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I always advise young men and women to marry their friend. What I mean by that is that friendship should be the basis of the relationship. A lot of people never become real friends till they marry. When that happens they often take a long time to really adjust to each other.

But if time is spent to develop friendship, the relationship is strong and solid because a friend loves at all times. Those who are not friends quickly settle into the roles of husbands and wives and often have a difficult time adjusting to one another.

Relationships were meant to grow from strength to strength. Therefore there are various levels of friendship. Each higher level comes with a higher level of intimacy and attachment. I have identified four levels of friendship, learning from the Lord Jesus.

When our Lord walked on this earth, He had seventy general friends, twelve good friends, three very good friends and one best friend. Comparing it to the journey of love into marriage, I would say that you must marry somebody who has passed through the various stages to become a best friend. That is why I personally believe that our preparation for marriage actually starts from the time we are children.

If you get this basic fact right, it will answer many questions like when should I propose and others.

LEVEL 1: THE 70 GROUP (Luke 10:1)
The seventy represents relationships that can best be described as acquaintances. These are casual friends. We know them by faces and may even know them by names but we are not close with them. We don’t make time to visit them. We talk when we meet. We exchange greetings but they are not in our circle of friends. Every friendship starts from this level. There are usually very many people in this stage of friendship. Guys who propose to ladies and ladies who accept proposals at this stage are not serious about marriage and life in general.

LEVEL 2: THE 12 GROUP (Matthew 10:1-2)
The next group that Jesus had were the twelve, usually referred to as the twelve apostles. They were appointed by Jesus from the crowd (Mk 3:14). Here we are talking about people that you can call good friends. This stage may include people that you are in class with or you are in a group with. You know them by name. You know them more closely than the first group. You find yourself doing something common with them, maybe a course, training, ministry etc.

Now the relationship is getting more serious. Out of the good friends you settle on very good friends. Out of the twelve apostles, there were three who were always with Jesus. Peter, James and John who I usually call the PJJ. There are certain places He didn’t go with the twelve but the three. For instance, He went to Jarius’ house with only the three. He went to the mount of transfiguration with only the three.

He shared secrets with the three. There are things He told them and asked them not to tell the rest. For instance when He was transfigured before them, he told them as they were descending the mountain that they should tell no one till he has been raised from the dead. So you see that this level is more intimate. You may have friends of the opposite sex who are in this category. You can share with them on a more personal level. They know you quite well. They share your joys pains, victories and defeat.

Jesus gave the three pet names. He gave Peter the name Peter (John 1:42), James and John He called them sons of thunder (Mark 3:17). That indicates a closer relationship. At this level of friendship you realize that you have some jargons, jokes, memories, nicknames, which are uniquely yours. Among this group, you can poke fun at one another and have a good laugh. This level of friendship is not with one person. Usually there will be a number of people you relate with on this level.

Also Jesus knew and related to the family members of the three more closely. At least they are the only ones whose parents are recorded in the Gospel accounts. Jesus went to Peter’s house and even healed his mother in law(Mark 1:29-31). He was also said to have had a meeting with the mother of James and John (Matthew 20:20).

At this level of friendship, family members are involved. You know about one another’s family. This is the group from which you choose one for your hearts attention.

Lastly Jesus poured His heart out to the three

Matthew 26:36-38
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed(NKJV).

Here, we see it clearly. He told the twelve to sit and wait for Him but He took the PJJ with Him and began to reveal His pains to them.

Out of the three, that is, Peter, James and John, there was one that was closest to Jesus and that one was John. He was the one who was lying on Jesus’ chest at the last supper (John 13:23).

This is when you single one person out of the group of very good friends for your hearts attention. You see that only one person could lean on Jesus’ chest. The person you choose becomes your best friend. He or she will eventually occupy the space in your heart that was reserved for only one human being. Only one person can occupy that one spot. That is the spot your spouse occupies. It is a place of bonding that is stronger than blood.

If there is somebody occupying that space already, you can never bond with your spouse. This is what the Bible meant when it said that ‘A man shall the mother and father and shall cleave unto his wife and the two shall be one flesh’. If you don’t leave, you can never cleave. It is as simple as that.

1 Comment

  • Nathaniel Ankomah Aidoo
    Posted July 8, 2021 at 7:50 am


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