A common question among couples, particularly newlyweds: Should my spouse be my best friend? My wife, Cynthia, offers a thoughtful response…
Your spouse is (should be) on another level than “best friend”.
A spouse should be
- the first person you share important, personal information with (i know everyone has their own idea of important)
- your lover (and no one else qualifies)
- someone you enjoy spending time with and make an effort to spend time with regularly
- the person who knows you best
- the person who prays for you the most and knows how to pray for you best
- trustworthy and secure enough to allow you to have other friendships
The danger in having other “best friends”
- when you go to your friend with issues before you go to your spouse
- when you talk bad about your spouse to your friend
- when the friend is the opposite sex
- when girls allow their need for chatting with their girlfriends to compromise their attention to their husband
- when guys allow their need to do “buddy activities” with their buddies to compromise their attention to their wife
The danger in not having any other friends
- girls put pressure on their husband to listen to their every detail when they could have a friend to share some things with
- guys put pressure on their wife to do things with them that the wife doesn’t want to do just b/c he wants a buddy there (golf, a movie, skiing etc.)
- missing out on sources of encouragement, rebuke, and outlets for fun
In conclusion: yes, I believe it is healthy to have friends besides your spouse, but your spouse is much more than a best friend. 🙂
Below is an outline from a recent “Forgiveness” seminar led by Cynthia Townsend. Excepted where noted, the outline flows from her personal study of theology and psychology.
“…and forgive whatever grievances you have with one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you…” – Colossians 3.13
Forgiveness Is Not:
Forgiveness is “letting go of the need for vengeance and relinquishing negative thoughts of bitterness and resentment.” (DiBlasio, 1977).
Reconciliation “involves the re-establishment of a caring relationship in which mutually trustworthy behaviors and thoughts replace previously untrustworthy behaviors and attitudes.” (Sphar & Smith, 2003).
Genesis 37-50; Matthew 6.12; 18.21; Colossians 3.13; Psalm 103.3; Ephesians 4.32; Philemon
Formula To Use When Walking Through The Forgiveness Process (R.E.A.C.H.)
Recall the hurts. 1 Peter 5.7; Psalm 13
– be specific
– journal, talking through with a trustworthy friend, pray aloud
Empathy Matthew 18.21-35
– research indicates that empathy is strongly related to helping people forgive
– empathy is the core technique in forgiveness work
Altrustic gift. Colossians 3.13; Matthew 6.12-15; Psalm 103.3-4,12
– when was a time you received forgiveness that was undeserved?
Commit to forgive. Ephesians 4.32 – it’s a command
– make a choice to forgive.
– formalize the choice through a ceremony of sorts
–> burning a list, writing a letter to offender, saying aloud you forgive that person, etc.
Hold on to forgiveness. Genesis 50.19-21
– repeat offenders
– distinguish between hurt and anger – 4x Joseph “weeps”
– review the letter, walk through the experience, repeat the process