DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

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The Hallmark Of Authentic Friendship
 

[Lesson for Marrieds] Friendship is the foundation for romance, and romance is the key to a great marriage. We all got married with a dream for a special friendship and glorious union. The reason each couple got married was because the two were friends. However, while sometimes we fight for the friendship, at other times we give up.

Quote: "A friend is one who, in tough times sees you through while others see that you are through."

I. FRIENDSHIP

How to keep the relationship special and maintain the friendship:

Deuteronomy 13:6
If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known,

The above passage introduces the scenario where "your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, 'Let us go and worship other gods' (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known".

In friendship we should, as husband and wife, be able to influence each other.

The following kill the friendship and feelings:

1. FALSE EXPECTATIONS : We get disillusioned when our spouse is not totally everything we had previously thought or expected.

2. VARIOUS ADJUSTMENTS WE ENCOUNTER : These adjustments sometimes take us by surprise. We get tired of initiating in the friendship and so we withdraw.

3. EYES OPEN TO THE REAL PERSON : We see the real person in our spouse and not the one we courted. That requires commitment to your spouse for who they are.

Q: Have you lost your commitment to your spouse?

4. RAPIDLY EMERGING DIFFERENCES IN YOUR PERSONALITIES:

Q: Do you look down on your spouse due to the differences in your personalities?

II. DURABILITY

Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

True friends do not victimize each other.
* How do you respond when your spouse is disrespectful?
* Do you love at all times or only when things are going the way you want?
* Are you more excited when visitors come home than when your spouse comes home?

3. ADHESION

(Sticking Together)

Proverbs 18:24
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Sticking together means bonding intimately.
* Are the two of you united even in awkward situations?
* Are you and your spouse one? Do you budget together? Do you voluntarily share with your spouse your thoughts and the events of the day?
* Q. Do you make a point of being encouraging or do you instead make belittling comments?

4. THE WAY TO BUILD A GREAT MARRIAGE

1. LOOK EACH OTHER IN THE EYES :

Exodus 33:11
The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.

As friends, God and Joshua spoke face-to-face.

Q: Do you and your spouse speak face-to-face?

The eyes project emotion and mood. They are a mirror of the soul. You cannot communicate with your spouse if you are not used to looking them in the eyes. You will not know how your partner is feeling without looking them in the eyes.

2. COMMUNICATE WITH HONESTY :

Proverbs 27:6
Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

It is not effective to beat around the bush. Say things honestly and sincerely. Honesty is not a license for cruelty. Speak the truth with grace and kindness.

3. CULTIVATE OBJECTIVITY :

Proverbs 27:19
As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.

Your partner helps you know yourself because your partner sees the real you. So listen to your spouse and let your spouse help you with your character. When you are not objective about things you take things personally and then end up arguing a lot.

4. PROMOTE GROWTH :

Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

As a friend, seek to understand your spouse when the two of you disagree rather than attempt to enforce your will and preferences.

5. DISCLOSE YOUR MOST PRIVATE THOUGHTS :

John 15:15
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Your spouse cannot be with you on issues if you do not share your most personal thoughts and ideas.

6. SET ASIDE YOUR OWN COMFORTS : You must set aside you own comforts, e.g. doing only what you want as you want when you want regardless of your spouse's preference. Anything short of this is selfishness.

7. GIVE FULL SUPPORT :

Job 2:9
His wife said to him, 'Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!'

Job's wife was clearly not supportive of him. Oftentimes, rather than give support we develop bad attitudes over the little things. Learn to be supportive of and helpful of your spouse's ideas and projects.