My Beloved and My Friend

This Is My Beloved And This Is My Friend: 9 Ways To Be Both To Your Spouse

Marriage is a beautiful thing that joins two people together as lovers and as friends.

Recently, I read through Song of Solomon with a friend as part of our daily Bible reading plan.

If you’re unfamiliar with Song of Solomon, the Christian Courier summarizes it in the following way:

Song of Solomon celebrates the joy of wedded love; it illustrates the value of marriage in cementing male/female relationships.

Wayne Jackson

In the book, we read exchanges of anticipation and excitement between the bride and groom (and others) leading up to their wedding night. You can plainly see how much they long to be together and how special each one is to the other.

Words for Your Beloved

As a kid, this book in the Old Testament used to make me blush. Even now, I find myself giggling at some of the exchanges between Solomon and his bride.

Maybe you’ll enjoy some of these (less sensual) compliments 😉…

  • Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes that have come up from the washing, all of which bear twins (4:2)
  • His eyes are like doves beside streams of water, bathed in milk, sitting beside a full pool (5:12)
  • Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Gilead (6:5)
  • Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate behind your veil (6:7)
  • Your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies (7:2)

Gentlemen, please refrain from referring to our bellies as “heaps” of anything…most of us girls will be insulted 😂.

My Beloved and My Friend

Even if you’ve never read Song of Solomon, I bet you are familiar with one verse (or part of it)…

I have found the one whom my soul loves.

Song of Solomon 3:4

Recognize it? You’ve probably seen this verse on different pieces of home decor and signs, usually displayed in master bedrooms. Don’t get me wrong, this is a nice verse and makes for a great piece of Biblical artwork.

But let me introduce you to my new favorite verse from Song of Solomon…

Solomon and His Bride

In chapter 5, the bride verbally describes all of the physical things she loves about her man from his head to his feet (vs 10-16). She talks about how handsome he is, even among 10,000 other men.

His arms are rods of gold,
    set with jewels.
His body is polished ivory,
    bedecked with sapphires.
His legs are alabaster columns,
    set on bases of gold.

Song of Solomon 5:14-15

As she speaks of her beloved, it is clear to see how attracted she is to him and how proud she is to call him her own.

But here is my favorite part. She concludes with this…

This is my beloved and this is my friend,
    O daughters of Jerusalem.

Song of Solomon 5:16

I love that.

What greater blessing than to have the one you love more than anyone else in a romantic sense, also be your best friend? Someone you choose to spend time with again and again. Isn’t that the real #relationshipgoals ?

Our Love Story

It wouldn’t be right to talk all about marriage without telling you a little bit about my beloved. ❤

CJ and Kelcey on their wedding day - my beloved and my friend.

CJ (my husband) and I met as college students while we attended the University of Oklahoma (BOOMER SOONER!!). We had mutual friends at the church there, and spent a lot of time together as a result.

Some of our friends tried to push us together. I remember we took a group trip to Six Flags and they kept trying to get us to go down the log water ride together. I remember thinking “the one where I have to sit in front of him?? Ewwww no,” so we sent him down with another guy and I rode with a girl friend. Sorry, CJ.

She’s Got Whatever “It” Is

When he heard “Whatever It Is” by The Zac Brown Band and pictured me throughout the song, he knew he had feelings for me.

Some time later, he asked me out. I said no. He asked again. I still said no.

I’m sure you’ve noticed, but I am significantly taller than my husband. Like, about 6 inches. We can’t fake even being close to the same height. And to my 20-year old self…that was important. I didn’t want to be the couple that looked different walking down the sidewalk or in pictures. I didn’t want someone that I would tower over for the rest of my life.

But then, I started to really get to know him. I compared every other “interest” to him and no one could even come close.

I knew that once we started dating, that we would never stop…and honestly, that was a little scary.

Here’s where we tell the story differently…he says that I asked him out. I say that I told him he could try again and I’d say yes. By the way, you have to agree with me since this is my blog 😉.

An Amazing Husband and Father

Within a few weeks of our marriage, we moved from Oklahoma to central Florida. We’ve grown up emotionally and spiritually away from our families and though it has been hard at times, we also think it was extremely good for us. We had to learn to rely on each other quickly, because we were on our own.

CJ has always been so easy to be around – we can talk for hours, but we can also sit in comfortable silence.

I love how he puts his arm around me and holds my hand. His smile. How tightly he hugs. His strength and athleticism. His work ethic.

CJ always put my needs and wants above his own. He is the most humble person I know and has the strongest moral compass I have ever seen. He makes me laugh and he humors my quirks. And just when I thought I couldn’t love him any more, he became a father to our two wonderful little girls.

You can see how much he loves us by the look in his eyes ❤.

Your Spouse, Your Beloved

Physical Intimacy

Ok, I am not the authority in the realm of physical intimacy, and I don’t feel like this is the time or place to discuss it in detail, but physical intimacy in marriage is a good and necessary thing. God created it from the beginning and said that it was “good.” Song of Solomon is further proof that this is an important part of marriage.

