Hats off to Christianity Today Magazine for their bold cover story “Why Can’t Men be Friends” written by Wesley Hill. The article encourages deep (rather than shallow) friendships among Christians of the same sex. “What we need isn’t disinterested, disembodied camaraderie, in which we keep distance from one another’s hearts and stories. We need stronger bonds for brothers and sisters in Christ.”
Hill helps us recall the intimacy we once enjoyed as children and suggests that some of these relationships were lost by the fear of being “perceived as gay or feminine.” He makes it clear that these close friendships should not go unguarded but returning to “vowed spiritual siblinghood” would be a healthy step forward for us all.
Andy Crouch in the Editor Notes talks about his close friendships and the influence of “laughing unrestrainedly, talking deeply, and listening intently.” Even these few relationships he confesses were “barely enough.” He talks about the piercing glances they received and then challenges his readers to consider that these friendships can be “intimate without being in any way sexualized.”
I cannot say from personal experience that this is all true, but I do feel like it is a part of my life experience that has been lacking. This is a conversation we as Christians should tackle despite the confusion, distractions and what others among us may think or say. As Crouch suggests: it’s “a very healthy confusion.”