I married my husband Albert 4 years ago and people often ask how we met. It’s not a romantic story, but it usually gets a little chuckle. We both referee basketball and were working at the same gym one night. Our courts were next to each other, and Albert came over during halftime of one of the games, introduced himself and chatted for a minute. We finished working at the same time that night, so we had the opportunity to talk some more. I thought Albert was pretty cool. However, he was younger than I was, and living with his father because he was attending seminary school. Translation- he was young, low on cash and wanted to become a pastor. I didn’t write him off completely; I just put him in the Friend Zone.
Unfamiliar with the Friend Zone? Was there ever a guy or girl that you knew really liked you, but you were not interested in returning those feelings? They were pursuing you, and that probably felt flattering, but you had no intention of reciprocating so you kept them around “as a friend’.
Caution: Friend Zone Approaching…. Unfortunately, Albert was not my first victim. I’m ashamed to admit that I used to keep Jesus in the “friend zone”. I wasn’t interested in a close relationship, but I kept Him around for those desperate times. “Lord, I know we haven’t spent much time together, but I pray that you can help me with my car….money….kids…etc.” I only spent time with Jesus when I needed to cry on His shoulder. When all was going well, I neglected Him until the next crisis. I had a one sided relationship with the man who saved me from eternal death.
Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? John 14:9
We can be guilty of having Jesus around, but not really knowing Him. We can stick Him in the Friend Zone, where he’s kept at a distance, and we don’t pursue the intimacy that He longs to have with us.
You may be wondering how Albert went from friend to husband. It wasn’t anything magical; well, maybe a little. The time we spent together changed everything. I had Albert in the Friend Zone, because at first glance he did not seem to be what I was looking for. But the more I got to know him, I began to fall in love with who he was. That’s the key to changing our relationship with Jesus. The more time we spend with Him, the better we will know Him. The more we know Him, the more we will love Him. Jesus will go from residing in our Friend Zone, to residing in our heart.