EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: Something I have often heard (and believe) is that "the best relationships come from the best friendships" or "you should marry your best friend" - things like that. But I would like more specifics on the matter. Why should you marry your best friend?
The best way to answer this question is first to determine what a “best friend” is. In other words, what are some of the qualities you would want in order to consider them for your “best friend”?
You would undoubtedly want someone you enjoyed spending time with. You would want the person to be honest, trustworthy, caring, loyal and dependable. You would want the person to accept you as you are – the good, the bad and especially the ugly. A best friend should “have your back” and even put your needs ahead of his own personal desires at times.
A best friend would be someone who would have the freedom and the right to call you out on areas of your life when they feel you are not living properly, and you in theirs. An argument would not jeopardize your relationship and “agreeing to disagree” is acceptable without any hard feelings or condemnation.
Naturally you would share common interests, values and sense of humor, and your families would probably welcome each other as one of their own.
They would often be the one you would want to start and end each day with and the first to call with news to share.
A best friend accepts, understands and loves in all seasons of your life.
I admit this is a pretty comprehensive and exhaustive list to live up to and to find, but most of these qualities are exemplified in the friendship between David and Jonathan (1 Samuel – 2 Samuel).
With that in mind, it would be prudent of us to find a spouse with many of these qualities along with a romantic attraction, unconditional love, and a life-long commitment.
However, no one is perfect, and for those areas where we (all) fall short, 1 Corinthians 13, often referred to as the “wedding chapter,” shares with us what love is and how we should be.
Your spouse does not have to be nor probably should be your one and only best friend, as it’s important and wise to have close friends of the same sex. Nevertheless, many of the qualities we want in a mate are often found in someone we would consider for our best friend.
Boy, what a great question. Although I know of several couples that were not best friends who married (some marriages lasted and some did not), the ones that were best friends have lasted the longest. In all the years I have been leading singles ministry I have never met anyone who regretted being friends (even best friends) with their spouse before they got married. However, I have met several who did regret not being friends. They rushed into marriage due to impatience, out-of-control hormones, and pressure from the other person. As a result, many of these marriages struggled their first years or didn't last.
Bottom line, the more you can learn about the other person while you are friends, even best friends, the higher your chances of a successful marriage. While being friends, you can learned how they spend and save their money and how they treat their parents, family, and friends. You can learn how they handle anger, rejection, and disappointment; how they work, play and even date others before dating you. Finally, you can see if they really love God by following him, or if they are just a fan.
Now there is no way to totally know a person even after best friends for years. There are some things about ourselves that we choose to not share until we are married. This is why marriage is hard and takes work. But even so, I would still prefer marry my best friend. Jesus thought friendship was important so I will too.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you (John 15:12-15).
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is ... Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of three books.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to email@example.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
Publication date: November 28, 2013