Marriage or Friendship?

by His Excellency, Bishop Gregory J. Mansour

No one should be against true friendship, whether friends are of the same sex or opposite sexes. Friendships are good, and they can be very deep and fulfilling. The ideal of friendship as a union of hearts and minds in which each one loves the other’s good as his or her own is beautifully exemplified in the friendship of David and Jonathan: “The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1 Samuel 18:1). Likewise, friendship was hardly absent from the life of our Lord. Jesus taught the value of ultimate sacrifice in terms of friendship (John 15:13); he wept over the death of his dear friend Lazarus (John 11:35); revealed his inner most self to his Apostles in order to transform them from servants into friends (John 15:15); brought Peter, James, and John closer to him than the others (Mt 17,1; Mk 9,2 Mark 5:35-43); and was closest of all to the ‘Beloved Disciple’, who reclined on his chest at the last supper (John 13:23).
Friendship, however, must not be confused with marriage.
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