Grace Baptist Church Decatur, IL

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Go to "Desperate Households" series on marriage and family

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All 4 Parts are below, in order.


Jump to:  Part 2          Part 3          Part 4


Married, But Not Best Friends, pt. 1

Song of Solomon 5:16


Song of Solomon is a beautiful OT book of the Bible.  It’s written in poetic form, depicting the beauty and satisfaction of the marriage relationship.  But the symbolism of the book has to do w/ our relationship w/ Christ as His bride.


It’s interesting that God chose to symbolize our special relationship w/ Him by using analogy of marriage…that tells us that marriage is supposed to be a taste of heaven on earth! 


C.H. Spurgeon said there should be such harmony in the home that angels could dwell with us, and never feel out of their element.


The bride is speaking of the groom and says…[read text] 


Can you honestly say that your spouse is your friend?  How about your best friend?  A movie came out called “My Best Friend’s Wedding”…well, I was at my best friend’s wedding, and she’s here tonite!


God joins 2 into 1 flesh, and that means much more than just them becoming lovers…it means joining hearts, joining dreams, joining thoughts…it means being best friends!


Titus 2:4 [the aged women…]

    That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,


The word “love” here is the Greek “philandros”, which means friendship.  Now, what city’s name comes from that?  Philadelphia! – The City of Brotherly Love.

        This is not a romantic love or an erotic love, but a friendship kind of love.  So, it would not be out of line to translate this verse, “wives, be friends with your husbands.”


Ephes. 5:29

    For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:


The word cherish means delighting in one another’s company / holding one another dear.  From the Greek “thalpo”, meaning literally, “to hold closely to keep warm.”  It’s talking about friendship.


Now, marriage is the highest level of relationship created by God…higher than even mother/child…so, friendship ought to reach it’s very zenith in the context of the marriage relationship. 


So, ladies, no relationship you have w/ any other person should come close to the relationship you have with your husband.  Not even one of your precious children, not another lady, and certainly not another man.


Men, the same goes for us.  No buddy, no coworker, no hunting partner, no member of your tree house fort secret club, no wedgie recipient, and no guy who can get you Illini basketball tickets should ever exist on the same playing field as the wife God has joined you to.


Couples should be best friends…but it is by no means a sure thing.  It isn’t automatic because you exchange vows, trade rings, and swap spit!  Matter of fact, I believe true friendship is strangely absent from most marriages today.


One woman wrote, “Do all marriages go stale after 25 years?  Ours has.  We used to talk about our kids.  But now they’re grown, and we’re out of conversations.  I have no major complaints, but the old excitement is gone.  We watch a lot of television and we read a lot.  And we do have friends that we get together with.  But when we’re all alone together it’s pretty dull.  Is there some way to recapture that old magic?”

Signed,   The song has ended.


I’m here to say on the authority of God’s Word that it doesn’t need to be that way.  We can cultivate a wonderful friendship within our marriage relationship.


There are many, many reasons why most marriages lack a friendship basis, but we’ll only touch on 1, and this can benefit old and young, married and singles, so listen up:


A major cause of a lack of friendship in marriage is couples focusing on physical contact in the dating relationship.  And when the physical takes priority in a romantic, dating relationship, the friendship automatically stops growing. 


I’ve shared before this illustration of an ice cream sundae:


Bowl—intellectual union  (that’s a friendship)

Ice cream—emotional union (like turns to love) “Big Like”

Toppings—spiritual union (share goals and dreams)

Whipped Cream—physical union after marriage


Here’s the danger:  if you enter into the physical relationship before marriage, the other 3 parts stop growing immediately!

        All you have is the whipped cream…not in love…but in lust!  You find yourself saying I was physically attracted to this person, but I don’t really know if I like them…I have “loved” them – but what I really want to know now is do I like them?!

You never grew together intellectually, emotionally, or spiritually!

You stand there w/ nothing but a handful of whipped cream, and it gets old, and you throw that away too!

        But…if you start the physical after marriage, the way God intended, then the other 3 parts just keep on growing!  Then you have more than an intimacy partner, you have a best friend who really loves you.


I believe this is a major contributing cause of a lack of marital friendship, because pre-marital relations is so commonly accepted and practiced, and so absolutely rampant in our society.


To the couples sitting here right now who know God is speaking to them on this matter, there is hope…plenty of hope!  Just as surely as there is a problem there is a solution.  Maybe the cause I just listed applies to you, and maybe your lack of friendship was caused by something else, it doesn’t matter, there is hope!  God doesn’t want to punish you throughout the life of your marriage because of some mistakes along the way…He offers hope and help!


