My spouse, my friend
One of the reasons God created marriage was for companionship and friendship, and not just for procreation alone. God saw that man was lonely in the Garden of Eden, so He created the woman to be his companion and friend. This means it is God’s will that husband and wife are very intimate friends, sharing thoughts together, laughing together, reasoning together, playing together and enjoying each other. But one of devil’s plans is to take away that existing friendship between you and your partner. He subtly brings in a wide gap by manipulating your imaginations and thoughts; you stop seeing all the good qualities that he or she has. The ‘faults’ automatically become more pronounced than the good qualities that brought you together.
This, however, is not God’s plan. He wants you to have a marriage of intimacy and friendship. Friendship with your spouse is what makes your marriage and relationship thick and sweet. Whatsoever made your courtship exciting, interesting and worthwhile must not be dropped after marriage, but retained and built up.
Seeing your spouse as your friend will help you share your life and daily experiences with him or her. True love is you giving out the love in you rather than you expecting only to be loved. Do not expect, do what you would have expected. As a husband, you are to study your wife in order to know her enough, what she likes, hates, enjoys, etc. What makes her happy or sad, what annoys or irritates her, what elates her spirit or thrills. Just know her nature, her strengths, weaknesses and sensibilities, understand her for who she is. Do not compare her with other women or wives. Don’t abandon her for a football match.
Wives should also study their husbands so as to know what makes their husbands happy, thrilled, sad and angry. Don’t trade your husband for social media, such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Don’t abandon your husband in the room to watch a soap opera being broadcast on television.
Both the husband and wife should always create time to chat, even if they are both busy with their secular jobs. Friends always create time to hang out and chat, regardless of their busy schedule. After every day’s work, create five or ten minutes to chat with your spouse either on the bed or while taking dinner. Take a stroll, hang out together and share your thoughts and ideas. I remember when I just got married to Carol; our likes were so far apart. Carol loved to window-shop, while I loved to watch football. We quickly realised that if we were friends; we would create time for each other and deliberately enjoy each other’s likes. And we did just that. I started going window-shopping with Carol, even though I never understood the logic behind it and she started watching football with me. I will never forget one interesting match, when a goal was scored and Carol shouted enthusiastically: ‘Yekini Rashidi is a very good goal keeper.’ I laughed and laughed. Even till this day, we joke and laugh about it. These are the memories that make friendship sweet and interesting.
It is not too late to stretch out a hand of friendship to your spouse. Look out for things he/she may like and start to do them together. Friendship is deliberate, and it does not just happen. It is cultivated with the tools of sacrifice, patience and persistence.
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