Becoming Best Friends in Marriage
- Monday, March 17, 2003
“We’ve been married for 15 years, and my husband and I are best friends.” “I can’t imagine being married to anyone else. My wife and I are best friends.” These kinds of statements touch a deep chord in our hearts. Somewhere in the silent recesses of our hearts, a song begins to form. It is often a song that we have long ago ignored or abandoned. It is the forgotten melody of “best friends.” The melody takes us back to our best friends, the boys and girls that we hung out with--innocent times, free times, fun times. These were the times of shared secrets and shared dreams.
When a married couple declares their allegiance to each other as best friends, suddenly we hear our hearts singing, “I wish that my spouse and I were best friends. Once we were best friends, when we first fell in love. But somehow we’ve lost it. I really want it back!” It is at this point that God begins to rewrite the song on our hearts, a song created after His own image. For God is a Trinity--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--in which the perfect and abiding Friendship exists from all eternity.
What is a best friendship marriage like? How does God develop it? If we really want to become best friends in our marriage, we must first embrace God’s lyrics of friendship and then let the Holy Spirit fill in the melody of friendship. The first divine lyric of friendship is that we must commit ourselves to becoming best friends in our marriage, no matter the cost--we really have to want it.
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24).
Becoming best friends in marriage means that we must become sticky friends. The word used in Proverbs 18:24 for “sticks” is the same word used in Genesis 2:24 for “cleaving”: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” “Cleaving” or “sticking” is a commitment to permanency in marriage, to be glued together for life. Without such a permanent bond, best friendships in marriage will eventually disintegrate. Superficial companionships are the best for which we can hope.
The second divine lyric of friendship is a commitment to helping our mate when he or she is in pain.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother [or sister] is born for adversity (Prov. 17:17).
Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend (Prov. 27:9).
When adversity comes into a marriage, as it will from time to time, the “sticky friend” is there--really there. It’s almost like our best friend was born for such a critical moment. Whatever the adversity, the “sticky friend” rushes headlong into the crisis and brings the sweet counsel of friendship. You see, a “sticky friendship” marriage is not merely formed with the best of intentions. It is forged in the fires of adversity.
The third divine lyric of friendship is a commitment to hurting our mate when he or she is in sin.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy (Prov. 27:6).
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another (Prov. 27:17).
Developing a best friendship marriage is not only based on love, but also on speaking the truth (see Eph. 4:15). All forms of deceit and lying must be abandoned. Best friends do not ignore sin. The wounds of a “sticky friend” create a healing as well as a sharpening.
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