Here’s a key word for us to focus on:  Companionship


Guy likes golf and girlfriend likes to work out.  But they like each other so they try each other’s interests.  They golf together and have a lot of fun, and he tries to teach her the sport and she makes extra effort to try.  And sometimes they go work out together even though it’s not as fun to him as golf, but still, he’s w/ her and that’s what makes it great.

They get married, and start to take each other for granted, and they fail to realize the importance of companionship after they get married.  They forget about the friendship, the courtship, and that the way you get ‘em is the way you keep ‘em.  So, girl starts telling guy to go do his thing and while he’s on the golf course, she’ll do her work out…so now guy is going in 1 direction and girl in another. 

But after a while guy meets other girl on the golf course…she’s a good golfer, and she really appreciates HIS love for the sport, too!  Wow, they have a common interest!   Meanwhile, girl meets other guy at the gym, and he’s a real gentleman…almost reminds her of the kind way she was treated by her husband when they were dating.  “Would you spot me on this machine?”  “Well sure,” says other guy.

What do we have now?  Guy and girl are both cultivating relationships w/ other guy and other girl, and deciding maybe they like them better than their spouse.  One thing leads to another, all in the devil’s design, until finally something happens, a breakup ensues, and all because the lack of companionship left them looking elsewhere for something more…and what do they look for? 

        Someone they can not only be married to, but who will also be their what?  FRIEND! 


Ladies, you’d better set a goal to be your husband’s best friend.  Men, likewise!


Proverbs 18:24

    A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Proverbs 27:9

    Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.

Proverbs 27:17

    Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Acts 27:3

    And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.


These verses teach that friends spend time together, want to be together [grow fonder, not go wander!], have fun together, and talk together.


How do you spend your leisure time?  Going in different directions is a recipe for disaster!

As much as possible we should do things together.  This doesn’t mean that if you like to hunt and she won’t go with that you can never go…it simply means you can’t let that consume you to the exclusion of companionship with her.

It doesn’t mean that if she loves to go antiquing and you despise it [and if you’re normal, you do despise it!]  that she can never go…it simply means she shouldn’t make a career out of it to the exclusion of spending time w/ him!

I’m talking about men who do what they want to do to the exclusion of their wife, most every day off they have, and they’re headed for divorce court…a healthy marriage cannot operate that way.


Why is companionship so important?

1.     Because it is unhealthy for a married person to spend the most enjoyable moments of their life in the company of someone else

        I want to grab some guys by the throat and ask them why did they want to get married…if they just wanna be w/ the boys all the time or live for their sports or sit at the PC until their fingers do a mind meld w/ the keyboard, then why get married?  Same for some ladies, that will talk on the phone w/ girlfriends for hours on end, and shop ‘til they drop, then why do they keep that guy around?  If all we seem to need in our spare time is a television, then why do we need a spouse?


If the only time you have fun is when they aren’t around, then how in the world will you ever have a friendship together and maintain any form of closeness?


Some may say, we don’t have common interests, God made us different.  Well, I’ll just bet that if you’d pray about it, God would give you something you can both enjoy together.  I know it’s true, because I did just that w/ my oldest son.  I was looking to bond with him, but I could only take so much of Thomas the Tank Engine.  I tried to get into the stories and learn all their names and numbers, and I laid miles of track in different formations, but it just wasn’t there for me, and I realized if I didn’t find something else to bond over I might accidentally shoot myself in the face!  J  So, I prayed for God to open a door of something that wasn’t such a sacrifice for me to do together w/ my son…and then, out of the clear blue sky my mother in law won a Nintendo Gamecube system, complete with games, from a local radio station.  She didn’t believe it when they called her, and waited over a year before someone in the family convinced her that she may have actually got something for nothing and that she should go and claim her prize!   Anyway…we’ve discovered these 2 player games, and are having a blast with it.  [We have to set time limits, and avoid violent games, etc., and take steps to keep things in proper balance].  But we have been working together to conquer different levels, or race in 2 man race cars where we each have our own jobs to do, and it’s been a total answer to prayer.  He’s better than me on a lot of it…it’s amazing how fast kids learn and how quickly adults forget.  I’m slowing down fast!


And the whole family has gotten into things as simple as puzzles, jump rope games, and tropical fish, and even a dog which, if we let him live, can have a real bonding effect on all of us!


So don’t give up…swallow your pride, push away selfishness, and pray and see what God may give you to do together.


Companionship is important because anything less is unhealthy…


2.     Because pursuing your own interests without your spouse demonstrates selfishness

It’s really sad when full grown adults act like kids… “if I can’t do what I wanna do, I’m picking up my toys and going home!”


3.     Because this will lead to a fulfilling marriage

Are you looking to just fulfill your self, or to have a fulfilling marriage?  You’ll never be happier than when you strive to be a giver, not just a taker.  The more you give the more it will make them want to be a giver, which benefits you naturally, and it all snowballs from there!


