Sunday, July 19, 2015

On Marriage

I have a favorite ring that I wear, almost religiously, on my right ring finger.  Sterling silver, simple, imported from Israel, with Hebrew writing, it reads: “This is my beloved, this is my friend.” (Song of Solomon 5:16, NIV)  And so it is with my husband and me.  In a world that emphasizes lust and random sexual encounters, it is easy to lose sight of what it means to be friends with your spouse. 

Maintaining a friendship in your marriage means completely being yourself.  When I was a single college student, my mentor, Sharon, told me to eventually look for someone I could be myself with.  This was a foreign concept to me then, a young lady that would freeze up and act like anything but myself in the presence of my crushes.  I felt like I could just be me around my husband from the very beginning.  We were friends before becoming romantically involved.  And now, after almost six years of marriage and two children, this still holds true. 

Maintaining a friendship in your marriage means communicating:  the good, the bad, and yes, the ugly.  I like spending time with my husband.  We’re best buds.  When something exciting happens in my life, he is the first person I want to run to and share it with!  When my spirit has been crushed and I am left devastated, no one else can comfort me as well as he does. 

Maintaining a friendship in your marriage means pursuing shared interests.  When Beau and I first met in 2008, I was at the end of training for my first marathon.  Beau could not run around the block without feeling winded!  But because he was interested in pursuing me (and needed ideas for inexpensive dates), we started regularly jogging together.  Eventually, we ran a marathon together!  Two children later, we no longer participate in marathons, but physical activity and being healthy are still important to us.  Our level of activity varies during different seasons of life, but we continue to make it a priority. 

Maintaining a friendship in your marriage means serving one another.  Few things impress me more than my husband doing the dishes or helping me with laundry without me having to ask him to.  When we were receiving premarital counseling, one of our assignments was to discuss expectations we had of one another.  I will never forget my husband’s response.  He said, “Love me, feed me, make love to me, and comfort me when I’m feeling sad.”  It sounded simple enough at the time, and I still strive to do those things. 

At the end of the day, Song of Solomon got it right; I cherish life with my friend.

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