From Right from the Heart by Bryant Wright
Real Marriage, Real Friends
They are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate. - Matthew 19:6
Jesus taught that marriage is not just about the husband-and wife relationship. A Christian marriage is really a symbolic reminder of Christ’s relationship with the people of faith. That is why Jesus added a most important aspect to loving our mates: exclusive loyalty in the marriage relationship.
We could look at many aspects when learning how to love our mates with the exclusive loyalty of committed love: the importance of the husband’s need for respect from his wife, and the wife’s need for romantic love from her husband; the importance of listening, time, forgiveness, compassion, kindness; the importance of controlling our tongues and not saying those hurtful things we’re so prone to say. You see, there are all kind of things we could talk about in loving our mates, but behind Jesus’ basic explanation of what it means to love our spouses is this insight: your spouse is to be your best friend. Not Mom or Dad, sibling or friend, even a child—no one should be closer to you than your spouse! With a real friend in our spouse, we have a sense of commitment that truly says in our hearts and our actions, till death do us part.
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