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Why I Didn't Marry My Best Friend

Why I Didn't Marry My Best Friend

Confession: I didn't marry my best friend. 

It's my mom's fault really.

You see, all through my teenage years I endured my mother's mantra, "I am not your friend."

That's right. She never tried to be my friend or attempted to win my friendship.

She told me I had lots of friends. Friends to hang out with. Friends who let me cry on their shoulder when a heartless boy dumped me. Friends who went on road trips with me. Friends who influenced me and made me a better woman. Friends who offered wisdom and acceptance.

My friends are great at friendship.

But none of my friends could be a mother to me. Only one person can be that. Which is why my mother has always said, "I am not your friend. I am your mother."

There are certainly elements of friendship in our relationship. But I don't treat my mother like a friend. I honor her as my mother. I value our relationship more than friendship. 

So I guess that's why I didn't marry my best friend.

I married my husband. Because only one man can be husband to me.

In today's society, friendship between husband and wife is overemphasised. When asked what one's spouse means to the other the response shared first is, "Oh, he's my best friend." For some it is the only basis as to why two people want to enter into marriage. Sadly, when the friendship is strained, marriage ends.

Friendship is where any marriage relationship will start, but it will not finish there. Marriage must be built on a firmer foundation than friendship alone. 

While modern society views marriage as an extension of friendship, the Bible never explains marriage in such terms.

Marriage is the highest form of all human relationships. It reflects the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and is an example to the world of the love of God (John 13:35). The love of Christ for the church is not demonstrated through friendship but through self-sacrifice and servanthood. These are the backbone of marriage. 

When the Bible paints a picture of the roles of husband and wife within marriage, it never once refers to friendship. It tells the husband to love his wife (Ephesians 5:25), to provide for her (1 Timothy 5:8), protect her (Colossians 3:19), and provide leadership (Ephesians 5:24). 

Biblical descriptions of a wife encourage the wife to honor her husband as head of the home (Ephesians 5:22), to support him (Proverbs 31:12) and be a blessing to his life (Proverbs 18:22). Even the biblical example of the ideal wife in Proverbs 31 never sites friendship with her husband in her list of accomplishments. 

However husbands and wives are told to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21), sacrifice for the other (Ephesians 5:27-28), give to one another (1 Corinthians 7:3) and love each other (Titus 2:4, Ephesians 5:33).

In my marriage, there are definitely elements of friendship in our relationship, but I don't treat my husband like a friend. I honour, love and cherish him as my husband. Our covenant bond is more important than any friendship or relationship.

“I found the one whom I love with all my heart. I held on to him and now I won’t let him go…” (Song of Solomon 3:4 CEB)

There is only one whom I love with all my heart. He is more than a friend, more than even a best friend. He is my husband, my covenant partner, my champion, my lover. I hold on to him and will not let him go.

My husband has priority. He is more important than anyone else in my life. 

I give the best of me to my husband. He gets my best conversation. I confide in him my innermost thoughts. Together we have our happiest moments. He is greeted with my best attitude, not the clerk behind the counter. I am more willing to forgive him. I am more understanding toward him. He gets the benefit not the doubt. The most intimate parts of me are His alone. Everyone else gets what is left over. 

I don't give my girlfriends my best. I don't give my career my best. I give my husband my best when I walk in the door. He is the one who counts. 

This kind of love is self-sacrificial servanthood.

But it doesn't feel like it because I am totally and completely in love.

I'm so glad I didn't marry my best friend. I married the one whom my soul loves with every ounce of my being.

A Prayer for My Marriage:

Father, I believe the relationship I have with my spouse is greater than friendship. I pray our love is self-sacrificing. I pray we serve one another in honor. I cherish and adore my spouse with all my heart. Help our marriage continue to deepen and grow into an all-enduring love. In the name of Jesus, Amen.


Sarah Coleman is an Australian wife, mother and Senior Pastor. Download her free eBook, Be Amazing: You Know You Want To and read  more of her thoughts at

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Publication date: March 8, 2017