Life is one series of choices after the next. We all have within ourselves the free will to make choices that are good for what we want out of life and we have the free will to make choices that can hurt what we want out of life.
If we determine that we want our marriage to be one of partnership and to be the best it can be, we have to make the choices that will help that to happen. And when it comes to how we handle our friendships, the same “rule” applies.
“Each of us has a choice to make in terms of what we expect out of our friendships with others. You see, some may be content with just hanging out with the boys after a game. It’s fine just throwing the ball around, getting dirty, having some laughs, and then going home. For many that’s enough; that’s what friendship is. But if you want something more for your life, you have to go after it. You need to find people who are looking for the same.” (Dave Currie with Glen Hoos)
It’s true what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:33:
You can’t play with “fire” in going places and doing things with friends that can hurt your marriage and not expect for it to “burn” your marriage so it is severely damaged. If you have friendships that hurt your marriage, then you need to pull back from them, as difficult as that may seem. It’s the same principle as “cutting off the hand that causes you to sin.”
Years ago I had a friend that enjoyed smoking. And that was fine for that friend. But when she kept trying to get me to smoke, and I determined in my mind that I didn’t want to end up a smoker, I had a choice to make. I could either keep up my friendship with this person and eventually become a smoker (because she wouldn’t stop pushing the cigarettes at me and I knew I would eventually give in to appease her) or I would cut off our friendship and find another friend.
As difficult as it was to cut off the friendship, I’m now glad I made that choice (especially as I see other friends who are struggling to try to quit smoking).
If you have a friendship that is hurting your marriage, you have a choice to make. Is this friendship more important to you than your spouse and is the vow you made when you married less important than your friendship, or what?
Sometimes we have friendships that are good for us “for a season” but then it’s time to move on from there because they just aren’t working anymore. A friendship is different than a marriage. With a marriage, you entered into covenant with your spouse and also with God. To leave that marriage for the sake of an outside friendship (no matter how strong the friendship bond was at one time), you are breaking a solemn vow. You need to realize that.