It’s common for single people to be demonized as the “temptresses” or the “bait,” while the married folk are just the victims of preying mistresses (or misters).
Yet, it seems that temptation often comes the other way, from the married person to the single: for example, Joseph and Potiphar’s wife (Genesis –18), or at least ambiguous, in the case of the church member and his father’s wife (1 Corinthians 5:1).
What is good for some is not profitable for all — and may be harmful.
What may be a beautiful and holy male-female friendship in one instance may not be translatable to every male and female, and certainly cannot be absolutized to every male and female. But when the risks have been weighed and the rewarding structures have been established, we can, with a clear conscience, come before God and ask him to bless our friendships with the opposite sex. And like all beautiful things, it requires patient investment, open-handed humility, ruthless selflessness and self-awareness, and self-control.
The singles become the wild card, often throwing what might have been an easy system of purity out of sync.
And we need to be careful, in the context of rigorous community, that we’re not fooling ourselves about our own intentions.
Let’s have answer, and let interactions that veer away from that agreed upon purpose remain off-limits.
It’s easy for the church to split itself into men’s ministries, women’s ministries, and couples’ ministries.
Once we have been honest about our own intentions, we must articulate them clearly.
Are we friends for the sake of the church, for the sake of a project, for the sake of enjoying a mutual hobby, for the sake of serving the church?