I recently attended the bachelor party for my friend James, someone I talked about on a YOB ConvoCast episode. Later I participated in his rehearsal, along with the wedding. During all these events I had an in-depth, heartfelt, private conversation with James about his relationship with his soon-to-be wife, including his future plans, dreams, hopes, and serious concerns.
I love that guy! We talked about so much stuff that really matters. One thing James told me: “I actually haven’t had sex with her yet.”
And I know my friend was telling the truth. He follows Jesus, even when it really costs him.
He then asked me, “Should we bring children into this scary new world with dangers of nuclear war, disease, economic collapse, and violence?”
I told him that having children would demonstrate hope for the future. It was so fulfilling to feel James’ love and trust in a very solid friendship. A friendship that has been forged in the fires of pain and difficulty, but even more so in the joys and triumphs of accomplishing some of God’s purposes for our lives.
I know I wouldn’t be the man I am today without James’ influence. He has helped me change the way I live, from being a victim to becoming a victor.
God did not create us to hide from evil and be “safe.” God meant us to conquer, to “overcome evil with good.”
I also talked with another friend at the wedding, Ben. I’ve known Ben for about ten years, but we haven’t seen each other as much since he got married three years ago.
He wrapped his arms around me, as well as his heart. I told him about the difficult, awkward decisions and actions of my last few years. He reassured me that I’ve been making the right decisions and the results will be worth the struggle.
Ben made sure I felt his love as we also discussed losing our friend Pierce who died in a car crash four years ago. During that time I was paralyzed with grief, but Ben and James stayed strong and helped others in our community, including me.
Watching my friends’ strength in the face of death inspired and changed me. I told Ben that I believe I can now be much more courageous and trustworthy in future life-and-death situations.
My experiences throughout this wedding weekend showed me that when a close male friend marries a woman, of course that friendship will change. But it will not end.
I know both James and Ben will remain my friends and that I will continue to feel their love and positive impact on my life!
Have you had any straight male friends endure through marriages, or have you perhaps lost any after their marriages? What are your hopes, dreams, and fears for friendships beyond marriages?
I’ve found friends’ marriages challenging to work through. I hope to endure and find genuine joy for the other party as you have done and continue to do, Marshall.
Marshall, this is such a joyous thing! Thanks for sharing your personal experiences. I also have a very good friend from church who has stuck beside me for decades even after I revealed my struggle. Just in the last year, he has started to show me a very side of himself and we have grown even closer. It’s so worth the investment to be vulnerable with our friends. God bless you!