This blog brought to you by Zach and Abi Schneider, friends of our ministry.
The privilege of having people in your life that lift you up, cheer you on, and walk through life with you is a true gift from the Lord. But how do you maintain close friendships while you are married? In this blog, we will discuss a little bit of what we’ve learned in navigating marriage while maintaining healthy friendships.
It’s important to remember that boundaries are not meant to push people away or be created based on tension within that friendship. The boundaries we will be discussing are made out of love and protection for your spouse as well as your cherished friendships.
Venting to Friends
Sometimes you just need to let some things off your chest. As easy as it may be to share anything and everything with your friends, it’s important to draw the line when it comes to any deep issues or fights you have within your marriage. It can be easy to start venting if something is in the forefront of your mind. The best way to handle this is to bring it before the Lord, work through it with your spouse and/or seek godly counseling.
As wise as your friend may be, they don’t know the ins and outs of your marriage. They can only speak on what they know or what they have experienced, and in some circumstances, their “advice” may do more harm than good. In another sense, in protecting the privacy of your marriage, it’s also important to not allow your friend to carry the weight of critical issues within your marriage.
Spending Time with Friends
It’s significant to mention balancing time spent with friends versus time spent with your spouse. Some may spend more time with friends than they probably need to, others need to make more time to invest in their friendships. Personally, a few of our closest friends don’t live near us so there has to be more intentionality on our side to stay consistent. We have found different ways to keep up with them as well as planning special trips to get that valuable time away. Your spouse comes first, always, but creating space to get uninterrupted moments with your friends is something both your friendship and marriage will benefit from.
Alternatively, if you or your spouse seem to spend more time needed with friends than with each other, prioritize that time and space away. (If you needed to hear that last sentence, go take the time now to plan that weekend trip!)
Honoring Your Spouse
God creates no confusion when He appoints us to love, respect and honor our spouse. His word says, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33 NIV).
You might think that you do this well, but what about when you’re around your lifelong friends? Your conversations should speak highly of your husband or wife. Another way to put it is that you should get excited and be proud to speak about your spouse to your friends!
Sometimes you might feel the urge to vent, as we spoke about earlier, yet our words and actions should never put down the person that we are committed to doing life with. Rather, we should build up the person we love the most, in a God-honoring way!
As stated earlier, these boundaries discussed are meant to be made out of love and protection for your spouse as well as your cherished friendships. They symbolize that you value your relationships and desire to strengthen them. By creating and establishing these boundaries in any relationship, it is one of the most loving things that you can do!
Listen to our podcast on this topic here!