ave you ever felt alone? It’s not fun, especially in the hard seasons of life. In contrast, have you ever had someone walk with you through hard times? Ecclesiastes 4:12 talks about the benefits of not walking alone: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” God has designed us to walk through life with others.
When we were first married, we were pretty isolated and were embarrassed by the struggles that we were having. We thought that if we were open, then our struggles would become more real. In the beginning, for a short period of time, we were able to put a band-aid on our problems and pretend they weren’t there. As we turned a blind eye to our problems, they began to grow. They began to fester. We felt alone and seemed to lose more and more control over time. It wasn’t until the wall of isolation was broken that true healing began. We started to let people into our lives, our hurts, and our struggles.
Strong Community is Vital for the Health of a Marriage
When we have a safe place where we feel encouraged and can be honest about our struggles, we can thrive. As we surround ourselves with people who are praying for the unity of our marriage, we will be uplifted. When we choose people that are going to challenge us to be more like Christ, we’ll want to rise to the occasion.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…”
Openness Leads to Growth
Being open can be a very scary thing. It takes courage. It’s only when we take the walls down that we can experience the fullness of relationships that God intended. There is freedom when we aren’t trying to put on a mask or hide things in our lives. Openness allows us to lose the shackles of pride and the need for perfection. It frees us to grow and be more like Jesus.
Sharing Struggles is Contagious
Choosing to share your struggles has a strange way of encouraging others to open up their hearts. Everyone has struggles. Everyone is learning and growing. You aren’t alone. Let me say that again. You are not alone. I remember the first time Adam and I were honest about where we were struggling. Another couple opened up about how they had been through something similar. It was encouraging to hear. It was inspiring to see how they had overcome their struggles.
How to Get Started
You might already have some encouraging close friends–open up to them! If you’re new in town, find a church where you feel comfortable and see what classes or bible studies are offered. Churches usually have a great team of people to help you get connected. Remember that it might take a few tries to find a group that you really connect with. Don’t give up. It’s worth it!
Question: How have your friendships inspired a healthier marriage? Any other tips for finding a group a trusted friends? Share with us in the comments below…