Dependence Within a Healthy Marriage
As individuals, our most important dependency is upon God. But we must also recognize our need for human relationships—the kind that help us relate on a social, emotional, and practical level.
These relationships give us pleasure and fulfillment, and they include friends, extended family, and work associates. There are two kinds of human relationships that meet this need:
1) Spouses. The most important relationship on this level is with a husband or wife. Whether we recognize it our not, each of us longs for a relationship of deep trust and mutual support. God designed marriage to meet this need.
This mutual interdependence is very important for the development of intimacy in a marriage. It requires unity and cooperation, and also creates a healthy environment for successful parenting.c
Of course, in every marriage, there are problems to work through and obstacles to overcome in the pursuit deep trust and intimacy. But the benefits are worth it. A strong, healthy marriage requires a husband and wife to both depend upon each other.
2) Friends. In addition to our deep relationships with our spouses, we also need a group of godly, supportive friends. Great friendships with fellow believers—especially those who share our same values—support us in our faith and help us maintain the health of our marriages and families.
I’ve pastored and counseled people for many years concerning their marriages and families, and have noticed a common thread among those who constantly struggle and fail in family relationships.
They lack godly, supportive relationships around them. Or, to put it another way, they are involved in unhealthy and unsupportive relationships.
“Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits’” (1 Cor. 15:33).
Sadly, I’ve seen the truth of that statement time and time again in failed marriages. Unhealthy outside relationships can lead to unhealthy marriages. When a husband and wife are unable to meet each others’ need for healthy dependency within marriage, their lives suffer.
We need those relationships as a couple and we need them as a family. The best place to build these types of relationships is through a healthy, Bible-based church. Find one. Get involved. Don’t hide out on the fringes, but become active and build relationships with healthy people.
Positive relationships keep us on the right track within our marriages. These friends support us, encourage us, and often model successful, godly relationships for us.
While there are no perfect people, a person who is committed to following God and living by the standards of Scripture will have a healthy influence on us. As a family, as a couple, and as individuals, those are relationships we need.