Think About It: That’s My Friend

My dear son Elijah is a very loving and caring 10 year old boy. He loves people! I mean he really loves conversing with anybody and everybody (must have got that from his momma). He’ll meet someone at the playground and later ask if he can go home with his friend. I would usually ask what his friend’s name is and he would say, “I don’t know but he is my friend”. So, of course I’d tell Elijah that he could not go home and play with his new friend because his mother and I don’t know him or his parents. Makes sense, right?

So why did Biz Markie have a song back in the day, “Just a friend”. In the lyrics of the song the girl that Biz Markie likes is unnamed, just like Elijah’s unnamed friend. Matter of fact the song calls her, “Blah-blah-blah”. Okay where am I going? Relationships! I spend a lot of time counseling folks who met each other and get married or enter a serious intimate relationship way too quick. What do I mean by way too quick? Sex before marriage. Yes, I said it. I know that is not the normal, right. Can I give you a peek behind the man’s curtain? Ladies if you go there and there is no marital commitment from him, he will go there and go there and go there. Get the picture! If he does not think you are worth waiting for then is he really valuing you or your friendship?

Back to friendships. What defines a friend? Some say a friend is someone who accepts you as you are without any plans to change you and make you better or different than you are. Friendship should take some time. Many friendships today are established so quickly based off a need to not be alone. We have become a society who is unable to be alone without a constant relationship and even worse, we will accept inappropriate and unhealthy relationships all in the name of having someone. What does going from an unhealthy relationship to inappropriate relationship lead to? A continual cycle of wrong thinking and bad relationships. You see we’ve become conditioned by our media. They tell us what a relationship should look like then many folks expectation of relationships become blah-blah-blah. We accept the next person just like they are. I know, I just gave you a definition of a friend, but a friend becomes a foe once they continue to take total advantage of your relationship. What does this look like? They are intimate with another person the same way they are with you. Another hint, there are no signs or hints of any future commitment with you from that person, but they continue to come around just to have fun (sex) with you. This continual cycle of unhealthy relationships can make you feel like the only thing you are worth is being used and your definition of a friend becomes “a person I have sex with when we are together and we have fun, when they have time for me”. So when you find yourself being pulled towards a friendship with a foundation built on emotional loneliness or sex, it is not a good relationship.

Now many will disagree with me especially men because modern day folks live in the age of microwave friendships. Facebook is full of friends but are they really your friends? By the way, if you are married and you are Facebook friends with a person whom you were intimate with in the past, you might want to unfriend them. Why? Well, maybe it’s not an issue with you but that intimate friendship ended for a reason and you married the person you married for a reason and not the other person.

Many Christians struggle with being single and celibate (even after having been sexually active). We want friends. We want companionship. We want a lifelong friend to whom we can share intimacy with. My old football coach, Coach Chambliss once asked me, “Why date a girl if you never plan on marrying her?” I look back on my failed relationships and I ask myself that question. When I think of all the girls I “dated” and if I had to choose who I would marry, I would have only dated three girls out of…..we won’t go there, a lot.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. – Corinthians 6: 18-20

Coach wasn’t claiming Christianity back then but he certainly shared a great concept on dating. Are you struggling in your friendships? Has your friendship become more than it should or do you feel that you want to become intimate with that special someone? It sounds like you are ready to make a commitment? If not then why are you dating that person? Ohhhhhhhh. I know why. “That’s just my friend, blah-blah-blah”. Think about it.

Miller Eichelberger
Disclaimer: The thoughts and views published on the Veterans to Christ blog are those of Miller Eichelberger are meant to represent the United States Army or the Armed Forces.

Miller Eichelberger “Ike” is a chaplain in the United States Army. He has served for over 25 years of combined time as an enlisted Soldier and chaplain. He has deployed three times to Iraq from Desert Storm to Operation New Dawn. Chaplain Eichelberger holds a Bachelors of General Studies degree with concentrations in Psychology and Religion from William Carey University, and a Master of Divinity degree in Leadership from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is endorsed by the South Baptist Convention’s (SBC) North American Missions Board (NAMB). He has been married to Leslie Eichelberger 19 years and they have three children.