A true friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously and continues a friend unchangeably.” – William Penn
Looking back over the last ten years the single, greatest thing that has enriched Mark’s life (apart from me) is the deep friendships he has cultivated with a handful of his friends. Especially his bromances. These rich relationships have been something Mark has prioritised over everything and he has absolutely reaped the benefits, a hundredfold.
Friendships Outside of Marriage
While we have deep friendships together as a couple, there is something unique and special about the friendships he has built with other like-minded brothers. He has been blessed with a handful of these deep friendships. On his part he has prioritised and remained devoted to these relationships. He loves them like family and they love him. They have had been a huge part of why he has grown so remarkably in character and stature over the last decade.
David Ridley: A king amongst Men
Mark’s best friend Dave Ridley, is a huge part of who he is today. While they have only known each other for four years, it is like they have been connected for a lifetime. Although very different personalities and callings, they bonded immediately through a serendipitous meeting where they quickly discovered that they share the same passions, ideals and values. It was Dave who exhorted Mark to write his first book. Without him, I am not sure Mark would have had such courage and tenacity to do so. Along with Dave’s wife Ruth, they pioneered their first church together.
Dave is always one of the first people Mark goes to for advice on a situation or to debrief.
Actively Encourage His friendships
Having realised the vital importance of these relationships in Mark’s life, I go out of my way to encourage his pursuit of them. I love his bromances. I have from time to time, organised little get always for him and his various close friends. For example, last year Mark and Dave were both going through a particularly hectic time in their lives. Dave lives in the Northern Territory which is about a four hour flight from where Mark and I live in Brisbane. So Dave flew into Brisbane and then they drove down the coast for an hour where they spent three days together. They just hung out, ate nice food, went on bush walks, debriefed and dreamed together. Mark came home so refreshed and rejuvenated. Their friendship was stronger than ever.
I encourage you to actively seek deep friendships individually and encourage your spouse to do the same. Girls, actively encourage those deep, close relationships your husband has, that you know edify him and build him up. If he doesn’t have any, pray for some.
Guys I exhort you to do the same for your wives. These friendships are so important and you will find, in time, will bless your spouse and enrich their lives more than you could ever imagine. Your marriage will be enhanced as a by-product, I promise you.
David Balestri, a successful businessman and motivational speaker is happily married with three children. This is what he says about friendship.
“My wife is adventurous about life and sometimes I cannot be there to engage with some of these pursuits. I encourage her to have a network of friends that is broader than simply our immediate family. We have a mature understanding about how to honour one another in these relationships in that they never become more important than our union and relational health. “
“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship you haven’t learned anything.” – Muhammad Ali
Surely to Reign in Life is to have deep wells of friendship.
Surely to Reign in Marriage is to actively make space and encourage those kind of deep friendships in your spouse.
This week think on this my beloved.
What is one thing you could do as a wife/husband to encourage Godly friendships for your spouse?
Until next time know this,
You are deeply loved and richly cherished,
Reign in life
Wink: Seriously on Marks Bromance Date’s I strongly encourage him to Burp like a troll, Fart louder than thunder, High five 300 times in one night, and most importantly eat the fattiest, most disgusting foods….. CAUSE THAT KIND OF BEHAVIOUR IS NOT WELCOMED IN MY HOME.
PS liked this? Get my marriage book on 7 thoughts on marriage.