Greetings brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to
explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly
Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This
morning we reflect on some meanings of marriage and friendship.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Some Reflections of Marriage and Friendship
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and
they shall be one flesh." Genesis, Chapter 2, Verse 24.
Brothers and sisters, marriage is a social, economic, and reproductive unit, thus we readily see that
marriage is not necessarily composed of friends. Though they may be attracted towards each other
romantically, these feelings are not akin to friendship. The entire process of courtship does not lend
itself to friendship. Courtship consists of trying to win the affection of another for the purpose of
procreation. These intense feelings of procreation are the engines that drive the couple together. In
this setting, each partner attempts to reveal the best part of themselves while cleverly concealing
those qualities that would tend to distract from the attraction process, which is the antithesis of
It is somewhat of a shock when many couples discover later that they have little in common. This
usually is discovered when the intense passion has subsided and they have to seriously deal with
daily problems of married life. They realize that they really don't know each other and have great
difficulty adjusting to this fact. Sexual relations do not require knowledge of another's character. It
is not easy for partners to realize that marriage--far from being a way for meeting selfish desires--is
a device where responsibilities are taken on that are life-long that are often antagonistic to purely
In the marriage partnership, each person is somewhat dependent on the other and to a larger degree
shares the ups and downs of life. Thus success of the marriage benefits both, and the failure of the
marriage affects both. Without friendship, the functions of marriage can still be carried out. Marriage
functions require only a willingness to do what needs to be done and is not dependent whether one
likes the other. There are economic, social, and other mutual benefits from being married, such as
self maintenance, self perpetuation, and a certain degree of self gratification. They are mutually
dependent upon each other economically, socially, and reproductively. It is often this discovery of
not liking each other, followed by the loss of romantic feelings that brought them together for the
purpose of reproduction that often lies at the bottom of divorce, along with disloyalty.
Friendship is not based on romantic feelings, nor upon the moral obligation inherent in being married
and rearing children. True friendship is unselfish and is based on knowing the person, accepting the
person for who they are rather than what they can do for you, and having a genuine affection for the
person that is not based upon selfish consideration. Friendship always seeks what is best for the other
person. The decisions of friendship are not likely to tie one to the other as in the decisions of
marriage. A friend may make poor decisions that results in adverse consequences, but the friend is
not usually affected. This allows the friend to give good and unbiased advice to each other since the
interest is purely unselfish. A good friendship is a wonderful thing to have since friends can share
feelings, experiences, and knowledge that most partners in marriages would not dare to share.
Despite marriage being such an intimate relationship, there are a lot of secrets that if known could
jeopardize the marriage itself or put it at a serious disadvantage. Since in a friendship, the other
friend can in no way be threatened by this kind of information, it can be fairly honest. Friendship is
a spiritual affection; the affections of marriage usually are not. Friends are not usually interdependent
and thus do not share the vulnerabilities that marriage couple share. Friendship may eventually grow
in a marriage, but it is extremely difficult. First, most friendships are of the same sex. Marriage is
usually a union of two opposite sexes--male and female. The male and female points of view are not
the same and usually their interested are not the same. They are biologically and emotionally
different from each other, and this in and of itself makes friendship in a marriage difficult. There is
great difficulty in arriving at a true understanding of each other, and without that understanding, true
friendship is impossible. But there is a way in which these barriers can be surmounted.
First we must acknowledge that true friendship in a marriage is not possible unless both participants
desire it. The fact that most marriages are held together by forces other than friendship is a reflection
of the lack of desire for true friendship. If each participant of the marriage is willing to forgo his
selfish claims upon the other, claims that are often unfair and unrealistic, then this can be used as a
foundation to build true friendship. In a true friendship each partner seeks the good of the other,
recognizing that the good of the other may not be directly fulfilling; in fact it may be in conflict of
what the person desires. But marriage also has moral parameters to it, and this can serve as
foundation also for building a true friendship.
Now in the matter of overcoming or composing the differences between the male and the female,
praying for and with each other is the surest way to transcend biological differences and emotional
slants. This praying for and with each other reveals the spiritual dimensions of the relationship
whereby each of them discover their spiritual relationship to each other. This spiritual relationship
recognizes God as Father and the couple as brother and sister. This divine affection then comes to
be the true affection that eclipses all other considerations.
When viewing each other from such a lofty position, it is easy to recognize the true motive of the
other, easy to recognize that differences do not spring from malice or ill will but from intrinsically
different view points. Differences of viewpoint and inclinations are not seen as ill will, but as
inherent differences. Under the light and guidance of prayer, each makes a serious effort to turn these
differences from handicaps to positive benefits.
And since each wants what is best for the marriage and for each other, then what is truly best for the
marriage is best for each other. Each will be glad to yield to that which is best. After all, problems
are best solved when all points of view are considered, especially when those points of view are
unselfish and are really desirous of doing what is best. Now doing what is best is discerned in prayer
and worship as each of the participants sincerely seek to do the Father's will. Such an attitude
generates a true affection that is accepting of diversity in the other partner, and seeks to encourage,
inspire, and help the other partner be all that he/she can be. This is the oneness of marriage, and
ultimately this is beauty, the unification of the male and the female point of view.
This concludes today's message on understanding the relationship between marriage and friendship.
We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry