Summary: Part of series on Desperate Households, focusing on "Companionship" in a Biblical marriage. Link included to entire series, including formatted text versions, handouts, and PowerPoint Presentations.
Married, But Not Best Friends
Song of Solomon is a beautiful OT book of the Bible. It’s written in poetic form, depicting the beauty and satisfaction of the marriage relationship. But the symbolism of the book has to do w/ our relationship w/ Christ as His bride.
It’s interesting that God chose to symbolize our special relationship w/ Him by using analogy of marriage…that tells us that marriage is supposed to be a taste of heaven on earth!
C.H. Spurgeon said there should be such harmony in the home that angels could dwell with us, and never feel out of their element.
The bride is speaking of the groom and says…[read text]
Can you honestly say that your spouse is your friend? How about your best friend?
God joins 2 into 1 flesh, and that means much more than just them becoming lovers…it means joining hearts, joining dreams, joining thoughts…it means being best friends!
Titus 2:4 [the aged women…]
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
The word “love” here is the Greek “philandros”, which means friendship. Now, what city’s name comes from that? Philadelphia! – The City of Brotherly Love.
This is not a romantic love or an erotic love, but a friendship kind of love. So, it would not be out of line to translate this verse, “wives, be friends with your husbands.”
For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
The word cherish means delighting in one another’s company / holding one another dear. From the Greek “thalpo”, meaning literally, “to hold closely to keep warm.” It’s talking about friendship.
Now, marriage is the highest level of relationship created by God…higher than even mother/child…so, friendship ought to reach it’s very zenith in the context of the marriage relationship.
So, ladies, no relationship you have w/ any other person should come close to the relationship you have with your husband. Not even one of your precious children, not another lady, and certainly not another man.
Men, the same goes for us. No buddy, no coworker, no hunting partner, no member of your tree house fort secret club, no wedgie recipient, and no guy who can get you Illini basketball tickets should ever exist on the same playing field as the wife God has joined you to.
Couples should be best friends…but it is by no means a sure thing. It isn’t automatic because you exchange vows, trade rings, and swap spit! Matter of fact, I believe true friendship is strangely absent from most marriages today.
One woman wrote, “Do all marriages go stale after 25 years? Ours has. We used to talk about our kids. But now they’re grown, and we’re out of conversations. I have no major complaints, but the old excitement is gone. We watch a lot of television and we read a lot. And we do have friends that we get together with. But when we’re all alone together it’s pretty dull. Is there some way to recapture that old magic?”
Signed, The song has ended.
I’m here to say on the authority of God’s Word that it doesn’t need to be that way. We can cultivate a wonderful friendship within our marriage relationship.
There are many, many reasons why most marriages lack a friendship basis, but we’ll only touch on 1, and this can benefit old and young, married and singles, so listen up:
A major cause of a lack of friendship in marriage is couples focusing on physical contact in the dating relationship. And when the physical takes priority in a romantic, dating relationship, the friendship automatically stops growing.
I’ve shared before this illustration of an ice cream sundae:
Bowl—intellectual union (that’s a friendship)
Ice cream—emotional union (like turns to love) “Big Like”
Toppings—spiritual union (share goals and dreams)
Whipped Cream—physical union after marriage
Here’s the danger: if you enter into the physical relationship before marriage, the other 3 parts stop growing immediately!
All you have is the whipped cream…not in love…but in lust! You find yourself saying I was physically attracted to this person, but I don’t really know if I like them…I have “loved” them – but what I really want to know now is do I like them?!
You never grew together intellectually, emotionally, or spiritually!
You stand there w/ nothing but a handful of whipped cream, and it gets old, and you throw that away too!
But…if you start the physical after marriage, the way God intended, then the other 3 parts just keep on growing! Then you have more than an intimacy partner, you have a best friend who really loves you.
I believe this is a major contributing cause of a lack of marital friendship, because pre-marital relations is so commonly accepted and practiced, and so absolutely rampant in our society.