How My Husband Became My Best Friend

How My Husband Became My Best Friend

He often introduces me as his girlfriend.

Ever-so-slightly embarrassing.

He’ll say it to the barista at Starbucks, or the cashier in the check-out line of the grocery store. Even to the new couple we met at the homeschool picnic.

After 22 years, you’d think I’d get used to it, but it still makes me blush.

And smile.

I always hasten to add that I also happen to be his wife –an important fact to establish when you have 8 children together.

And I’ll flash my wedding ring to prove it if necessary.

I think he gets some kind of odd gratification out of my embarrassment.

Then pretends to protest, “What . . . you are my girlfriend, aren’t you?”

Yes, well . . .

It’s true: I am a girl. And I am his friend.  A close friend.

The best of friends, really.

So I guess that does make me his girl-friend.

And like most good friendships, ours has grown over time. We’ve had to invest in our friendship and look after it.

So many times people think it’s because we somehow just “click”. But while there might be some “clicking” between us, it’s more than that. Far more than that.

It wasn’t as though we instantly became best friends. It’s been a long, purposeful process.

Here is how we became the best of friends….

How My Husband and I Became Best Friends

How Your Husband Can Become Your Best Friend

By spending time together.  I know. You’re going to tell me how busy you are. I understand busy. And yet I figure I manage to get a shower (usually) and several meals a day. That’s because it’s a priority with me. I need these things.

I also need time with my husband, so I can make that happen too.

By being nice to him.  You know how you’re super sweet to your girlfriends?  Smile and cheer them on? Do nice things for them? Yeah, well, it’s kinda the same here. This friendship is no different.

Play nice.

By being interested in his stuff. So I have one friend who is really into gardening. And another who is into goats. I am not particularly keen on either of those things – but since it’s my friends we’re talking about here, I’ve decided to be interested. For their sakes.

Same with my husband.

By having fun together.  Friendships are never all business, are they? Of course not! It’s not like you sit down with your girlfriend and constantly go over the budget, or decide who is going to drive which child where.  No, you sip coffee, go fun places and laugh at each other’s stories!

Hello . . . ?

By praying for him. If you’re a friend of mine, than you already know that I pray for you.  I can’t always get away from the kids, or write long emails, but you can count on my praying for you. It’s one of my “love gifts” to my friends.

And I pray for my husband and he knows it.

Just this past week-end Matthew was out-of-town on a business trip and called to ask me to pray for him about a particular issue.  I started praying as soon as I hung up the phone.

Because that’s what friends do.

{You might also be interested in joining the 31 Days of Prayer for Our Marriages by Time-Warp Wife. Her Prayer Challenge is starting up this week on October 1st!}

So if you ever run into my husband and he introduces me as his girlfriend, just smile and go along with it, will you?

Maybe even tell him that you feel like you already know him . . . . since Lisa talks so much about her boyfriend. ;)

Embracing friendship.

*How do you and your husband invest in your friendship? Or what are some of the things that get in the way? I love hearing from you, friends!

In His grace,

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*I hope you’ve enjoyed our Virtual Marriage Retreat! You can still hop over to any of the links below to catch up on all the articles written for this series. 

Embrace Your Marriage - A Virtual Marriage Retreat

These 5 bloggers and I have joined together to offer a word of wisdom and inspiration to encourage you in your marriage.

On these  5 topics . . . .

  • Embracing Grace 
  • Embracing Change  
  • Embracing Your Differences  
  • Embracing Unity 
  • Embracing Friendship 

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Embracing Unity: How Two People Can Think and Act as One

Embracing Unity - How Two People Can Think and Act As One

I think it’s pretty sweet.

What? What’s sweet?

Oh, you know the way you always check in with your husband before committing to do anything. 

“Sweet.” Hmm . . . .

Not necessarily the word I would have used.

But, yeah, I guess I do “always check in” with him.

And he with me.

Because we’ve made it our practice to think and act as one.

