Friendship In Marriage

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Friendship in marriage was first conceived by God when he made a helper for Adam so he would not be alone. This helper was Eve. "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him" (Genesis 2:18). When thinking of marriage we often think about romance first. In fact, we may dwell on that part a little too much sometimes. Instead try concentrating on being a friend first. A friend is someone you can count on and is someone who counts on you. A partner who tries to obtain a deeper friendship with his or her spouse may find that this creates a deeper bond and intimacy between them. Friends like to do things together. They build each other up. Friendship in marriage happens when we spend quality time with our spouse.

Having things in common makes friendship in marriage easier to obtain. Trying to lead two separate lives while you're married does not help to keep a marriage strong. Maybe when you first got married there was more of an effort to do things together. After being together for a few years both people have concentrated on their own interests and this has served as a wedge between them. This can happen without us even realizing it. Both partners may work full time jobs and this leaves little time to spend together. Developing a friendship in marriage takes effort. One person can do a lot to make a relationship better but he or she may be compromising all of the time. Both adults need to compromise in order to have the time to develop closeness and intimacy.

Sit down and brainstorm some ways and times to do things together. Try to find common interests. If both partners like to shop, decide to have shopping outings. If one person likes to watch romantic comedies and the other person likes to watch action movies compromise by taking turns. Being a good listener will strengthen friendship in marriage. When couples grow apart they may forget what the other partner likes to do. And sometimes interests change but if we don't communicate those changes how will our spouse know? Communication is very important in a relationship. Schedule some chit chat time to get caught up and learn more about each other. Some sources say that you can spend a lifetime with a person and not really know him or her. Don't let this be what happens in your relationship.

Praying together is a very important thing to do and will bring a couple closer. Try holding hands and agreeing that the Lord is going to bless your marriage. Friendship in marriage is about spending intimate time together. When we cherish our spouse we want to show him or her how we feel. Intimacy is about sharing our deepest thoughts, delights and sorrows. We share our deepest thoughts and expect our partner to do the same. If a spouse cannot open up to his or her partner there needs to be some intervention. Pray about the issue together and get some counseling but don't just ignore the problem. Be proactive in fixing the problem. Make working out the problem a priority and schedule a time to work towards a solution. Some answers come in time so try to be patient and put your trust and faith in God.

Going on a couple's retreat can help to jump start a relationship that has waned. Friendship in marriage may come when getting to know each other again. A couple's retreat with a church provides a way for partners to become closer and helps each person grow spiritually in the Lord. Do some research and find a place that is beautiful. Consider a second honeymoon by the beach or in the mountains. Find a way to go off together and concentrate on your relationship. If funds are scarce do something that doesn't cost very much. One idea would be to take a road trip in the country and camp out overnight. Another idea would be to go to dinner and a movie. Decide to go on a date every other weekend or maybe every weekend if possible. Consider it an investment in happiness. Things will probably not get better on their own. Couples must be willing to put forth some effort.

Broken trust between partners can drive a wedge between them. When a partner becomes unfaithful trust is broken and the pain inflicted on the other spouse can seem unbearable. "Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet she is thy companion and the wife of thy covenant" (Malachi 2:14). God can bring healing but both people must be determined to make the relationship work and find friendship in marriage. Confession is first and then repentance is necessary. When a partner is truly sorry for the sin and asks for forgiveness the other partner needs to forgive. God commands us to forgive others. Everyone deserves a second chance. The pain may feel too deep to let it go but with God's help we must try in order to save the marriage. If the couple will pray together and seek God for help and mercy they will have more success with overcoming this huge obstacle. Remember, nothing is impossible with God.

Fun Family Activities

Budget-conscious consumers can find fun family activities right in their own backyard! Gone are the days when almost everyone traveled out of state for fun and frolicking at seaside resorts. Escalating gas prices, skyrocketing hotel costs, and rising unemployment are causing consumers to stay close to home and still have fun. Instead of taking a budget-busting two-week trek to an out-of-state resort or campground, take advantage of entertainment at local venues. Parents can plan a series of day trips to local sites for a fraction of the cost of long distance sightseeing. Museums, aquariums, planetariums, and aviaries usually charge low- to no-cost admission, especially for kids. Local museums display everything from ancient Egyptian artifacts to modern art; and many provide tour guides to share amazing facts about each venue. World War II museums house uniforms, artillery, weapons, airplanes, and historic accounts of famous battles-- some digitally narrated. Aquariums offer hours of entertainment, including viewing miles of glass enclosed sea animals in assimilated environs. Children young and old can get an up close and personal look at exotic fish from faraway places, gnarly crustaceans, and slippery eels and snakes. Discover faraway galaxies and constellations at a local planetarium; and exotic birds galore at the aviary. Pack a light lunch and go sightseeing-- right in your own neighborhood!

Simple ideas to enjoy are as close as your kitchen sink! "Make Your Own Pizza Night" is a great idea for fun family activities that are not only low-cost but also educational. Moms and dads can share some simple cooking tips with teens while teaching tots how to recognize colors, shapes and textures-- and homemade pizzas are a low-cost alternative to takeout! Simply purchase cans of ready-to-bake pizza crust, tomato sauce, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Raid the fridge for everyone's favorite toppings and let the older kids chop pieces of ham, sausage, green pepper, or bacon. Even tiny hands can help spread each pizza with sauce and cheese-- the messier the better! Pop the pies in the oven until the cheese is hot and bubbly. To avoid burns, let cool slightly, and serve.

Household chores like gardening can also become a part of fun family activities. A trip to the hardware store for new seeds can become the start of an adventure! Let the children help pick out their own seedlings for vegetables, fruit or flowers; and give them the responsibility for tending their own part of a backyard garden plot. Tilling the soil, watering and weeding are great object lessons about home-based sustainable agriculture. The "fruit" of the family's labor is a harvest of fresh veggies, a basket of summer delectables, or a nosegay of flowers cultivated by big and little hands. Harvesting produce can also provide an awesome "green" opportunity to teach children about canning fresh vegetables at home. Imagine how excited kids will be to actually enjoy a summer harvest of fresh corn, tomatoes, or beans at the dinner table? The rewards of fun family activities like gardening are priceless. "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate" (Psalm 127:3-5).

Other ideas for fun family activities include a talent night, backyard "special" Olympics, and a city-wide scavenger hunt. For talent night, enlist the aid of budding actors and actresses, poets and poetesses, fledgling singers, and musicians to produce one-act living room plays and backyard concerts. Dust off musical instruments tucked away in the attic, or make your own from household items. A 5-gallon bucket becomes a nifty drum, while a gallon milk jug filled with bottle tops makes a great tambourine. Spend the evening singing, laughing and having loads of clean wholesome fun. The experience of writing and performing poems, songs or skits enables children of all ages to develop public speaking and social development skills. The huge plus is that the entire family can participate; and talent night can be as simple or elaborate as you make it. Construct costumes from old curtains or visit a local thrift shop for used clothing and other props. Invite friends and family for special productions, record performances on a digital video camera and post on a favorite social networking site.

Transform your own backyard into a super sports arena for fun family activities with an Olympic theme. In one corner, construct a small skateboard ramp, and in another build a six-foot sandbox for long jumpers. Save some room for tumbling and a water slide, and you've got loads of fun family activities to keep the little ones occupied for hours! Teens and young adults will love a city-wide scavenger hunt complete with clues hidden in out-of-the-way and familiar places. Appoint an adult driver to transport kids from place to place to locate clues. Pick a scavenger hunt theme to coincide with a holiday or a child's birthday. The first team to find every clue and complete every challenge gets a prize: a weekend without household chores, movie tickets, or a gift certificate from their favorite store in the mall.

Today's savvy parents don't have to miss out on fun family activities because of a shortage of cash. A little resourcefulness and creativity can go a long way in providing entertainment, while enabling families the opportunity to grow closer. Budget-conscious parents can take advantage of these low-cost ideas--right in their own backyard--and help build some happy memories for the whole family!



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