Bring up the subject of friendship between men and women and you’ll find the subject of boundaries is close at hand.
What is appropriate? Where’s the formula for this? Where do I draw my lines?
We have the best of intentions and we want to do the right thing. We build fences and draw lines in order to protect what we see as holy, sacred. This is good, admirable – but what if some of the boundaries we create are actually keeping us locked in?
Locked in fear and shame.
Locked in loneliness and isolation.
Locked in patriarchy and sexism.
What if our present understandings of boundaries in friendship between men and women actually fence us out from real growth, from real good, from real reconciliation?
In the Gospels we see Jesus expanding personal, social, and spiritual boundaries to draw near to women in unprecedented ways and include them as his friends in the kingdom of God. His boundaries were fundamentally inclusive, not exclusive, and worked directly against the old order of lust, sexism, suspicion, distance, violence, and oppression between men and women.
What if God is leading men and women into deeper reconciliation, with discerning but inclusive boundaries, in order to say no to sexism, lust, objectification and the imprisoning shame of the old order? Is it possible, with a wholehearted yes to healthy engagement, and through the beauty and fullness of friendship, that we finally learn to abandon the manipulative power plays of men over women, or women over men?
We think it is, and that this is exactly what we are called to do.
Join us, and speakers: Jonalyn Fincher, Kathy Escobar, Karl Wheeler, Hugo Schwyzer, Dan Brennan, Jennifer Ould, Alise Wright, Rich Chaffins, Emily Maynard, Jim Henderson, and Elizabeth Chapin, as we gather together to hear stories of bold boundaries and explore our calling as men and women in learning healthy, bold discernment, trust, and mutual openness in friendship.
BOLD Boundaries | Expanding Friendship Between Men & Women
A Sacred Friendship Gathering