Just Friends?

   Jennifer Knapp is gay.

At least, that’s what I read this week in a Christianity Today article.  I had heard the rumor before, but this time it’s in her own words.  She’s been in a relationship with a woman for the last eight years.

I love Jennifer Knapp’s raw and honest music.  I’ve been walking around humming, “I am weak/I am poor/I am broken, Lord/But I’m Yours/Hold me now” for a few days.  Honestly, I feel sad and frustrated.  I’m frustrated because I wish I understood the issue from God’s perspective more.  I know some amazing people who live in committed relationships with same-sex partners and profess to love God with all their hearts.  I can’t claim to fully understand the issue, but I do have an opinion I’d like to share on the topic. 

I believe as a society, we have lost our boundaries.  We have elevated the sexual relationship to the “highest” form of a relationship and undervalued the genuine goodness and fulfillment of friendship. 

If I am so blessed to have a dear female friend who I absolutely adore and with whom I thoroughly enjoy spending my time, plus I also happen to think she is attractive, then it is insinuated that I need to act out sexually with her.  Or that I already am.  What?!  (Do all my female friends need to be ugly or uninteresting?)

I get very frustrated and offended by this line of thinking.  Recently, I told a funny story to a male friend that included a reference to “my pretty friend Sally.”  This Christian man’s eyebrows shot up and he winked and asked me how pretty I think Sally is.  He wanted to know if I want to date Sally.  Grrr….   I was so irritated.  It was the third time in as many days that a Christian male had made some sort of reference to me about either being sexually aroused by lesbians, insinuating that I might be interested in a woman sexually, or suggesting that a female friend might be interested in me sexually. 

I bit the poor guy’s head off.  I told him he was perverted and I was sick to death of Christian men referencing lesbianism like it’s desirable.  He hung his head and apologized and I felt bad for shaming him.  I’m just so tired of having those thoughts placed into my head, inviting me to feel suspicious or to think there’s a sexual motive behind every compliment or smile. 

I’m just saying that friendship, in and of itself, is a good thing.  Sexuality is a good thing within the bonds of marriage.  But when we lose the boundary of marriage for our sexuality, does every type of sexual relationship become fair game?  Where is the line drawn?    

Why would Christian men even think it’s desirable for two women to be together sexually?  I have to wonder how much pornography they’ve been watching recently…  But it’s also very clear to me that pornography isn’t needed to stain our minds.  Our society has done all it can to elevate the sexual relationship to the highest level possible.  We can’t watch a primetime television show without seeing people begin a sexual relationship within moments of declaring their interest in one another.  At other times, the third date has some magic appeal as the time when a new couple has sex.  We’re told to use hand sanitizer after we touch a menu or a doorknob, but these people barely know one another and have no problem exchanging bodily fluids and all kinds of possible diseases with one another?  Yuck!  Not to mention what it does to the soul to be joined with another…

I have dear friends for whom I am extremely thankful.  They are beautiful, fun, entertaining, deep, spiritual, challenging, and engaging.  I love spending time with them.  At times they know me better than I know myself.  They are God’s gift to me, not to be placeholders until my husband comes along, but to fill my life with richness that cannot be found any other way.  My friendship with them is one of the highest forms of relationship I have ever found. 

I believe that the love of a godly, smart, intriguing man is possible.  When that day comes, my pretty friends will stand by my side and rejoice with me.  They will listen to me cry when he disappoints me and makes me mad.  They will make sure I stay accountable for my behavior as a wife and challenge my decisions.  They will offer advice, laugh with me, get me out of the house, and tell me if I’m wrong.  What would I do without my friends?  It would be a lonely, empty life. 

Sexuality is to be reserved for that one person with whom we covenant to spend our lives.  We are to exchange bodily fluids with that one person alone. I think if we all understood that concept more, if we understood godly boundaries better, the world would be a much less confusing (and diseased) place.

I’m not sure what to say about Jennifer Knapp.  She mentions in her interview that people questioned her non-sexual relationships with women when she was in college and told her to “re-negotiate” them.  Maybe I’m over-simplifying it, but I wonder…  If that insinuation had never been made, would she have enjoyed her friendships with women and never felt the need to become sexually involved?  I don’t know.  I just know what I’ve experienced and if men feel comfortable talking to me, a minister, that way, then I can only imagine what other women are experiencing these days.


Filed under Spiritual Life

15 responses to “Just Friends?

  1. Hope Caudill-Crocker

    Kimberly~PJ gave me your name and told me that I would enjoy your writings! Although, I have never commented on them, I do enjoy reading everything you write! I so agree with you in this blog and love the way you expressed your opinion! You should not feel bad, AT ALL, for giving that Christian man “what for” for the way he talked to you! I am as blunt as blunt can be and I would have so done the exact same thing! Maybe, just maybe, it will make him think twice about what he is saying BEFORE he speaks those words again to anyone!

    Anyway, keep on writing…I love reading and I love your blogs! You do not know how many times I have read something you have written, that I have really needed, at the very moment I read it!! I should comment more and let you know:) I pray blessings upon you and your gift with words!!

    • Thanks so much for the encouragement, Hope. It really means a lot. I often wonder if anyone cares what I’m writing or if it’s helped them. It helps me keep going to read the comments of others. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who feels it necessary to stand up every once in a while and say “Enough!”

