The Primacy of Friendship

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This is an idea that has only really crystallised in my mind today. In my writings I have spoken so many times about the importance of friendship in relationships, and “trying to get my head around” what that actually means in practical terms. This has been my main confusion: that very true…thing that when you are attracted to someone (and trying to win them to your life), you are more likely to act in ways that mimic true friendship OR at least genuine care for that other person or even people in general. You are also, naturally, more likely to try to portray yourself in a positive light as being full of the virtues which would make someone want to be your friend or consider you a great friend. A big difficulty is that I’ve largely been speaking from theory, as I have been simply unable to truly visualise how exactly the friendship would work, without the romance/attraction factor. Now however, I feel that I understand a bit more, and can better talk about it.

Focusing on other parts of marriage:
I think that this following is an important consideration for anyone hoping for a relationship; that different marriages can focus on different things or can spring out from different things. What is more, different couples can choose what to base their marriages upon! Perhaps it is true to say that everyone makes this choice whether they realise it or not. I’m sure that in many marriages, the two spouses will choose different things to base their marriage on. This is such a cliche, but plausible all the same – in the same marriage the husband might base his marriage, that is, choose his wife, based primarily on physical attraction – that is, the fact that she looks phenomenal; while the wife might simultaneously choose him based on hopes of financial security. (I’m naturally such a feminist, so I would instinctively reject this example for myself – and yet for many people I have to concede that this is exactly how it works 🙁 )

When I talk about friendship, I mean deep, unyielding respect for one another’s character, and a deep, strong interaction that springs up from that. In this post I talk about the primacy of friendship, because recent experience has made it truly strike home that for me, for my vision of marriage, for my hopes of marriage, this is what I want to be central; this is what I want my marriage to spring out from. While I have chosen this to be central in my own marriage, other things that people might choose to base their marriages on might include physical/sexual attraction, hopes of financial success, longing for social status/prestige, or even emotional intimacy. Some people might even choose to base their marriages on mutual commitment to Christ! (I’m only joking, of course it goes without saying that “mutual commitment to Christ” is the true fundamental pillar of my marriage. I’ve also spoken about this countless times. Coming after this though, I believe, should be strong, genuine friendship.)

When I say “the primacy of friendship”, all I mean is that I believe that true friendship based on genuine respect for one another is the strongest foundation for a marriage, and should be put first, before everything else.


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Please stay tuned for tomorrow’s article: Tosin’s List – Part One, Why the List?
Yesterday’s article: Happy 5th Birthday to “Finding Mr Huggie-Wuggie”!

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