There’s a lot to be said about the need for married couples to have other married couples as friends in their lives. It’s so important for couples to acknowledge that they need them, and that they aren’t just fine on their own. We must remember that the very heart of the gospel itself is relational. Relationships are so important to God that He sent His Son to die so we could be in relationship with Him. Beyond that, Jesus Himself chose His 12 friends, and then also chose his inner 3 from that group. Relationships mattered to Jesus, and anything that was important to Jesus should be important to us too.
The two most basic needs and desires of every human is to be loved and to be accepted. Genuine friendship provides both of these. Our innate desire for these very things is enough to give us fair warning that the enemy will come after them. He will do his best to attack not only our marital relationship, but also our friendships. His best work is done in isolation. Therefore, we can be assured that he will use disengagement with friends as a tool for his benefit.
Just like any predator in the wild, he seeks to isolate so he can attack. Rarely will a lion go after a tribe. He always looks for the lone straggler. This is why, as silly as it seems, it would be wise to do as good ol’ Buzz Lightyear says, and always stick together.
We need friends in our lives. They lift us up and encourage us (Ecc. 4:9-10), they help us grow in wisdom (Prov 13:20), they speak truth even when we don’t want it (Prov 27:5-6) and they help carry our burdens (Gal 6:2). So, by all means, yes, we need friends, but we also need discernment over the friends we choose. Not all of our “friends” will truly be friends. They don’t always encourage us, or lead us in wisdom, and sometimes they just tell us what we want to hear instead of what we need to hear.
Friends are so much more than the party throwers down the street or the people you follow on social media. Friends are the ones who know you, truly know you. The good, the bad and the ugly you. They know your marriage, your struggles and your strengths as a couple.
If you are reading this and thinking that you’re not so sure you want that. Perhaps, you don’t want people to know the real you or your real marriage. If that’s you, then can I just tell you that you especially need it.
We come alive most when we’re fully known. Vulnerability is scary but also life giving, and it’s also very contagious. It does seem scary knowing that another couple might know your relational flaws or struggles, BUT, how great would it be to know theirs too? Not in a cruel judgmental way, but in a “us too” kind of way. Wouldn’t you be more encouraged in your struggles if you knew you weren’t alone in them? This is the beauty of community. It spurs us on!
If you and your spouse are lacking in friendships, it’s time to change that. Invite another couple you admire out, have them over for dinner, join a life group of some form. Do something to get around other couples, but just be sure to choose them wisely. You’re likely not going to find your people in superficial atmospheres, so this will involve some bravery on your part. The real you will need to show up, but If that scares you, just go back to where we began and recognize that ALL OF US need love and acceptance.
They’re in need of the very thing you’re searching for too. You’re just the one willing to go first!
It’s time to start enjoying the journey…..TOGETHER!