Two Narratives: Romantic and Dangerous


Why do we have only two narratives for cross-gender relationships? Is it possible to have a Christ-centered third narrative?

Recently, about 25 men and women came together to discuss whether not men and women could be friends? I was surprised to discover that most of the people in the room believed it not only possible but important that men and women learn to have healthy, platonic friendships.

We talked about an article taken from Brennan’s books, Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions. He correctly asserts that we have only two narratives when talking about cross-gender relationships: romantic and dangerous. And, yes, we weren’t naive—we did acknowledge that the sex thing can get in the way. But when examining Scriptures, we found that Christ called us to something beyond two narratives: a third narrative.

Yes, there’s potential for brokenness and pain, but with healthy boundaries (whether married or unmarried) platonic friendships are beneficial. Here’s what one woman shared:

We have, as a culture, placed the marriage relationship, especially the aspect of sex in the marriage, above all others and demanded of it way more than it is capable or designed to deliver. We have sabotaged marriages with unrealistic expectations. We have isolated it as the only true means to relational satisfaction.

I believe that our deepest, God-given desire is for connection—deep connection with others. When we limit our thinking of how that connection can be met/satisfied, we are crippling ourselves. No one person can be the be all and end all of our needs.  Expanding our view of what intimacy is, and embracing all of its options, opens us to a richer life. It also smashes the myth that one must be married and sexually active to experience true oneness with another. That’s just not true!

This idea that we can only experience true oneness through marriage and sex ticks me off because it excludes those who aren’t married. I have experienced deep, true oneness with people other than my husband. My friend Amy and I have experienced true oneness and still experience it.

I need – we all need – that oneness with others and it comes in many forms and ways.

I agree. God has given us a third narrative, brother and sister. It’s how we will live together in the new heavens and the new earth. Makes me think that perhaps we should start learning how to live this narrative now as we enter into eternity...


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