“You know what I think? I think you are throwing a temper tantrum, and you owe your wife an apology.”
I sat across the table, flabbergasted by his words. After all, he’s supposed to be my friend. But, what is a friend? How should a friend be involved in my marriage?
Bad Company Ruins Good Morals
Friends are people who will come alongside us when times are tough, who celebrate with us in our seasons of success, and who draw out the best in us.
We were made to live in relationship with other people. In fact, I would argue we were made to experience deep intimate relationships and to live in community with others.
Just like a friendship between husband and wife is vital to the relationship, so are friendships with other couples. When you do life with the right friends, your marriage will benefit from a new strength. However, not all associations are suitable for your marriage
“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” —1 Corinthians 15:33
If the people we choose to do life with do not share the same values, it will pull us away from our relationship with Jesus, and each other. Selecting the right friends is highly important.
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” —Proverbs 18:24
Real Friends. Real Truth.
Real friends will tell us the truth, even if it means the truth will sting. Their friendship will not play favorites in our marriage or flatter us by telling us things we want to hear. Instead, they will tell us what we need to hear.
Years ago, DeAnna and I were at a place of gridlock in our relationship. Certain I was right regarding this particular problem and being so upset, I called my best friend, Josh, and asked if he could meet me at Starbucks to talk. As we sat and discussed the issue, I shared everything and explained how we were unable to move past this place of contention.
Confident I had made my case, I asked, “So, what do you think I should do?” He looked at me across the table and said, “You know what I think? I think you are throwing a temper tantrum, and you owe your wife an apology.”
I was dumbfounded! I sat across from him in complete disbelief. How could he not side with me? How could he not see my perspective and agree with my point of view?
Then, something strange happened: the more I listened to Josh, the more I knew he was right. I didn’t want to face my sin and bad behavior. I was trying to use Josh to manipulate my wife. His genuine love for us enabled him to speak hard-to-hear, wise words in my life and marriage.
Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” This kind of friendship doesn’t work if your friends don’t love both you and your spouse.
It’s too easy to take sides and to allow the pressure of loyalty to one person in the marriage dictate one’s response. Your friends must be committed to your marriage and your spouse.
5 Marks of a Good Friend
Making a friend means having someone we can be close to, vulnerable with, and someone to love. Our friends will be one of the most significant contributing factors to the success (or demise) of our marriage.
Our friends will help us become better people, and help us build a better marriage. There are five marks I would encourage anyone to look for in a friendship:
- Identify couples that value and desire the same type of companionship you want to have.
- Look for couples demonstrating their love for each other by serving one another and have mutual respect.
- Find a couple that exhibits putting Jesus first in their lives above anything else.
- Seek out friends who are willing, to be honest in their feedback to you and are eager to receive your input into their lives.
- Hold on to people who are going to champion your marriage by encouraging you, praying for you, choosing to see the good over the bad, and calling you out on poor behavior.
Loving, faithful friends is one of God’s best gifts to a relationship. The grace God showers us with, in our friendships will serve as a signpost guiding us to Him; revealing the kind of friend He wants to be in every marriage.
Big Rich and DeAnna Millentree podcast at growinginmarriage.com, a place where couples build lasting intimacy in their relationship. You can follow them on Instagram at @GrowingInMarriage.
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