One of my earliest childhood recollections is the comforting feeling of climbing into my canopy bed. I’d slide under the white eyelet bedspread and nestle under the weight of it as my mom sat on the edge. She would pull the covers up around my neck as I recited my bedtime prayers, “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take…and if it’s your will, please give me a baby brother or baby sister. Amen” In my heart of hearts I desperately wanted a sibling to play with. I’d see my friends who had sisters and brothers and it was like they had a built-in best friend which was what I secretly longed for as an only child. The nights turned into weeks which turned into months that turned into years. God finally answered my request when I was eleven and along came my baby brother.
Initially I thought God gave me a brother because He assumed it was my first choice by the way I worded my prayer! It wasn’t that I was disappointed but because it took longer than I had hoped, my dreams of having a built-in best friend were dashed by the eleven-year age gap. Instead, people would congratulate my parents then add, “How lucky you are to have a built-in babysitter!”
I settled into my role as the babysitting big sister until I entered college and soon after, my boyfriend, Chad, eventually became my husband. The cool thing about marriage is that while you are pronounced “man and wife” really you are gaining a “built in best friend for life”! To have one person by your side through all of life’s changes is comforting. My husband is the one I turn to when I’m having a bad day with the kids, my boss yells at me for something stupid, or I’m down with the flu. He’s there for me when no one else calls or texts just to “check in” for what seems like weeks and I’m feeling down. He’s also the one I call first when I have good news to share or hear something funny. He is the one I enjoy spending time with even if we’re just sitting on the couch playing games on our phones!
God designed friendship in marriage to reflect His unfailing love toward us and His constant presence with us… and that is what makes the relationship so unique and beautiful. It’s the reason our vows include “to have and to hold”. Perhaps you’re like me and sometimes take that friendship for granted so tonight as we say our bedtime prayers, let’s remember to thank God for our spouse…our built-in best friend for life!
“A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17