Pastor Phil Ayres from Kingdomcity joins Mel and Jeziel in the studio to share wisdom on marriage and relationships. Phil has a passion for growing strong families, and is a goldmine of knowledge and advice. Phil says his passion stems from enduring many difficult years of marriage. After weathering the storm, his marriage is now stronger than ever, and he loves to share his expertise on marriage and friendship.
Now you may be thinking “hang on, what do my friendships have to do with my marriage?” Well, you may be surprised to know that the friendships you maintain both individually and as a couple can have a big effect on your marriage. Not all friends will hold your marriage as a priority for you, so it’s important to make sure your friendships are adding value to your marriage. Of course, your main goal here should be to become your spouse’s best friend. Aside from that, here’s some tips.
Where do I begin?
The best place to start is with yourself. Take some time to self-reflect and think: “am I a good friend to others? Am I acting to others as I want them to act to me?” You might want to assess the following:
- Am I trustworthy?
- Am I loyal?
- Do I feel I’m aware of others needs before my own?
- Do I encourage others?
Looking in Proverbs 18:24, we find the following:
“Friends come and go, but a true friend sticks to you like family”
How long should a friendship last?
A lot of people might say “well, a friendship should last for life”, but that’s not always true. The old wisdom says “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. You could say those friends are Friends for a Reason. Some friendships a circumstantial. You might be at school or uni together, or perhaps you play in the same sporting team. The common thread keeps you together as friends. Once you lose that the friendship naturally weakens, you might call that Friends for a Season. However, some friendships are committed through all needs and seasons. These are friendships for a lifetime.
Proverbs 17:17a MSG says:
“Friends love through all kinds of weather”
Let’s look at some hard facts for a minute. The Wall Street Journal ran an article in August 2018 about friendships in marriages. Researchers from seven US universities evaluated 16 years of data from 355 couples. What they found is that when a husband disliked his wife’s friends and thought they interfered in the marriage, the chance of divorce was twice as likely.
What should I be looking for?
When making sure your friendships value your marriage, there’s a few criteria you and your spouse can look at:
- Are these people for us or against us? Or are they only for one of us?
- Look for people who are true to their word
- People who will stand with us in tough times
- And make sure your friends won’t talk about others behind their backs. Why? Because when you’re not around, they’ll talk about YOU!
- Are these people positive influences? Proverbs 27:9 says:“Sweet friendships refresh the soul and awaken our hearts with joy, for good friends are like the anointing oil that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence”
To hear all of Ps. Phil’s advice on friendships and marriage, check out the podcast below: