By Cally Logan, Crosswalk.com
Relationship through marriage is something of pure and holy beauty, and from it comes a rich abundance given from the Lord Himself - but there are some things that your spouse cannot supply. This is not a lack or something they ought to offer; instead, it is unique of relationships with friends and those God has placed around you through family. We were made for more than just marriage relationships; we were made for relationships with God and connections through friendship.
1. Different Kinds of Memories
Friendships offer different kinds of memories than those experienced with a spouse. Friendship within a marriage relationship is a vital aspect of oneness, but friendships with those of the same gender cultivate a different kind of result. Think of girl’s trips or weekends and how they offer an entirely different kind of energy and itinerary about them. Or consider how going through a difficult time or journey alongside a friend can cultivate a relationship of a true Kingdom sister. As Proverbs 17:17 offers, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Having a Kingdom sister offers a different kind of safe place and strength than that of one in a spouse. Both hold important roles in one’s life, and both help to fully support a person.
2. Non-Romantic Intimacy
In the same way as a support system, there is a different kind of intimacy born through friendship. Intimacy is often associated with a romantic relationship, but it really means a close and deeply known relationship between two people spiritually, emotionally, and in cases of marriage physically. We experience an intimate relationship spiritually and emotionally with the Lord when we choose to enter into a personal relationship with Him. We experience an emotional and spiritual bond intimately through friendship with others. This bond can offer some of the full support that is a sincere gift when navigating through life. It can also serve as a place to feel known, seen, and understood from a place of shared womanhood and the particular qualities that make women different than men. Non-romantic intimacy forges a way of vulnerability and security in the family of Christ.
3. Wisdom and Advice from Other Wives
Friendship additionally offers perspectives, wisdom, and advice from the experience and viewpoints of others. Women that are in different seasons of life than you or are further along can offer wisdom gained along the years that you have the opportunity to glean and learn from what they have seen or known. Advice from those who have endured different paths than you can offer places where you can learn to become more sensitive or aware, or even how to approach your own difficulties in life. Learning and leaning upon one another offers a broader and more dynamic perspective on things. It is often a gift to have someone offer an outside perspective, as it can become easy to have a narrow view when the only other person you are sharing with is a spouse. Don’t discount the gift of what others can offer through insights and learning.
4. Outside Perspectives
Friendships outside of marriage can also offer an outside perspective because the friend is not as close to what you and your spouse are experiencing. Even if they are a very close friend who endures life’s storms with you, your storm is not something they are in the middle of directly, which offers an outside perspective. Think of the times where you have asked a girl friend if you are overacting or going overboard with an issue or problem. You are so close to the topic or problem that it can be challenging to see outside of that, but because your friend is not in the middle of it all, they can offer a clearer head and mind to what you are in the moment facing. There is also a place where your friend can offer what they are receiving in prayer and time spent with the Lord for you, and you likewise for them. These perspectives, Words from the Lord, and thoughts can offer something deeply needed when the whole world seems to be swirling around you.
5. Help You Not Isolate as a Couple
We all know couples that have fallen into the trap of isolation, and we all know that the snare of Lonely Island can often tear people down in a detrimental way. By allowing close friends into your life to do life with and come alongside them, there is a great asset of having those in support in the good and the bad. The early Church of Acts serves as a testimony of where doing life together serves the Kingdom and blesses the couple, “ With one accord they continued to meet daily in the temple courts and to break bread from house to house, sharing their meals with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily” (Acts 2:46). Inviting these friends into life and doing life with them adds to life so that it is not just the two of you doing life; rather, there is a vibrancy of having others on your team around.
6. Girl Talk
One of the lighthearted gifts of gal friends is the gift of girl talk. Whether it is about the sales going on at the mall, input on highlights for your hair, or the newest health trends, there are often topics of discussion that husbands just do not particularly enjoy engaging in but your girlfriends love. Embrace and enjoy these purely fun pieces to go deeper with among your ladies. Female friends often can relate to some of the life changes or milestones you are going through as well, and girly gab can be a cathartic release in the process of everything. Never underestimate the power of some good old-fashioned girl time.
The value of friendship is immeasurable, and a distinct blessing is given through these relationships. It does not take away or dimmish the holy, set apart relationship that you have in your marriage, but it adds to your life in ways that your heart not only appreciates but needs. Humans are made for relationships, and it is a genuine blessing to have friendships in your life that help add to the whole of who you are and how you operate. If you are hungering for these kinds of friends in your life, earnestly come before the Lord and ask Him to bring among you women that will be for you in life, in prayer, and beyond. The Bible is full of examples of godly and honoring friendships for all parties involved. Think of David and Jonathan or Mary, Mother of Jesus, and Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist. It is a gift from the Lord to you specifically to bring such Kingdom sisters among you, and you in the process are a blessing to them as well.
Cally Logan is an author and US History teacher from Richmond, Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys mentoring youth and spending time in nature. Her book, Hang on in There, Girl! Will be available everywhere on April 1, 2022. Check her out on Instagram and Twitter, @CallyLogan and TikTok Cally_Logan.