MoS: Friendship with Marrieds6:45 AM
Musings on Singleness: Friendship with Married People
My warning to you! About married people, please don’t kick ‘em to the curb just as soon as they say their vows. You need them!!
If we neglect to pursue friendship with married couples, we have missed an OVERWHELMING blessing of the Body of Christ in action. Remember, the Body is many different parts working together. If I am isolated into a group of people that look like me, act like me, have the same problems as me, where is the edification in that?
However, if I am continually in contact with people who may have been in my situation before and have moved onto another, I can be blessed in so many ways. Several years ago, I was an assistant in a small campus group. We would have weekly planning meetings at the home of a young married couple, the small group leaders. I can’t tell you how many nights we sat there and we segued from ministry planning to stories about their lives. I must have heard their love story ten or twenty times and it still never fails to fascinate me. I listened to the way they met, and grew in friendship, fell in love, prayed for wisdom, individually fought God’s will, or surrendered to God’s will, kept the faith and finally got married, and are still serving the Lord together. I watched them raising children together. And ministering to college students together. Obviously, at that time, I wasn’t even close to marriage. But the testimony of God’s faithfulness was revealed in the life story of my friends. And I would have missed so much by limiting myself to relationships with only people that are a carbon copy of myself!
Sometimes, there are challenges. Every friendship goes through seasons of change. My best friend (and sister) used to be in the same season as me. We lived together, worked together, went to Bible college together and even were in ministry together. And then, her season of life changed. I am single. Now she is married. I work full-time. And she works full-time in the home, taking care of two wonderful little girls… It was quite a drastic adjustment for our friendship. The friendship looks different than it did 7 years ago, but the foundation remains the same. We don’t go out for ice cream or midnight Walmart runs together anymore. But we do talk on the phone daily, and still discuss important issues. Now we schedule things a lot farther in advance, and I always assume that little children are coming along. I understand that email probably isn’t gonna happen. And that I can’t call during naptime. And that Friday nights are “date night” with her husband. I understand that I just dropped a few spaces in the priority list. But I have never ceased to feel loved and cherished as a friend, by the changing season. It’s no lie—we do spend LESS time together, but it is the right amount of time for this season.
Friendship is about recognizing God’s will for each other’s lives and striving to help Him attain it with us. Friendship is about growth and change and yes, differences. Without the rough edges of sandpaper, nothing would become quite so silky-smooth. It is our different working parts within the Body of Christ, and our love for one another, that makes us beautiful. And makes us fruitful in the kingdom of God.
Some great things about friendships with married couples:
-Observing a functional marriage (rare in this day of rising divorce rates).
-Learning about Biblical gender roles in action.
-Getting two different perspectives at one time! Like joint wisdom!
-And then.. there's the ever-elusive matchmaking that is inevitable when happily-married couples are anywhere in the vicinity. :)
To sum up: Value your friendships with married couples in the Body of Christ. There is much to be gained in these changing seasons.