Ill.—an all too common scenario:  a man has fun w/ people at work, but goes home to “the washer is broken, the dog pooped on the carpet, a kid is sick, etc.”  Then he spends his day off doing something else, but only thinks of his spouse in terms of survival, and just getting by…but if you never have fun together, then you’ll always associate negative things w/ them, while you associate the fun times w/ others.


4.     Because shared experiences lead to shared feelings

If God made 2 into 1, then it makes sense that those 2 will do 1 thing together often!


Does the Bible teach this?  Is this theology or “me-ology”?

Ephes. 5:25

    Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

·       That’s a sacrificial love…nothing is so important that you won’t sacrifice it for her.

Ephes. 5:26-28

    That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, [27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. [28] So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

·       That’s a sanctifying love.

Ephes. 5:29-31

    For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: [30] For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. [31] For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

·       That’s a secure love.  Some people are insecure because they’re not sure if their spouse really likes them as a friend or not.



Married, But Not Best Friends

Song of Solomon 5:16



Titus 2:4, Ephes.5:29


A major cause of a lack of friendship in marriage is couples focusing on p______________ c____________ in the dating relationship 


Ice cream sundae:


Bowl—i______________________ union 

Ice cream—e________________ union

Toppings—s________________ union

Whipped Cream—p______________ union after marriage


A key word to focus on:  C________________________


Why is companionship so important?


1.     Because it is u________________ for a married person to spend the         most enjoyable moments of their life in the company of someone else


2.     Because pursuing your own interests without your spouse         demonstrates s____________________


3.     Because this will lead to a f__________________ marriage


4.     Because shared experiences lead to shared f______________

        Ephes. 5:2; 5:26-28; 5:29-31


Part 3

Married, But Not Best Friends, pt. 2

Song of Solomon 5:16


The symbolism of Song of Solomon has to do w/ our relationship w/ Christ as His bride.


Now, marriage is the highest level of relationship created by God…so, friendship ought to reach it’s very zenith in the context of the marriage relationship. 


3 Key words:

1.     Companionship

Everybody wants not only someone to be married to but who will also be their FRIEND! 


Friends spend time together, want to be together [grow fonder, not go wander!], have fun together, and talk together.


They say that the family that prays together stays together, but just as true is this:  the family that plays together stays together!


How do you spend your leisure time?  Going in different directions is a recipe for disaster!


I ask couples during premarital counseling if they love each other, and then I ask if they LIKE each other.  There is a difference!


Why is companionship so important?

1.     Because it is unhealthy for a married person to spend the most enjoyable moments of their life in the company of someone else

2.     Because pursuing your own interests without your spouse demonstrates selfishness

3.     Because this will lead to a fulfilling marriage

4.     Because shared experiences lead to shared feelings


2nd key word: 

2.     Conversation


v. 16        Our text says “his mouth is most sweet”.  This isn’t suggesting he’s into bubble gum flavored lip balm!  She’s not talking about his physical mouth, and certainly not his breath. “Halitosis!” [to tune of Hallelujah Chorus…

        Rather, he’s sweet in what comes out of his mouth, his words!


Men, would your wife say that about you.  Think of your conversations just today, or just this week.


Typical scenario:  a couple starts to date, and it’s one looooong conversation all the time.  When together, they talk, when apart, on the phone, or writing letters.

Ill.—Kimberly and I would talk for 2 hours each Saturday when engaged but apart one summer!  And the time flew, and the egg timer would go off, or the operator would say to deposit quarters I didn’t have!

        “I don’t wanna hang up, you say goodbye first, ok, we’ll both just say bye and hang up.”   [gag]


Then they get married, and the “business” of being a couple, having an apartment, etc., and jobs starts to take over a lot of the conversation.  And then subjects come up like in laws, finances, kids, and oh, this seems different than our talks on the phone!


Soon he’s hiding behind a newspaper or staring at a tv screen saying “uhu” under his breath, and she says, “I miss our talks, I wanna talk.”  He says, “ok, about what?”  Well, if you don’t know, then just nevermind!”


Then she notices he can have good conversation w/ a friend on the phone or at church.

Ill.—one time Kimberly said of my best friend, “I guess I’ll just have to call Tom so I can see how your day went!”   “OK, dear….ummm, I mean, know, I’ll tell you!”


Resentment starts to setting in, and then some guy at work is willing to talk to her, and he not only talks to her, but listens to her, and he’s not looking at a tv, but into her eyes…he’s focused!  Whoa!


Where’s the next stop for that couple?  A bedroom!  And for the married couple?  Problem city, and divorce court!  And sadly, then the cheating couple gets married and it starts all over again…well, it doesn’t have to be that way!


What are some things close friends do?

·       They share themselves with each other. 

