I was walking through the park not long ago. It was one of those warm breezy days when everyone wants to get outside and just enjoy the feeling of life happening around them. The birds were singing. Children were playing. Many had a blanket thrown down for a picnic. And for some, love seemed to be in the air. There were many walking hand in hand soaking up the time they had together. It made me smile.

Friendship. It is so hard to come by in its most authentic state. Two people who are committed to the bettering of the other. Looking out for each other. Walking through good times and bad together. Everybody needs a good friend. Life is too hard not to have one, or two, or 19.

It is an extra special thing to have a good authentic friend who is also the love of your life. There is a level of vulnerability that comes along with friendship is intense, and it becomes even more so when friendship love is paired with romantic love. You are able to experience amazing highs and lows with that person because of the relationship that you have formed. It is a precious thing that must be handled with respect and with care.

I am pleased to say I have this friendship in my life. I give thanks to God often that he allowed me the presence of mind at 19 years old to recognize the potential in the budding friendship between me and Marixa that has since turned into the greatest friendship I have ever known. I am honored to be her husband. She is my best friend and I work hard to be the man she needs me to be.

I look over our time together and I wonder what has been one of the greatest key factors to our nearly 21 years of marriage. While there have been many things that have contributed, one of the things that sticks out is the trust we have in one another. I know that she is for me. She knows that I am for her. We trust each other.

I have seen far too many people who can’t say that. They worry constantly about where their significant other, or close friend, is, or what they are doing, or with whom. Is this really any way to live life? Who wants to be in a constant state of instability? Nobody that I know.

I am sure you have heard the old example of not getting involved with people who are not living the life that you desire to live. The example goes like this: It is much easier for a person standing in a chair to be pulled down by the person on the floor than it is for the person on the floor to be pulled up in the chair. Many people use this example to persuade kids to stay away from other kids that have bad habits, but the same can be true for friendships. Friendships are hard to maintain when both sides are not committed to the maintenance.

Along with trust you have to have honesty. I remember the first few conversations that we had as we were getting to know each other. She was very easy to talk to and I saw quickly that we could be friends. I was faced with a small dilemma: do I start out completely honest and run the risk of saying or doing something she doesn’t like? Or do I play it cool and not open up very much and make her guess at who I really am? Thankfully, I went with honesty.

For our marriage it has been the essential thing. We share our entire life with each other. Yes, it is venerable, but that is where trust comes in. Just like I found out years ago, I can be open and honest with her because she is my closest friend. That is what we do. If you can’t be honest in that situation where can you be honest?

I am so thankful for my best friend. I am thankful for the love we share.

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