Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A few thoughts on marriage... BEST FRIENDSHIP

I wrote these marriage posts over a year ago. I'm not sure why I didn't post them last year, but life spiraled out of control shortly after I wrote them and I forgot about them until now. A darling young bride had asked me to speak at her wedding shower, and I turned my three points into three marriage posts.

I wrestled with God's leading to teach the Sunday School class on Insecurity, but through that experience, I learned that God often uses what we teach others to help US learn. I decided to look at the speaking opportunity as a reminder to myself of the marriage truths I needed most to hear, in the hopes that if it was something beneficial to ME it would be beneficial for others as well.

Out of curiosity, I polled a bunch of married female co-workers via email to ask them what marriage advice they would give a new bride. I had dozens of great responses, but the overwhelming majority of them talked about the importance of your husband being your best friend. This seems like it would be easy when you're first married. Before you get married (and even when you are newlywed sometimes), you think you will love to be together every day for forever. Once you get into the nitty-gritty of marriage, though, you find out that it is more work to intentionally be best friends.

One way that I like to think of it is that we are to be a "student" of our spouse. It is my privilege to become an expert in the subject of my husband. Not just his likes and dislikes, but understanding what makes him who he is. There are so many stereotypes out there that say that men are "simple," but I don't think that is true at all. Men are every bit as complex as women are! That's why it takes effort to learn each other.

Another thing that helps friendships blossom is to always assume the best about your husband. First Corinthians 13:7 says that "love believes all things." Rather than assume the worst, if we assume the best, our feelings are less likely to be hurt and miscommunication is less likely to occur. This is very hard to do, but I have to remind myself that my husband and I are not opposing teams - we are on the SAME team. He is not the enemy.

I also remind myself of what it takes to be friends with someone. It takes time. We need to spend time together, doing things that we enjoy doing, talking, and working together. We have to be intentional about setting aside time specifically for US. If I want to deepen a friendship with a girlfriend, we schedule a coffee date or play date and we chat about life. So it is if I want to deepen my friendship with my husband.

This is Part II of a three-part series. Click below to read the other posts:

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