Make Your Spouse Your Best Friend

A current study is showing that most marriages where the couple goes to a counselor are not getting salvaged. There are multiple reasons for this but one that was stated really blew me away — most counselors consider divorce as an option! Remember, we are talking about secular psychologists or counselors who do not have the mindset that a marriage should be saved at all cost. The worldly counselors will lay the option of divorce right out on the table. Saving it, my friend, is the Biblical mandate.

Adultery, which is often the cause of a broken marriage, is extremely serious. Having sex with someone other than your own spouse breaks the “oneness” that God is creating with the two of you. There is scripture that says adultery is sinning against God. It is sinning against your spouse. In fact, it is sinning against yourself! Look at 1 Cor. 6:

What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Even from a scientific standpoint, when two people have sex together there are chemicals released in the body like the ones released when mothers are bonding with their children. So there are physical, emotional AND chemical bonds in the sexual relationship. No wonder in our modern culture sleeping around causes so many emotional and relational problems! God didn’t design people to go from partner to partner. Just in my lifetime, the numbers of stds have increased dramatically both in incidence and in varieties. There are many stds today and some are quite permanent and even fatal.

It’s the very special sexual relationship that makes the married couple unique. For Christians, marriage is not a couple but a triple. It is God who helps to keep us committed to each other for the long term. The sexual relationship builds intimacy. It acts as the glue that allows us to cleave and not leave. Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that buildeth it . . .Ps. 127:1 When a spouse commits adultery with another person, serious damage has occurred but it is repairable. God wants the broken pieces fixed and the bond “re – glued”. It takes great forgiveness, effort, character, and will. Both husband and wife must desire to fix such a break. God can give you the desire and wants to do so.

If counseling is the way you wish to go, be very careful who you visit. Make sure they adhere to Christian Biblical principles. If not, you are likely to end up in divorce court.

Many people pay a counselor or psychologist to listen to their problems. Many want advice about how to improve their situation. Do you really think you need a third party to do that when the Lord is just waiting for you to ask Him for help? Getting His help does require obedience. He will not do for you what you should do for yourself. For example, He will not make your mate bring up touchy issues while you secretly hope to avoid them. He will not miraculously change your spouse so that the problems disappear. If you do work at communicating, He will help you know what to say. He’ll help you get the problems out into the open. Step out in faith. Once you decide to fix whatever is causing the marital discord, He will be right there to walk through it with you. The biggest hindrance is not wanting to get these things out into the open by either one or both spouses.

Perhaps you are not on the doorstep of considering splitting, but you are not happy with the direction your marriage has taken. Increasingly, information is coming out now about the importance of basing a marriage on friendship.

Prevention Magazine did a survey in March 1998 where the following statistics show what people wanted to improve most about their marriages. 31% want more time together. 30% want more and better communication. 21% would like to decrease worrying about money. 6% want more romance. 3% want more and/or better sex.

Looking at the first two highest percentages, notice how nicely they fit in with this idea of friendship. Do you feel like you are living with a stranger? Do you wish you could get back to the early days of your relationship when you couldn’t get enough of each other? There is hope!

The most important first step is for the two of you to sit down together. Reaffirm your vow to each other that together you will get through anything that comes along. DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION AND NEVER WILL BE!!! Only when you are both secure in this resolve, can you even get honest communication on the table. The wife makes a helpful suggestion on a behavior that needs changing. He says, “No way! That’s too ridiculous. I’m out of here.” The marriage has no chance. Thinking that divorce is an option inhibits useful criticism. Sometimes we have to face painful truths about ourselves in order to fix a serious problem. Our spouse must be able to lovingly point out these areas without us immediately wanting release from the relationship.

Too often, I have seen situations where one spouse is more than willing to adjust and make changes and the other is demanding and immovable. If it takes two to tango, it takes two to correct a broken relationship. Bear in mind, that you will have to give account to the Lord for your behavior. It would be better to fix your attitude now and restore things as the Bible prescribes so you can stand before God with a clear conscience.

Secondly, go back in time in your mind. Remember how great things used to be? Make a list of the qualities that attracted you to her in the first place. Write down his character traits that you found to be great strengths in the beginning. Are these now bothersome to you? Why? Because when we are in the early stages of love, it is easy to overlook the negative characteristics. Quite honestly, a lot of women think they will change those qualities. As they try to do so, the love wanes. The relationship begins to deteriorate.

In most situations, the wonder of the warm fuzzy love feelings wears off in about two years. Suddenly you wake up and wonder what you ever saw in that guy. Why do some of her habits really irritate you when they never did before? You’ve just come back down to reality that’s all. Now it’s time to get practical and realistic about the relationship.

In friendship, there is honesty about each other. There is time spent just hanging around. You aren’t talking, but you enjoy being together. In a true friendship, you know that when you really need help, that friend will be there. You help each other, do things together, care about each other’s goals, work and leisure time. You make specific appointments to get together. You may talk frequently, if not daily, about work or social activities. It might surprise you to know that many married people rarely do this.

The Bible says in Proverbs 18:24, A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. If you want to go back and get your spouse to be your friend again, be a friend to her. Call her during the day. Ask how she is doing. Make his favorite dinner. Serve it in candlelight. Meet him at the door. Kiss him. Give him a big bear hug. Ask him to share his day with you. Help her get the kids ready for bed and then discuss what she did that day. Go out on a date together. Get involved in a church ministry you can both participate in. Develop a hobby or sport that you can do together.

Once you get this friendship relationship going strong, you can work on adding in the strong romantic ties that can lead to a marvelous marriage. God wants you both to be satisfied. He wants you to be thrilled with the person you are married to. It’s possible to keep the flame glowing for a long time if you rely on God’s help. Purposely work at making the relationship fruitful.

Dr. John Gottman, who studies married couples says, “love is an orderly, systematic process that begins when we decided to turn toward each other and ends when we choose to turn away. Love is quite simply a choice we make.” There is a lot of truth in that. The advantage we Christians have is that God is more than ready to help us build wonderful homes. The rest of the world does not have this tremendous support system. The principles that God has given us in the Bible on how to relate to others will help us build strong marriages.

Go out there and make your spouse your best friend and you will never regret it!


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