Well, our recording plan went awry yesterday, so we have no recording of the class. I will post some of what we did on the "Being Wise" page as the week goes along. 

One of the major issues was a comment I made about the current practice of saying "he's not just my husband, he's my best friend," or of saying to a husband "I feel like my best friend has been missing," when he has not been what you wanted him to be. I know this hits at one of the most popular modern ideas, but I have my reasons.

My first reason is simple -- he is your husband. He holds a unique, special place in your life that no one else holds. He is the person with whom you go to bed and with whom you wake up. He shares your home, your children, your finances, your troubles. He is there for everything and involved in everything. No one has a "friend" like this, even a 'best friend." Yet, you feel like you have done something important when you say he is your "best friend." Why?

Because of the error of  thinking of "just a husband" as an insult.  The error is taking the greater (being a husband) and making it lesser (being a friend). The trend toward this conversational style evolved from people who wanted to compliment their husbands and the only way they could feel good was to say he was not really "just" a husband, but was also something else. Something lesser in reality but greater in their minds and culture. 

The problem is that we define "husband" to mean nothing more than the person we married. "Just a husband" means "just the guy we married" and we feel no obligation to that role. We, to put it simply, do not value his marriage to us as much as we value things like listening and sharing, which we think of as "friend" things. We do not even think of how much listening and sharing he has already done and does daily.

Every time I hear a woman say her husband is "her best friend" I remember when it was enough to be a good husband. I remember the days when marrying a woman was considered a greater commitment than merely listening to her complaints. I remember when a husband was expected to be more than just a "best friend" with his wife, he was expected to be one with her. He belongs to her. That is what marriage is all about.

There is no sin in referring to your husband as your "best friend" or even of thinking that way, but it well illustrates how little you expect from a husband. No "best friend" will love you as Christ loved the church. No "best friend" will be the life partner that a husband can and should be. There is no "best friend" to whom you owe the highest regard and consideration, as you owe to him. "Best friends" are seldom BFFs and we normally have several during our lives. But there is only one husband.

By reducing him from a husband to a friend, you have removed a very important truth about your daily life -- that you are married. He does not listen to you out of friendship, but out of commitment to you and to God. His patience, his love, his consideration do not arise from friendship, but from love and partnership. You are

We are fond of saying, in regard to parenting, that parents are wrong to try to be their child's "friend." "He does not need a friend, he needs a father" or "he needs a mother," we will say. Why? Because there are levels of commitment beyond friendship. The level of commitment in marriage is greater than in any other human relationship. It is much more than being a friend.

We do not need to think of our husbands as "best friends" but as husbands. As men to whom we are married, who married us out of all the women in the world, who have a relationship with us unlike any they will ever have (we hope) with any other person they ever know. "He is a good husband" is a far greater compliment than "he is my best friend," and includes a great many more truths.

Perhaps the better option is to say "he's not just a husband, he's a
good husband and he's my husband."

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