Do you and your beloved have married friends who share your values and beliefs? Do you spend quality time with other couples who inspire and encourage you to deepen your marriage relationship?
Or do you spend time with friends who do not share your values and beliefs? Do they encourage you to spend time away from your beloved and your children? To give up when you experience difficulties?
Scripture cautions us to not seek the counsel of the ungodly:
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
A righteous man turns away from evil but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26
He who walks with wise men becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2
We are living in a world that is becoming increasingly hostile to Christians. Marriage and family life are denigrated while irregular sexual relationships are championed. Our culture is a cesspool and as Christians, we need to guard our marriages and families from influences that undermine our sacred bonds.
Part of protecting our marriages and families is being prudent in the company we keep. Are we surrounding ourselves with like-minded couples and families that support Christian marriage? Or do are friends hold beliefs contrary to Church teaching?
Again, Scripture has much to say about the company we keep.
Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil men Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on… But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. Proverbs 4:14-15, 18-19
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV
Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly warned the Israelites about intermingling with the surrounding cultures that worshipped idols. Things went well when the Israelites were obedient to God but did not go so well when they turned away from the one true God and worshipped the idols of other cultures.
It behooves us to learn from their mistakes and listen to Scripture’s counsel to turn away from all influences that will weaken our resolve to live holy and righteous lives according to God’s commands.
Scripture also offers encouragement on how we can protect our marriages and families in our pursuit of holiness.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
Find good Christian friends who believe in God’s plan for marriage and family. Surround yourself with people who will support and encourage you in your faith and in your marriage. We highly suggest starting a marriage fellowship group with other like-minded married couples to build each other up in your vocation to marriage. You can find ideas on how to form a group here.