You were the best of friends when you got married but for some reason, it doesn’t feel the same way now. What has changed? Perhaps the friendship still exists but it needs to be cultivated. To cultivate is to improve the growth of by labor and attention. Friendships can be improved by putting in time, work and giving the other person attention. Although this week’s message is mainly about maintaining a lasting friendship within marriage, some of this information is good for friendships in general.
SINGLES: If you are single with a desire to get married, take time to develop a good friendship with your significant other before marriage. Get to really know the person without sex. In Song of Solomon 8:4 we are instructed not to arouse, stir it up or awaken love until the time is right. Marriage is the right time for sex. Sex before marriage blinds your view.
A good marriage is often sustained by a good friendship. When a husband and a wife are good friends to each other, they are more likely to be committed to the marriage. As I mentioned, a friendship needs to be cultivated. Are you putting the time and work in to building a stronger friendship with your spouse? Have you paid any attention to your spouse lately? Many of us are building closer relationships with others than we are with our spouse. Your spouse should be your top human priority!
Here are SEVEN TIPS for maintaining and cultivating a LASTING FRIENDSHIP in your marriage.
- Lord – Allow Jesus to be Lord in your friendship. This means that He is the Boss and Master of your marriage. Your ultimate desire is to please God in your life/friendship/marriage. Seek Him and pray together daily, include the Lord in every decision. (Colossians 3:17)
- Listen – Listen to each other and be responsive to what has been said. (James 1:19)
- Laugh – Laugh together! HAVE SOME FUN! The Bible says that a merry heart does us good like medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)
- Look – Look as great as you can for one another as you did when you were dating. Maintain attraction. (Song of Solomon 1:15-16 and Chapter 7)
- Love – Love one another. Do not deprive one another. (Ephesians 5:25 and I Corinthians 7:5)
- Live – To live together is to enjoy to the full. Spend time together enjoying each other’s presence. (Proverbs 5:18)
- Let it go – Learn to forgive quickly. Don’t hold on to grudges. (Ephesians 4:32)
A good marriage/friendship doesn’t just fall out of the sky. It must be cultivated. You must work at it every day. Be intentional about putting these seven tips into practice and you will create a lasting friendship.
Until next time . . .