Grandma, are you married?”
My mom turned around to see my curious son in the backseat, waiting for her response. She smiled as she explained, “Yes, I’m married to grandpa!” Then we both chimed in on the way things work as far as grandma and grandma having me and then how I married dad and we had him. Then my mom encouraged my son by saying,
One day when you grow up you can marry your best friend! Grandpa is my best friend and I am his best friend.”
My son replied, “Grandma, you’re my best friend too!”
I love seeing my son’s heart and witnessing his understanding grow. The message my mom shared with my son was a powerful one and one that I also heard growing up.
Marry your best friend.
I remember when Aaron (my husband) and I were just friends…but we were best friends. I had a feeling and a hope that we would get married, because we were best friends. It seemed like we were inseparable and we were okay with that. Once we started officially dating, we couldn’t wait to be married.
Looking back on my wedding day, the joy that filled my heart and motivated me to walk down the aisle of the church to marry Aaron, I can confidently say was from knowing he was and is my best friend.
However, soon after marrying him, things started to change as we transitioned from two single lives into one. Friction was inevitable. Living with someone that you are still spending time getting to know is not an easy thing. It’s quite an adventure, but it’s not always easy. Then with other conflict that we were confronted by, my heart started to change, as well as the way I treated my husband.
I had expectations of marriage that were not being fulfilled. The devastation of the conflict we faced deterred me. I stopped seeing my husband as my best friend and started treating him like he was my enemy. Once I saw him as an enemy, anything he didn’t do right or when he failed to meet an expectation of mine became evidence mounting against him, supporting that he was an enemy.
Believing my husband was my enemy added fuel to our conflicts.
I didn’t trust him, I didn’t show him respect, I didn’t care about him the way I would a best friend. I had no interest in companionship or doing things with him. In fact, I just wanted to go back home and live with my parents. I barricaded my heart as if I had to protect it from him, instead of willingly share it with him. Intimacy was halted and our marriage began to crumble.
I was believing a lie that my husband was my enemy.
The truth is that there is a real enemy…his name is satan and until I accepted that and committed in my heart to fighting against satan instead of my husband, our marriage could not be strengthened.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. – Ephesians 6:11-13
I found the only way to do this was to trust God, let go of my expectations, and trust my husband. I had to let down the walls in my heart and give my husband access to have an intimate relationship with me. Strength and trust was built in our marriage the more time we spent emotionally and physically connecting, increasing our faith by reading God’s Word and praying together, mentally reminding myself reasons why my husband is not my enemy and why he is my best friend, and resisting the real enemy and his temptations to sin.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:7
I experienced healing in my marriage. I also experienced revival in believing again that my husband is my best friend and that we do like doing things together. My heart softened and I began caring for him and respecting him as I should.
The real enemy will do everything in his power to pit a husband and wife against each other. He will lure with temptation, he will stir up conflict, he will oppress as much as he possibly can. He hates marriage simply because of how much God loves marriage. His mission is to destroy marriages one by one, millions by millions.
Don’t let the enemy ruin your marriage.
It is time that we as wives stop viewing our husbands as the enemy and start fortifying our marriages. Instead of building up an impenetrable wall around our hearts, we must build it around our marriages.
Be willing to fight with your husband against the true enemy instead of fighting against your husband.
Your husband is not the enemy.
My husband is not the enemy.
Satan is the enemy and he will persist his attacks. Know your battle and fight it in faith.
**This article originally appeared on UnveiledWife.com.
About the Author: By God’s grace, Jennifer Smith began a web-based ministry for wives in March 2011. She publishes weekly marriage articles on her personal blog, UnveiledWife.com, including encouragements, devotions, and prayers of the day, all geared towards empowering and encouraging wives daily. Social media is a large part of Jennifer’s ministry for Unveiled Wife via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, where she serves a community of over 700,000 wives. Jennifer has served in ministry alongside her husband, traveling as missionaries to Zambia, Malawi, Canada, and Nicaragua. Jennifer is devoted to encouraging wives all around the world to develop Christ-centered marriages.