If you asked me who my very best friend is, I would, without any hesitation, shout my husband's name. On our very first date, I not only started falling for Dave immediately, but I also knew that I had found my very best friend. Though we have never been "just friends", I believe that being best friends only enhances our romance and marriage. In fact, when I read the Bible, I find that many of the verses used to describe a true friend could also be used to describe a devoted husband or wife. In the most romantic book of the Bible, Song of Solomon, the wife calls her husband "my lover, my friend".
With the busyness of life...raising kids, working hard, and checking off our long "to-do" list, we can forget that God not only gave us a partner for life in our spouse, but he also gave us a lifelong best friend, "BFF" (best friend forever), or "bestie" (like the cool kids say). If we find ourselves in a rut with the connection we feel with our spouse, maybe it's time we start working on our friendship. In order to do just that, we need to understand how the Bible describes a friend and how this relates to the relationship between a husband and wife. Here are 6 ways to be your spouse's bestie:
1. Stand by his/her side and protect his/her honor through thick and thin.
As spouses, we should be the ones to come to each others' defense the fastest. We need to protect their reputation by watching how we talk about them. We know our spouse better than anyone else...the good AND the bad. This means we promote the good we see in him/her, and we don't tear them down in public or on social media to let everyone know his/her shortcomings. We should be the most loyal person in our spouse's life.
2. Be willing to share your heart and be his/her best listener.
We need to be open and intimate in our conversations with our spouses. Let's give them our eyes and ears; no mindless nods and empty "yes, dear"s. We need to put our cell phones, remotes, laptops, and other devices down and actually engage in fruitful conversations with our spouses. This will only increase our friendship and greatly improve our marriages.
3. Be your spouse's biggest fan and motivator.
We want our spouses to be at their best, so why not be their biggest motivators? If your spouse has a goal in mind, help him/her to achieve it. Challenge him/her to better himself/herself. We need to walk alongside them and join them in pursing their dreams. Help them find time to study for school if that's the goal. Go to the gym with them and keep them motivated if they are trying to get healthier or lose weight. Friends support each other, and we should do this EVEN MORE as their spouses.
4. Serve your spouse before yourself.
This can be a hard one because we are selfish by nature. However, this point might be the most important one of all. We must love our spouse so much that we are willing to "lay down our life" for him/her. Husbands, you may be familiar with Ephesians 5:25, "For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her...". This is often quoted at weddings along with Ephesians 5:24, "As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.". Although the word "submission" often leaves wives with a bad taste in their mouths, to "submit" and to "give up your life" are different ways of laying down your life for your spouse. It is about serving your spouse before yourself. When both spouses do this consistently, their friendship and marriage will remain strong.
5. Foster your spouse's strength and health in mind, body, and spirit.
This point goes along with number 3. As best friends and spouses, we want to bring out the very best each other. In order to be at our very best, we must be strong and healthy in mind, body, and spirit. This means that we should encourage one another to eat right, exercise, learn something new everyday, read more, go to church, pray, read our Bibles, and the list goes on. We aim to help and not hinder our spouse's well-being.
6. Pray for your spouse every day.
There will be days that we are upset with our spouses, and sometimes we may not be "feeling it" for them. These are the very times we need to lean on prayer the most. Pray that God will bless your spouse, touch his/her heart, and strengthen your marriage. It is amazing how God will soften our hearts towards our spouses when we are praying specifically for them. I would encourage you to pray WITH your spouse as well. If praying every day seems overwhelming, try to pray weekly. Don't be consumed by the specifics. Just. Start. Praying.
You will be amazed at how God blesses you and your spouse when you both foster a deep and lasting friendship as part of the foundation of your marriage.
If you consider your spouse your very best friend, tag him/her in this post and let him/her know it!