Freebook: What is Friendship?

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I must admit that it is somewhat embarrassing for me to have to write this post. After all, this concerns something that is so obvious, that we have all had to negotiate since childhood. And yet, reflecting on the issue a couple of day s ago (or was it yesterday?!) I was thinking to myself that I’ve never really had a clear grasp on this issue – and that has been one of the big issues in my struggle to understand marriage – and even life itself.

Over the course of the week, I came across a useful formula about “love” which got me thinking about this subject. (It also got me thinking about the word “love” itself, and the fact that it is used for two different things: Christian Agape – unconditional kindness and grace – as well as romantic love. This causes so much confusion, at least to me – but I hope to write about that in a later blog post.)

So this is the formula that I found – edited with a little addition of my own:
Friendship + Attraction + Intimacy + Commitment = (Romantic) Love.

I pondered on it, and I thought – “hmm, yes, that’s true!” I thought on all the other aspects, and it occurred to me that I pretty much understood everything else, and I was confident in my understanding of all the other aspects. The only one on which I was hesitant was friendship. As I am writing this, I feel as if my mind is going off in two directions. Yes, I will think a little on what friendship is, however, the point of all my relationship writings is that romantic love itself is not enough to sustain a powerful marriage. So I will quickly add a further addition to represent what could be the basis for an excellent marriage, before resuming the analysis of friendship itself.

Mutual Commitment to Christlike Character: to grow, to listen, to keep pressing forward as hard as you can =MCCC
Mutual Commitment to Groundedness in Christ and God’s Priorities=MCGC
Mutual Commitment to Fervent Prayer=MCVP

Potential for a Great Marriage

It is even a little more complex than this, because I believe that friendship should in some respect arise out of observing these first three characteristics. Perhaps it would be useful to find a different term to use than “friendship”, something that is more specific to the issue of finding a spouse.

At any rate, back now to the analysis of friendship! One of my big issues regarding marriage has always been “How do I know whether we are friends?!” This is especially thorny as a Christian, because we are supposed to be friendly and loving to everyone, especially other Christians. Thinking on it, reflecting on it (but somewhat briefly), this is what occurred to me…

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Next article: The Difference Between “friendly” and “friendship”
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