Fire, arguably, is one of the most powerful metaphors for God’s desire for men and women to share His presence in friendship. “Spiritual heat,” opined theologian-therapist James Loder, “is always greater than sexual heat.”
The fact that Scripture uses fire as symbolizing God’s presence repeatedly in relational/social stories where sex is not the point of the narratives gives us fiery wisdom and insight when fire is used in specific contexts for holy sex like in the Song of Solomon and unholy sex in Proverbs.
It was T.S. Eliot who poetically pondered, “To be redeemed from fire by fire.”
Of course, as Bible-believing Christians we are all familiar with the ubiquitous fire-as-danger narrative when we begin to explore friendship between men and women. During a pivotal point in my journey exactly ten years ago, my then pastor passionately told me I was “playing with fire.”