We are known by the company we keep. I keep company with this man. He is my truest friend, my fiercest defender, my solid ground. He shows me angles on the world beyond my view-finder and helps me understand that the way I’ve always seen it is not necessarily the way it really is. I do the same for him, I just do it in a sassier sort of way.
Friendship in marriage is not optional. It’s not a bonus. It’s not a sad substitute for real passion. It’s essential. It creates the substructure of the house you’re building. You may not see the lack of solid framing in a house until the wind blows; but I promise, you will then. You see it when your world shakes. Friendship is essential.
I know this isn’t new information; every single lady I know would say they want to marry a man who is their friend, but I do think new love tends to blur the lines and cover over issues that would be deal breakers in other kinds of relationships. Sometimes the rush of fresh passion sweeps basic discernment out the door.
I don’t have a list of tips for falling in love this Valentine’s Day. The older I get, the more I’m certain it’s different for everyone. I do have this one thing, though, that keeps coming back to me which is why I’m going to say it yet again: We are known by the company we keep.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Steve Stern. I’m so thankful for the friendship and fighting and winning and losing and loving and risking I’ve done with you.