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Who Serve Each Other

We can get so busy tag-teaming life that we lose sight of our need for friendship.

I wrote these words earlier this week. Part of a post that is part of a series, that sentence just dug deep into my mind and heart.  I was writing to encourage others. And yet, my words became the Spirit’s whisper of conviction in my own soul. We’ve got a teenager and jobs and church and family and commitments . . . the list goes on.

I scrolled through my Instagram feed which is often the diary of my days. Images of Scriptures read, ball games watched, books read, people seen, words written. Good stuff, all of it. The moments of life, real life lived and enjoyed. But it’s been two weeks since I posted an image of this man who has pledged his troth to me. Fourteen days since I made note of time spent with him and the joy it brings.

My head said, “Pictures don’t matter. You know how important your marriage is.” And I nodded because it’s true. This covenant relationship is the one I treasure most outside my eternal one with Christ. But a kernel of truth still niggled inside . . .

January was busy to be sure. Busy in the way of being gone four or five nights a week to watch our girl cheer and other nights filled with church activities and worship and Bible study. And it was good stuff, important stuff, valuable stuff that inked our family calendar hanging by the fridge.

But good often masks the missing best.

And time together is good. We drove to ball games and we sat side-by-side in a different gym every night and we held hands during prayer at church and we kissed as we headed our separate ways every day and then again as we laid down together each night.

We can get so busy tag-teaming life that we lose sight of our need for friendship.

Tag-teaming life. That’s what we were doing. It was a matter of necessity. More to do than time to do it. His and hers “to do” lists for each day. Somehow in the middle of all the “life-ing,” a distance grew between our hearts. We weren’t headed for divorce. There was no big blow up or argument. There was just a space where our friendship used to be.

And God whispered, “You need him, his friendship.” And I knew He was right. Our friendship is the best part of marriage.

Marriage is more than a team accomplishing the tasks of modern life. Marriage is more than two people headed the same direction. Marriage is this mysterious and beautiful picture of Christ and the Church. It is this amazing and inexplicable searing of two hearts and minds into one flesh. And at its best, marriage is a connection between two people who daily serve each other as they surrender to Christ.

That whisper to my soul, that niggling in my heart, pointed me to the gift of a friendship I cannot replace — a man who has pledged his whole self to me and who has accepted my whole self as his own. When I’m hormonal and feeling ugly, this man looks at me and says I’m the only standard for beauty in his world. When I’m wondering if anything I do that matters, this man tells me how much I matter to him. When I’m tired and cranky, this man offers me a nap and good coffee and chocolate. When I feel alone and insignificant, this man points me back to the truth of who I am in Christ.

Of all the things marriage is, for me it is most of all a deep friendship. And when I let that slip away, even just a bit, God gently and lovingly reminds me. And so, this month of love, headed toward Valentine’s Day, I celebrate not just my lover . . . but my friend.

What are some ways you invest in growing the friendship between you and your husband?

Teri Lynne Underwood

Word lover and idea slinger, Teri Lynne is a worship pastor's wife and mom to a vibrant 16-year-old daughter. She offers encouragement for busy women and girl moms. Teri Lynne is the founder of Prayers for Girls, a online community for mothers of daughters, and author of "Praying for Girls: Asking God for the Things They Need Most" which will be released Fall 2017 by Bethany House.

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