Some people think this is sweet, like my friend.

For other people?  It makes them shudder. Like we’re somehow just too “into” each other.

Do I ever feel stifled? Hindered? Slowed down by this whole “oneness” thing?

Admittedly, it was a new way for me to look at life – this life we’re now sharing together – but the Bible states we are no longer two people like we were before.

We are now one flesh.

So what exactly does that mean?

Surely, not simply that we sleep together.

Not that it isn’t important – because it is – but it’s got to mean more than that. One flesh is mentioned in such a way as not merely to be a matter of going to bed with him.

The two shall become one.

No longer he and me . . . because now it’s WE.

And you know what we have found? It takes a little – okay a lot of – practice and intentionality. We have to purpose to think and act as one. 

So They Are No Longer Two But One Flesh

How Do Two People Think and Act as One?

We don’t lead private lives. There’s no such thing as “his” life and “mine”. We belong to each other and so there are no secrets or hidden things. For instance, I have free access to his computer and he to mine. We have a basic knowledge where the other person is at all times. We share with each other what we’ve been thinking about, who we’ve been talking to, and what is on our heart.

Unity means being completely open with one another.

We don’t make independent decisions. We make all major decisions together and run most minor decisions by the other person. And, yes, I do believe in submitting to my husband because that’s what God says in His Word (Eph.5:22). But at the same time, I’m blessed to be married to a man who values my opinion and cares deeply about my concerns. We aim to be of one mind on most everything.

Unity means making your decisions together.

We stand together as one. As my husband reminds me, “You and I are on the inside. Everyone else is looking in from the outside.” What this means is that we are protective of our unity and don’t allow anyone – not family or friends – to try and divide us. Staying unified can be challenging enough without the added stress of others pulling us apart.

Unity means being fiercely loyal to each other.

We speak as one. You wouldn’t have to know us long before you picked up that we often say “we” and “our” rather than “I” and “my”. This is not merely one of our quirks, but language we consciously use to inform others – as well to remind ourselves – that we are in this together. It’s not about what I want or what he wants, but what WE want and what WE are thinking.

Unity means communicating your togetherness.

So that’s the real reason why I “always check in with him” and why I plan to do keep doing so. And maybe it is sorta sweet. But it’s more than that too. It’s oneness and it’s biblical marriage.

No longer two.

But one

Challenge: What are some ways that you and your husband maintain your unity? Or, what are some challenges you face in living as “one”?

In His grace,

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*I hope you are being blessed and refreshed by our Virtual Marriage Retreat!

Embrace Your Marriage - A Virtual Marriage Retreat

Every Monday in September, these five bloggers and I are offering a word of wisdom and inspiration to encourage you in your marriage. I hope you’ll hop over to see each one of them!

And here are the topics . . . .

  • September 1 – Embracing Grace 
  • September 8th – Embracing Change  
  • September 15th – Embracing Your Differences  
  • September 22nd – Embracing Unity 
  • September 29th – Embracing Friendship 

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

Why Not Build a Lasting Friendship in Your Marriage? {& Book and Journal Giveaway}

A Marriage Without Friendship is Like a Bird Without Wings

It is when we are doing things together that friendship springs up – painting, sailing ships, praying, philosophizing, and fighting shoulder to shoulder. Friends look in the same direction. – C.S. Lewis

Let’s talk about the old days.

The days before “we” when it was just “you and he.” Back to the foundation of friendship where a seed of romance was planted and watered until it took root.

Remember those days?

What was it like to be new-found friends? How was life different?

Michael and I were friends for several months before we dated. Not your regular run of the mill friendship, where we met for coffee every other week no, like most young couples, we were inseparable buddies. We spent hours on end talking on the phone about the music we enjoyed, the movies that made us cry, friends from the past… and more than anything else–we laughed.

We went for picnics, attended church, and spent time at the park. Taking long walks I’d feel the brush of his hand against mine wondering when and if they’d ever connect.

