Everyone we spend time with influences us in some way. Think about the people you are around in a typical week. Some we choose to be around. We are around others because of life circumstances. When Nancy and I married, I chose to be around her for the rest of my life. As kids and grandkids were born, I made the same choice for them. I have spent time with some people because of work situations. I had little choice in those but most of the people I have worked with have been great to be around. The friends that I spend time with and that Nancy and I spend time with together are people we choose to be with. When choosing to invest in friendships, we want people who are positive for us and our marriage. We want their influence on us to be good.
Who are the people you spend time with? Do they speak health and encouragement into your life? Do they value marriage? Is God a significant part of their lives? If you were struggling with something, would you come to them for counsel? If your marriage was in trouble, would they commit to help you through the tough times, pray for you and encourage you to stick it out? Do they give you hope?
I have known many people who have chosen to be around others who are unhealthy for them or their marriage. Sometimes they think that they can help the person. I get that. As Christians, God will certainly use us in others’ lives to help them, but never at the expense of our marriage. I think we just have to be careful. Thinking about those you spend time with, if you cannot answer “yes” to all the questions in the paragraph above, take a hard look at those relationships. How are they influencing you? Is your marriage better or worse because they are in your life? The bottom line is that everyone we spend time with influences us in some way. Some in small ways and some in big ways. Some in good ways and some in bad ways. If your goal is truly to have an Awesome Marriage, maybe it is time to take a good look and those you spend time with and see how they are influencing you. It may be time to make some changes.
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