“We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine.” (Song of Songs 1:4b NIV)
In verse 4 above in Song of Songs, the header of part b is labeled “Friends.” Through the book of Song of Songs the headers help us follow who is speaking which verses. There are times the woman speaks to her lover, times when the man replies and speaks to the woman, and then there are times the friends speak. In the NKJV translation the header is labeled “Daughters of Jerusalem” and in the NLT they are called “Young Women of Jerusalem.”
We are continuing with SOS week. All week I’ve posted scriptures and encouragement from Song of Songs and it is some very heavy romantic literature, am I right? So as we read through the book, there are 3 main speakers. The two lovers and then the female friends aka “Friends,” “Daughters of Jerusalem,” or “Young Women of Jerusalem.” No matter which you prefer to call them, they are the women who chime into the love life of these two lovers. Which leads me to ask you as well as myself, who are the friends we allow to chime into our marriages?
Now if you’re like me, at first you think “all my friends are supportive and I can trust them with everything or anything.” Well that is true when you want to talk about chaos at work, your random run in with a girl from high school, or how your day went in general. But, should my friends speak into my marriage? In verse 4 above, the friends are supportive and rejoicing in the love the woman shares with her man. They sound delighted and I don’t doubt they are delighted. In the rest of the book, this love is truly a love to model after and worthy of rejoicing. But I must warn that not all friends should speak into our marriages.
The text doesn’t say how many women are in this group of “Friends.” But based on experience, we as women know that less is better when it comes to picking the friends in which we share our marriage details. Life has given us all lessons and I know those lessons bring wisdom. Which is why I can tell you, be careful of who you allow to voice their opinions or thoughts into your life and especially your marriage.
A few years ago at a women’s bible study class, the speaker encouraged us to find a more mature Christian woman to advise us, counsel us, and be our accountability partner. The speaker continued to tell us how we should not give our marriage specifics to our mothers or parents because it will cause them to paint a jaded picture of our husbands. It puts our parents in an awkward position and they cannot be unbiased in most situations. She also said we should not give our marriage specifics to several friends or to friends that are not believers in Christ. For me this was very enlightening and also going to be difficult. I have a very close phone relationship with my mother since going away to college. Not only that, I’ve always given details of my life to my friends candidly because I label myself an open book. Well the speaker is right. Even in small arguments with our husbands, our parents will begin to form opinions based on one side of the story. Especially after hearing the intricate details so often. And who could blame them? They are your parents.
The speaker is right about giving too much info to several friends. When we give so much of our personal life to different people we get back too many voices (like too many chefs in the kitchen, things get messy). Also with giving personal details to non-believers we get back worldly advice and if it is worldly it is not godly advice.
I’m not saying to cut off half your friends or non-believing friends. I’m sure they can give sound advice and a good listening ear. But do we want sound advice or godly advice? Yes, we want what God says about our marriages, our roles, and everything else! Thus, we should be encouraged and follow the advice of that speaker in the women’s bible study class that day. God will place someone or someones in our life to be our mature advisor(s). Just like the women in verse 4 who were delighted and joyful about the two lovers, we will find a small few who will be joyful, speak truthful, and be godly friends for our relationships.
The Truth About Friends in Marriage:
1) Go to God first.
2) Limit who you seek for marriage and relationship advice. Keep it short, 1 or 2 close friends.
3) Make sure it is a woman who shows fruits of the spirit and seeks the Lord in her life as well.
4) Do not let the person be your mother or parent, if you can help it. Remember no matter how hard they try to be fair, they are still YOUR parents and will be biased as expected. Any parent would be.
I will be following along with you. On the search to have that seasoned Christian woman, or women, in my life to speak into my marriage. If you have already found that friend or friends, thank the Lord right now for the blessing. If you are still searching, ask the Lord right now for this person. As wives, soon to be wives, and single women preparing for this journey, we need a friend that can listen to the ins & outs. We need a shoulder, an ear, and a word from a trustworthy more mature woman. Be blessed this week girls!
Note: My mother is awesome, always helping me day to day, and is truly my model of a good wife and mother.