One important benefit of marriage and family life that is worth emphasizing and discussing is the provision of companionship in our romantic and other relationships. We may also call it fellowship, which in essence, is the fruit of true companionship.
I always counsel and emphasize that if you know deep within you, that you are NOT WILLING or UNABLE to commit yourself fully to a relationship with a particular individual, make that partner the number one person in your life, and be a true companion at all times for that particular man or woman, then DO NOT MARRY THAT PERSON, because you will never make that person happy and fully productive as a husband or wife.
I often define FELLOWSHIP as FELLOWS-ON-ONE-SHIP. We sink or float together in one boat. Understanding that principle will always make us ensure that our ship is kept clean, healthy, safe, secure, and adequately supplied with all the essentials for survival, nourishment, protection, and a smooth ride.
Companionship quickly brings to mind the idea of company, assistance, group activity, or friendship. Fellowship strongly carries the idea of intimacy, conversation, sharing, interaction, and brotherly love. While companionship emphasizes the presence of a close person always by your side, fellowship underscores what the person does with you in real interactions as you closely relate to each other. Continual interaction is therefore necessary to make companionship meaningful for all forms of relationships.
One of the primary purposes why God made a woman was to help solve man’s problem of loneliness (lack of fellowship) and his inability to achieve complete success without a fitting helper --- someone of the opposite sex with special qualities that supplement, motivate, empower, glorify, and enrich the man with essential ingredients he cannot find anywhere else except in a befitting woman. Of course the woman derives similar reciprocal benefits in return (I know the men eagerly wish to hear me say that very quickly on their behalf!).
We are told that God saw it was not good for the man to be alone. Companionship is therefore indispensable for any man. A man (Adam) was single for a long time before the coming of the woman (Eve) into his arms. The woman had no chance to be single even for a day, and was brought to the man in his home as his special companion. That makes the thoughts and feelings of companionship more strongly felt in women who are more emotional than men. A wife will therefore strongly need the emotional support and satisfaction from her husband for her to feel content and be able to adequately perform her role in that man’s life, happily care for their children and be able to train and discipline them properly, and be completely happy in their home.
A MAN WHO WILL NOT OR CANNOT PLAN AND GIVE QUALITY TIME AND GOOD COMPANIONSHIP TO HIS WIFE, CANNOT FULLY SATISFY HER WITH ANY MONEY OR MATERIAL THINGS, OR MAKE HER HAPPY THROUGH OTHER MEANS.
The irony is that in many homes, marriages, and other male-female relationships, more women are made to feel or become lonely than the men because of selfishness, unfaithfulness, separation (geographical and marital), and divorce. Females are naturally wired with an innate sense of wanting to intimately bond to, and avidly drink in a man’s love and affection. This inner instinct causes them to desire to attach themselves to a man in order to become that special support for them as they were designed to be. The desire is a very strong one that seeks its fulfillment in a marriage and home situation where a woman’s inner potential is released in a flourishing way as a supporter, lover, caregiver, nourishing mate, healer, comforter, and home-maker.
That inner companionship desire should NOT be misinterpreted for women to be seen as the only gender that crave for attention, companionship, and romantic satisfaction, unlike men who can be more independent. It can be likened to a new graduate in Medicine with all the potential to practice his medicine, and is feverishly looking for a job. The benefits of the career will be part of his drive to work, but the desire to release the experience he has spent years to acquire in caring for the sick becomes the overriding factor for any true Doctor. Although patients and Doctors need each other, it is the patient who needs more of the Doctor’s help and care, even if the patient is richer or more prominent than the Doctor. There are vital areas outside of medicine where the coin will flip around, and the Doctor will need that patient he cured in important areas that the doctor has little or no way to provide those needs by himself or herself.
Many men tend to think that the passion and desire for marriage is stronger in women than men, especially because women long to have children and be cared for by men, and therefore the need for companionship is greater for women than for men. It may be true in some cases, but I have carefully considered this notion for some time and have concluded that it is not absolutely right across the board. Both men and women need companionship for their common as well as their different needs. However, it is the woman who rather comes into the life of a man to become his companion. It is the man who searches for a companion, and makes the move to propose and ask a woman to become his special companion because he cannot do it all by himself and accomplish his destiny.THE MAN MUST THEREFORE BE THE LEADER OF COMPANIONSHIP IN THE MARRIAGE, HOME, AND FAMILY.
