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Posts tagged ‘Dan Brennan’

The Risk Of Friendship

There is a conference happening next weekend in Chicago called “When Jesus met Mary – A sacred friendship gathering”. It is a conference exploring friendship between men and women. Here is the link from the website of Dan Brennan.  Dan is an author and leader of this event – he is also a new friend of mine, and I have enjoyed his blog articles and things he has written on the subject of men and women.

This has been a subject of much debate over the years – emotional affairs seem to be on the rise – especially in churches and among leadership.  Can a relationship between a man and a woman who are NOT married – be just a friendship?  Can they love each other, be concerned and care about each other?  Be involved in their daily life, share humor, special moments and kindness?  I believe they can.  My friend and fellow blogging buddy Alise Write wrote a great article on the subject today of “Guard your heart” – what does it really mean?  To put a fence around it – or to love recklessly and on the wild side – like Jesus did?

We all have a story – or know someone who does, where it taints our idea of platonic love between the sexes.  I get it.  And it is a risk to love someone – regardless of gender.  But I believe with all my heart that it doesn’t have to be that way.  I believe that we can love – with no fear – like Jesus did.  Where the end result is a deep and lasting friendship.  Is it a risk?  Yes – all the time.  I’ve risked myself several times, been misunderstood, been betrayed, humiliated and accused – because of someone’s fear.  But I believe that there can be a safe place to have others in our lives – where understanding, respect, kindness, gentleness and love – compel us to do right – not wrong.  And I believe that day is coming – as we move past our fear of sin where we bind up the protection of our heart so tight that no one can get in – and where every one of the opposite sex looks menacing and evil – and into a better place of community and relationship where we don’t think of others as “scary”, “sinful” or “just wrong”.

As I’ve written about before – I have had several male friends in my life – before I was married and since.  I still have several that I consider very close friends – who I can count on – and I know would have my back in any crisis or situation.  They are stable, kind, funny and solid.  And I love being able to be myself with them with no judgement.  I love that I don’t have to explain myself to them – and I love it that Greg agrees that all of these men are good people – and he is friends with them as well.  There is no room for jealousy in our marriage – and we have done the hard work to rid ourselves of that – and we have a better marriage because of it.

I’m hoping there will be a day when this subject is an understood one – where people can agree to love deeply and build relationships based on trust and the common good. Where friendship is not seen as suspicious, because of so much abuse – but instead looked on with acceptance and love.

I want to challenge you today:  Live a life of love – of intentional relationship – with no fear.  Take the risk of friendship.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

God Bless

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The “Taboo” Subject

I have recently been introduced to Dan Brennan’s blog  Jesus met Mary – A Sacred Friendship Gathering from fellow blogger Alise Wright  who was so impressed by his writings and upcoming seminar, that she featured him in her blog.  Dan is passionate  to find true meaning and depth in platonic male/female relationships in today’s culture.  Because he is in another state, I am not close enough to attend his seminar,  held in Chicago, IL this April.  But I have thoroughly enjoyed his many articles and research on this topic – considered a sort of “taboo” subject by most Christians today.  And Alise is privileged to be one of the many who will be attending and be blogging about the event.

The article below will make you think – and even have you coming away with more questions than answers on this complex subject concerning men and women – can they really just be friends?  What if your culture, church leadership and other Christians believe you can’t – does it not promote distrust and fear?  Will men and women be robbed of something deeper?  Does sexuality have to be the only motivating force in relationships?  Should we buy into what they tell us – and be afraid that every male/female relationship will result in an affair?  Is that just a given – no matter what?  What if we looked at it from a healthier point of view?

I personally have enjoyed many “friendships” with men over the years – some of my best friends tended to be guys in high school and college.  I still enjoy talking with men and find them interesting – and not at all like me.  I’m constantly sharpened by their humor, honesty and straight forward way of thinking.  I find men to have no hidden agenda – if they like me – they just like me, no questions asked.  In all my years through my many friendships, I have only had one situation that I deeply regret.  It was someone who was motivated by fear and culture as I was.   I believe that if he had believed in the power of friendship, mutual love and respect, and a value in a brother/sister bond – instead of being motivated and influenced by fear and distrust – I believe that in time things would have been different and our friendship restored.  When you care deeply for someone – love covers a multitude of sins, bad choices and regrets.

I only mention the above story to you because when I read Dan’s articles I was able to say – YES!  I CAN RELATE TO THIS!  And was very excited to have someone who has not only been through this kind of situation – but is passionate to change how we look at our relationships – in a more healthy way, without fear – bringing out the best in each other – bringing value and acceptance to others regardless of male or female.

The following article is by Dan Brennan – and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

The Sexualization of Culture.

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