5. Maintaining Self-Autonomy
Self-autonomy refers to the ability to manage yourself in terms of interests, hobbies, and personal goals. Oftentimes, newlyweds tend to neglect their personal aspirations and desires in order to accommodate the others person’s. Though this is honorable and may be necessary at some points within your marriage, it is not always healthy. Having friends outside of the marriage gives you a chance to explore things that are of specific interest to you.
Recognizing that God has made each of us with a unique set of traits, gifts, and purposes, we can draw insight and comfort from friends who are moving in similar directions. For example, if the Lord has called you to be a baker, taking time to spend time with your friend who own the local cupcake shop increases your self-autonomy while enjoying companionship. It has been found that marriages that focus on togetherness and individual needs are healthier and happier. In the long run, both parties will benefit from each person being fully who God has called them to be. This may mean allowing your partner to enjoy another person’s company that shares similar interests.
Regardless of how long you’ve been married, you must remember that having friends outside the home does not make us selfish or neglectful of your marriage. It’s up to each individual relationship to determine boundaries that work for their family. When friendships are healthy and add value, they can be a great source of hope and encouragement for the marriage itself. Whether you have one close friend or several, ask the Lord to give you insight on how to incorporate your friends into your life in a healthy manner. Together, we are stronger and can encourage one another to live the lives the Lord has called us to.
Victoria Riollano is an author, blogger, and speaker. As a mother of six, military spouse, Psychology professor and minister’s wife, Victoria has learned the art of balancing family and accomplishing God’s ultimate purpose for her life. Recently, Victoria released her book, The Victory Walk: A 21 Day Devotional on Living A Victorious Life. Her ultimate desire is to empower women to live a life of victory, hope, and love. She believes that with Christ we can live a life that is ALWAYS winning. You can learn more about her ministry at victoryspeaks.org.
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