Is it ok for married Christians to be close friends with someone of the opposite sex?

Christian couples should realize that God meant them to be one another's best friend, partner, coworker, and love.Pixabay

Movies and TV shows normally feature married men and women having close friendships with members of the opposite sex: a husband is emotionally close to another woman, while his wife is also emotionally close to another man and they all seem to get on just fine. Have you ever seen such a movie?

Such circumstances exist outside movies today. Some married men are close to female coworkers, and some married women are close to male friends. While some might think that's OK, I think it is not.

Why is that? Why do I think it's not OK? It's because God designed marriage to be an intimate physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual relationship between just two people: a husband and his wife.

God's original design

Many of us make the mistake of carrying our friends into our marriages. Some married men just can't let go of their closeness to their female friends, and some married women also cannot let go of their male friends.

But we need to be clear about something: we can't treat our friends in the same way we treat our spouses!

When God created man, He designed just one partner for him. We read in Genesis 2:21:22,

"And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man."

Simply put, when God created marriage, it was just between two people. It wasn't between a man and a bunch of friends, especially a group of women. When God made a partner for him, He created just one woman named Eve. There was no room and no need for a Jane, an Amy, or another woman.

And the same goes for Eve: she was made only for Adam. Not for Joe, Andy, and any other man.

What does that got to do with this?

Now maybe you're asking, what does that passage got to do with this question? It has everything to do with it.

When we read the creation of man and woman, as well as marriage, in context, we will find several liberating truths such as:

  • A husband's best friend would be none other than his very own wife
  • A husband's satisfaction should only come through his wife alone (aside from his relationship with God)
  • A husband's primary partner and companion in life, aside from God, is his very own wife

Now where would the "close friend from the opposite sex" be if there's no place for him or her? He or she would be a third party, competing for the emotions and attention of the spouse, and that should not be allowed.

Love like Jesus

Friends, as I close, I'd like us all to think about how we are told to love our spouses: like Christ did. Ephesians 5:24-25 tells us,

"Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her."

Let's love our spouses single-mindedly like Christ loved us. This means focusing our eyes, attention, strength and efforts on loving our spouses so they will love God.