What a beautiful idea in Wesley Hill’s cover story: vowed siblinghood. As a lifelong celibate single, I, too, find the thought of such friendships, perhaps even including adelphopoiesis ceremonies, enormously appealing. Perhaps that would answer the persistent loneliness so many people in the church, both single and married, seem to know.
In my mid 20s, I sensed a call to celibacy and to living solely for God. I finally agreed to it if God would provide intimate friends of both genders. But Christians often don’t know what to do with people like me. I’d like to have more friendships with married people. And as Kate Shellnutt commented, many people try to get all their emotional needs met by their spouse. I could never understand the idea of cutting off friends after marriage.
But I suspect that many of us lack deep friendships because we are unwilling to be open and transparent with others. We want to be strong and independent. Both result from sin. Happily, in heaven, we won’t have these issues. We won’t be thought of as being gay or weird, but can enjoy intimate friendship forever with those we couldn’t get to know here on earth.
I appreciated Kate Shellnutt’s article on marriage and friendship. Perhaps best friend is one of those word combinations that has lost some of its power and meaning with time and overuse. To me, best has always implied one thing: that because of its quality, it stands alone. Many years ago, I asked God to give me a “best friend.” Instead the Lord, in his wisdom, gave me many wonderful ...1
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