Why Friendships are Important for the Health of Your Relationship:
I’ll never forget that ONE fight that Jen and I had. We were both angry at each other, and we felt overwhelmed, too stuck to see a way out.
SO, I left.
I went to the garage and then walked to McDonald’s. Once I got there, I didn’t order anything. I just went to a booth in the back of the restaurant and cried. Feeling overwhelmed, I didn’t know what to do.
I didn’t know how to fix this problem.
What happened next changed everything and solved my marriage problem. Here is why friendships are so important for the health of your relationship.
The Moment I Needed Guidance From a Friend:
What do you do when you’re stuck in your marriage, nothing seems to work, and you both are angry with each other?
Phone a Friend
As I sat in the back of Mcdonald’s, I picked up my phone and made a phone call.
I told Tom EVERYTHING that had happened up to this point. How the argument started, what it was about, and what I had tried to resolve the argument.
Tom listened and assured me my marriage was going to be okay.
Then he told me something that only he could have told me.
The Back Story
Tom knows my family, and he knows me. Tom has been on over a dozen mission trips with me. He has been in my small group, and we have served in ministry together for years. Tom can see my blind spots, and Tom knows that even though we (Jen and I) are good people, we have our flaws.
Because Tom KNOWS us, he can share insight that we might not otherwise see.
Tom shared something with me that night that I had overlooked; then, he coached me through what to do with the insight.
How did he do it?
Tom knows us, AND we have allowed him to KNOW us.
What do I mean?
Jen and I have chosen to open our life up to key friends that know us at a deep level. We do this so we can go to them for insights into the tough times of life. What’s more, these friendships are mutual; that is, they go both ways.
What are the Two Truths About Life?
Truth 1 – We Are Incomplete
God created us as incomplete people. We have flaws and deficiencies in our physical, mental, spiritual, and relational life. When we refuse to accept that we are incomplete and continue our life as normal, we will encounter obstacles and hardships (a feeling of being stuck and overwhelmed).
Truth 2 – We Need Help From Others
The second truth is that we need the help of others to progress, grow, and develop. Galatians 6:1-5 is clear that we are incomplete, we need the help of others to get unstuck, and ultimately we need to take ownership of our life.
Galatians 6:1-5 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.
4 Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct.
Find A Friend
Jen & I have spent decades cultivating deep friendships with people of high character. This is not easy because we have to humble ourselves and be vulnerable with them (let them into our life). Our friends have to see the REAL us so they can give us sound advice.
Skills to Learn
Build Your Life Team – I have a Life Team of 5 guys. They KNOW me, and I can give them a call at ANYTIME (they might not answer right away, but they always return my call). The friendship is mutual; they can also reach out to me and ask for help. Who is OUT THERE that you can request to be a part of your life team?
Put Connecting on Your Calendar – You have to be intentional about connecting with your life team. So put it on the calendar and follow through with meeting up. As soon as I finish this blog, I will be creating a calendar invite for my life to meet at Bob Evens for breakfast next week.
Get Personal – When you meet with your Life Team, get personal with them. My Life Team knows that we WILL talk about three aspects of life; our personal life, key relationships, and our professional life when we meet. Sure we talk about the fluff stuff too, but I need my guys to know what is really happening in my life so that when bad times come (and they will), they can give me sound advice because they KNOW me.
Click the Donate Button to donate to Terry’s Life Coaching Services
Cloud, Dr. Henry and Townsend, Dr. John (1999). Boundaries in marriage; Understanding the choices that make or break loving relationships. Zondervan Publishing.
Gottman, Dr. John (1999). The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work. Harmony Publishing.