Every Tuesday we engage in one big question, topic or idea. You are invited to write in with a suggestion you want to share. I surely do not have all the answers but know that together we can generate some great conversation and have fun in the process. (Feel free to post your topics, questions, and your great thoughts in the comments below!) Together, we will stay informed and equipped about topics that matter!

Today’s Blog Contributor: 

Teresa Bates

Teresa headshot 1Teresa was born in Vancouver, WA and has lived in the Pacific Northwest all her life.  Growing up with sisters who were eight and ten years older than her it was as if she had three moms.  She always considered herself fortunate to be so loved. Raised in the church, she came to faith in Christ when she was 12 years old at a church summer camp. As a graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in vocal performance, she is a worshipper at heart. Teresa has been married to her college sweetheart, Josh, for 23 years, is active in women’s ministries at her church, and has been leading women’s Bible studies for the past seven years. She works at Northwest Ministry Network as the Credentialing and Pastoral Care assistant, serves on their Women’s Ministries Leadership Team, and writes for the Her Voice blog. She recently wrote a Bible study, Ignite – Fueling God’s Passion within You, and is in the process of getting it published.  Look for it online and in stores soon.  Her passion is to teach, coach and mentor women, equipping them to live Spirit-empowered lives. Teresa’s claim to fame is being the mom of her two children, Sydney (18) and Aaron (14).  She currently lives in Renton, Washington but often daydreams about living in Hawaii.

 

Friendship In Marriage

Philea loveIs it possible to become best friends with your husband? The Bible clearly answers this question in Titus 2:4 by “urging women to love their husbands.” Most of us know we’re supposed to love our husbands, but how does loving them make them our best friend?

To understand this mandate, we have to understand what type of love the Bible is describing in Titus 2:4. You see, the Bible has four different words for love- agape (divine love), philia (brotherly love or friendship), storge (family love) and eros (romantic love). When Paul wrote this letter to Titus it was to a pagan culture, meaning Christian homes were quite rare. Wives had the sole responsibility of the home and children. Working outside the home was not an option. Most marriages were arranged so there was very little emotional connection between the husband and wife. Therefore, being lovers and friends needed to be taught.

I wonder how many marriages today are suffering because wives struggle to be lovers and friends with their husbands. As Christ followers, we’ve all been called to agape. I guess the obvious answer is to agape them. We should agape everyone, according to John 14:21. Agape is an action, not a feeling. So, there are times when we agape because it’s the right thing to do. It has nothing to do with our feelings. But what happens when the agape becomes dutiful, obedient and unemotional?

We are emotional beings, and as women we have strong emotions. We want more than agape in our marriages, we want the passion. How do we experience the love that we feel, the eros? The key to a flourishing marriage is to cultivate a philia love (friendship) with our husbands, as mandated in Titus 2:4. The emotional love that we feel starts with philia. You see, once we are invested on an emotional level and become friends with our husband, the marriage will thrive and it will lead to eros. Agape is never used in the Bible to describe eros because emotional love can’t be commanded. We can’t make someone feel a certain way. We can command them to do something but not feel something. Genuine, Biblical, marital eros is emotional intimacy in the highest degree. Remember, God calls all of us to agape, but the emotional philia love of friendship and intimacy can’t be commanded, it must be learned. We need to learn to philia our husbands with respect and admiration. We need to learn to encourage them, to build them up and to surprise them with our affections. Marriage is a commitment that goes beyond feelings to devotion and friendship that is deep and satisfying. So, is it possible to become best friends with your husband? Yes! In fact, the best way to have a strong marriage is to practice philia love. In other words, make him your BFF.

 


We would love to hear your thoughts on “Friendship in Marriage”, please don’t hesitate to share your stories or comments below.

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