It doesn’t seem possible and it hasn’t always been easy. We’ve had our fair share of struggles but it has been more than worth it. I’m convinced that a vital element of our longevity, and any long-term marriage, is being each others best friends.
We haven’t gotten it all figured out but we are continuing to work at it. Every marriage has room to grow in this area of friendship so I’m passing along three suggestions I recently came across.
1. Make a list of what you would want in a best friend. Perhaps your list would look something like this:
Prospective candidates for best friend will:
- Make me feel good about being me.
- Affirm my best qualities (especially when I am feeling insecure)
- Call out the best in me, and hold me accountable to the best version of myself.
- Listen without judging or trying to fix me.
- Give me the benefit of the doubt.
- Extend grace to me when I am grumpy or having a bad day.
- Remember my birthday, favorite foods, music, and art.
- Know my story and love me regardless.
- Spend time with me, just because they enjoy my company.
- Speak well of me when I am not present.
- Serve me with a joyful spirit and without complaining.
- Speak the truth to me when no one else will.
- Never shame me, diminish me, or make me feel small.
- Become excited about what I am excited about.
- Celebrate my wins!
2. Commit to becoming that person for your spouse. That’s right! Turn the table. Don’t be preoccupied with getting but follow Jesus’ example of giving and love as He loved us (John 15:12). When a couple focuses on getting what they want first then both go away disappointed. But when they give themselves to loving the other person first, they both go away content.
3. Keep at it! It won’t always be easy but with God’s help it will always be possible. Let God use your marriage as a living testimony of His grace and love in action!