The Friend Factor
The Friend Factor
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
Your close friends are some of the most important predictors of how successful you will be in life and in marriage. The Scripture from 1 Corinthians is a caution against being deceived by the lie that you can keep bad company and not be negatively affected.
At the University of Chicago, researchers found that couples who stayed together through adversity had friends who wanted them to stay together and had a low opinion of divorce. This proves what the Bible says. It also proves another point that might surprise many people—divorce runs in groups. So do adultery, drug and alcohol abuse, and many other behaviors.
The old saying, “misery loves company” is unfortunately true. It is common for divorce to break out in an office, company, neighborhood, family, or sometimes even in a church group. All it takes is one person going through a divorce and becoming bitter at a husband or wife. This person will look for someone to provide consolation and companionship. If you have a seed of discontent in your marriage, the next thing you know this person will be trying to build an offense between you and your spouse.
To succeed in marriage, you need friends who share your values and are committed to their marriages. There are no such things as perfect friends, even if they are very godly people you meet in church. However, perfection isn’t the issue. The issue is that you have a support group around you encouraging you to do the right thing as you also encourage them.
The last thing you need when you are going through tough times in marriage is someone encouraging you to do the wrong thing. You need wise counsel and prayer from a person of faith and character. Karen and I are blessed with good, godly friends. They have stood with each other through many years of mountaintops and valleys of life.
Don’t be deceived; bad company will corrupt your morals and your marriage. Break off unhealthy relationships and work to create healthy ones. The best place I know of to meet good friends is in a Bible-based church. The people there aren’t perfect any more than you are, but they are people who share your values and will be an essential support base for a successful marriage.
Talk It Out | Honestly evaluate your friendships and speak up about any concerns you have. If you identify that some of your friendships aren’t healthy for your marriage, make a commitment to seek out the kind of friends who share your values.
Walk It Out | Invite another couple over for dinner or go out to a movie together. Spend time cultivating friendships that have a positive effect on your marriage.
Created about 1 year ago