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,

Signature small

*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,

Signature small

*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).

Those 7 Things That Never Change in a Healthy, Loving Marriage

Those 7 Things That Never Change in a Healthy, Loving Marriage

It became something of joke between us.

I mean, if it had only happened once? Then I wouldn’t have thought much more about it.

But it seemed that every time I gave birth to a child . . . He gave birth to a new project.

A Major Project.

A move to a new house. Switching to a new job. Starting up a new company.

Always something new and something big.

So I started to tease him that he was unconsciously trying to compete with me. As if it wasn’t enough of a life-changing event for us to bring a child into the world.

He only smiled and gently held our tiny baby to his strong chest.  One more sweet baby boy added to our family crew.

That made it my eight babies to his six moves, four jobs and three companies.

Makes us about even, I figure.

But he says that I pulled ahead with that last little guy.

And he might be right.

Either way,  we both agree that change has been a predominant theme in our 22 years of marriage. Seems like there’s always been something new – and often unexpected – coming at us. Sometimes it came as a blessing and other times as a trial. But change is inevitable when you’re going through life together.

So we’ve done our best to embrace those changes, the easy and the hard, but there are also those things that we’ve determined to never change.  These are the things that keep our marriage strong and steady in the midst of upheaval and disruption. It’s these 7 things that have kept us grounded through it all.

Those 7 Things That Never Change in a Healthy, Loving Marriage

1.     The Need for Communication. No matter how many years you’ve been married, good communication is essential to a strong marriage. So don’t stop talking, whatever you do. And don’t limit it to talking, but express your love for each other in all kinds of other ways too. Sometimes the simple gesture of making his lunch says far more than words.

2.     The Commitment to Closeness. You don’t grow close by the mere fact that you live in the same house. For the rest of your lives together, you’ll want to seek each other out. You have to make time for one another. Pull away from the world and pull in together.

3.    The Offering of Forgiveness. The need to forgive never goes away. Sometimes I wish it did. But here we are after two decades of loving one another and still saying, “I’m sorry, my Love. Will you forgive me?”.  And it’s yes, yes, and yes again.

4.     The Desire for Touch. Matthew’s parents have been married for over 60 years and she still reaches for his hand and he continues to slip his arm around her shoulders. Touch is so powerful. So keep touching each other forever and always.

5.     The Determination to Work It Out. You’re tired. You’re discouraged. It doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. Don’t give up. Whatever you do. Stay in the game and work it out, even if it takes a very long time and an heroic effort you don’t feel you have to give.

6.    The Pledge to Stay Together. Those marriage vows meant something real and the two of you are sticking together – no matter what. Through the good times and the hard times. A sacred trust you’ve both pledged to keep.

7.     The Promise to Love One Another. Love is mostly made up of those little choices that you make every single day. This is a selfless love that puts the other person first. Day after day. This is the meaning behind our promise when we said, “I love you”.

Those 7 Things That Never Change in a Healthy and Loving Marriage

Lastly, and most importantly, no matter what changes come into your lives, we can count on our God who remains the same.  He is our perfect Father without variation or shadow. He is unchanging and the faithful foundation of our love.

So whatever changes you are facing in your marriage, you can be assured that your Heavenly Father is the same. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Amen?

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. ~ James 1:17

CHALLENGE: Consider some of the ways that your marriage has changed over time. Start counting the blessings that these changes have brought. Take a moment and write them down (and maybe share them with your spouse). 

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!

*Would you like to share a little of some of the changes in your marriage? How did you “embrace” those changes? And what are those things that never change in your marriage?

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

*If there is serious sin or trouble in your marriage, I’d encourage you  to seek out a trusted, godly counselor or leader in your church. You might also benefit from this specific marriage advice from Sheila Gregoire (a fellow blogger in this marriage series).

What Your Child Wants Most From You

What Your Child Wants Most of All From You

Not everyone knows this about me.

But I love making bread.

I’m not sure what it is, but for some reason I find the process incredibly relaxing and rewarding – maybe even downright therapeutic.

There’s something about grinding the wheat, mixing and kneading the dough, and baking the loaves. It reaches deep down inside me.

So right and good for my soul.

Yet there’s this one problem.

My kids love making bread too. With me.

And I hate to say it, but this changes the experience for me – significantly.

Because when I have my little helpers?  I’m no longer unwinding or getting lost in the wonder of it all.

Instead, I find myself distracted by their wiggly fingers and chattery words. The mess, the mistakes, and the mayhem. My nerves are inevitably on edge by the time the loaves are tucked safely in the oven.

No, it’s definitely not the same experience at all.

So what to do?

I’ve a difficult decision to make: Should I minister to my own soul . . . or pour into theirs?

A real dilemma.

Because I’m aware that if we do this together, our children will probably remember it forever.  They’ll remember sinking their hands into the warm, sticky dough. Kneading and forming each loaf. Trying to follow my hands and copy everything I do.

They’ll never realize that it cost me much.

They can’t understand how it changes everything.

They’ll not know that I gave up some of my own soul-feeding moments to nourish their own.

To be honest, I’m always surprised by their enthusiasm for baking bread. I’ve tried suggesting they go build with their Legos. Or go outside and play on the swing. Maybe they’d like to watch a favorite movie?

But, no, nothing seems as pleasant as making bread with mama.

Funny, huh?

It’s really quite strange when you think about it.

Why wouldn’t they rather run along and play?

Why do their small hands seek to be so close to my own?

And why won’t they stay in their own little world . . . so that I can enjoy mine?

What Your Child Needs Most From You - 3

What Your Child Needs Most From You - 2

What Your Child Needs Most From You - 1

What Your Child Needs Most From You - 4

I think as moms we can be so caught up with giving things that delight our children – toys, crafts, treats and games – that we forget what they really want from us.

They want to be part of our lives.

They want to know what it is that we love, and learn to love it too.

They simply want to be with us.

So welcome your children into your world. 

What Your Child Wants Most From You

If you have a passion for gardening…or reading…or writing…or design….then share it with them too.

Invite them to come alongside and place their young hands next to your own.

Their heart next to yours.

After all, it really is good for the soul.

Both yours and theirs.

*So what kinds of things does your child like doing with you, or alongside you? I’d love to hear it!

In His grace,
Signature small
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).