Things like having young children at home, work schedules, and other seasons of life can make this part of marriage more challenging at times. But it’s important to prioritize and value this time with your spouse. Physical intimacy is a big part of keeping your spouse your “beloved.”

For more on this topic, here are two great resources I recommend:

Emotional Intimacy

I watched a show recently that touched on emotional cheating…how in some ways, when your spouse feels more connected to someone else and shares intimate thoughts and feelings with them, that can be more difficult to overcome than the act of adultery alone.

I’ve said it before, but it is so important to guard your marriage.

Your beloved should be the person you can share anything with…even the parts of you that aren’t so pretty. Don’t forget to return the favor – to listen and love when they come to you as well.

Some of my favorite nights with CJ are when we turn off the TV after the girls are asleep, and spend hours just being “us.” We’ll sprawl out on the living room rug and joke around, talk through challenges ahead of us, and reminisce about the past.

Maybe you like to take drives? Sometimes, conversation just flows easier in the car (and you can’t walk away from each other 😉).

However you choose to do it, make sure you have opportunities to talk with your spouse…without distractions.

“Date” Your Spouse

Sometimes, people get the idea that once they get married, they “don’t have to try” anymore. Yikes. A wedding is just the beginning, not the end!

Be your spouse's lover and best friend

It’s important to continue to “date your spouse.” To get a little flirty, to have time alone together, and to enjoy each other’s company.

Again with the tiny humans, but with small kids at home, you may have to get a little creative with this. It doesn’t have to be a 5-star restaurant or a movie every time. Maybe an at-home movie (your only option during the pandemic for the most part lol)? Having a backyard fire and s’mores? What if you surprised them by taking care of one of their to-do’s?

Fellas, a lot of us ladies just want to know you thought about us. Even bringing home our favorite candy can have us in tears. We just want to know we were on your mind.

Speak Their “Love Language”

I used to be jealous of the girls who had boyfriends, husbands, and fiancés who would totally gush over them on social media and brag about how wonderful their lady is. So much so, that we had a “rule” that he would at least post on my Facebook page on my birthday. Yikessss that is super embarrassing to admit. Ohhh 20-something Kelcey 🙈.

My husband hates social media. Why would I ever expect him to be like those other guys? He may not post how much he loves me for the world to see, but he tells me regularly. He’s not going to write me a love song, but he’ll sing them with me in the car.

Enter the “Love Languages.”

Perhaps you’ve heard of Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. In the book, Mr. Chapman reveals 5 ways that people express and receive love…and which are most impactful to an individual.

It is an excellent and insightful study, but briefly, here are the 5 love language categories:

  1. Words of Affirmation – compliments, words of affection, “brags,” notes, love letters, etc
  2. Gifts – thoughtful gifts and gestures
  3. Acts of Service – helping with “to do” list, chores, and projects
  4. Quality Time – special moments, uninterrupted conversation, center of attention
  5. Physical Touch – hugs, kisses, hold hands, “public displays of affection” (PDA)

At a marriage seminar, we took time to take a quiz and discover our own love languages. My top 3 were words of affirmation (I guess that explains the embarrassing Facebook story), acts of service, and physical touch. The facilitator explained that *most* men have physical touch as their #1, which really isn’t a surprise to most people (scroll back up for the section on physical intimacy).

Now that we both know each other’s love languages, we can say “I love you” in more meaningful ways.

If you’d like to learn more about the 5 Love Languages, but don’t want to add another book to your reading list, check out their website! You can even take a short quiz to discover your own love languages (also for children and teens!).

Kid-Free Vacations

One of my favorite things we do together is take an annual anniversary trip…without our kids. It started as an accident, but every year, we take turns surprising the other with our anniversary destination. It hasn’t always been somewhere fancy. The year we had our oldest daughter, we spent the night just a few hours from home while a friend babysat. Other years, we’ve been able to go on a cruise and spend time in NYC.

It’s fun to explore new places together and to have time to do whatever we want without worrying about nap schedules (unless we want to take a nap!).

If you have the opportunity, I highly suggest you give this a try. This is probably the thing we both look forward to most throughout the year as a couple.

Go ahead, steal our tradition!!

Your Spouse, Your Friend

One thing I see a lot of people post when they get engaged is “I can’t wait to marry my best friend!” And though it can seem cliché, I hope that that’s the case!

Marriage will be a less-than-enjoyable experience if you don’t like your spouse. Things happen, and there are challenging seasons, but spending time with your beloved should feel a lot like spending time with a friend.

We Go Together

My husband and his family are big into movies. I was not. They would put a movie on, and within a few minutes, I’d be asleep. But over time, I watched some of their family favorites and could get in on some of the references.

The point is, I tried. Movies weren’t important to me, but they were something he really enjoyed.

You might not like everything that you spouse is interested in, but give some of them a try. By expanding your interests, you will have more things to enjoy together.