·       They confide in each other.

·       They learn more about each other.

·       They discuss their innermost thoughts, ideas, and goals with each other.


Close friends talk!


Proverbs 27:9

    Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel. [communication]


How many of you men just love it when your wife wears a certain perfume?  This verse says that as pleasant as that sense is for you, that’s how your wife feels when you really talk to her.


Typically, women have a greater need for conversation than men do.  It helps her feel united to and bonded w/ her man.  It helps her feel loved and cared for.


And when a man ignores her all day, acting like Archie Bunker, and then suddenly at 10 PM turns into Rudolf Valentino, it makes her feel cheap and used.


The goal of courtship is 2 fold:

·       To get to know each other better.

·       To convey how much we love each other.


Why should these goals be dropped after the wedding?


We have no problem talking during courtship.  But many of us are very goal driven and “conquer-oriented”, and after the wedding it’s like, “ok, mark that one off the list…she’s mine”.


Men, let’s set a new goal now that she married us…the new goal is not getting her, it’s keeping her!


Marriage counselors say couples not only need to talk…but they need to talk at least 1 hour per day!  “I can’t believe you just said that in front of my wife!”


But the average couple doesn’t talk 1/10th of that, and that’s adding up all the business and “survival” talk, which doesn’t even count!  We’re talking about just regular friendship talk.  “well, I told her I loved her once, and if I change my mind I’ll let her know!”


The TV is the main enemy in most homes, and 1 hour is nothin’ then. 


Why do couples stop talking?

·       Too busy with work—I know sometimes we’re held over or something comes up…but when that’s the rule rather than the exception, it begins to fill out the death certificate for your marriage. 

·       Different interests—covered that last week.

·       Selfishness—we develop other priorities we consider more important, but they’re not!

·       Fighting—some don’t cope well w/ problems, and their conversations often turn into fights, so they stop wanting to talk.


Enemies of good conversation:

·       Using words as punishment

Ephes. 4:29

    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

    Words can never be taken back.

“Boys flying kites call in their wide-winged birds,

but you cannot do the same with flying words.”


Never once have I regretted the mean words I held in when I was angry, but often I’ve regretted things I let fly!  Now, we should talk, but not until we can say it properly!


·       Using words to force agreement [w/ your way of thinking]

James 1:19

    Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:


Is anything more annoying than someone wanting to force their way upon you, and they are always right?  I’ve learned this even as a preacher.  I can’t force anybody to believe anything.  And some will agree outwardly just so you’ll shut up!  [Hey, don’t say amen to that!]


·       Dwelling on mistakes, past or present

Philip. 3:13

    Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before…


Some develop a critical spirit to the point that you feel you can’t do anything right…because they want to find a problem.


Some do this w/ the pastor.  They don’t like something, but they don’t talk about it, at least not w/ him, but they hold it in, and in time they develop a “closed spirit” toward him, and he can’t do anything right.  I mean, he could call down fire from heaven and they’d complain that the room was too hot!  I could hand some people a $20 bill and they’d scoff at why I didn’t make it 2 tens!


And in a marriage, if we hold things in, we can develop this closed off spirit that builds and builds until it final explodes like a volcano!


Joke—one man was so critcal of his wife, she couldn’t do anything right.  She said, “even a clock that is stopped is right once a day!”  He said, “actually dear, it’s twice!”


Friends of good conversation:

·       Undivided attention

1 Peter 3:8

    Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:


Often in my messages I say “look this way”.  Because it’s common courtesy to look at someone who is talking to you.  Sure, it’s possible to lisen w/out looking, but not as likely, and I want to know you’re listening!


We tell our kids to look at us when we’re talking to them, and our spouses deserve the same courtesy.

·       Giving a response

1 Peter 3:7

    Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife…


I’m gonna give away one of my secrets, and now my wife will know how I operate, but it’s that important I’m letting the cat out of the bag.


Learn to repeat back to your spouse what they just said.


Ie:  “so, what you’re saying is: ….”?

Am I hearing you right?  What you’re trying to tell me is…


Obviously, we’re talking about meaningful conversation, not just, “so, you’re saying hand me a tissue, right?”


But rather, “you’re saying you were hurt when I commented on your hair, ok, I’m sorry.”


Often when I do this, she says, “actually, no that’s not what I’m saying…”


So, it helps to clarify…but it also demonstrates, “I’m listening.”


Scenario:  wife only gets grunts from husband, so she storms out of the room mad.  And he says, “what’s the matter, I didn’t say anything!”



Just as important as what we say is what we don’t say.


Sometimes we just don’t want to talk about something, but maybe our spouse does.


·       Respecting their opinion

Again, I Pet. 3:7- “giving honor”.  Women’s intuition is not a myth…they have a sort of esp when it comes to moods, facial expressions, and body language. 

