At least, that’s what I read this week in a Christianity Today article. I had heard the rumor before, but this time it’s in her own words. She’s been in a relationship with a woman for the last eight years.
I love Jennifer Knapp’s raw and honest music. I’ve been walking around humming, “I am weak/I am poor/I am broken, Lord/But I’m Yours/Hold me now” for a few days. Honestly, I feel sad and frustrated. I’m frustrated because I wish I understood the issue from God’s perspective more. I know some amazing people who live in committed relationships with same-sex partners and profess to love God with all their hearts. I can’t claim to fully understand the issue, but I do have an opinion I’d like to share on the topic.
I believe as a society, we have lost our boundaries. We have elevated the sexual relationship to the “highest” form of a relationship and undervalued the genuine goodness and fulfillment of friendship.
If I am so blessed to have a dear female friend who I absolutely adore and with whom I thoroughly enjoy spending my time, plus I also happen to think she is attractive, then it is insinuated that I need to act out sexually with her. Or that I already am. What?! (Do all my female friends need to be ugly or uninteresting?)
I get very frustrated and offended by this line of thinking. Recently, I told a funny story to a male friend that included a reference to “my pretty friend Sally.” This Christian man’s eyebrows shot up and he winked and asked me how pretty I think Sally is. He wanted to know if I want to date Sally. Grrr…. I was so irritated. It was the third time in as many days that a Christian male had made some sort of reference to me about either being sexually aroused by lesbians, insinuating that I might be interested in a woman sexually, or suggesting that a female friend might be interested in me sexually.
I bit the poor guy’s head off. I told him he was perverted and I was sick to death of Christian men referencing lesbianism like it’s desirable. He hung his head and apologized and I felt bad for shaming him. I’m just so tired of having those thoughts placed into my head, inviting me to feel suspicious or to think there’s a sexual motive behind every compliment or smile.
I’m just saying that friendship, in and of itself, is a good thing. Sexuality is a good thing within the bonds of marriage. But when we lose the boundary of marriage for our sexuality, does every type of sexual relationship become fair game? Where is the line drawn?
Why would Christian men even think it’s desirable for two women to be together sexually? I have to wonder how much pornography they’ve been watching recently… But it’s also very clear to me that pornography isn’t needed to stain our minds. Our society has done all it can to elevate the sexual relationship to the highest level possible. We can’t watch a primetime television show without seeing people begin a sexual relationship within moments of declaring their interest in one another. At other times, the third date has some magic appeal as the time when a new couple has sex. We’re told to use hand sanitizer after we touch a menu or a doorknob, but these people barely know one another and have no problem exchanging bodily fluids and all kinds of possible diseases with one another? Yuck! Not to mention what it does to the soul to be joined with another…
I have dear friends for whom I am extremely thankful. They are beautiful, fun, entertaining, deep, spiritual, challenging, and engaging. I love spending time with them. At times they know me better than I know myself. They are God’s gift to me, not to be placeholders until my husband comes along, but to fill my life with richness that cannot be found any other way. My friendship with them is one of the highest forms of relationship I have ever found.
I believe that the love of a godly, smart, intriguing man is possible. When that day comes, my pretty friends will stand by my side and rejoice with me. They will listen to me cry when he disappoints me and makes me mad. They will make sure I stay accountable for my behavior as a wife and challenge my decisions. They will offer advice, laugh with me, get me out of the house, and tell me if I’m wrong. What would I do without my friends? It would be a lonely, empty life.
Sexuality is to be reserved for that one person with whom we covenant to spend our lives. We are to exchange bodily fluids with that one person alone. I think if we all understood that concept more, if we understood godly boundaries better, the world would be a much less confusing (and diseased) place.
I’m not sure what to say about Jennifer Knapp. She mentions in her interview that people questioned her non-sexual relationships with women when she was in college and told her to “re-negotiate” them. Maybe I’m over-simplifying it, but I wonder… If that insinuation had never been made, would she have enjoyed her friendships with women and never felt the need to become sexually involved? I don’t know. I just know what I’ve experienced and if men feel comfortable talking to me, a minister, that way, then I can only imagine what other women are experiencing these days.