I’m a monthly contributor for the blog of the Young Adult Leadership Taskforce (YALT), which is a ministry of the denomination I’ve grown up in and still consider myself, though perhaps somewhat loosely, a part of. In my latest post there, I interview Wesley Hill on what I think is a very important but often overlooked topic–friendship. While Wesley writes from his perspective as a celibate gay Christian, I think it’s a topic and a conversation that anyone can benefit from. AND, if you comment on the post at the YALT blog, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a copy of his book.
I recently interviewed Wesley Hill on his new book, Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian. He draws from Scripture and church tradition to show that friendship can be so much more than watching Netflix and eating pizza with people, but can instead be committed, deep, enriching relationships. The implications are profound for all people, regardless of relationship status. It is a needed reminder that the love in friendship is genuine and important, particularly for Christians who truly mean it when they say they desire close-knit communities.
1. How does spiritual friendship differ from other friendship? Should we aspire for all of our friendships to fall into this category?
Not necessarily. I like acquaintances and casual friendships as much as the next person. Certain friends you may meet once a month at the sports bar to watch a game together, and that’s great. But with certain friends, making a commitment to one another, to help nurture each other’s love of God and neighbor, can be an important step. It shifts friendship into the category of spiritual brother- or sisterhood. “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” Scripture says, and that’s something to treasure and nurture when it happens.
Keep reading at the YALT Momentum blog.