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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Who is Your Person?

On one of my favorite shows, the two lead characters, best friends, call each other their "person."  You know, the one who you go to with all your joys and sorrows, the one who will be there for you indefinitely.

For about the last ten years (a little less if I'm honest), my person has been Herb.  Pretty convenient that he's my roommate, my business partner, my co-parenter, and the love of my life.  Don't get me wrong, I have definitely had (and still do) my share of amazing friends who are incredible blessings, that I would even call "best friends," but when it comes right down to it, Herb is my person.

Friendship is one of the most sure-fire ways to have a successful marriage, according to Mark and Grace Driscoll.  Mark is the lead pastor at Mars Hill in Seattle, and Herb and I have been enjoying his podcasted sermons for a few years now.  When I saw that Mark and his wife Grace would be giving a marriage conference, I jumped at the chance to buy tickets.  They just wrote a book called "Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together."  It is most certainly the most heartfelt and practical marriage book I have ever read.

(source)
And guess what, in case you don't want to read the book or didn't go to the conference, Pastor Mark preached on this subject for a few weeks, and you can see the videos (or read the transcripts) right here.

The first session on Friday night was about friendship - in fact - they called it "Friends with Benefits," which was pretty entertaining.  So basically, you have three kinds of marriage:

1. Back to back - husband and wife are co-existing but living separate lives

2. Shoulder to shoulder - husband and wife are basically glorified business partners.  Taking the kids where they need to go, working all the time to make sure the bills get paid, etc.  I gotta say, it's easy to slip in to this phase of marriage, but there is certainly a huge disconnect when you're there.

3.  Face to face - husband and wife are taking time to intentionally spend time together.  They pray, talk and fight face to face.  Face to face bring better communication, and therefore, a better marriage.

Unflattering picture, huh?  At the conf.
Logistically, we realized that we DON'T spend much time face to face.  In fact, when we eat (in our tiny kitchen that seats three), we sit side by side and spend the whole time looking at Levi.  So step one was to switch the placement of Levi's high chair so that now Herb and I face each other and Levi is on our sides.  In just a week, this has made a HUGE difference in our dinner conversation (which is sometimes all we've got on a busy day).

We are also making it a point to spend more time together with TVs and computers turned off.  For example, last night when I got home from work, we spent 30 minutes outside on our patio just chatting about the day.  Previously, this conversation would have happened during commercials or just before we fell asleep.

The other thing we suck at is praying together outside of before dinner.  For some reason, it feels a little out of our comfort zone to pray together and for each other, but it is rewarding on so many levels when we do it.

Okay, this post is getting long, so I'm going to come back with part two - what being friends with your spouse should look like.


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