Is Your Spouse Your Best Friend?
Melanie Chitwood

"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NAS)

Although I can say today that my husband Scott is my best friend, that hasn't always been the case. When we first were married, I was so close to my twin sister that Scott felt excluded when the three of us were together. Gradually, however, we both learned to develop our friendship with one another.

We reached a big turning point when we left Atlanta, where I had been single and then newly married, and moved to Florida for Scott's new flying career. Living in a new city where we knew few other people, we learned to depend on each other for friendship in a way we hadn't learned before.

Scott now is the one I turn to first just to be my friend, not in the way a girlfriend is a friend, but in a way that only a husband can be. The support that this kind of friendship brings is reflected in Ecclesiastes 4:9: "Two are better than one."

What are some specific ways we can develop a close friendship with our spouse? First, we can take note of what's going on where we each spend a great deal of time, the workplace Has he talked about a stressful project? Has she said how energized she is by a new assignment? Follow up by asking for more details and remember to pray for these situations. This shows your thoughtfulness and support. If she's a full-time homemaker, acknowledge that you know her job never ends and that you appreciate her.

Secondly, a great way to forge bonds of friendship is to share an interest. What do you both like to do? You may need to think about what you did while you were dating. Our friends Tracey and Ron take short trips to the mountains. It's more Tracey's passion than Ron's, but he's learned to enjoy it too. My mom and dad are great cooks and have created some incredible meals together. Scott and I have watched countless basketball games together. If you don't already have a shared hobby or pastime, start trying out some activities. It's easy to let the day-in and day-out responsibilities of life to crowd out time for relaxation and laugher, so you'll have to make the choice to have fun together.

Finally, we need to ask ourselves if we're making friendship with our spouse a priority. Do we save our best energy for developing friendship with our spouse or are we too busy? Sometimes we have to say no to other pursuits so we can have time to protect and nurture the gift of friendship in marriage.

The seeds of friendship we plant today will continue to bloom later in our marriages. We've all seen older couples sitting at restaurant tables, eating their entire meal in complete silence. I don't want to look like those silent couples, and I'm sure you don't either. I want to grow old relishing my friendship with my husband, a friendship forged over years of sharing interests and making each other a priority.

Dear Lord, show me ways to nurture friendship with my spouse, so we can continue to enjoy each other through the passing years. Lord, today, I commit to making friendship with my spouse one of my top priorities. Where I need to give up some activities so I'll have time for friendship with my husband, give me eyes to see that. Thank you for the lifetime friendship you've given us in marriage. In Jesus name, Amen.

Related Resources:
What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

This devotion was adapted from What a Wife Needs from Her Husband. Order your copy today!

Visit Melanie’s blog – What Matters Most for more marriage encouragement.

Application Steps:
Plan to do something fun with your spouse. Do this within one week's time, and don't let anything interfere with these plans.

Reflections:
What do you want your marriage to look like ten years from now? What can you do today to reach your desired outcome?

Is there room in your life for friendship with your spouse? Is there anything you can take out of your life to allow space for your friendship with your spouse to grow?

Power Verses:
Genesis 2:18, "Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone; will make him a helper suitable for him.'" (NAS)

Ephesians 5:28, "So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself." (NAS)

© 2010 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PLEASE PRAY WITH ME, IM TRUSTING GOD TO BRING THE RIGHT MAN INTO MY LIFE. THERE WAS SOMEONE ONE BUT WE WENT OUR SEPERATE WAYS AND HE IS MY BEST FRIEND.

I NEED WISDOM FROM ABOVE AND A DISERNING SPIRIT, IM SO TIRED OF BEING HURT AND ALONE.

PLEASE PRAY, I NEED JESUS TO DO SOMETHING. IM HURTING REALLY BAD.

Blogger Crystal said...

Dear Anonymous,

I was where you are years ago. Things did not change for me until I let go of the idea that I had to have a man in my life. I came to realize that the only man I needed was Jesus Christ, and once I allowed his love to fill me and give me peace - things began to change. Then out of nowhere a man I had let go of four years prior came back in my life expressing his interest in being my husband.

I have now been married to that man for almost five years. Those five years were not easy but we have survived and our marriage is stronger than ever, but I strongly believe that things would have been worse if I did not take the time when I was single to forge a true relationship with God.

