My Lover My Friend

I really love my wife, and I like her too.  I think Patty would say the same though I am unsure if this was always the case.  The fact is we go through seasons where selfishness, baggage, pride, hardheadedness and apathy create a divide in a couple’s relationship which can often be the start of a serious problem.  One of the first things to go when these problems arise is friendship.  However, friendship is one of the core aspects of a couple’s life.

Adam was in the garden, naming the animals, working the soil and walking with God.  However, no “suitable helper could be found for him.”  God created woman from man and Adam was no longer alone.  He had a companion, a helpmate, a friend.  Most of us can remember the feeling of being alone without that special person to share our life with and how amazing it was when they came into our lives.  We visited, chatted, dated, and finally the day came when our family and friends witnessed as we entered into a covenant relationship with that person, till death do us part.  We became lovers, family and friends with our whole lives ahead of us to share.

Then the world pressed in.  Jobs, children, church events, separate interests, and differing hobbies.  Soon, we were growing distant, and the first thing we compromised was our friendship.  Business and its cost is one of the most effective tools of the enemy and many, if not most of us fall for it at one time or another.  So how do we fight the enemy?

Find a Common Interest

Look for those things that interest both of you and find a way to spend time engaged in these activities.  Maybe its painting minions on rocks, collecting bugs, shooting civil war revolvers or simply watching movies.  Find the common ground and then invest your time, money and energy in those pursuits.

Carve Out the Time

Once you have found the “something” to do, carve out some time to make it happen.  Calendar the item and let nothing short of an emergency room visit get in the way.  If it is in your calendar and the Pastor calls to see if you will referee a Upwards Basketball game this weekend you can honestly say “I have another commitment on my calendar.”  Protect this time!!!

Look for Something New

Always keep a lookout for something new to do together.  As we get older we change so what we enjoyed in one season of life may need to be re-assessed in another.  A decade ago Patty and I enjoyed disk golf on a Sunday afternoon after a marriage workshop.  Now we enjoy a three hour nap.  Seriously, look for new hobbies and try new things.  New adventures and hobbies keep the fire alive in a relationship.

Protecting your friendship is one key to a long-term relationship that lasts throughout the many seasons of life you face as a couple.

His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely.  This is my beloved, this is my friend. daughters of Jerusalem.

Song of Songs 5:16

Preparation

A friend of mine and I were talking a few weeks back about a friend in crisis.  It was a crisis of faith, a crisis of belief, and the challenge was rocking that person’s world.  Steve, our youth pastor, made a comment that has stuck with me.  “In the middle of a crisis is not a good time to develop your theology.”

Patty and I have remained married for 34 years this last Saturday.  Our marriage has rocked on through a number of challenges and obstacles, some from within our marriage and some from outside of our marriage.  Knowing that God uses these challenges to grow us, and understanding how immature I still am at times, I can only expect that there are more challenges on the way.  However, knowing that God uses challenges for our growth, and knowing that God walks with us through them, strengthen us as we face them together.  Knowing ahead of time helps us face the challenges as they arise.

What is your theology concerning marriage?  What do you really believe that God’s will is concerning your marriage?  Are you thoroughly enough convinced of the truth that it will carry you through the challenges?  My prayer today is that you are working to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow.