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Are You In Like with Your Spouse?

Older couple holding hands on beach--photo by Monkey Business Images

“I married you for life, but not for lunch” is a popular joke among some senior couples as they enter retirement. The quote is attributed to Lou Scott-Joynt from a talk made in 2008. Her speech weaves a tapestry of sad and whimsical stories from married couples in retirement. The captivating message crescendos to hope-filled anticipation as Lou reveals, “I’m more grateful than I could possibly express for what I have been given these past forty-three years since we married in 1965 for life, and mostly for lunch, too.”

Lou and husband Michael loved each other, but they were also in like with each other. How strong is the friend bond with your spouse? 

Scripture reminds us, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ESV). This passage describes the financial, physical, and emotional benefits of friendship.

According to research, the “well-being effects of marriage are about twice as large for those whose spouse is also their best friend” (Grover and Helliwell, 2014)

The Bible uses companion to describe a wife (Malachi 2:14). It comes from a word that means close associate or partner. God designed marriage for conjugal enjoyment and communal interaction, providing Adam and Eve as the perfect example of wedded friends.

Are you married to your best friend? Imagine aging with a spouse who “sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24), who lovingly tells you the truth even if it hurts (Proverbs 27:6), and who has your best interests at heart (Philippians 2:4).

Lou ends with a story of how Michael comforted her—a new bride—as she grieved the loss of her parents and a brother. “Michael was then—as he remains now—my totally committed, wonderfully faithful, husband, lover, friend, supporter, and encourager,” she reminisces. She concludes, “And now we look forward to lunching together in retirement even more frequently… to having more time to enjoy music, books and theatre, walking, gardening as well as continuing to use our experience and gifts in the service of God.”

How will you and your spouse spend your golden years? Wherever your imagination takes you, I pray you will enjoy the company of your two best friends—Jesus and your spouse.

This article first appeared in the Birmingham Christian Family magazine.

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