friendship in marriage is truly a beautiful thing to share together. we all have that song in our hearts. the longing to be "best friends". the melody takes us back to our best friends, the boys and girls we hung out with when we were little - innocent times, free times, fun times. these were when we shared our secrets and our dreams with our bestie. the Lord puts that song in our hearts when we're married, the desire to be best friends with our spouse. it's up to us to read the lyrics God wrote for friendship and learn how to apply it in our marriage.
marriage begins like any other friendship, you are drawn to each other because you have things in common. once you're married, the stress of life can enter the marriage and cause you to grow apart. we surely all know there is no lack of stress in marriage. when we focus so much on the stress, a lot of times our relationship with our spouse is put last. so often when the friendship fades, irritability seems to step in to replace it.
building friendship in marriage takes a lot of work and time. we have to realize that straight away and commit to it. if it's something you truly want, the hard work and commitment won't feel like a big deal at all. i think one important thing is choosing to spend time together rather than apart. whether it's taking a quick trip for ice cream or sitting beside him watching football, time together is absolutely precious.
find out what makes your spouses heart happy, what makes them smile and what their interests are and explore them together. it might be football, gardening, photography, art or hunting. this is one that takes sacrifice. when i was first married there wasn't anything i hated more than sports on tv. it didn't interest me a single bit. but, i have a husband who loves football (the green bay packers to be specific) and a son who plays football and soccer sooooo there are lots of sports-ish things going on here. and ya know what, i love sitting beside my husband in the bleachers on a friday night watching my son play football. i'm trying with everything i have to learn more about the game (this is the sacrifice part) so that i can participate in a convo with my husband while we are watching the game. turns out my million questions like "what was that", "why did they do that" and "what does that mean" is more of an irritation.
take the time to find out what it is that you still have in common. chances are you will find out you still have quite a few things in common. find out what the common interests are and explore them together. joe and i love truck pulls, watching big brother and random road trips. don't forget to have fun! fun is a key ingredient to a successful friendship. no one wants to spend time with a debbie downer.
make sure that you are being gentle with one another, understanding and nourish each other. when joe's parents were sick, he spent a lot of time away from home and with them. it would have been super easy for me to let myself get irritated that he wasn't here. not only would that have been super selfish but it deffo would not have been what God wanted me to do. God wanted me to comfort Joe, hold him and lift him up in prayer. and that was a time in our marriage when we grew closer together.
when there is a weakened friendship, it can lead a spouse to seek intimacy in other places. remember, God made us to crave that "best friends" feeling with our spouse. if your spouse feels lonely, they might seek that connection from someone else of the opposite sex. don't let your marriage fall into that trap. make a conscious effort to establish and grow your friendship with your spouse. make sure that you are nourishing it.
joe and i turn any alone time together into a mini-date. whether it is running to the grocery store or a quick little ride on the 4-wheeler together. snuggle in, hold hands and make that time together count.
so i challenge you, get honest with your love; talk late into the night like when you were dating, ask him what some of his interests are or go on a date. there are so many ways to cultivate friendship in marriage!
It is when we are doing things together that friendship springs up – painting, sailing ships, praying, philosophizing, and fighting shoulder to shoulder. Friends look in the same direction. ~ C. S. Lewis
out for now