Ill.—my wife picks up on much that I miss, and is usually right!


·       Speaking in love and with kindness

Col. 4:6

    Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt…

Adjectives to avoid:  harsh, brash, unkind, cocky, arrogant, belittling, painful…these are all the opposite of our text, a mouth that is sweet.


·       Talking just to talk

We don’t have to have a reason, or big business going down.  It doesn’t have to be a desperate situation that has arisen.  Just talking for the sake of talking, maybe about nothing…or how about this, just for fun between friends!

Ill.—husband raises eyebrows and gets a gleam in his eye and says, “you wanna turn in early and go back to our room?”  Imagine her replying, “why, are we trying for another child?”


·       Positive praising

Proverbs 31:28

    Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.


Read Song of Solomon:  before he ever touches his new bride, he praises her many times over.  [7 times]


3 Benefits of conversing:

·       Clearer understanding of each other

·       Learn how to meet each other’s needs

·       Become best friends!




Married, But Not Best Friends, pt. 2

Song of Solomon 5:16


1.     Companionship


        The family that p________ together stays together!


2.     C______________________  v. 16         


        Things close friends do


·                   They s________ themselves with each other. 

·                   They c____________ in each other.

·                   They l________ more about each other.

·                   They d____________ their innermost thoughts, ideas, and goals         with each other.  Proverbs 27:9


        The goal of courtship:


·                   To get to k______ each other better.

·                   To c__________ how much we love each other.


        Why do couples stop talking?


·                   Too busy with w______ 

·                   Different i________________

·                   S____________________

·                   F______________


        Enemies of good conversation:


·                   Using words as p__________________  Ephes. 4:29

·                   Using words to f________ agreement James 1:19

·                   Dwelling on m______________ Philip. 3:13


    Friends of good conversation:


·                   U________________ attention  1 Peter 3:8

·                   Giving a r______________  1 Peter 3:7

·                   Respecting their o____________  I Pet. 3:7

·                   Speaking in love and with k______________  Col. 4:6

·                   Talking j______ to talk

·                   Positive p______________  Proverbs 31:28


    3 Benefits of conversing:


·                   C____________ understanding of each other

·                   Learn how to m______ each other’s n________

·                   Become b______ f____________!



Married, But Not Best Friends, Pt. 3

Song of Solomon 5:16



3 Key Words to unlocking the door of marital friendship:


·       Companionship—time together.  New info:  wives—share in your husband’s work…he finds much of his identity in his job

·       Conversation—talking together.  Women need more of this, so men have to grow in this area.


3rd word tonite:

·       Commitment—trying together.  We talk much about this, and often, because it’s so important, and so lacking.


For our friendship to continue and grow, there must be a mutual respect for each other.  This is true for any friendship.


I’ve done my share of marriage counseling, and often when I see troubled relationships, I see people who don’t respect each other.  And just the opposite is true in strong marriages—they have a very high degree of respect for each other.


There’s things I can do to lose the respect of my wife, and there’s things I can do to gain respect…and the same is true in reverse.


There’s many symptoms of lack of respect, but a very common one is “name calling.”  The names hurt, but they’re not the real problem…the real problem is the lack of respect which led to it.


Ill.—TV has us programmed to call names [Everybody Loves Raymond—“idiot”]. 


I worked 6 years for Steve Proctor, and made some fine mistakes during that time.  He probably wanted to strangle me at times, but didn’t because I was pretty quick back then!   J  Seriously, I could get him mad for sure, but never once did he lower himself to call me a name.  Know why?  Because he always maintained a basic respect for me, seeing the potential even in the midst of a problem.  Working hand in hand, spending hours together all the time, I could get pretty frustrated w/ him, but I never resorted to calling him names.  Know why?  Yeah, I wanted to keep my job!  But more so because of my respect for his position.


Your spouse should have a position of respect in your mind.  They’re your only spouse…right?  And no matter what happens, their position should affect our disposition.


I have never once called my wife a name…[that I didn’t come to regret it!]


6 areas of commitment that will help build mutual respect:


[All the verses we’ll look at deal w/ friendship in marriage.  And true friends will have commitment to these 6 things.]


1.     Commitment to sacrifice

John 15:13

    Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.


Think about this:  if a true friend is known by being willing to lay down their life for someone they love, shouldn’t they be willing to sacrifice their time for them?  A hobby?  Compromise on a disagreement? 


“When Time is no Longer”--By Jack Hyles

When I give you my time, I am giving you my life, for time is life. If one takes the life of another, actually he takes only time from him. Murder is simply taking from a person the amount of time that he would have lived anyway. So in a real sense, when I give to you my time, I am giving to you my life, for time is life.


