If we are to take the Biblical account seriously, we must realize that companionship is the first purpose in God’s plan for marriage. Only companionship can continue through the lives of the marriage partners. Although procreation is part of God’s plan, of course, it’s not mentioned until after human companionship needs are fulfilled in marriage. As many of us have experienced conceiving, birthing and raising children does not occupy our entire lives together. It’s not long before we have the “empty nest” and we’re left to find our contentment in our relationship with each other. Our children are only part of our marriage for a limited time. Furthermore, sexual intercourse may diminish or even disappear in the later years that we spend together. But companionship is part of the marriage from beginning to end. Of course this is what God meant when he said, “The two shall become one.” (See Matthew 19:5)

One marital struggle I’ve witnessed on several occasions is that the raising of children becomes the primary purpose of a marriage, rather than companionship, and when the empty nest time begins they seem lost in the relationship. You can have sex and children without true companionship. A satisfying sexual relationship does not guarantee a happy marriage. Some couples who get along well sexually cannot get along in any other way. Most such marriages do not endure for long. Children do not guarantee a happy marriage. Actually, children can hinder the companionship designed by God in marriage by consuming so much of the attention, interest and energy of the partners. Thus, married couples need to make it a point to meet companionship needs in all stages of their marriage. More than any other of God’s purposes, True companionship comes much closer to guaranteeing a fulfilling and satisfying marriage.

Carrying out God’s design of companionship in marriage requires planning, time and sometimes a lot of effort because of the distractions of life, family, friends, work, school, etc. Too often with the building of a career and the raising of children couples become distant and aloof emotionally. When they do have time together, all too often the talk is around the children, the job, the home, the in-laws, and money. One counselor said that it’s not unusual in couples that he counsels to find, “at home they converse only in timeworn clichés or inconsiderate grunts and shrugs. When traveling or eating out together, they sit in stony silence. Gone are the exciting sharing of dreams, the exploring of ideas, the remembering of happy events.” The cure to such a situation begins with a renewed desire by both parties to be what God intended them to be; Companions!