Some men think the main reason why they have a wife is for procreation and satisfaction of their sexual needs (which ranks as the 12-13th need of a woman from an independent survey!). On the other hand, some women feel that the reason why they have a husband is for him to take care of all their material needs. Whilst there is no disputing that one of the many blessings of marriage is children and additionally a husband is obligated by God to take care of his home, the fundamental reason for God creating marriage is that He saw it was not good for man “to be alone” (Gen 2 v 18). This refers to companionship. The word companionship means a feeling of fellowship or friendship.
God has called you to intimate friendship with your spouse. To be clear your spouse should be your best friend and not someone else!
So, what does it mean to be an intimate friend to your spouse according to God’s word?
As a friend to your spouse God expects you to love your spouse at all times (Proverbs 17 v 17a A friend loves at all times NKJV)
“At all times” means exactly what it says! It includes those times your spouse upsets you! It includes those times your spouse is so annoying! It includes those times when your spouse may come across as being selfish! You cannot be an intimate friend to your spouse if you only love them when they are “good”. Remember God loved you even when you were deep necked in sin by sending His son to die for you, so what is your excuse for not loving your spouse at all times? This indeed might be difficult but with God empowering you, there is absolutely nothing you cannot do (Phil 4 v 13). Ask God to give you the grace to love your spouse at all times no matter the circumstances.
As a friend to your spouse God expects you to be loyal to your spouse (Proverbs 17 v17a A friend is always loyal NLT)
Loyal means giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution. The word loyal and faithful are synonyms in English language. You can-not therefore be loyal to your spouse without being faithful. Furthermore, one of the antonyms for the word loyal is
“treacherous”. So anytime you are treacherous to your wife either in the area of care, love, emotional wellbeing, fidelity and so on you are going contrary to what God has put down in His word. As a matter of fact, God hates dis-loyalty (treachery) to a spouse (read Malachi 2 v 10-15) because you are violating His covenant on marriage! Can your wife say you have been loyal to her? Can your husband say you have been true hearted to him? If not, it is time to retrace your steps and cry to God for help because the virtue of loyalty is so important for INTIMACY in your marriage to develop and be sustained. Remember that a marriage that is built on treachery is unstable and can be likened to a boat on the sea with holes in it which is bound to sink.
As a friend “do you communicate with your spouse?” (Exodus 33 11a Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend NLT)
You may say this point is clear-cut! But do you know that one of the early warning signs that a marriage is serious problems is that they do not com-municate (or talk) together anymore. They go through the motions of keep-ing the usual family routine of paying the utility bills, doing the school runs, putting food on the table to eat and so on but they never truly talk. They in-deed live in the same house and may even be in the same room, but their hearts are somewhere else. They may even cover up for the lack of com-munication in their marriage with being busy with children, busy with work stuff and busy on social media to truly communicating with their spouse.
A dysfunctional marriage is one where there is little to no communication (which includes effective listening to the concerns and issues of your spouse). You may be reading this and saying it has been days, weeks, months and years that my wife and I sat down and talked without things boiling over. The first step is to admit there is a problem and ask God to open your eyes to the source of the problem. Also having a heart felt con-versation in love with your spouse to explore and deal with the barriers hin-dering effective communication in your marriage is another step to take in order to bridge the emotional distance that has formed between the both of you. It is imperative you learn to use your words as a medium of com-munication to bring healing to your spouse rather than destroy them (Proverbs 12 v 18). This is one way of facilitating true and effective com-munication with your spouse that is built upon biblical principles. (To be continued)
God bless you!
Pastor James Sambo