Jan 142015 7 Responses

Three People You Should Marry

I know I’m one person. I have one mind, one heart, one soul, and one body. But if you were to interview a good cross-section of the people I interact with on a regular basis, you would likely get a variety of descriptions.

Some, having watched me on stage, would describe me as extremely extroverted, even while those who know me best would tell you I am an introvert. Some would say I’m cold and nearly emotionless while others would say I’m a sap who has a difficult time not caving to people’s demands. Some would say I’m a strong leader with clear vision while others would say I might be many things, but leader is not one of them.

Ask a hundred people to describe me and you would likely get four or five major descriptions with a multitude of minor variances.

I’m one person, but I’m many people—husband, father, son, brother, pastor, writer, friend, opponent, citizen, etc.

Whenever we marry someone, we are marrying one person, but they are also many people. They have a variety of roles to fill and we only see them in a select number of those roles.

Yet even within the dynamics of marriage, a person is not one person. They are three. While one might be stronger in one area than the other, all three are vital to creating a healthy marriage and being a good partner.

When choosing a partner (or considering what kind of spouse you want to be), a person should marry these three people:

Friend. At the foundation of any good marriage is deep friendship. By no means should a spouse be your only friend, but they should be your best friend. Over the course of a marriage, spouses will spend a tremendous amount of time together and should enjoy being in the presence of one another. Deep levels of trust, admiration, and respect should define every marriage.

Many marriages struggle because they begin as a friendship, but they do not continue to develop the friendship through the marriage. They assume it will happen naturally when no friendship naturally occurs. It takes intention and effort. Others make a grand mistake when they do not see friendship as an important aspect of whom to marry. Saying you wouldn’t want to ruin the friendship is ignorance of the true nature of marriage. Marry a friend and then work your whole life to build the friendship.

Partner. Marriage is a business decision. Many people live in the denial of this reality but it is true. Those that doubt the business side of marriage get a rude awakening if the marriage fails and they end up in divorce court. In ages past, marriage was often seen as nothing more than a business decision. Kings expanded their territory, made alliances, and played political games through marriage. (See: Marry a Partner, Not a Child)

Marriage should never be only a business decision, but business must be seen as a component. While some couples work closely together and others completely separate work from home life, no one should foolishly ignore that every spouse is a business partner—they influence your credit score, determine how you spend money, and own half of everything you own. One should never marry for business, but one should always keep business in mind. A good spouse is also a good business partner. They may not know the details of the business, but they know you well enough to point out blind spots and encourage strengths. (See: This Is Who You Want to Marry)

Lover. The major difference between friendship and marriage is the element of sexuality. While every marriage should include friendship, only one friendship should include sexual intimacy. That is marriage.

This aspect of marriage should neither be elevated as the most important part of marriage nor should it be diminished into a secondary role within the marital relationship. Sex is not the only thing, but it is an important thing for the marital covenant. While most relationships start strong in the area of sexuality—it’s often a driving factor for marriage—many couples falsely assume this aspect of marriage should develop naturally with little effort. It’s a dangerous assumption. A strong sexual connection takes time, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and a lot of trial and error. (See: What Your Husband Wants From You in Bed)

These three roles play an equal part in a healthy marriage. When one area suffers, the whole marriage suffers.

Forward this to your spouse and thank them for whatever is their strongest area. Ask them what is the area they would most like you to improve.

7 Responses to Three People You Should Marry
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  3. […] This is the best place for marriage to form. Every healthy marriage is built on friendship. If two p... kevinathompson.com/how-marriage-changes-friendships
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