A couple who wants their marriage to last…a couple who wants their marriage to be rich…must be friends.
John Gottman and Nan Silver are two of the most respected sociologists studying marriage. They have noted,
“The determining factor in whether wives feel satisfied with the sex, romance, and passion in their marriage is, by 70 per cent, the quality of the couple’s friendship. For men, the determining factor is, by 70 per cent, the quality of the couple’s friendship. So men and women come from the same planet after all.”
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, page 17.
They go on to write,
“Happy marriages are based on a deep friendship. By this I mean a mutual respect for and enjoyment of each other’s company. These couples tend to know each other intimately—they are well versed in each other’s likes, dislikes, personality quirks, hopes, and dreams. They have an abiding regard for each other and express this fondness not just in the big ways but in little ways day in and day out…Friendship fuels the flames of romance because it offers the best protection against feeling adversarial toward your spouse.”
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, pages19-20.
An insight found in the wonderful ode to marriage found in the Bible: the Song of Songs. As we read in chapter five where the “beloved” praises the physical attributes of her husband and then ends by saying,
“This is my lover, this my friend.”
Song of Songs 5:16b (NIV)
To have a strong, Biblical marriage, your spouse must be your friend. Just because you are married does not mean that you are true friends. To turn your marriage into a friendship, you must…
You must invest what it takes to be a good friend. Friendship will cost you…friendship will cost you time, energy, emotion, and sometimes money.
In their book entitled, Real Marriage, Mark and Grace Driscoll point out that marriage often starts out as…
A Journey Between Friends
It gets off course as friends become…
Trying to pay the bills. Next they become…
Trying to raise the kids which turns them into…
Trying to shuttle the kids to various events.
And not only that, they also become…
Trying to pull off everything from holidays to birthday parties while still attempting to be…
Trying to keep the flames of passion hot.
And perhaps with time they become…
Trying to tend to aging parents.
And whatever happened to just being friends?
All the time, energy, emotion, and money can be sucked into the other roles.
To keep that from happening we need always to…
Feed the Friendship
In the end...that is what marriage is about.