Make time to talk to God about how you are feeling and I promise he will listen and he will wrap his arms around you like only a Father can and tell you that everything will be okay. He has a man for you, but you have to realize that God knows what is best for you and he will place that man in your life when He believes the time is right.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Crystal, I've been there in your same shoes, where you can't see but a few feet in front of you, and you are so hurt it seems that nothing else matters. But If God did it for us, he can do it for you too...Believe, you're not alone in the way you feel and best of all God is right there with you wanting an even more loving, intimate relationship with you, he wants to be your everything! God's word was right when it said that if you put God first and seek his kingdom and righteousness ALL these things will be added unto you. Including a perfect mate, and a match made in Heaven. I know this may seem preachy and way too optimistic when you're feeling how you are right now, but trust me, I've been there and God did it for me! God bless you.

do you think this works if one is developing a love of god and one isn't.. i wan't a best friend but i seem to have a tv buddie he lives for reality tv.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am having difficulty with this too. I love the man I am dating right now but I am not sure if it is "right"...I do not want to be without him...I think it's God's will for us to separate...but I am afraid to take that step. And when I believe I should-I get nervous and question myself again. This has caused me great anxiety and worry and I don't know what to do to fix it. PLEASE help.

Anonymous Linda said...

Thanks for the devotion. I needed to hear this. I was convicted about my relationship with my husband. I don't know exactly what I will do, but I am going to start thinking about it and then with the LORD's help, I want to take action so that my marriage is renewed and has more vitality!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is hard to be friends with a husband who does not want to be friends with you. Marriage can be very rewarding, but also very difficult, especially if God is not the foundation for both partners.

I am happy and full of praise for marriages like the one you describe, but there are many others that need lots of prayerful support. I am encouraged today by the hope of what could be.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand & agree 100% with this last post. I want to grow, learn, & Live for Christ and at this time my husband of 12 years still does not. We don't share relaxation & laughter together. We do not share much of anything together anymore. I will be obedient to God and Tame My Tongue and Look For the Positive in my marriage and husband. I will wait for God's instructions.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

sadly it feels as though I often have more interest in being friends than he does...

today i had a hopeful note from him wanting to do something together...something not work related...

with God there is always hope...

Anonymous Maryann said...

Thanks for your post today, Melanie. I forwarded it to my husband with the note, "I think we've got this covered pretty well...". Our 25 year marriage has had the normal share of ups and downs and feeding our friendship has been so very important to our continued success and support of one another.

I do want to take issue with one comment that you made. You refer with sadness to the older couple sitting in a restaurant not speaking to one another. I used to look on those couples the same way, but don't anymore. In fact, as I age and as my marriages ages, I understand that couple more and more and there is good news: they aren't unhappy! I love nothing more than sitting with, in fact, abiding with my husband in silence. These silences are comfortable and comforting to both of us. Sure there is plenty to say and we share lots of activities, but we like the quiet times, too.

Again, thanks for your post and for the good work of Proverbs 31. I enjoy the devotions.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the thought of my husband being my best friend but I always think of Jesus as my very Best Friend because He is always with me, He always understands and comforts whereas my husband doesn't and gets tired of trying. Jesus never does so I just leave it with Him. I know my husband can never satisfy me like Jesus does. I accept that and my husband like He is but my relationship with the Lord God helps me to come closer to my husband and gives me wisdom and understanding that I wouldn't have otherwise. I am glad for this the Lord God is using this to help strengthen my relationship with my husband. The best thing I can say is that each of us need to love our Lord Jesus first and then accept, respect and love our husbands. If we don't have a husband, then we have more time for Him and service to Him. I hear people all the time say that they found the right person when they weren't looking. So those posters were right. I am praying for those of you who feel hurt and alone that you will be aware of His Presence with you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Devotion Melanie.....however I wanted to post just what Mary Ann shared about the older silent couple.........after being happily married for 43 years......we sometimes do sit in a restaurant just enjoying a meal and a silence between us .......it is not boring.......it is there because we are completely at ease and sometimes we just smile.......and we "know" what the other is thinking......it does not always have to be said....as you put years on that marriage.....it will be that way for you some day too....and you will be completely comfortable in it......Thanks God bless your ministry! Birdie <><

Blogger MrsLouis01 said...

This devotional was a much needed one. I am going on 9 years married and I want nothing more than to have my husband as my best friend but my husband has told me many times that the type of marriage/friendship that I want is in a fairy tale...sad but now I feel like after hearing that so many times, I am beginning to believe it. I have done many things to try to be friends but his actions show more than not, that he rather be single. My opinion. I know that he loves me and yes things have gotten better over the years but as far as answering your question... I guess my answer is No, my spouse is NOT my best friend. Pray for me as it is much needed. Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Father, I pray today for my sisters in Christ, like myself, who desire to have our husbands as our best earthly friends. Help us to seek you first and comfort us when we are feeling sad and frustrated about our current situation. Give us a sense of hope and purpose that only you can provide. Help us to have faith in your abiity to turn around what we see as impossible circumstances. Draw us and our husbands closer to you. Work in ours husbands' hearts heart as you are working in ours. Help us to know that you work all things together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. In your Holy name I pray. Amen

Blogger Simply Blessed said...

Praying for all our marriages and the struggles we encounter daily. Myself included!!!!
"Be strong in the Lord for He can do great things!"

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