Things began to change when a group of friends who had gotten wind of what was going on in our marriage pooled their money together to pay for us to attend a weekend marriage conference. When I told my wife about what they had planned for us, tears welled up in her eyes. Brokenness and quiet desperation was written on her face. I knew it was time to act. If it had not been for our support system, I can honestly say that our marriage would have ended years ago.
Why is a support system important? One reason is this—it’s biblical. God created humans with the innate need to be in relationship with others, or said another way, to be part of a support system. Concerning a husband and wife, God said, “it is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18); concerning His church, He compared it to that of a physical body, that “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12,14); and regarding friendships, God said, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).
No person or couple has everything they need or has all the answers to do life successfully by themselves. Keep in mind “to support” simply means to give assistance, and it can take many forms: the person who volunteers to check on their neighbor’s house while they are out of town; the church group who delivers meals to a family who just gave birth to a child; the friends who volunteer to babysit so that another couple has time to work on their marriage; or maybe it’s the person who is willing to sit and listen over a cup of coffee to a friend who needs advice on how to handle a difficult situation.
In each case, it is the support system that helps give peace of mind and allows the individual, couple, or family to know that someone loves them and cares for them. In a sense, a biblical support system is not unlike what the military has coined as having a “battle buddy.”