Last week, we identified the willingness of couples to forgive each other as an important ingredient for a successful marriage. Since disagreements are inevitable in an intense, in-your-face, 24/7 relationship like marriage, the capacity to forgive is indeed critical.
But there is no better basis for a successful marriage or relationship than being best friends. In fact, it is in friendship that the enjoyment of marriage is fully expressed. When people talk about married couples that they admire, respect and want to emulate, it is the obvious friendship that the couple share that they find most impressive. Truly, what appeals to outsiders most in a marriage is the friendship the couple shares – not necessarily the love they share.
Love is the foundation but what others see is the structure that rests on that foundation – friendship.
It is in friendship that marriage is really enjoyed, rather than endured. In fact, loving will be difficult if friendship is absent. Friendship keeps the fires of love burning even after the physical intimacy is no longer red-hot.
“Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.”
~ Franz Schubert.
WARNING: When friendship begins to die in a marriage, the marriage begins to lose its flavor.
GOD IS HAPPY WHEN CHRISTIAN HOMES ARE JOYFUL!
God’s desire for the Christian home is that the voice of rejoicing will be constant in the tent of the righteous. God joins in when couples play and tease; the devil joins in when they fight and quarrel. Dear Christian couple, don’t be so serious all the time! A little fun will not make you less “holy” or less “mature”. It will add spice to and strengthen your marriage. Don’t be like some couples who only talk about the stock market, interbank lending rates, global warming and other “serious issues”. To crack a joke, you would think their teeth would fall off.
Happily married couples make sure they invest in their friendship constantly and they make time for play. They make a decision to make their spouse their best friend. These are the characteristics of couples who are true friends:
- They see their spouse as God’s great gift and a demonstration of His love to them:
- They play and laugh: they always find a reason to laugh.
- They choose to enjoy each other’s company more than any other person’s (same sex or opposite sex):
- They talk together a lot: they don’t allow communications to cease for too long.
- They enjoy physical contact:
GOOD NEWS: IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR SPOUSE!
It is advisable that you marry your friend, but if you didn’t marry your friend, make who you married your friend.
You can achieve this by making a commitment to:
- Communicate: Talk a lot together. The person you talk to the most is the person you get closer to over time.
- Find common grounds, common interests to help anchor your friendship.
- Companionship: share your lives together
- Delight in your spouse: Let your spouse know that you cherish their company greatly.
- Mutually respect each other.
- Learn to run your emotions by your decisions and your feelings by your doings. This means that you don’t have to wait for the “feelings” before you show love to your spouse. Act and the feelings will follow.
Remember: Lost friendship can be restored, no matter at what stage you both are in your marriage. Where there is a need for lost friendship to be reclaimed, the men should take the lead – John 15:15
We can learn how to build and sustain warm and close relationships with our spouses from the way Jesus Christ’s choreographed His relationship with his disciples:
- He honored them by calling them friends
- He kept alive the line of communication
- He brought every secret to light with them
- He created a sense of ownership
If you will do all these, your husband/wife will begin to glow and love you like never before. Your children will thank you for it and you will be the happier for it. For the sake of our faith, our marriages and our happiness, let us return to the original plan for marriage and demonstrate God’s love to each other!
BY: Pastor Wale Afelumo
READINGS: PHILIPPIANS 2:2-4 (MESSAGE BIBLE), JOHN 15:15, PROVERBS 17:17, PROVERBS 5:18B, REVELATION 2:4-5