The Importance of A Recreational Companion

Written with love, by Pastor Dave Page

I bought a motorcycle ten years into our marriage. My wife wasn’t thrilled about my new hobby. Nobody in her immediate family owned a motorcycle. A few months later we went to Hawaii for vacation and I had a dream of renting a Harley on Oahu and riding it from Waikiki to the North Shore. I knew my wife wouldn’t want to go with me but she encouraged me to go ahead and rent one anyway. The night before my ride she said, “I’d like to go with you.” Yes! I was thrilled. She was willing to accompany me even though riding wasn’t her thing. We set off the next morning and rode along the coast with Carrie on the back of the Harley. We stopped along the way and jumped off a cliff together into the ocean. We ate lunch on the North Shore and shopped – something she loves to do. We rode back to Waikiki just as the sun was setting – a perfect day. A memory I will never forget.

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In Willard Harley’s book, His Needs, Her Needs, he identifies a man’s need for a recreational companion. Harley ranked spending recreational time with his wife as the second greatest need that men have, second only to sex for the typical husband. We often put our best foot forward in the courtship which later can lead to disappointment after the “I do.” “Why don't you do this with me anymore?” is a common complaint. Harley cautions spouses that having fun together doing the things that you both like is essential to the marriage. Men (especially) place a surprising importance on having their wives as recreational companions.



The creation account says, “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone.’” The same verse includes God’s solution: “I will make him a helper fit for him.” Eve was the solution to Adam’s deficiency (Genesis 2:18).

Two Hebrew words help us better understand the creation of Eve as the first woman. The word translated “helper.” This word is even used of God, sometimes, noting that He is our Helper. We would certainly not view God, as a Helper, as subservient to humans, nor should we understand the role of “helper” here as a position of subservience. The concept of an “ideal partner” seems to convey the thought best.

The second important Hebrew word in this verse, translated “fit.” It literally means “according to the opposite of him.” In other words, the focus is on an appropriate match. Eve was not created above or below Adam; she was complementary. The animals Adam had named each had an appropriate companion, and Adam was given a fitting companion as well. Eve was just right for him. Think in terms of “you complete me.”

The passage implies that Adam was lonely and incomplete by himself. He had been created for relationship, and it is impossible to have relationship alone. With the creation of Eve, Adam experienced the joy of love for another person.



In Malachi 2:14 it says, “… She is your companion and the wife by covenant.”  The Hebrew root word implies an intimate partner, an accomplice. In the dictionary, a companion is one who accompanies another. In the middle of the Latin word companion is the word “pan.” Pan is bread, which is a “comfort food.” That is what a wife is, a comfort to her husband.

The verse goes on to say, “And your wife by covenant.” A covenant is a formal and binding agreement. The covenant implies that you are to be his wife and friend, a friendly friend - a lover and friend. When you were courting, you had no problem joining in his interests. Your interest in his favorite activities helped seal the marriage deal.

In fact, recreational compatibility is usually a crucial criterion for men in selecting a wife. Men place a big importance on recreational activity. Wives after marriage may encourage their husbands to continue their activities without them. This can be a dangerous choice by sending him off to his most enjoyable activity without you present to enjoy it with him. You are taking a risk that someone from the opposite sex may turn up to be his companion and he may fall in love. You are missing out on a golden opportunity to have fun together. I have talked with many wives who testify that the secret to their marriage is that they stayed together in pursing a recreational activity.

So, stay his companion, his friendly friend and his cheerleader. Of course it goes both ways. My wife played volleyball in high school and college and wanted to attend a women’s volleyball game at the University of Hawaii while on our Hawaiian vacation. Volleyball is not my favorite sport but I went with her and enjoyed it because I was with her. Sometimes you have to take one for the team and the result is the team wins.