How much more could I honor you than to give you my time? How much more could you honor me than to give me your time? My time with you is an investment. Your time with me is an investment. Let us care for each other's investment wisely.


If I spend some time with you, I am giving you a gift that can be given only to YOU! The moment that I give to you I will never have again. Once it is given, it can never be given to another. Such a realization should cause us to appreciate moments spent as friends, for a moment given to me by a friend is not only his giving to me of his life, but also something which he can give to no other person and which can never be given again.


For you to give me a moment, or for me to give you a moment, is to exchange the only moment that we actually know we have. We are only promised the present. When we share the present with each other, we are giving to each other the only moment that we have for sure. There may never be another.


The giving of a moment to a friend is a greater gift than Heaven can give. If I spend a moment with you in Heaven, it will not be subtracted from time, for there is no time there. In Heaven I will not be giving you my life, for life is eternal there. Here is an earthly gift that I may give you that I cannot give you in Heaven, for to spend a moment there is not a sacrifice. May I then never take lightly the time you give to me, and may you never take lightly the time I give to you.


We should be willing to make sacrifices mutually for one another.


Joke—old married couple, really up in years, got out of car, he opened door for her, she took his arm, they walked slowly into McD’s, she sat, he went up to the counter, got 1 hamburger, 1 order of fries, small coke, walked over and sat down, cut burger in half, gave her half, counted out fries and gave her half, then he started eating his half as she just watched, never taking a bite of her half.  A man, watching, said, ‘this is the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen…can I just buy you another meal, my treat?  You shouldn’t have to share.’  ‘Oh, we share everything’, they replied.  He continued eating, she just sat there.  Man came back and said, I’m gonna have to go soon, just wondering why you haven’t started eating ma’am.  She said, ‘Don’t worry, I will, we share everything.’  Ok.  5 more minutes went by…the man nervously glanced from his watch to the lady…finally he burst out, ‘what are you waiting for?’  ‘The teeth!’

[We share everything!]


1.     Commitment to sacrifice…


2.     Commitment to closeness

This doesn’t happen by accident…only on purpose! 

Proverbs 18:24

    A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.


Apart from my Savior, I have no closer friend than my spouse.  But I hear wives say ‘he’s closer to his mom than to me’.  [buddies / coworkers]  Or,

‘she’s closer to her girlfriends than to me’.  ‘She tells them things she doesn’t tell me.’  ‘She cares more about our children than she does me.’


Remember, of no other relationship does God say, ‘they two shall be one flesh.’  Children suffer when mom and dad aren’t right w/ each other.  The best thing we can do for our kids is to nurture our marriages!


How close are you to your spouse?  Rate it on a 1 to 10 scale.  Amazing indeed is how many guys say ‘8’ and their wife says ‘2’.  The only way to do it is on purpose.  Left alone w/out a goal, married people drift apart.


Marriages don’t fall apart, they drift apart.


DEAR ABBY: I am a 42-year-old man with three wonderful children. They are all grown and in their 20s. (Yes, we had them young.) I have been married for 23 years and things have been good between my wife and me.

About a year ago, my wife -- who is an accountant -- decided she wanted to try real estate. She took a class, got her license, and now sells real estate part time. She's doing so well at it that she plans on quitting her accounting job soon and concentrating on real estate full time.


My problem is I have been having empty nest syndrome, and now my wife is working every weekend. On week nights, I sit and watch TV by myself while she works away on her computer. On the weekends I try to keep busy doing jobs around the house and cleaning, but I'm bored, lonely and depressed. I have mentioned this to my wife; she says I should find a hobby.


Abby, I don't want a hobby. I want to be with my wife. She absolutely loves her new job and talks about it constantly. I don't want to ask her to quit her job, because she would resent me for it. (And no, I don't want to sell real estate with her.) Any suggestions?



We must stay on guard not to allow this to happen to us!


1.     Commitment to sacrifice…

2.     Commitment to closeness…


3.     Commitment to honesty

Proverbs 27:6

    Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.


What a powerful and great verse!  Some people sugar coat everything, and gloss over the truth.  They say what you want to hear, not what you need to hear.  A friend will tell you the truth, even when the truth hurts.  Speaking it in love helps.  Many pulpits are saying what people want to hear, rather than what they need to hear!


Friends are always honest, even when it may not be easy, comfortable, or pleasant.  Nothing will undermine respect in a marriage like dishonesty.  Openness and honesty are such important qualities in a marriage.  If your spouse discovers they can’t trust you to tell the truth, they will not respect you, period.  It’s so disappointing to find out someone has lied to you.


3 types of liars:

·       Born liar—like Lucille Ball, habitually lying about everything—the money, the kids, dinner, new clothes…and Ricky doesn’t respect her because of it.  It seems funny or cute on TV, but not in real life!  A compulsive liar has formed a habit of constantly deceiving, almost a subconscious power trip of holding the truth away from others.  They lie when it serves a purpose, and even when it doesn’t. 