Like any new and exciting friendship I was sincerely interested in knowing what he was about, so I asked questions and listened intently to every word that he spoke and every story he told. There was no doubt in my mind that this man was my very best friend. We made every effort to spend time together.

Fast forward about 15 years… Michael and I were struggling with the day to day details of starting a new business. We were dealing with the loss of five babies to miscarriage, and had started raising a family. Michael was working long hours and I was busy at home taking care of the babies.

Unfortunately, like many couples who are busy being Mom and Dad, our friendship was swept to the side for a time. Thankfully we’ve made an effort to pull friendship back to the forefront of our relationship.

If you’re wondering what that looks like, it’s a matter of carving out time to spend in each other’s company, and enjoying the time that you have.

Alone time? That’s good, but not always practical when you have a house full of kids. Spending time with your husband might be putting a puzzle together on the kitchen table, watching a Lord of the Rings Marathon (which I recently did), or enjoying a picnic with your kids at the park.

As much as I want to suggest “date nights” to you, I’m going to veer in a slightly different direction today by sharing two romantic little nuggets with you:

My parents were married for 60 years, and I don’t ever remember them going out on a “date.” It just wasn’t their thing. They had a big family and they were careful about the way that they spent their money.

But here’s what I did notice about them… aside from watching TV and gardening together, they spent time laughing together. Looking back at it now, the one thing that I loved most about spending time at the cabin was the fact that the walls were thin and I could hear my parents chatting and laughing in bed. They would giggle and talk for a good half hour before falling asleep.

Then this afternoon I had lunch with a couple that’s been happily married for over 30 years.

Do you want to know how they spend their evenings together? He reads classic novels to her while she works in the kitchen.

I asked, “How many has he read to you? She said, “Hmm… let me think… how long have we been married?” (My heart just about melted when I heard that one!)

Date nights don’t get much better than that, do they?

The bottom line is that friends don’t only enjoy each other’s company, they make an effort to do so.

Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.” ~ Proverbs 5:18

Darlene SchachtDarlene Schacht is the well-known Time Warp Wife whose purpose in ministry is to encourage wives to put God first in their lives. She inspires us to love our husbands and children, and to be good homemakers.

Darlene is an Evangelical Christian who has been married to her husband Michael for over twenty-five years. They have four children and two adorable pugs. Their lives are basically surrounded by three things: faith, family, and books.

Her newest book, Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages (Thomas Nelson), delivers an incredible testimony of grace that offers hope for today’s marriages and a spark for rekindling love. Visit Darlene’s website at: www.TimeWarpWife.com

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)
Messy, Beautiful Love and Journal by Darlene Schacht

And now I’m excited to announce the release of Darlene Schacht’s new book, Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages!

I’ll never forget first reading Darlene’s story on her blog and walking upstairs to my husband’s office to share it with him. I didn’t even know Darlene yet, but I was moved to tears by her testimony. He listened to me read her words and was equally touched by her messy, beautiful love story. That was the beginning of one of those wonderful ways God moves and connects lives.  Matthew became Darlene’s literary agent and a few short months later, she had a signed contract with Thomas Nelson. You can read more about that part of the story here: How to Land a Literary agent and Get Your Book Published.

You can purchase Darlene’s book Messy, Beautiful Love HERE 

Or you can enter to win one of two copies of her book, as well as this lovely journal below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blessings and enjoy!
In His grace,
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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson
*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

Why Big Differences Make for the Best Marriages

Why Big DIfferences Make for the Best Marriages

You think by now we’d know.

I mean we’ve been married for years and years. Over two decades.

But somehow it hit us anew.

It all began with our son who is back east at college. He called to tell us about how he and his friends were all taking this personality test. And he thought we should do it too.

Oh, sure! That’d be fun.

So we sat down one evening and filled out the questionnaire.

A piece of cake.

Matthew took his and I took mine. The questions were simple and straightforward and we were done in less than 12 minutes.

