Life is one series of choices after the next. We all have within ourselves the free will to make choices that are good for what we want out of life and we have the free will to make choices that can hurt what we want out of life.
If we determine that we want our marriage to be one of partnership and to be the best it can be, we have to make the choices that will help that to happen. And when it comes to how we handle our friendships, the same “rule” applies.
“Each of us has a choice to make in terms of what we expect out of our friendships with others. You see, some may be content with just hanging out with the boys after a game. It’s fine just throwing the ball around, getting dirty, having some laughs, and then going home. For many that’s enough; that’s what friendship is. But if you want something more for your life, you have to go after it. You need to find people who are looking for the same.” (Dave Currie with Glen Hoos)
It’s true what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:33:
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning: for there are some who are ignorant of God —I say this to your shame.”
You can’t play with “fire” in going places and doing things with friends that can hurt your marriage and not expect for it to “burn” your marriage so it is severely damaged. If you have friendships that hurt your marriage, then you need to pull back from them, as difficult as that may seem. It’s the same principle as “cutting off the hand that causes you to sin.” One is a temporary hurt, and yet it eventually leads to a better end; and one leads to having you continually hurt your marriage which can cause it to break under the pressure.
Years ago I had a friend that enjoyed smoking. And that was fine for that friend. But when she kept trying to get me to smoke, and I determined in my mind that I didn’t want to end up a smoker, I had a choice to make. I could either keep up my friendship with this person and eventually become a smoker (because she wouldn’t stop pushing the cigarettes at me and I knew I would eventually give in to appease her) or I would cut off our friendship and find another friend.
As difficult as it was to cut off the friendship, I’m now glad I made that choice (especially as I see other friends who are struggling to try to quit smoking).
I realize this circumstance is different than the ones you are facing. But the issue is the same. If a friend is tempting us to go in a direction we shouldn’t, and we aren’t strong enough to do the right thing, isn’t it better to end the friendship rather than doing what we shouldn’t?
If you have a friendship that is hurting your marriage, you have a choice to make. Is this friendship more important to you than your spouse and is the vow you made when you married less important than your friendship, or what?
Sometimes we have friendships that are good for us “for a season” but then it’s time to move on from there because they just aren’t working anymore. A friendship is different than a marriage. With a marriage, you entered into covenant with your spouse and also with God. To leave that marriage for the sake of an outside friendship (no matter how strong the friendship bond was at one time), you are breaking a solemn vow. You need to realize that.
To help you further with this dilemma, we would like for you to read an article written by Dr Dave Currie and Glen Hoos. To do so, click onto the link below:
If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
Filed under: For Married Men