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The (often) missing element in the gay marriage debate

friendship

Amid all the discussion of marriage and ‘alternative’ sexual relationships and the interpretation (or dismissal) of the key biblical texts there is something very often missing from the debate. What is that missing element?

Friendship

We are blinded from seeing the importance of this by various inter-connected myths:

  1. Sexual activity is necessary for human flourishing and identity.
  2. A single person is not whole / fulfilled / valuable without a sexual relationship.
  3. The cure to loneliness is romance / marriage.
  4. A single person cannot be deeply loved or experience emotional intimacy without a sexual / romantic relationship.
  5. Deep love between two people must be romantic / sexual.
  6. Deep celibate love between people of the same gender is impossible.

These are lies. The perfect man, perfect human – Jesus Christ – was single. Romantic and sexual relationships are not the only place in which we find love, intimacy and fulfilment. Deep love (contrary to Freud) is not always basically sexual. As Christopher Ash argues, marriage is not given as the Bible’s ultimate answer to the problem of loneliness – actually friendship is the great answer. Relationships within the local church and in the context of gospel partnership should be places of intense love (cf. 1 Thessalonians 26-8:8,17,3:1; 4:9-10) and the fostering of deep friendship like that between David and Jonathan.

Resources to stir our thinking:

And extra resources specifically on singleness:

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