Friends play an extremely important role in our lives, and this remains true after we’re married as well. We need to cultivate good, true, loyal, and honest friendships that not only bring out the best in us but also bring out the very best in our marriage.
On the other hand, we need to stay away from toxic friendships that have the potential to harm our marriage.
We often become like the people we hang out with the most.
The friend who talks badly about HIS/HER/YOUR spouse
When it comes to our marriage, we must surround ourselves with people who WANT to have a good marriage. During more vulnerable times, we might find ourselves complaining about our spouse to one of our friends. It’s bound to happen a time or two. But, this CANNOT become the norm. It’s toxic to our friendship AND our marriage. We need to let our friends know that it’s NOT OKAY to call our spouse names or complain about what he/she does or does not do for us. It perpetuates a negative cycle in our minds and hearts and creates an unhealthy codependent friendship that will harm our marriage.
The Friend who is constantly putting you against your family. A true friend will encourage us to be close to our spouse and children–not the other way around. Any friend that demands more of your time and says things like, “She has you whipped”, or “He takes too much of your time”, or “She’s too controlling of you time”, or “You should be able to do whatever you want to do without calling home”, is not a good influence on us and is certainly not considering our devotion to our family.
The friend who hates marriage in general. We shouldn’t end a friendship simply because we don’t agree with everything he/she says, but we can’t be close friends with someone who won’t respect our beliefs or tries to belittle our values.We might have some friends who are divorced and currently have a very negative attitude towards marriage in general. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t support them during this heartbreaking time. We absolutely should. We just need to make sure that our conversations aren’t anti-marriage.
God wants all of us to have strong marriages and beautiful friendships. Relationships make life so rich when they are healthy and in balance. Let’s be sure to seek out and maintain loyal friendships that are mutually encouraging and uplifting and bring out the best in our marriages and families.
Wilbert Frank Chaniwa