I remember a time when boys and girls were encouraged to go out in groups before dating one-on-one. Going out in groups gave everyone a chance to see how everyone else behaved in a variety of circumstances and with a variety of people. Double dating was encouraged. House parties were encouraged. Friendships developed. Somewhere along the way, we lost this, and skipped straight to, “He’s popular and fine, she’s funny and cute, let’s go out on a date.” The googly eyes started, then the handholding leading to kissing leading to…. And bam! Now they’re dating. Or going steady. Or going out. Or boyfriend-girlfriend. Or whatever you called it.
And then they broke up.
Why? Well, heck…why not? They weren’t even friends! They were infatuated! All of THAT was built on infatuation. And the sad thing is, WE STILL DO IT. We still date this way. I hang out with my female friends from time to time, but when I’m finally back out there hanging with my male friends, I want to have REAL benefits, and I’m not talking about sex. That’s not a real benefit. At the wrong time, sex is a trap that makes you think something that isn’t true and feel something that really isn’t there, all at the expense of your mind, body, and soul, and to the sole benefit of someone else having a good time.
When I am finally hanging out in the company of men, I want to be friends. Just FRIENDS. Is that possible? It is for me because all things are possible through Christ Jesus Who strengthens me. I want to go out in groups, large or small, I want to go to house parties, I want to go to sporting events and tailgating; I want to find out who the heck these men really are before I even THINK about the possibility of romance. We all know that someone can be anyone when they are one-on-one with you. They can have the best manners, say the nicest things, even present themselves as “THE ONE.” Well, I ain’t lookin’ for “THE ONE.” In fact, I ain’t lookin’ at all! All I want is TRUTH. When I’m back in the company of men, I want to see who they really are, in their natural environments–so to speak. I want to see who they are with their friends, my friends, in different situations, and under a plethora of circumstances. No games. No performances. No pretenses. Just REAL.
How is it that if we can’t even have good, clean fun with someone, that we actually believe that we can have good, clean sex with them that leads to a relationship? How is it that we are so willing to give up morsels of our mind, body, and soul for 30 mins of what we THINK is a good time? We can’t get that 30 mins back and the sad thing is that in 30 mins, he might not even remember your name anyway!
A man should show you his heart long before you show him your body. And when you show him your heart, he should take care not to break it.
I don’t know about you, but I’m at a place in my life where I believe I have given up enough of myself for “benefits.” If it’s not benefitting the kingdom, my goal is to have no part of it. If it’s not presented in truth, wrapped in integrity, dripping with peace, and radiating kindness, it can keep walking. If there isn’t patience, respect, mutual support and understanding, quality time, sharing and caring, honesty and transparency, then I don’t have time for it. I don’t need or want it.
Real friends have REAL benefits. And that’s all I want.
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