The Incredible Value of Intimate Relationships
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For Christians, Muslims, Hebrews, Native Americans, and many others individual’s relationship with "God" is by far considered to be life’s most important relationship. The closer one gets to this Ultimate Reality spiritually the less they may need anyone else. Few people actually experience enough personal growth to come to this conclusion. The ones that do still like to have companionship in addition to this. There is nothing wrong with companionship, as no man is an island. Even the Bible says that it is not good for man to be alone.
So, what happened to friendships over the last few decades? It seems it’s hard to find good friend anymore. Everybody seems to want to do their own thing. This is especially true in the area of male friendships. It is usually looked down upon when two guys have an intimate male friendship as being homosexual. That is more than likely why women are more relational than men are. The female gender will always find time for a “ladies night” no matter how busy their hectic schedule gets. Men are always too busy working or taking care of their families. Either that or it’s an excuse to not get too close to another guy because they are homophobic. To get a little controversial, same-sex relationships may not be as evil as many think they are if you don’t “sexualize” it. If you go back in history some of the stuff that male friends used to do in the 19th century would be considered homosexual by today’s standards. Keep in mind that word did not exist prior to the latter half of the 19th century. Yet when women are that intimate no one thinks anything of it.
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Are We Still Men?
It’s not just relationships within the same gender that are deteriorating. Even traditional opposite sex relationships don’t connect anymore like they used to. Most women will claim that it’s because men have forgotten how to be men. There may be some truth to this. As men we don’t have to hunt and gather anymore. We don’t have to work with our hands anymore. In fact with the majority of the jobs of today behind intellectual desk jobs you have to admit this is pretty emasculating compared to the way we used to hunt and gather for centuries prior to the Industrial Revolution.
The Modern Age Changes Us
There is something to be said for learning to live simple and be more self-sufficient these days. You don’t have to spend as much time chasing after the dollar as you can learn how to live on less. This will reduce the stress in your life as well as teach you how to work with your hands. However it takes a great deal of personal growth to go against the grain of society. But it only takes one person that is brave enough to be a nonconformist and eventually someone else follows suit, and eventually even more. Another reason opposite sex relationships don’t connect as much appears to have more to do with commitment issues. One or both parties have been burned by a previous partner and are now afraid to commit. Along with that there are rising cases of sexual abuse that many individuals went through in childhood. Some of these are so traumatic that the victim never overcomes it and goes through life alone.
Money and sex are man’s two biggest weaknesses. While some may have trouble committing, others are too focused on their career to settle down with a family. Since it is customary for one parent to be a stay at home parent, relationship with two career-oriented people rarely work out.
STOP ASKING: I Don't Want To Get Married!
There are also many more people who don’t really want to marry. They either feel pressured into it by their family and friends or haven’t realized there are benefits to remaining single. After all the closer you get to God the more you realize He is all you need. You don’t really need a help mate. That doesn’t mean finding the right person for you is any less of a blessing. Both are equally good for the human soul.
There are still more people who do want to get married but never really found themselves first. Your work is where you spend most of your adult life; therefore if you haven’t found a job that really gets you passionate and you are just there for the money, then you will eventually get more burned out due to the demands of work. This can overflow into a marriage because if you aren’t happy at work then you can’t be happy anywhere. This can lead a married couple to think there is something wrong with the marriage itself. No amount of marriage counseling can help if the couple either can’t take steps toward personal growth or get to know themselves first and foremost in order to find out what they really want out of life.
Whether you get married or stay single there is still value to having close friends. Although you may have a lot of friends in life you will only have one or two that you will really feel close to on an intimate level. This may be God Himself followed by whoever you choose for a life partner. It is safe to say that you cannot love other people, or even a committed partner, until you take the necessary steps toward personal growth and learn to love yourself for who you are. Then you can truly fulfill Jesus’s words to love God and love your neighbor “as yourself”.
- Erwin Wooten
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