Joke—Principal tries reverse psychology on little Johnny, who claims he shot 10 twelve point bucks while hunting.  Principal thinks to himself, ‘I’ll show him how dumb he looks when he lies’.  He said, ‘I was walking thru the woods the other day and a little Chihuahua started following me, then a bear jumped out at me, but the dog attacked and killed it, do you believe that?!’  ‘Sure I do, he’s my dog, and that was his 3rd bear this week!’   [Now that’s a liar!]


It’s easy to spot a born liar, during the dating process.  But some say, I’ll change him after we’re married.  Nope!  You need to drop him like a hot rock.  Dishonesty will torment your marriage!


·       Band-aid liar—lies to try to fix situations or get out of trouble, when the pressure is on. 

Ill.—Wife calls up the stairs:  ‘Honey, did you remember to set up babysitting like you said you would?’  She can’t see the look of horror on his face, and then he replies calmly, sure did!  Then he thinks to himself, ‘I gotta remember to do that!’  [that was a close one!]


·       Protector-liar—ie. lying about finances saying, I don’t want my spouse to have that kind of pressure.  Some people can’t bear to let their spouse know the hard truth.  I’ve known of spouses who don’t know there’s a problem until the police come to enforce their eviction notice!  We hide behind the fact that we don’t want to hurt them, but it hurts even worse when they realize you have not been honest!


We’re getting pretty practical about commitment, and how to earn and keep respect:

1.     Commitment to sacrifice…

2.     Commitment to closeness…

3.     Commitment to honesty…



3 more commitments next week…

Part 4

Married, But Not Best Friends, Pt. 3

Song of Solomon 5:16



·       Companionship—time together 

·       Conversation—talking together 

·       Commitment—t__________ together 


        For our friendship to continue and grow, there must be a         m__________ r____________ for each other. 


Areas of commitment that will help build mutual respect:


1.     Commitment to s________________   John 15:13


2.     Commitment to c________________


        This doesn’t happen by a______________   Proverbs 18:24


        Marriages don’t fall apart, they d________ apart


3.     Commitment to h______________ Proverbs 27:6


        3 types of liars:


·             B______


·             B______-a____ liar 


·             P________________-liar


3 more commitments next week…


Married, But Not Best Friends, Pt. 4

Song of Solomon 5:16



3 Key Words to unlocking the door of marital friendship:


·       Companionship—time together

·       Conversation—talking together

·       Commitment—trying together

For our friendship to continue and grow, there must be a mutual respect for each other.  This is true for any friendship.


6 areas of commitment that will help build mutual respect:


1.     Commitment to sacrifice

2.     Commitment to closeness

3.     Commitment to honesty


Now the last 3 areas…


4.     Commitment to prayer

1 Peter 3:7

    Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.


“Weaker” doesn’t mean inferior.  Many of us married way above our heads.  It generally means “more delicate.”  [there are a few exceptions in pro wrestling today!]  It doesn’t mean less valuable.  A vas is more valuable than a vase, but also much more delicate.  Same with silk as opposed to denim. 


“prayers be not hindered”  --  Peter here just assumes that husbands and wives are praying together.  But sadly, in many homes that’s not the case.  But praying together brings a spiritual bond…it takes your marriage to the next level.


We should pray together as well as separately…for our children and grandchildren.  The temptation is great today for them, and they need our support! 


Ill.—trying to raise kids today w/out prayer is like trying to cut down a tree w/ a chainsaw that’s not running!


Ill.—Missionary D.E. Host took the place in China of J. Hudson Taylor.  He was working w/ 2 villages.  He spent most of his time in one village where he preached and worked and counseled with them.  The other he only made it to once in a great while.  But it was thriving spiritually, and the other was not.  He couldn’t figure it out.  He asked God why…and the Lord revealed it to him that since he couldn’t be in both places he was simply praying mostly for the remote one, while working hard at this one.  Basically, the one village was under his power and the other under God’s!          Prayer is work and we must labor in it!


Prayer can do more in a moment than we can do in a lifetime.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t work w/ our kids and spend time w/ them…but it’s all in vain if we’re not bathing it all in prayer.


Psalm 127:1

    Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.


We should also be praying about our finances and major purchases / decisions…not just running headlong into all our plans.


We have no right to make big decisions w/out consulting our spouse, and we should, together, ask the Lord about it all as well.


Commitment to prayer…

5.     Commitment to a good spirit

Job 32:3

    Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.


