When I first sensed my now-husband was paying me extra attention, I knew exactly who to ask about him. My coworker had been there at community group the night he and I met. If anyone would have insight into whether I was just seeing things, she would. So on Monday morning, I asked if she would walk to the mailbox with me.
It took me the entire length of the sidewalk—past not only our office entrance, but the real estate and Crossfit entrances, too—to spit it out. If that sidewalk could talk, it would have laughed at me. “So…um…I actually wanted to ask you something…about…well…yeah…there’s this guy. What do you…I mean…if you haven’t noticed anything and don’t have an opinion, that’s fine, but …uh, Devin?”
When at last I said his name, she burst out, “Yes!”
Wide-eyed, I asked, “Yes?”
“Of course! I saw it that first night you met.”
She had. In fact, she and her then-boyfriend had played opposite us in what is now an infamous game of Catchphrase and discussed afterward how easily Devin and I had engaged in conversation (a feat for shy me!). Since she had been there for the pivotal beginning of my friendship with him, she was able to tell me the one thing I wanted to know about the guy who would end up asking me out: did she think him a good guy?
The Heart of Friendship
David and Jonathan’s friendship also began around the same time as a pivotal moment in David’s life: the slaying of Goliath (1 Samuel 17). And the first few verses of 1 Samuel 18 reveal “Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”
Friendship, after all, requires a soul-deep love.
Especially friendships between ladies. (Can I get an amen?)
Ladies, let’s be honest: as much as we are wired for relationships, sometimes our love tank runs on empty, doesn’t it? Just this past week, my car was in the shop for the fourth time, family drama exploded in my face, my husband works late tonight (which means picking him up because, again, car’s in the shop) and I don’t know when if I’ll make it to the grocery store.
At times like these, my investment in my friends can reach an all-time low.
But let’s look back to Jonathan for a sec, shall we? If anyone had family drama, it was the son of Israel’s first king. He most likely grew up being told he would inherit his father’s throne. But after a series of Saul’s mistakes, God rejected him and instead had David anointed as the future king. So picture this: Jonathan lived in the household of a king who knew he was no longer favored by God. And Jonathan now knew he would never be king. #stressful
But what did Jonathan do when the interloper himself slayed the giant, saved everyone, and came to call at the castle? He gave David his robe, his armor, his sword, his bow, and his belt. The very items that signified his inheritance. He was effectively saying to David that he would honor him as God’s anointed future king.
Even though it meant Jonathan would never have the future he had dreamed of all his life.
When’s the last time you loved a friend like that? Amid the stress of everyday life, do you invest in your friend’s future even to the detriment of your own?
The Heart of Friendship After You Become a Wife
“A friend loves at all times…” (Proverbs 17:17) Showing such unwavering, selfless love to our friends is difficult to put into practice, but it only becomes harder after marriage.
And that’s okay.
Your priority is your husband now, and if your friend is a good one, she’ll understand, encourage, and applaud that. Our friendships with our girlfriends will look differently now that we’re also wives. But we’re still called to love.
If sidewalks could talk, they could recount how often my friend and I walked from our office to the mailbox after that very first day I had asked her what she thought of Devin. When she said she did indeed think he is a good guy.
So, while she dated her then-boyfriend, I dated Devin. We had many conversations about dating, decisions, and the pressure and joy of melding two lives over the next year. Then she texted me one Saturday night a picture of her new engagement ring. The very next day, Devin proposed to me.
When we both showed up to work that Monday morning wearing shiny engagement rings, I hid mine and pulled her out onto the sidewalk to tell her first. I married in June, and she married in July. I know I’m a better wife for being able to walk through such a big life change alongside her.
Whether or not you had a friend walk as closely with you through dating and into marriage as I did, you most likely have a friend or two who is also a young wife with you (perhaps you found this friend through the Young Wives Facebook group!). After marriage, time with friends can feel limited because your husband is now your first priority. Here are some ways you can nurture the unique friendship you have with other young wives:
- Host a Girls’ Night. This can be a great way to introduce young wives you know to other young wives you know! Invite a few girlfriends out bowling. (Be mindful of budget constraints, especially if some young wives in the group already have babies.) This works just as well if you bake cookies and have everyone over to play a board game.
- Start a group text. I know, I know, but what if you started a group text that wasn’t task-oriented or work-related and was encouraging instead? Ask 2-4 other women how their week is going, how you can pray for them, or text them an encouraging Scripture.
- Double-date. One of my favorite parts of dating was the opportunity to hang out with other couples (especially already-married ones) and study their relationships—subtly, of course! The fun doesn’t have to end once you’re wed! Invite other married couples over for dinner and a card game. Invest in the newlyweds and learn from the ones who have been together for years. (My husband and I try to do this twice a month, and it’s always loads of fun!)
I hope you’re encouraged to continue investing in your friends today. I’m making a mental list right now of 2-3 gals I want to text today, just to check in on them in the midst of my crazy week.
Who needs to hear from you today? After all, you’re a wife, but you’re also still a girlfriend.