined boundaries. Are you in a friendship that has few or no purity boundaries? Do you mishandle each other and in the process defraud one another? And you are seriously saying that you are ‘just friends?’ Get serious!
- Defending your friendship. Are you the only one who does not seem to know that you are in a fake relationship? Your friends are asking you about it and you are all up in arms defending your friendship, ‘you guys are just jealous, we are friends, platonic friends you know?’
How did you get there? How can you get out? Is there a right path to follow? Check out part two of this post…