I received this email from Jimmy Evans’ Marriage Today. I thought I would share with you. Very insightful.
The best marriages are built upon a foundation of good friendship. Before anything romantic happens, friendship needs to be present. You have to have good will toward each other. That’s what friendship means.
There are seven steps to becoming best friends with your spouse:
Be faithful. Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Good times are great, but going through hard times together can truly strengthen a relationship.
You can’t just be your spouse’s friend when it’s convenient. Your friendship is forged during times of adversity. That’s when you learn to trust each other. That’s when you pay the most attention. A friend loves at all times.
Believe in each other. You’ll never be friends with someone who doesn’t believe in you. One of the reasons God created marriage was to bring humans to their full potential. That’s one of the things men and women do for each other.
One day we will stand before Jesus and give an account of what we’ve done for our spouse. Have you brought him or her to their full potential? Find out why God created your spouse and then help him or her get there. When you have two people in a marriage who believe in each other, you become best friends.
Embrace each other’s differences. A friend who rejects you will not be your friend for very long. Compatibility is based on character and values, not on sameness. That means your husband or wife may be very different from you.
Will you celebrate those differences or reject them? Do you spend your time training your spouse to become more like you? Or praising him for being unique?
Be real and transparent. Friendship means being honest. Your spouse needs to know your heart, your thoughts, and your perspective. And you must allow your spouse the same right. Closing parts of yourself off from your spouse can build a barrier against intimacy and trust.
Be a safe place. Every husband needs to be his wife’s refuge, and vice versa. Your best friend is the person you call when something great or terrible happens. Why? Because they are safe. Because you depend on them. Because you know they’re going to celebrate good news and be encouraging when you’re facing bad news.
Be fun and creative. Remember, “a man who has friends must himself be friendly.” Having fun in marriage dramatically improves your relationship. In fact, one of the danger signs in a marriage is when a husband and wife stop having fun together. Husbands and wives need to enter into each other’s worlds and spend time laughing, playing, and enjoying each other’s company.
Bear each other’s burdens. Galatians 6:2 says carrying each other’s burdens fulfills the law of Christ. A friend will not sit by and watch another friend do something without offering to help. It should be the same within marriage. Serve each other. Help each other. Don’t stand back and watch your spouse suffer.
The healthiest marriages are built on a foundation of friendship. It makes everything else easier, but you have to work at it. If you’re not best friends with your spouse now, then decide to become that. Ask God to bring you closer as you pursue these steps together.
Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7