Marriage is sweeter, stronger and more beautiful where friendship exists. It is that friendliness that enables you to share your life and experiences with your spouse. It affords the partners the opportunity to serve, love, admire, honour, and support each other in life’s endeavours.
But then, friendship in marriage is not automatic. It just doesn’t exist because you are married. At some point in your marriage, you will discover that all the rush of emotion you felt for your spouse at the beginning have begun to fade away. Many factors are responsible for this though: individual differences, upbringing, human frailty or weakness of each partner. Even areas of strength can sometimes be a problem. When any of these factors begins to affect marriage, it becomes a struggle causing some partners drift in different directions and recoil into their shell. Though they may live together. As a woman, you should see your marriage as a tender plant that needs to be nurtured. Don’t expect it to bloom without your conscientious efforts to build and maintain it. You must do everything possible to ensure the initial spark in your marriage when you newly got wedded is retained. How do you achieve that?
1. Begin by writing out all the friendly qualities you want to see in your husband. Write down what you expect him to do for you.
2. Having done that, begin to treat your husband the way you want him to treat you. Do you want him to be friendlier? Well then, be friendly to him, for “a man (or woman) that hath friends must show himself friendly”
3. Take the lead. Don’t wait for him to take steps that would revitalize your relationship; take the lead. Do what you can do and carry him along.
4. Get to know his interest and passion. BE excited about what excites him. Read things about his profession, talk about it, you could even do a little research into things that can help him soar in his career.
5. Find out how he wants to be loved. or how he enjoys being loved. Some people feel loved when you spend quality time with them. Some feel loved when you surprise them with a gift every now and then. While others feel loved when you help them achieve a particular goal. Find out your husband’s love langauge.
6. Never hesitate to talk frankly with him. Be polite in your submission, but don’t hesitate to tell him the truth. Henry Ward Beecher pit it more succinctly when he said, “it is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain on him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship.”
7. Do not restrict your love and care to only when your husband does the right thing. When he makes a mistake, and does the wrong thing, don’t throw him to the dogs, “A friend loveth at all times”
8. Offences will definitely come but the Lord expects us to forebear and forgive one another. Make excuses for his behaviour and don’t be quick to criticize and condemn him.
Someone rightly said: “It is a noble and great thing to cover the blemishes and excuse the failing of a friend; to draw a curtain before his weakness and to display his perfections; to bury his shortcomings in silence but to proclaim his virtues on the housetop.”
9. Be persistent. You may not get instant results, but if you are not “weary in well doing: in due season, you shall reap if you faint not”
10. A wise man once said that true friendship is a gift from God and only He who made the heart has the power to bind them together. You can entrust your marriage into the hand of God, play the game by His rules and He will give you the desires of your heart.
On a final note, if you understand that “Friendship is in loving rather than in being loved,” it will be easier to build lasting friendship with your husband.