C is for Conquest
H is for Hierarchy
A is for Authority
I is for Insight
R is for Relationship
One of the highest indicators of marital success is whether or not a couple are friends. When you dated you showed interest in his hobbies, spent time with him in different activities, and in general, acted as a friend. Patty went so far as to go squirrel hunting with me one time. She was amazing. She was silent as we walked towards the limbs in the tree that were moving. She helped me find the squirrel walking along the limb, and was quiet as a mouse until I flipped the safety off. Then she ran through the underbrush like a mad woman yelling “run squirrel, run!” Like I said, she went hunting with me once.
It is difficult to maintain a friendship even with a person you love dearly and see every day. Distractions from work, household chores, church, other friends and children may serve to undermine the work and time it takes to maintain a friendship with your husband. However, it is the friendship that will last when the kids leave, passion wanes, and other friends move on. The best known wife in the bible describes her bride groom as follows: “His mouth is full of sweetness; Yes, he is altogether lovely and desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.” The bride has it right, to be a successful couple he has to be your groom, your lover, and your friend.
The good news is that being a friend to a guy does not require much energy. In fact, sometimes all it requires is presence and attention. In his book, Love and Respect, Dr. E writes the following:
One wife decided to go deer hunting with her husband, who uses the bow and arrow. She helped him set up the blind, and they both sat there for hours waiting for a deer to happen by. They saw nothing, they shot at nothing, and they said nothing. Finally, they took down the blind and headed back to the car. To this point she had said not one word the entire time. As they were walking down the trail, her husband turned to her and said, “This was awesome!”1
I know, it doesn’t make sense does it? They spent all that time and never talked, never chatted, didn’t even look at Facebook. How could this build a relationship. Truth be told, I don’t know. However, this type of uninterrupted time spent in each others presence without the need to talk energizes guys. Even better, find something you can do together. Patty and I picked up Kayaking a few years back and some of the best time we have spent together is in the backwaters quietly paddling through Cypress trees and watching wildlife.
Spending time in activities that build your friendship adds depth to the other aspects of your relationship as well. Friends make better parents; friends make better ministry partners; and friends make better lovers. Time focused on improving your friendship is time spent ensuring a stronger marriage.
1. Eggerichs, Dr. Emerson. Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs (p. 241). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.