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الأحد, أبريل 14, 2024
الرئيسيةEnglish?Can Spouses Have Friends of the Opposite Gender

?Can Spouses Have Friends of the Opposite Gender

• Amanda Idleman

Now that may just be a lot of Hollywood influencing my imagination, but I think it’s really tough to have opposite-gender best friends in married life. Best friends share a part of your soul that is raw and tender, and you always love your best friends dearly—but opposite-gender besties can be a barrier to a healthy marriage. That special best-friend bond is meant to be reserved for your spouse.

Does this mean that once you get married, you can never talk to the opposite gender again? Absolutely not! But every outside relationship does have to be monitored, and proper boundaries are a healthy part of keeping your marriage safe.

What healthy boundaries can you implement in your relationships to keep your marriage safe?

1. Never Meet with a Person of the Opposite Gender One-On-One

Every male friend that I love and appreciate in my life are people I know because my husband is first friends with them. We spend time with other couples as a couple. I don’t have any inside jokes, I don’t share any intimate details of my life, or even pray over my male friends without my husband at my side. Every text message sent to the “guys” in our small group is done in a group text that includes my husband and their wives. I firmly believe that opposite-gender friendships should be navigated with accountability, and your spouse should always be included in your interactions whenever possible.

2. Just Don’t Go There

When things get weird (and you’ll know it’s weird), my advice is to shut it down! Have a “we don’t go there” rule for you and your husband or wife’s relationships. That means the second someone of the opposite sex says something you feel strange about or feelings of admiration rise up in your chest, make a point to address the situation right away, and change the story that is growing between you.

3. Limit Friendships of the Opposite Gender

While I don’t think you have to hide away from everyone that is the opposite gender from yourself, limiting the men or women in your close circle is wise. You really only have space for about 12 close friends in your life.

Think of how many of those 12 are men and how many are women. Most of them should share your same gender, so you have enough safe places to go when you need someone to lean on. We should not be bringing our same-gender friends into our marriages when we face trials, into our parenting, or our hearts. It’s just too easy for that opposite-gender person to become a lover when we rely too heavily on them. Find same-gendered friends you can lean on.

Sometimes it’s tough to want to accept boundaries for our behavior. Ultimately we each are wired with a sinful nature, and a huge part of that is pride that tells us we are in control of our own lives. God’s word teaches otherwise. He tells us we are his, bought at a price. Following him means surrendering to his design and implementing boundaries in our lives that help us follow him faithfully over the course of a lifetime.

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