  2. Audrey Bolek

    Interesting Kimberly. Thanks for the post. I enjoyed reading it. I agree with you. I think society continues to pervert the sexual relationship and this is another way it is peverted. It’s sad to see happening and accepted. Each one of us has a choice. I’m choosing God’s way, that’s layed out in His Word. He made them male and female.

  3. Mommakisses

    Kimberly… This is me doing the happy dance!!!! I am so excited to read your thoughts… they have given a voice to my own!!! And, as a married woman, let me add that you can not expect your husband, as sweet and wonderful as he will be, to meet the same needs your girlfriends do… he can not. He is a man, not a woman, and sometimes that’s what you need. Not to be sexually active but to be mentally active… to be able to talk things out with your friends is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. So I hold my head up high and say loudly, I LOVE YOU, MY FRIEND!!! 😉

    • Yay! I got a happy dance from Beth… 🙂 And thank you for your insight as a married woman. I’ve often seen newly married girl friends pull away for a time, expecting their husbands to fulfill all their needs. It makes me so sad. But they always come back around again when they figure out that they really need their friends. I guess it’s a natural thing as a newlywed? But I’m so thankful for my friends! I am thankful to count you as one of the dearest.

  4. Lana Irons

    Kimberly…loved this post! I so can relate, as many women can, I think. I too get sick of the insinuation that I cannot be close to another women without there being something sexual going on. Most men, like Beth said, do NOT understand this. Sadly, I believe many women, usually young women, are somehow nudged in the direction of homosexuality because of the very thing you are talking about…that if you have deep feelings for a “girlfriend” you should take it to a sexual level. I believe it’s deception and a plan of the devil to CONFUSE the hearts of women because the bond women share, if grounded spiritually, are a MIGHTY force in the Kingdom. The power they can possess to pray for others, to tend to others, are threatening indeed to the evil one. Again, GREAT post…thanks for sharing!

  5. Johnny Thompson

    As a young man, between the ages 18 and 25, I wasn’t looking for a relationship. I just wanted to have fun. If sex was involved, the better. When I was 25, I happened to see my high school girlfriend from when I was 17 or 18. We went and had lunch as she needed to tell me something. She told me that after we broke up, that she had an abortion with my child. This devestated me. I decided from that moment on that I would never be involved in an abortion ever again so I became abstinent. It’s been 20 years. I never imagined it would be 20 years. I thought I would have been married a long time ago. I haven’t dated a lot in that time. A lot of the women that I have dated dump me because I am abstinent. They take it personal. Christian women have accused me of being Gay. They couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t make a sexual pass at them. Mind you, they would have rejected me, but they would accuse me of being Gay and I should seek help.
    I’m sorry that the “christian man” made a joke about your girlfriends. I understand a little. I admire the friendships you have with your girlfriends.
    “Sexuality is to be reserved for that one person with whom we covenant to spend our lives.”
    Amen, Lord. Please hurry. I know, in your time Lord.

    • Johnny, that is quite a testimony. I remember hearing a Christian radio program when I was a teenager and the host was interviewing celibate singles. One girl was 27 and a virgin and she constantly dealt with the question of whether or not she was gay. She was terribly hurt by it. I remember thinking, there’s no way that will be me! And now I’m a 34-year old, celibate, single woman who is tired of insinuations – not that I am, but that I should be (or at least bi-sexual)! What in the world??? Both male and female, as Christians I believe we have a lot of growth needed in this area.

  6. Kim Wyatt

    I agree 100% with your post. And I love the part about the hand sanitizer. So true! We are living is such a messed up society, and I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse. Boundary lines have been blurred beyond belief, and then people get so medicated (Rx drugs, alcohol, tobacco) that they are numbed into believing what they’re doing is really okay, and even “right.”

    I’ve seen this happen with my youngest stepson, and it breaks my heart. His mind is so open that his brain has fallen out.

    • Kim, you crack me up. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that comment about brains falling out because we’re too open-minded. HA! I wish YOU’D start a blog! I pray that God will work in the situation with your family to bring proper boundaries into place and heal the hurts.

  7. Kimberly,

    I love reading your blog in general and this post was outstanding, so insightful. I read it aloud to Michael and we have discussed it more than a few times since. You’re so right about society’s obsession with sexual relationships. In television, music, theatre, movies, it’s as if every other action, dialogue, nuance simply serves as a back story or catalyst for the ultimate denouement which will undoubtably be SEX GLORIOUS SEX! It’s ridiculous! The “two hot girls” fantasy and “3rd date rule” has been trotted out in every sitcom for the last 20 years. It’s also so sad that in this age where sex is king, true intimacy is rarely found.

    I totally agree with your take on the nudging of young people in a same sex relationship direction. I saw that happen with a friend of mine and it led to more pain and confusion and set her on a path that took quite a while to recover from.

    Thanks for being honest and unafraid to broach a controversial subject.

    • Thanks for commenting, Tanya! I’m certainly hoping that sex within marriage is the GLORIOUS thing I keep hearing about, but until that day comes it’s really hard to guard our hearts and minds and still be a part of our culture. One day when I get married, I think I’m going to post a new blog called “SEX GLORIOUS SEX”. 🙂 But could the madness about everything leading to sex in one way or another please stop?

  8. Tiffany

    Oh! So very well said.

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