Friendship in marriage is one of the most beautiful aspects of relationship a husband and wife can experience. I believe friendship in marriage is established by a couple’s willingness to share with each other emotional energy. As a husband and wife are transparent with each other, talk about their feelings, lean on one another for support, enjoy activities together, and express dreams and desires for their future, their friendship deepens.
However, if a couple is not willing to invest emotional energy into their marriage, there is risk of one or both of them building strong friendships elsewhere, whether with their children, family or friends. It is ok to have friendships in your other relationships, yet some people replace a marital friendship by being fulfilled elsewhere. This is unfortunate because a husband and wife who do not share a strong friendship are missing out on one of the greatest gifts God has given us.
If a husband or wife feels lonely in marriage it could also lead into infidelity as a husband or wife seeks emotional support from anyone else of the opposite sex. Please do not think that your marriage is impenetrable – the enemy will attempt to lure you into friendships that may seem ok to have, yet if your friendship with your spouse is fading, it becomes very easy to build one with someone who is emotionally available.
It is also wise to discuss with your spouse friendship boundaries with others to safeguard your marriage. Here are a few that my husband and I have agreed on:
- Do not be alone with anyone (outside family) of the opposite sex. (Unless agreed upon for specific circumstances, such as helping a friend get to work.)
- Do not call or text anyone of the opposite sex. Wives chat with wives, husbands chat with husbands.
- Do not seek comfort from anyone of the opposite sex, whether in conversation or prayer.
My husband and I have sought to cultivate a strong friendship since the beginning of our relationship. We both had a desire to marry our best friend, and so we did! We were open about setting up these boundaries to help avoid any opportunity to build intimate friendships with anyone else. Our friendship is sacred to each other and we want to keep it that way.
As I was searching for something inspirational about friendship to share with you, I came across this definition on Wikipedia:
The value of friendship is often the result of friends consistently demonstrating the following:
- The tendency to desire what is best for the other
- Sympathy and empathy
- Honesty, even in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth
- Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support
- Enjoyment of each other’s company
- Trust in one another
- Positively strong, deep, close reciprocity, mutuality — equal give-and-take between the two parties
- The ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgement.
Friendship is at the core of strong marriages. It has to be nurtured and nourished regularly. I hope that the definition listed above gives you a better understanding of the value of friendship in marriage. Use the list to evaluate your friendship with your husband, and in the areas you feel may be weak, be intentional about investing more emotional energy there.
This weeks challenge is to revive your friendship in marriage by purposefully seeking new experiences with your husband as close friends!
Remember the key is to invest emotional energy! Get honest with your husband, talk late into the night like when you were dating, ask him what some of his current goals are, enjoy an activity together, or adventure a new town. There are so many ways to cultivate friendship in marriage, get your husband involved in this challenge and ask him what he would like to do! No matter what… Have Fun!!
Have you and your husband set any boundaries for friendships outside of your marriage?
What are some great ways you are going to cultivate a strong friendship with your husband?
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