Friends With Benefits
Today's culture has it all wrong with this term. Keep reading to see why it best describes the marriage relationship, not casual dating.
Taken from Handle With Care by Andy Thompson. Copyright © 2014. Used by permission.
Love is not to be entered into lightly – it should mean forever. Almost every good marriage is built on a foundation of friendship because it allows for two people to reveal who they really are. A healthy dating relationship has boundaries that protect the integrity of the individuals involved. In this excerpt by Pastor Andy Thompson he explores the importance of friendship first and gives a new meaning to the term “friends with benefits.”
“Friends ... How many of us have them? Friends – the ones you can depend on... Friends. .. How many of us have them? Friends ... Before we go any further, let’s be Friends!” Beyond the experience of counseling people and couples for over 20 years, a part of what motivates me to write this – to try to share the secrets of good marriage – is that fact that I think I have a pretty good marriage. Let me stop hedging – I do have a good marriage. My wife and I love each other, but more importantly, we really like each other.
I know that so many couples think that love is the answer, that love is the key, that what the world needs now is “Love Sweet Love ... That All You need is Love.” Don’t get me wrong, love is hugely important, and I am going to talk about love in Chapter 7. But I have found the real key to a marriage that lasts – and a marriage that you actually want to last – is LIKE.
Whenever I talk about like – talk about LaShawn and I, whenever I talk about us – I always feel a bit guilty. I know I have information to share, I know and believe that this book can help you. And when someone says, “If I can just have a marriage like yours, that would be so cool,” I feel good about that. I am trying to bring marriage back – to make it seem palatable. I am determined to stem the tide of negativity about marriage – help people to realize that it is a great thing.
As I was saying, at the same time I feel guilty. I feel this way because I think that LaShawn and I had an unfair advantage when it comes to the foundation of our going on 25 years together. Even that – when I say we have been together 25 years, that is not really accurate, because for two of those years we were just friends. During that time we dated other people, and would discuss our relationships with each other.