THE MARRIAGE ABCS
Copyright © Ufuomaee
When you think about your favourite things about life, having friends must be right up there with eating cake! Friends satisfy our most basic needs for acceptance, belonging and care. Friends tell us that we are worthwhile…we are appreciated and we are loved. Everybody needs a friend. And there is no friend like the one who sticks by you through thick and thin!
Marriage is a beautiful arrangement where someone pledges their friendship to you, not for a day…not for a while, but FOREVER, through every circumstance. Until death separates you, you will be the best of friends. And even beyond the grave, even though your marriage doesn’t continue, your friendship would continue in the heavenly realm. So your friendship is not simply about ensuring that you have a companion in this life, but also ensures you have a partner to help you to be faithful and not to falter in your faith walk through life.
Friends have each other’s backs. They look out for one another. They keep you standing, when the world tries to knock you down. They stand by you and care for you, when everyone else walks away. They fight for you and beside you, when trouble comes knocking. They celebrate with you when you succeed, and encourage and motivate you when you don’t, so that you won’t give up and keep trying until you do!
It is written that “two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Eccl 4:9-12).
There is so much that could be said for friendship, but today, our focus is on friendship in marriage. “Can two walk together unless they agree?” (Amos 3:3). The answer is of course “no”. One of the most basic things about friends is their agreement – common ground. Friends who promise to be friends forever, must share a common vision for their future, not just agreement in the present. They should have much more agreement than disagreement, if they want to spend their years enjoying and building on their friendship, rather than fighting and defending their union!
There are FIVE Fun Facts about friendship in marriage, that I would love to share with you. Funny thing is how they all start with the letter “F”. It will help us to remember them.
FOREVER FRIENDS – Marriage calls for better or for worse, until death do you part. You’re in this for the long haul, so pick your friend wisely! Remember, your family was chosen for you by God, but you choose your friends! Don’t blame God later! Want to spot the one you should spend the rest of your life with? Look out for the friend who sticks closer than a brother (Prov 18:24).
FORGIVING FRIENDS – No two people can walk together forever, without regularly forgiving one another. Because nobody is perfect, not even you, times will come when you need forgiveness from your spouse, or you need to forgive your spouse. Look out for the gracious ones, and make sure you are counted in their number too, if you want to live happily ever after! Remember that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself…not simply a duty of love.
FAITHFUL FRIENDS – The marriage relationship is unique. The Bible says that our bodies no longer belong to just us, but to our spouses (1 Cor 7:4). And if your body belongs to your spouse, it would be a great wickedness to give it to another to abuse. Friends who wish to stay together forever ought to honour their marriage bed (Heb 13:4), and keep themselves only for their spouse. They also guard their hearts from others, knowing that once the heart is conquered, the body is not far behind!
FAMILY FRIENDS – Once you are married, you have moved from merely friends to family! Family ties are strong and protected by law, in ways ordinary friendships cannot expect to be. They say “blood is thicker than water”, and they are right. Watching over your family is like watching over your own body, most especially the unique relationship between a man and his wife (Eph 5:22-33), who have become ONE flesh (Matt 19:5-6)! And even though you can have a best friend who is closer than a family member, a best friend who is a family member is the bestest of all, not least because they have more authourity, liberty and reason to act in defense of you always!
FORTUNE FRIENDS – So I made this one up… But I think it will round off our five fun facts well. It is connected to the family friends, because in marriage, the saying goes “whatever is mine is yours!” How wonderful is that?!!! Whether little or much, you share your wealth together equally. Your progress is his progress. Her success is your success! And if ever one of you is down, you have just as much reason to labour to get out of the trench together. Because your fortunes are tied forever, you are less likely to leave the other in the lurch – and more likely to overcome and succeed in all that you do together. This is also important when you think of eternal life, a shared fortune that you can and should help each other to attain to.
So today’s letter is short, sweet and simple. We all know what we want in a friend, and that is EXACTLY what we should put in to our marriage relationship. The law of love is summed up in this, “…whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them” (Matt 7:12). Do you wish to be forgiven? Then forgive. Do you wish to be understood? Then seek to understand. Do you wish to be loved? Then love. If you abide by this simple principle, you should do well in marriage!
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