But the conversation that followed lasted several hours.

 The personality test went something like this:

You need to retreat and have some “alone time” after spending some time talking to other people.

Him: Nope. Not usually. (Extrovert)

Me: Absolutely. (Introvert)

You often do things spontaneously or in a rush.

Him: Pretty much.

Me: Not if I can help it.

You would rather call yourself down-to-earth than a dreamer.

Him: More like Mr. Visionary.

Me: Down-to-earth and practical to a fault.

Keeping your options open is more important than having a to-do list.

Him: The more options the better.

Me: Love my to-do lists!

So you can see how it is.

Big differences.

We each have our own way of looking at the world. We think differently. Respond differently. Feel differently

Not necessarily opposites. But definitely not the same.

When we first married, I don’t think we factored in these differences. It didn’t matter all that much to us, but as the years went on the reality of these things became increasingly clear to both of us.

We were different.

Not just male and female, mind you.

But different in our personalities and perspectives.

You don’t need to take a personality test to discover you’re different though.

All you have to do is to watch how you each respond to certain situations. What appears to you as a disaster is merely a challenge to him.  What is an exciting possibility to you is an impractical pain to him. What fills you up, drains him and vice versa.

And so on down the list.

The world looks at this scenario and will declare you “incompatible”. The secular viewpoint considers this an impossible situation.

Irreconcilable.

But this is not how God views it. He has reconciled you. He says He is the one who joined you together (Mark 10:9). He is the one who makes you one flesh – not your similarities or common experience (Eph. 5:31).

God brought you and your husband together because of your differences . . . not in spite of them. Just think: God knows your husband even better than you do. He knows all too well how you both are made and how you are bent.

God put you two together because He knew what was best for the both of you. 

How Big Differences Make for the Best Marriages

You Can Make the Best Marriage Out of Your Differences

Appreciate his strengths. Rather than getting frustrated at how quiet or loud, relaxed or uptight, he is – decide to be thankful for how God has made Him. I can choose to be upset by the way my husband “ruins” my well-laid plans with his spontaneous projects . . . or I can be thankful for the fun that he brings into our lives with his wild ideas. The second response makes it more fun for all of us!

*How do you respond to your husband’s strengths? Do you let them annoy you or are you grateful for them? 

Grow in the areas you are weak. I said I can be “practical to a fault”. Well, my husband is a very generous person and that’s an area that I’ve needed to grow in. My “practical” nature can hold me back from giving as freely as God would have me give.

*What are some weak areas that you can grow in and learn from your husband? 

Develop similar interests. Rather than settle in your different camps, seek to do what things you can together. Enter into his world and invite him into yours. Talk about what activities you could both learn to enjoy together.

*What are some things that you both like to do? Activities, recreation, or hobbies?

Establish common goals. Maybe you see and respond to things differently, but if you’re both working toward the same goals? Then this helps you pull together to achieve those things that you’ve both set out to do. At least once a year, we try to get away for a few days and talk over our past goals and write out new ones. These goals can fall in any category—ranging from family to career, from spiritual to house projects.

*Have you purposed together what goals the two of you – as a couple – are choosing to pursue? 

So if you discover that you and he are rather different – with or without a personality test – then make the most of your differences.

Because big differences can be made into the best of marriages!

CHALLENGE: Rather than just saying to your husband that you love him today, tell him a few of the reasons you love and appreciate him (including some of those differences). 

Embrace Your Marriage - A Virtual Marriage Retreat

Every Monday in September, these five bloggers and I will be offering a word of wisdom and inspiration to encourage you in your marriage. I hope you’ll hop over to see each one of them!

And here are the topics . . . .

  • September 1 – Embracing Grace 
  • September 8th – Embracing Change  
  • September 15th – Embracing Your Differences  
  • September 22nd – Embracing Unity 
  • September 29th – Embracing Friendship 

I hope you are being blessed and refreshed by our Virtual Marriage Retreat!

In His grace,
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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson