Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Continued Friendship~ Setting Boundries

The actions we take in making and keeping friends determines how long that friendship will last.  When we base our actions on spiritual, the friendships we make have unlimited potential. When we base our actions on physical, the course it takes is dramatically different.

We have a choice in how that friendship will continue.  "Continued Friendship" to me is a friendship that continues in depth and beauty, survives hardships and trials, and often times was started before we came here on earth to live, and if we do it right will continue on forever.

Each day I learn more and more about the challenges men face in today's world.  Those of us that are considered sensitive and have some degree of attraction to other men are often misunderstood and deemed unworthy of normal experiences in life.

Often, in fact quit often those attractions have nothing to do with sex.  Most often it is just the deep, often misunderstood need for close intimate relationships with other men.  And yes often times when there is a close healthy, platonic, physical, non sexual relationships with other man our bodies do react.  And often when this  happens it can be uncomfortable.  When this does happen,  it's simple,  just remember you  cannot control what your body does, but you can at all time control what you do with it.  So the physical biological change in the body does not need to define the relationship.

The world would have us believe that if our bodies react in a certain way we are to act upon that reaction.  I love what the scriptures teach.  The natural man is an enemy to God.  This surely is part of the natural man.  The natural man is programed to respond to what the body tells him.  Is not that the challenge of life?  To put aside the callings of the natural man and follow what God teaches.

To me this is the challenge of life.  Some men want and have a great need for greater intimacy and closeness to other men.  The challenge is when they have that intimacy is how to keep it within the bounds that God has set while at the same time fulfilling a huge need in their lives.

I understand the need for those close sweet personal intimate relationships.  I also understand the peace and power that comes into our lives when we don't cross the line over the boundaries God has set.  There are no teachings telling men not to have close tender sweet relationships with other men,  but there are countless teachings on where to draw the line.  Sex, stimulating the body of another man in any inappropriate way,  making out, touching personal body parts, etc are considered crossing the line.  And yes even thinking of those things in an inappropriate way can be crossing the line.

 But on the other hand having healthy loving physical non sexual touch is and can be an amazing part of a healthy good life long friendship.  There is something really special about close personal touch.  For example,  hugging can be a wonderful experience.  I perfer to use the term embracing.  A hug is impersonal and quick.  On the other hand an embrace can a powerful learning experience and something that comforts the very soul of a man.  We need those experiences.

I do have to say that there are many men who can go through life and never have the need for an embrace,  but on the other hand if you are not one of those men and you have the need for that close physical contact of an embrace, don't deny yourself the experience out of fear of how your body will react.  Just go for it and if you have to apologize for what happens, just do it.   If the truth be told, many men suffer from the same experience from time to time.  Your not weird or a pervert, your just a healthy man with a healthy body that reacts.

So let's talk about healthy boundaries.  Boundaries are rules that we make for ourselves and others,   knowing our own weaknesses and shortcomings  to assure that we don't cross any line that would bring us regret and heartache later on.  Boundaries can be different for everyone.  It's important to state that you must respect the boundaries of others,  what you may find comfortable and have no problem dealing with might be a trigger point to another person.

When building friendships it is important to discuss those boundaries and be supportive of each other and respectful that each of us have different challenges and obstacles to over come.

Some boundaries might include the following

1- Not being alone with another man or always being in a group setting
2- Hanging out with men that are like minded,  meaning men that share the same goals that you do.
3- Hanging out with men that respect you and your boundies
4- No touch below the belt
5- Never undressing and being alone naked with another man
6- No making out
7- Not discussing things that are inappropriate

These are just a few suggestions,  but you get the picture.  Create boundaries according to your own personal struggles. Keeping in mind when you create your boundaries the need you do have for healthy physical contact with other men.

The worst thing I personally think you could do is not take the time to develop healthy personal long term loving relationships with other men based on fears and misunderstandings.   If you have that need to connect with other men my own personal suggestion would be to stay close to God and be prayful about your needs and trust in him to show you and teach you how you can keep the commandments and have close, wonderful, healthy physical,  non sexual, emotional, and spiritual relationships with other men.

There are countless stories in history and the scriptures and many other holy records in other faiths that tell great stories of men who have loved other men deeply,  one of my personal favorites is David's love for Jonathan.  At one point in his life David explains that his love for Jonathan was sweeter then his love for women, and we know how much David loved women.

I personally get it,  there are many many men that I love with all my heart and it is a sweet love that exceeds my understanding.  For me is what makes it sweeter is keeping it within the bounds God has set.  Because of that the relationships I have with other men continue in depth and beauty and I am certain will continue far beyond my understanding.   I have comfort in knowing that God understands the need I have and he gives us of us the ability to love as deeply and as many as we want.  God places no boundaries on love,  the only boundaries He places are what we do physically, not spiritually.

Greatest Joy to you in your journey.

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