You will notice that when marital separation or divorce occurs, many women can remain single for a very long time, and go on with their lives. But, it is very hard for many divorced men to live alone for a long time after divorce, without any woman in their lives.
Woow! Did I open up a can of worms with my statement? Now, let the opinions, arguments, and discussions flow all over the place for us to come to a real conclusion and agreement!
The special support that men give women is to enable the women to be better equipped to offer more excellent help to the men. If a man wants his wife to be the best companion and helper as she can be for him, he must learn to love, forgive, understand, care, support, sacrifice, andmake time to teach and encourage her to develop to the level of the special helper that he needs and dreams of.
We need to emphasize and encourage the entire close and extended family members (husband, children, parents, brothers, sisters, in-laws) and even friends, to seriously make up their minds to talk and act in wise and loving ways that will promote the woman (wife) of the home to perform her role as helper to the husband and children the best of her ability without undue interferences, discouragement, and hindrances. Even if she is a widow helping the children without the husband by her side, all those close to a widow can play the role of companionship to some degree.
Spouses must learn to be true and good companions to each other in order to transfer the spirit and values of genuine companionship to their children, and as exemplary witness to all the household inhabitants and close friends who closely observe them. Their children will in turn begin to acquire the experience of being true friends and helpers by learning to become true companions to their parents, siblings, other family members, and friends.
Although many of the attributes listed below will overlap in function, some of the major benefits of marital and family companionship are:
- Fellowship --- having someone you can intimately share your heart, feelings, emotions, ideas, successes, and failures with, in a peaceful and joyful way, and who will pray with you as well.
- Support --- a close neighbor who can and is always willing to sacrifice and assist you in times of need, especially for financial, material,emotional, and domestic assistance.
- Moral and spiritual help --- a close person whose strengths and weakness collectively become tools to shape your character and promote the building of spirituality in you.
- Love --- someone who will wisely love you completely without cheating or deceiving you, and sincerely show his or her love unconditionally under all circumstances.
- Care --- having a companion or neighbor that makes the time to show concern for all aspects of your life and takes practical steps to make you become comfortable, and bear your burdens with you.
- Comfort --- a close person who will have the patience to understand your weaknesses, trials, temptations, sorrows, level of endurance, and perception of situations, and therefore carefully speak healing words to you, and do loving and affectionate acts that will bring you peace and joy.
- Encouragement --- someone who has your interests at heart, and will make the time to help lift your spirit up in every possible way, especially through words and acts of empathy and compassion.
- Conversation --- a close person whom you can open up to (and vice versa), for heart-to-heart verbal interchange and sharing of minds and hearts.
- Sexual and romantic satisfaction --- a godly legally accepted partner who will amorously give himself (to his wife) or herself (to her husband) wholly and unconditionally, to create and strengthen a sexual bond that establishes sexual and romantic contentment in the relationship.
- Protection --- someone who loves you enough to advise, caution, and assist you to prevent danger or trouble in your life;will never betray you, and will always seek to promote your wellbeing.
- Travel mate --- someone you can make trips with to desired places without experiencing loneliness or hindrances, but will team up with you to have real fun and fruitful refreshing break or vacation times.
- Security and Trust--- someone who will always tell you the truth, and whom you can trust with all of your secrets and private matters, who makes you feel secure in all interactions with him or her. He or she gives you a comforting sense of belonging that is developed as a result of the peaceful feeling of being looked out and cared for by someone who loves you so much that he or she will not fail you when everyone else fails or deserts you.
- Work partnership --- a person who sincerely partners with you diligently for professional development, business activities, and productive work.
- Friendship --- having in your life someone who motivates and fortifies you with his or her relationship with you; and who is closest to you than any other person. A person whose mindset and ideas become uniform with yours for agreement, love, and unity in all matters.
We are told that “A friend loves at all times”. We are also told that “A friend is someone who knows all about me but loves me all the same.”
Let us therefore develop companionship that is rooted in genuine sacrificial love, and crowned with true fellowship plus friendship in our marriages, homes, and families. We should consequently make every effort to extend and teach that essential virtue to all sectors of our communities. This is one of the best ways to build any productive and successful organization, community, or nation.
By Dr. Samuel Kisseadoo, Biology Professor, Ordained Licensed Minister, International Evangelist, Marriage and Family Counselor, Virginia, USA. E-mail: email@example.com.
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