This is part two of Romancing a Friend. If you haven't read part one go to here. I wanted to share Meredith's story of exploring passionate language/love in friendships regardless of gender. The title is intentionally provocative.
The pathway for deep friendship is a conscious and intentional choice to desexualize passion and intimacy in platonic relationships. So many Christians today identify passionate language and love as something exclusive to romance and marriage because that's the modern romantic narrative.
Desexualizing is a deliberate and conscious choice to not let intense romantic intimacy sexualize all passionate language, longings, and desires. The way to do that is through an intentional opening up to passion in friendship with appropriate respect toward the other and their context. You too, no matter what your background is can open up to passion in friendship when it is appropriate and healthy to do so.
I loved Meredith's openness to express her value of embodied love and affection.
Romancing a friend is not some sort of thin veneer for a sexualized relationship or romantic couple trajectory. It is reclaiming the beauty of passion in friendship which so many Christian men and women have lost in the larger narrative of romantic ideology.
It would be no surprise to anyone who has read Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions that I long to see deep friendship to flourish (regardless of gender). Among certain friends, I myself have expressed passionate friendship love in letters, emails, texts, prayers with and for (including cross-gender friends) under Meredith's own common sense approach.
Here is Meredith's second post.
I started with my female friend--she’s my gender, and not married. Simpler and less intimidating that way. I began by reminiscing about how we met and how it made me feel. It was just an email. Nothing fancy. No perfume-scented stationery.