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TaKenya “Bijee” Hampton, Founder of Womans Reflection, Author of Effective Coparenting, card carrying member of the Blended Family Movement (which is not really a thing, but is a thing), Chief Growthtivator and the Passionprenuer behind the Womans Reflection Experience, a place of embracing individual growth through faith, relationship building and positive perspectives.
I had a friend recently tell me, “you have such a blessed and strong marriage”.
I just laughed. If she only knew.
By the time we got done talking, she did.
She knew that actually my friendship is more important than my marriage.
I “met” my best friend earlier in life than I can remember. Her mother and my mother were friends and pregnant together, we were a little over a month apart. I honestly can’t remember any part of my life that she has not been in.
Our friendship has endured some hard times, some break ups and make ups, some attitudes and fall outs, but there have been good times, and even more great times.
We are no where near as close as we were when we were younger. Life changes and people do too. But we still love each other and are there for each other and I firmly and honestly believe that if I call her she will still come like she did when we were thirteen having our “life crisis” back then. LOL.
I met my husband when I was thirteen. Eighth grade. In the back of Mrs. White-Reimers english class. He was the new boy.
I aggravated him as great as the day was long. We talked, we laughed we grew closer.
Like my childhood best friend we have had some hard times, some break ups and make ups, some attitudes and fall outs, but there have been good times, and even more great times.
Both relationships, take some level of work. And I have had to work at both of them.
When we got married, it wasn’t that we both sought marriage. We actually were really good with our friendship. Our marriage was a calling, per se.
But just as you can build a beautiful home and it cave because the foundation was not fully formed and tended to, marriage happens the same.
So when my friend said to me that day, “you have such a blessed and strong marriage”. I quickly interjected before she could go any further and told her “I have such a blessed and strong friendship”.
I understand that everyone is not going to have the luxury of knowing their spouse for 11 years before they actually start dating. But you do have the luxury of building and tending to a solid foundation.
If you build your new house (marriage) on love alone, it will almost inevitably cave. Let just say that, just like a literal house structure, after you build the house and realize that the house is starting to have “structural issues”, there is repair work that can be done to make the structure sustainable. But a house built on a solid foundation is pretty much guaranteed to weather the storms of life and stand the test of time, and cost less to maintain.
Not saying they are automatically without problems or guaranteed to be the best, but they last longer, they stand stronger, the are “built for it”; whatever “it” is.
Marriages built on respect, grace, humility, kindness, faith, trust, compromise, and a willingness to put in work, they stand the test of time; they weather life’s storms.
When my husband makes me mad, I sometimes have to step into the space of being his friend rather then his wife to love him the way the situation requires.
When we share responsibilities, you know, paying bills, raising kids, making decisions, all that stuff… doing it as his friend is sometimes so much easier.
I love being married to my husband, but more than that I love being his friend. I love that he shows me grace when I mess up, that he is patient when I have a bad day and takes it out on the household, that he covers me even when I am wrong, that he supports my good and bad decisions, I appreciate his effort, I love his good intentions even when they don’t manifest as such.
For this reason, my friendship with my husband is far greater and more important to me than my marriage to him.
By all means, I uphold the vows, I seek the voice and spirit of the Lord as a wife should, but being a Proverbs 31 wife is so much easier as a friend, Ephesians 5 is so much easier as a friend, loving him is so much easier as a friend, and so I choose friendship over marriage any day!
Do you consider your spouse to be your friend? Let’s take to the comments and talk about it.