Do you know what God has been teaching me the past few months; how to be my husband’s best friend. It’s been a prayer of mine ever sense I realized how intimate a friendship is. I was seeking vulnerability from my husband and while in prayer The Lord pointed me to friendship. Be his best friend!
I want my husband to be the one person I can go to about anything; the one I don’t have to be shy around, and the one I want to hang out with in my free time. I want to be that one person he can trust himself with, to be open and vulnerable. The one who knows him; I want us to trust each other, never being afraid of judgment.
Proverbs 2:17 calls our spouse your “al-loop” a unique Hebrew word that translates as “special confidant” or “best friend” Also, in Song of Solomon 5:16 it says “this is my lover, this is my friend”
Pastor J.D. Greear shared a story about the marriage of Martin Luther & Katie Von Bora, I’m going to cut to the point of the story short, but I highly recommend looking more Into their marriage and the letters they wrote one another.
Martin Luther had written a book convincing nuns and monks to leave their vows and marry. A group of nuns found his reasoning compelling and threw off their vows. But the Roman Catholic Church would not let them leave the convent, so Luther smuggled them out, literally in barrels. One nun, Katie Von Bora had a bit of trouble finding a husband, she was labeled as “brash, unattractive, and proud.” She returned to Martin, and said “you got me into this mess, you find me a husband or you marry me”
When asked why he married her, he said “to spit at the devil” he was quite the romantic, not. Their marriage did not have some fairy tale start, but they were said to have had one of the most incredible marriages in history. The letters they left behind are hilarious. Among the many pet names he had for Katie, this one stood out to me “my dear gift of God.” When He first wrote of marriage he treated it as something primarily functional. Something God designed to propitiate the human race and something we should enter into to state off sexually temptation. But toward the end of his life he would call Katie Von Bora “the greatest (earthy) gift of grace a man could have.”
She was more than his lover; she was his confidant, his companion, his best friend.
They laughed, they lived, and they enjoyed one another. When I started focusing on cultivating a friendship with my husband rather than just the romantic aspect of marriage I was and still am being surprised every day by what is changing in our marriage. I listen more, I make more of an effort to be involved in the things he enjoys doing. One thing I do is I leave the dishes in the sink to veg on the couch and watch “how it’s made” with him. I’m more understanding and less judgmental. I show him more compassion and oh man do we laugh at and with one another.
Friendship is one of the most forgotten elements of marriage.
C.S. Lewis says there is one kind of love, eros, in which the lover is focused on each other, face to face, absorbed in each other. But there’s another kind of love, phileo, which are people side by side, absorbed by some common interest. This is friendship.
The romantic aspect of marriage “Eros” is of course important, but over the past months I have learned that the friendship aspect of marriage “side by side” truly and significantly deepens the “face to face” aspect of marriage.
When we become friends we do life better together, we parent better, and love better. I’m more open to my husband’s ideas on parenting and finances. When we come from a place of side by side-ness, we have become a team. Neither of us are fighting for our opinion to be heard or to carry the “I am right flag” we are in this together.
We are of course not perfect at this, but I have seen the fruit of our new found friendship and I’m so grateful to God, beyond thankful for this man He has given me. God is still working and we are still changing, learning, and growing. We fall short, but God is faithful. I encourage you to seek out shared interest with your husband; get involved in his hobbies or find one just for the two of you. Pray for God to give you new insight and opportunity to become friends. Do a word search of friendship or friend in the bible and see what you find. If you struggle in this, just remember raising your precious children is most definitely a shared interest and if you’re Christians seeking Jesus, growing in Jesus, and being like Jesus is the most passionate shared passion of all.
Timothy Keller quotes the following: “Within this Christian vision of marriage, here’s what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of what God is creating, and to say, “I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, ‘I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!”
Press each other on; isn’t that what friends do!
Building strong marriages together,