Before Eric and I began to date, our paths crossed 10 years earlier when he was my high school volleyball coach. At the time, I was an unsaved teenaged girl and Eric was a Christian and ‘old’ (we’re 7 years apart.)
Years later, we ran into each other while playing volleyball at a local gym through our church. Our similar interest in the sport, now coupled with me being born-again, and the two of us attending the same church, just so happened to foster a friendship between us.
But living life as a married couple and raising children has a way of crushing our friendship if we’re not careful.
Responsibilities need to be met. Demanding schedules threaten our relationships. Crises sweep into our lives. We lose sight of the friendship, we get off track, and over time the marital foundation begins to crumble. All because we didn’t take the time to cultivate the gift of friendship.
I thought about what qualities make for a great friend and what better example to look to than Jesus. Christ exudes the following characteristics:
Every human being would love to have a friend who displays all of the above. It’s easier for me to look at that list and say Eric’s not measuring up to my standards as a great friend but I have to own me–my thoughts and actions. I can’t help but do a heart check and ask myself if I display those qualities. Digging deeper into my soul, I ask myself, “What kind of friend am I to my husband?”
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17
Maybe you’re wondering how to get back to being great friends with your man? Here are some practical tips.
Eric and I have lived through a tremendous amount of trials (maybe just like you). And a few things I’ve learned while living in the storms are:
a) at some point the storm will end
b) at some point another storm will come
c) learn to laugh (in between the tears) while living in the storm
Find something in your life to laugh about. Maybe you see a funny movie, or play a practical joke on each other, or reminisce about some fun old times.
Do things he likes even if you’re not that into it. Men connect with others by doing life side by side. Whether it’s watching his favorite sports team play, or you go for a hike, play a game of tennis, do some woodworking, or head out to the shooting range with him. Women, on the other hand, connect by doing life face to face. Coffee shops are filled with women chatting with one another. And most likely what they’re chatting about is their relationships. Do life side by side with your man and you might be surprised to see him more engaged with you face to face.
3.Make time for him.
That’s what friends do. We make time for each other. We share life with each other. Make him a priority otherwise, your friendship will fall by the wayside. If I don’t have time for my friends, it’s because they are not that important to me. If they were, I’d made time for them. If you want to connect more emotionally with your husband, plan some time to do some fun stuff together. Your friendship won’t survive if life is all about your kids’ schedules, careers, and outside interests.
4.Pray for him
Many wives take the path of praying to God about their husbands rather than praying for them. I get it. Your man irked you and you need God to fix and change him–ASAP! But try to remember that your man is your friend. I know when I pray for my friends I’m not asking God to change them. I’m asking God to help them. This slight shift in your attitude will help your man feel accepted by you.
5.Make the decision to act on your friendship.
Sure, we can be busy and, maybe your husband can offend you and make you cry just like Eric can do the same to me. But, if you are intentional to work through those areas of your life and build your friendship with your man, you’ll soon find a thriving marriage.
An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars. Proverbs 18:19
Live a poured out life for Christ,
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