Thursday, March 28, 2013

Being Best Friends With Your Spouse

By Katie Farrell
I am blessed and honored to say that I married my best friend. 

I met my husband when I was 16 years old. I moved from Wisconsin to Saline, Michigan my sophomore year of high school. I was petrified that I wouldn't make any friends, considering that most people already have their established ‘cliques’ at this age. As I left behind everything that was ‘normal’ to me, I remember praying and asking the Lord to provide me with Godly friends in my new hometown. As always, He was faithful!

I will never forget the first time I went to the youth group service at church. It was there that I not only met my future husband, Sean, but it was also the night that Sean gave his life to the Lord (God sure did have a plan!). We started hanging out in groups with other friends and began getting to know each other. We would spend hours on the phone talking about everything under the sun! A few months later we decided to make it official, and over the course of the next few years we truly became best friends. 

I now know that God brought Sean into my life at an early age for many reasons. For one, I was pretty shy in high school and being new certainly didn't help. God provided an amazing friend through Sean, who was always there for me when I needed a true friend and someone to lift me up. Sean was also very firm in his faith and refused to give into the pressures that so often surround teens in high school. When I was tempted to go down the wrong path, he reminded me of the truth and that I was better than that. I lost almost all of my ‘so called friends’ as a result of refusing to give into what was popular, but Sean stood by my side and always encouraged me that I had a bright future. 

Ten years later (and almost four years into marriage), I can honestly say that I love my husband more each day. He is truly my best friend and, just as he was in high school, he is one of my biggest cheerleaders and encouragers! 

Now… from this wonderful story you may look at my husband and my relationship and think this must mean we have it ‘all together’ and that we never have any problems. This is of course far from the truth. Just as every couple does, we certainly have faced our fair share of challenges. Even the day-to-day tasks threaten to pull us apart at times. There have even been times where we have even hurt each other deeply. 

So, how does our relationship continue to grow and flourish in the midst of the hard times? The answer is… we are best friends. 

To us, one of the most important parts of being best friends means that we give each other grace when we hurt one another. No, this isn't easy in our own strength, but when we go to the Lord and let Him fill us with His forgiveness, love, and grace, we are then able to pour it back out into each other’s lives. It also means maintaining a humble attitude at all times and admitting when we are wrong. This is only possible because of the Holy Spirit, who so gently ‘nudges’ us when we are not loving or respecting one another as God has asks us to. 

Being best friends also means that we take time for one another. We don’t do this perfectly, but in this fast-paced world we recognize the importance for taking time out of our week to talk, laugh, and just have fun! My husband and I have a particularly interesting situation as we both work from home. One might think this would allow for ample time to spend together, when in fact it can pose one of the greatest challenges to know when to turn off our computers and stop working for the day. Because of this we have set specific boundaries and guidelines to ensure that we make time for one another and put our relationship at a higher priority than any other task. 

Being best friends as a married couple means that we must continue to ‘date’ one another. We block off at least one night a week as a ‘date night’. This doesn't have to be something that costs money or something extravagant. In fact, many times some of our best ‘date nights’ are just hanging out in our pajamas and watching our favorite movie, We also occasionally have date night where we dress up for each other as well. This helps keep that balance of romancing one another and making one another feel special as we did when we were dating. Although my husband and I don’t have kids yet, we talk about how important it will be to maintain this especially when we do have children. We firmly believe that children feel more secure in their home when their parents have a strong relationship with one another. 

And last but not least, being best friends means praying together and reminding each other of who we are in the Lord. As I said earlier, our relationship has not always been perfect, and it never will be. We are both people that are just running the race for the Lord.  As we are both growing in Him daily, we still have faults and flaws. When we start each day off by coming together in prayer, it is then that we become a three-stranded cord that is not easily broken.  

I truly believe that God uses married couples in such an amazing and powerful way to further His kingdom, to encourage one another to press on, to pray for one another and lift each other up when one falls down. My husband and I keep the true purpose of our marriage in the forefront of our minds as we press on towards the goal to which He has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus! 

Dear Lord, I thank you for providing a help mate and best friend for me in my spouse. I pray that we will see one another through your eyes and continue to walk in your grace, mercy, and love towards one another. I pray that we will be more in love each day than when we were first joined in marriage, never taking one another for granted, but always cherishing and being thankful for one another. I pray that you will continue to be the very foundation for our relationship, and that as we pursue you both individually and as a couple, that we will be like a three stranded cord that is joined together with you, which is not easily broken! I thank you that what YOU have joined together NOTHING will be able to separate. 

In Jesus Name, Amen!

Katie Farrell is the founder of Dashing Dish, a place to find healthy alternatives to the food you crave! She started the website after being told by friends and family that she had a unique talent for taking unhealthy recipes and making them healthy without losing any of the flavor. She believes that every good recipe she creates comes from the ultimate creator! Dashing Dish has been featured in Fitness Magazine, Shape Magazine, Oprah and Huffington Post, to name a few. Katie was also featured on The Identity Project last year. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and give her recipes a go!

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