They just knew he MUST have done something wrong.  Some people reside in this camp…the “fault vault.”  They play the blame game.  These were Job’s “friends.”  But a true friend doesn’t turn against you…they stick w/ you even when you ARE wrong.  People will turn against us at times, but we should always have our best friend at home that’s always on our team / our side, and keeps a good positive spirit…working together, attacking the problems, not the person closest by to take aim at!


We’ve focused a lot on men in this series.  Now it’s the ladies’ turn.


Ladies:  in case you haven’t noticed, men have big egos! 


Men thrive on their woman’s admiration.  Women need attention, men need admiration.  Women need love, men need respect.  Women want leadership, and men want a following!


How do you show your man admiration?  By the way you treat him.  We’re not talking about bowing down and kissing his feet…that will go to his head and he won’t be a very “fungi” to be with!


But many women make their man feel inferior, and put him in a conveniently low place where she likes to keep him.  A critical spirit makes him feel like he can’t do anything right…his courage and confidence wane as she makes him feel like a little boy.  Some ladies think this will be motivational, and then are shocked when he finds someone else who makes him feel like a man / important.


Your husband needs your praise and admiration.  He needs to know that when there’s no one else in the world rooting for him…that you are!


Ill.—youth activity / leader announces a game and the guys say it’s dumb / then they say the girls get into it and they rise to an all new level!  It even happens in our adulthood.  I can bench press more when my wife is watching…I start actually adding weights ONTO the bar!


People leave in a rush after church on Sunday mornings.  And maybe no one tells me that was a good sermon, but if I go home and my wife says it, then that’s all that matters…so I just follow her around and hint until she says it!


Unless they were raised by a father who really praised and reinforced them…most men have a very fragile self image.  You’ll accomplish much more change in your man by praise than by criticism / nagging.


It’s amazing how often you hear of a guy having an affair w/ someone who is far less attractive than their wife.  Why is this?  I mean, he falls for someone who doesn’t compare…she could make a freight train take a dirt road!  Why?  The lady is left scratching her head saying, “what does she have that I don’t?”


You want to dramatically reduce the likelihood of your husband ever having an affair?  Here’s a Bible perspective for you:


“Strange woman” in Proverbs doesn’t mean “weird.”  It’s “the temptress.”


Proverbs 2:16

    To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;


She tempts not w/ her body, but w/ her words.  She tells him how funny he is, how strong, how smart…and he turns to butter…he’s tied around her little finger.


Proverbs 5:3-5

    For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: [4] But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. [5] Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.


Proverbs 7:21

    With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.


Proverbs 7:4

    Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:


Why do we need wisdom?  To keep us from the strange woman!


Ladies:  want to keep him at home and keep the fire burning?  Build him up…you’re his help meet!  Let him know he’s your hero.  Every man wants to be somebody’s hero…he might as well be yours instead of someone else’s!


3 Ways to Never Change Your Husband:

·       Nagging—it usually makes it worse.

·       Criticizing—esp. in front of others…this erodes his confidence.  Criticism makes men defensive…you’ll catch more flies w/ honey!

·       Physical punishment—that’s right…maybe not fists or rolling pins, but by withholding marital relations…using sex as a weapon.

1 Cor. 7:3-5

    Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. [4] The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. [5] Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.


You’re inviting an affair!


How will husbands respond when these 3 weapons are pulled on them?

·       Some clam up—don’t want to be around you…so they look for things to do away from home.

·       Some blow up—react in violence to let off the steam that has built up.

·       Some give up—60% of marriages today prove this!


What can you do, ladies?

Pray for him.  Don’t take it all into your own hands…realize God can do more for him in a moment than you could do in your lifetime!

Praise him.

1 Peter 3:1-4

    Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; [2] While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. [3] Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; [4] But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.


Commitment to prayer, and a good spirit…

6.     Commitment to unconditional love

“It’s not love that sustains your commitment…it’s commitment that sustains your love”

        Contrary to what Hollywood says…love is not a feeling, it’s a commitment, a promise, a job!

Married, But Not Best Friends, Pt. 4

Song of Solomon 5:16


·                   Companionship—time together

·                   Conversation—talking together

·                   Commitment—trying together


        For our friendship to continue and grow, there must be a mutual respect         for each other. 


6 areas of commitment that will help build mutual respect:


1.     Commitment to sacrifice

2.     Commitment to closeness

3.     Commitment to honesty


4.     Commitment to p__________   1 Peter 3:7, Psalm 127:1


5.     Commitment to a g______ s__________   Job 32:3, Proverbs 2:16;         5:3-5; 7:21; 7:4


        3 Ways to Never Change Your Husband:


·                   N____________

·                   C____________________

·                   P______________ punishment  1 Cor. 7:3-5


        How will husbands respond?


·                   Some c______ up

·                   Some b______ up

·                   Some g______ up   1 Peter 3:1-4


6.     Commitment to u________________________ love


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