Monday, 16 April 2012

Friends with benefits

There was film out fairly recently called 'Friends with Benefits'. I haven't seen it, but the plot (from my Wikipedia search) is fairly predictable. Guy, girl. Don't want a relationship. Want sex. Add sex to friendship. Realise this is complicated/not-doable.  I didn't bother to read to the end.

It happens a lot nowadays, apparently. It's definitely not my cup of tea, and I don't think I would recommend it to any of my friends. I want something more lasting than that, something more meaningful, and definitely something with a lot more commitment and stability. Deep down, I think that's what most of us are looking for from our relationships and friendships. Commitment, stability, loyalty, fulfillment, love. We expect it from others, we're disappointed when they let us down and don't fulfil that and unfortunately, we sometimes let them down as well.

When I began to think about the idea of 'friends with benefits', i realised that it wasn't just about sex per se. It's the idea of having something that should be the reward of commitment and loyalty  without having to put in the effort that those two things require.

How many of us treat our relationship with God that way?  We want the benefits that come from being a Christian. We want to claim the promises. More specifically, we want God to bless us with temporal things that we see as most important -a job, a spouse, good grades, friendships, happiness, but we don't want to make the commitment of a 'marriage' to him.

Marriages take time, work, effort. They involve communicating with the other person, considering them in your actions, because you realise that you can't just live for yourself anymore. They involve going through tough times together, crying, struggling, and working through issues. They sometimes involve pain.

Then there are the good bits - laughter, love, fulfilment - the feeling of partnership that means that you know that you're part of an inseparable team that can take on anything that's thrown at it. Building together, growing together, creating memories and looking back on times you've shared.

The crux of the matter is, no good marriage only has good times. But friends with benefits can't provide the same fulfillment as a marriage. 

God has a special place in his heart for each of us. He doesn't want to be a friend that gets called once in a while for when we want something. He wants a proper relationship with us.

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned. Songs of Solomon 8:7

Love is so much stronger, bigger and better than a fleeting friendship. I'm praying that God helps me experience a real relationship with him.

Blessings x

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