Valentine’s Day is just a few days away and as many are thinking of sweet gestures or gifts for their loved one, I would like us as wives or future wives to consider how we can become our husband’s best friend. I do believe that Jeff is my best friend and I am his. After the relationship with our Savior there is no one else in my life who can even compare to how I feel about Jeff.
We have been married for ALMOST 15 years (seems like yesterday!). Throughout the years we have learned a few things about friendship, marriage and ministry. Ministry tends to cause more stress in a marriage (multiply that 10 times when it’s in a Third World country!) The work of a missionary is not a 7:00 – 5:00 job. It is “people” work – counseling, mentoring, training men, studying and preaching. It is an “on call” job, ready to assist people who are hurting and in spiritual need.
On the mission field our house was an open door. It was not unusual for there to be several guys my husband was training in our home almost every day! Some days I loved it; other days I wanted to strangle my husband! (Not really!) Some days I was so happy that he was being fruitful and training men to be leaders who would eventually take the Gospel to many cities in Argentina and around the world. Other days I was jealous that I didn’t get to spend the entire day with him like his guys did. There have been many times throughout the years that I did not have a good attitude. I fabricated lies in my head. Lies like:
“He cares more about the ministry than he does about me.”
“He talks more to other people than he talks to me.”
“He could get along just fine without me.”
“I must not be his best friend anymore.”
Don’t get me wrong! It wasn’t anything that Jeff was doing to cause me to have these thoughts. He was (and still is) so in love with Jesus that his entire life revolves around what he can do for Him, especially in getting the Gospel to a lost world! And I wouldn’t want it any other way! I’m very thankful that God gave me a man who is driven to serve God with his life! He is a great example to me and to many others! But my “neediness” and making my husband like a god in my life was making me feel like he wasn’t my best friend. I had to intentionally let him go and share him with others. If you are married to a man in the ministry, you will have to learn to do the same if you want God to use him!
I want to share with you a few biblical principles from the book of Proverbs about how you can be your husband’s best friend.
- A friend loves at all times. “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17 If you struggle with loving your spouse, take time to study I Corinthians 13.
- A friend is quick to recognize his own sin and repent of it. “Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.” (Proverbs 6:3) If you have hurt your spouse in some way, instead of just “letting it go”, make sure he knows you are sorry. Be humble! Humility in marriage would have probably saved countless of marriages. Each time we hurt our spouse without reconciling we are only building up a wall. A wall that will very soon come crashing down on top of us. Many who have been through a divorce can never exactly pinpoint what caused the divorce; they just know that they never resolved issues day in and day out. “Make sure thy friend!”
- A friend doesn’t share with others their friend’s shortcomings (unless it’s for biblical counsel in a hopeless situation). “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. “ (Proverbs 17:9) In other words don’t use the prayer request time at church (or social media) to tell the whole world that your husband is a bum. That is the quickest way to ‘separate very friends’.
- A friend must be friendly! “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) Friends are fun to be around. Do you make it fun when you are with your husband? Or do you use the time to talk about why you never have time together? (How do I know that? Because I have been guilty of that one!) Have fun! Play games, take walks, ride bikes, read together, have a Nerf gun battle in the house. Realize that what is fun to you may not be fun to your “best friend”. I enjoy shopping; my husband does not. So we rarely, if ever, go shopping together! He enjoys soccer and he likes me to watch him play soccer. Even though I don’t understand it, I will sit and watch….for a few minutes.
- A friend gives gifts! “Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.” (Proverbs 19:6) I read just recently in a blog that when you see something that you think your husband might like, get it! Don’t let the devil talk you out of buying a gift for your husband that would bring you closer together. Friends give each other gifts. If you want your husband to be your best friend, get him what you know he likes.
- A friend gives grace! “He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.” (Proverbs 22:11) Your husband will make mistakes, as we all do! He may come home in a horrible mood and not want to talk to you about what is going on. Instead of nagging at him to open up to you, just give him grace. I like what Mrs. Sandy Roberts has taught our missionary wives about how to care for their husband. She said, “After they are done preaching, they are exhausted. One hour of preaching is like an entire day’s work all rolled into one hour! When you get back to the house after the service, put him in the recliner with a book or a cup of coffee, take off his shoes, give him a foot massage and tell him what a wonderful man of God he is. Instead of finding all the ‘mistakes’ he made in the message, lift him up! Tell him how God spoke to YOUR heart in the message! He has just fought a battle! Treat him like the wife of a warrior would treat her husband after coming in from the battle.”
- Friends practice self-control! “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go.” (Proverbs 22:24) We are careful not to get easily angered with our gal friends, but with our husband the smallest thing can set us off on a rampage. One of the fruits of the spirit is temperance. (Galatians 5:22-23) This means self-control. Whatever it is that your husband does that instantly gets your blood boiling, decide that you are going to have self-control in this area. Pray for him and pray for you to respond with a soft answer. (Proverbs 15:1) Learn to forgive as Christ has forgiven us! (Ephesians 4:32)
- Friends help one another grow in Christ! “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:6) Probably 99.9% of the time the things we may argue about were not worth getting upset over, but if there is something that you have prayed about and God is leading you to talk to your husband, then you as his helpmeet have the right to speak to him — in the right place, at the right time and in the right spirit. I remember in a marriage retreat that we attended the speaker and his wife spoke about how they hoped that when they get to Heaven and receive the rewards that God has for us, they can give each other a high five and say, “Thank you for provoking me to good works, honey!” (Hebrews 10:24)
I challenge you to look up Scripture on what a friend is and try implementing these biblical principles into your marriage.