What do you do when you don’t like your friend’s spouse? The primary thing to consider when you dislike your friend’s chosen (or intended) is what action (if any) is God asking you to take? Must you love unconditionally? Forgive? Humble yourself? If your friend seems to be dating a bad seed, maybe you need to ask some hard questions. Or perhaps you need to release personal preferences and trust God to work out your friend’s situation.
I was particularly impacted by Jeanette’s testimony. She writes:
My sister’s always been my best friend. Despite my best efforts (although I have to admit my “best efforts” weren’t that impressive), I couldn’t find any redeeming qualities in the man she chose to marry. I thought he was an arrogant little hobbit, and I didn’t exactly roll out the red carpet to welcome him to the family. Unfortunately, by failing to love him flaws and all (which is how Christ loves us), I ended up building a wall between my sister and me.
Now that the seven-year itch has hit their marriage, my sister is reluctant to come to me for support. My earlier complaints about her husband prevent her from leaning on me during her time of need. The Bible is clear that Christians should support marriages. I fear my words, even those spoken in secret, have in some ways separated what God joined together in my sister’s marriage.
I think we would agree that the worst thing we could do would be to render ourselves spiritually useless in our friends’ lives. But where’s the line? Obviously we are called to offer biblical advice as our friends navigate relationships and marriage. At the same time, our love, support and prayers can be crucial to our friends as they seek to discern the Lord’s will.
I remember confronting a good friend of mine after she became engaged months after she had broken off a relationship with another man. I didn’t have qualms about her chosen, but I was concerned that she was entering a rebound relationship. I asked her some specific questions. Her answers left me satisfied that she was indeed following the Lord, not her emotions, in her decision to wed.
Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions, but don’t forget to exercise humility, grace and love as you tread relationship territory with friends. Refrain from hasty judgments or words you may later regret.