Encouragement for Today - July 20, 2012


Melanie Chitwood

July 20, 2012

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 my husband Scott is my best friend today, that hasn't always been the case. When we first got married, I was so close to my twin sister 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. We packed up and moved to Florida for Scott's new flying career. Living in a new city where we knew very few other people, we learned to depend on each other for friendship in a way we hadn't learned before.

Now Scott 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."

Over the years I've discovered some specific ways we can develop a close friendship with our spouse. First, we can take an interest in what's going on where we each spend a great deal of time, our workplaces.

Has he talked about a stressful project? Has he said how energized he is by a new assignment? Follow up by asking for more details and remember to pray for these situations. This shows our thoughtfulness and support. Acknowledging you know his job can be difficult shows that you appreciate him!

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.

My 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 or tired? 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

Today's devotion is adapted from Melanie's book, What a Wife Needs from Her Husband

For daily encouragement, visit our Facebook page.

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

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)

© 2012 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Originally published Friday, 20 July 2012.