Maybe there are things you already enjoy doing together? Things that brought you together in the first place? I’d love to hear your favorite activities to do with your beloved and friend – drop me a comment below!

Jokes on Us

You’ve gotta be able to joke and have a good time with your friends, right? Do the same with your spouse! Inside jokes aren’t always fun if you’re not in on them, but I think they mark a healthy relationship…kinda like little fun secrets you share. Maybe all it takes is eye contact and you know what the other found funny.

We like to sing and dance in the car. CJ can get really twangy if Garth Brooks or Travis Tritt is on the radio haha. There’s no shame in our game. I’m sure one day it will embarrass the snot out of our children, but I’d much rather they see that mama and daddy enjoy spending time and being silly together.

Being silly with my beloved and my friend

Before we were married, we were being goofy after church in the auditorium, and an older gentleman came by and said “aren’t cousins fun?” and smiled. We giggled knowing that we were planning our wedding (and for sure aren’t cousins 😉) but glad to know that other people can see the fun we have together.

Don’t take yourself too seriously and forget to have fun with your spouse!

Lend a Helping Hand

Who do you call when you need help? Your friends! Make sure you extend the same courtesy to your spouse.

My husband is the world’s best at helping out around the house. He might not see what needs to be done like I do, but he is always asking “what do you need me to do?” or jumping in to do dishes.

Your home is a place you both share, so don’t forget to help each other out. Maybe you could mow the grass before he gets home from work? Is there a project you’ve both been wanting to tackle? Is there a chore that you know they hate? Why not take care of it for them once in a while if you can?

Like I said before, most people just want to know you thought about them…that you care enough to think of things to make their lives easier.

Staying Out of the “Friend Zone”

I’ll share another story, but this one isn’t so happy.

2016 was the hardest year we’ve faced as a couple.

Our oldest daughter was born, which was happy, but I was a very anxious first-time mom. I don’t think I realized the extent of my anxiety until our second daughter was born. I had a lot of guilt for going back to work, even though I knew I had to and that it was best for our family at the time.

At the time, CJ was working 3-11pm at an insurance call center. He hated his job and was frustrated beyond belief. One night, he came home at his wits end and we just sat on the floor, feeling defeated, for what felt like hours.

We rarely saw each other and when we did, we felt more like roommates than anything else. If you are/have ever worked split shifts, let me give you a hug! It is HARD.

Feeling like the opposites of lovers and friends is awful. This was supposed to be the person I knew the best, and yet, I felt like I hardly knew him at all.

Thankfully, we were able to overcome and have come out stronger, but it wasn’t easy and I know it’s not for so many others.

Much More than Friends

There’s an old toothpaste commercial that says “If you’re not whitening, you’re yellowing.” If you aren’t working on your marriage and paying attention to it, it may be suffering. In hard situations, it’s important to give *extra* time and attention to your marriage. If not, what you’ve built together will slowly slip away.

How can you do that? Here are a few ideas for a marriage going through a difficult season:

  • PRAY
  • Be extra understanding and patient
  • Prioritize the time you do have together
  • Send/leave encouraging texts or notes
  • Express gratitude and thanks daily

Resources for Couples

Although everyone wants their spouse to be “my (automatic) beloved and my friend,” it takes some effort. Sometimes, you may need professional help. Others, resources like the ones I’ve compiled below may give you the boost you need.

The Dating Divas – this is a great website with tons of fun date ideas, as well as all kinds of marriage tips and advice.

We all know that marriage can become TOO comfortable {a.k.a. routine} and dating your amazing spouse – the way you did when first falling in love – is the sure-fire way to keep that SPARK in marriage!

Tara – The Dating Divas

Recommended Books

His Needs, Her Needs: Building a Marriage that Lasts – by Willard Harley. Men and women are different by design. This book identifies the 10 most vital needs of men and women and shows husbands and wives how to satisfy those needs for their spouses.

Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. The idea of husbands loving their wives is less foreign than the idea of wives respecting their husbands. But in a healthy marriage, you need both! Read this book to reveal the secret to couples meeting each other’s deepest needs–without love she reacts without respect, and without respect he reacts without love, and a painful, negative cycle begins. Men need their wives to show a certain level of respect for them and their leadership. Respect (and submission) get a bad rep, but this book shows what a positive, healthy, and necessary thing it is in a marriage.

Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage by Dr. Kevin Leman

Intended for Pleasure by Dr. and Mrs. Ed Wheat.

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman (additional resources on the love languages website)

Friends and Lovers

Think back on why you married your spouse. What attracted you to them (physically and emotionally)? Was it love at first sight? Or did you have a “warm-up” period?

I would love to hear your love stories! Share them in the comment section below.

I know I talked a lot about my marriage in this post…I try to not make these super personal and all about me. But hey, that is the marriage I know the best so it just made sense!

Although our marriage isn’t perfect, my husband is my beloved and he is my friend.

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