Though written years ago, this is still true.
Good friends are a precious, precious find.
In my life I've been blessed to have made a number of friendships that have survived the stretching and twisting of distance and time; friendships which, though sometimes slow to start and now cultivated in spurts and spats, are far more valuable than the millions of friends I sometimes dreamed about when I was younger. They are people - guys, usually - who are honest, flawed and better friends to me than I am to them. I value them highly - more than they realise, I'm sure.
Which is why I am so grieved one of those friends thinks I'm committing adultery.
The reason my friend thinks I'm committing adultery is because I married a divorced woman. In his mind the Bible teaches a person cannot remarry after divorce without committing adultery. He believes that repentance for me would include separating from my wife.
Now, this is no suprise to me. I've known that he thought that way since before I got married and I don't agree. And naturally this disagreement puts a big strain on our friendship. I anticipated that.
What I didn't anticipate was the grief I feel over it.
You see, even though I haven't seen this guy for years, I love him as a brother. Because I love him, I want him to meet and appreciate my wife and I want my wife to meet and appreciate him. But how can that be? What woman in their right mind would feel comfortable around someone who thinks her husband should leave her; and as for my friend, how can he truly appreciate a woman he believes is the cause of my sin? I can see no positive answer to those questions and so I confess I have drawn back. And after our last email exchange where I asserted my lack of repentance over my marriage - something he seemed not to realise - I see him drawing back as well. And how can it work any other way? We can't be close with such a major disagreement between us.
What to do? We are both convinced of our positions, and while I hope he will change his mind I'm not expecting it. I guess the truth of the matter is that some grief is not meant to be resolved, but borne.
And so here I am, grieving for a friendship, if not lost, then a friendship subdued.
Grace to you, my friend.