Are You Friends with Your Spouse?
By Britnee Bradshaw
“Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.” - Proverbs 27:9 ESV
Friendship is so important in a marriage, but it’s one of the easiest things for a couple to lose sight of. We often hear about the importance of love and faithfulness in marriage, but sometimes we forget about friendship. Friendship is the thing that allows people to feel safe with one another, to listen to each other, and to trust each other.
If love is like a seed, I would say that friendship is the root system that goes down really deep into the soil. It’s the thing that bonds two people together.
I wish marriage counselors and pastors focused on the importance of friendship during the pre-marital phase with the same weight and attention as finances or family planning. I lost my friendship with my husband before I was able to see just how much of a difference it made in our relationship.
In the Bible, God recognized that Adam needed a suitable companion (Genesis 2:18). The animals weren’t able to fulfill this role for Adam. They weren’t a suitable match. So, God created Adam’s wife. He put Adam under a deep sleep and removed a rib from Adam. Then, using the rib, He created Eve. The thing I love about this entire picture is that God didn’t want Adam to be alone. He knew that it wouldn’t be good for him to have no one to do life within the garden.
In the simplest terms, God wanted Adam to have a friend who was like him.
When I realized that Christopher and I had lost the friendship in our marriage, it hurt my heart in the deepest way. You see, underneath the demands of life: the babies, finances, and ministries, friendships can take a back seat in your marriage if you aren’t intentional about cultivating it.
Life can become so routine that you go into autopilot and forget the tenderness of companionship. Take stock of the state of your marriage right now. Be honest with yourself. Would you say that you and your spouse are friends? Many people say that their spouse is their best friend, but is that an automatic response we’ve been trained to say as married people? Or, is that actually true for you? It’s alright if it’s not. It wasn’t for me. The moment I realized that, however, was the moment that I became responsible for doing my part in rebuilding the friendship with Christopher.
If you’re like me, you’re now held accountable to partner with God to begin rebuilding. As beautiful as marriage is, it really takes two people to devote themselves to doing the work required to make it that way! It doesn’t just happen (as much as I know we sometimes wished) & it’s never one spouse’s sole responsibility. If you’re in a place where you can’t say your husband or wife is your friend, there is so much hope for you!
Let's strive to be someone who adds to our husband or wife, and doesn’t take away. Someone who encourages them instead of discouraging them. Someone who assists them with the load they carry! Another way we can grow our friendship with our spouse is by being their mate. What things does your spouse like? Do you come alongside them and get to know them in those ways? Do you make it a priority to become interested in the things they are interested in?
Doing this can really strengthen the bond you share with your spouse! Lastly, as a companion, you have the opportunity to help your spouse spiritually! Sit down with the Holy Spirit and ask Him about your spouse! Ask Him about your their destiny, spiritual gifts, and the things they needs in order to fulfill what God has placed them on this earth to do!
When you begin to prioritize taking interest in the things that affect your spouse, their spirit, soul, and body, you will see your friendship with them grow stronger!
Britnee Bradshaw is a wife, mama, and author. She enjoys reading several books at once, making vegetarian meals from scratch, and strolling around Saturday morning farmer's markets. You can find her blogs, teachings, and her newest eBook, War For Your Covering: A Wife's Guide to Intercessory Prayer, at her website here (www.britbradshaw.com)
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