We all need accountable relationships- but no one really wants them. The reason isn’t because we don’t want relationships- but because we don’t want to be hurt- and we don’t wan tour hurts to be out there for others to see. However, as we look at scripture, we know that accountable relationships are so important. Today, we are going to look at one of the greatest examples in scripture of accountable relationships, talk about why and how, and lastly, I want to share a few of my favorite relationships with you.
In today’s world – true friendship is rare. The people who will stand beside you – at your worst as well as your best – are rare. They come into your life at the strangest moments. We know that we can talk to them – about anything. Yet, it takes time to build the kind of relationships where you know you have each others back.
Scripture has lots to say about accountable relationships:
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 ESV
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
These are probably some of the most frequently used passages when we talk about accountability. However, First Samuel 20 talks very specifically and gives a great example of two true friends: David and Jonathan. These two men had a true friendship for each other- they counted on one another, trusted one another with their lives. David was running for his life- and he was running from Jonathan’s father, King Saul. Yet, Jonathan knew that David was in the right -and that his Dad was in the wrong. Because of their friendship – David was able to keep his life, and become one of the greatest kings of Israel – and we know him today as the man after God’s own heart.
Real friendship is hard to find because it causes someone to look at more then the outward, or what someone can do for you – it requires you to look at the heart. It is someone who will get in, and ask the hard questions in life. Who will be there when you fall – not to wonder why you fell, but to give you hand back up. Between the two of you and God – the threefold cord- you can face the world.
Yes, our spouses should be our very best friends. They should be our first form of accountability. They have earned the right to ask the hard questions – and they see us at our best and at our worst. However, when I look at the examples of friendship in scripture, the one that sticks out is a relationship of two people of the same gender. Two people who can understand each others position. Two people who had each others back.
I have been blessed in life to have some of these kinds of friendships. People who have fought to get into the walls that I have built around my heart. They are ones who ask the hard questions – and wait for an answer. They know when I am “off”. I have all different kinds of frienships- the ones that I like to shop with, the ones the we like to have lunch and coffee with. Yet, relationships are meant to last – and I have gained some in my life that I know are eternal – that the focus started with a mutual sharing of interest – but have gone way beyond that- they have rooted into my heart. They had been there through the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Today, we live in an isolated society. We don’t want to let others in (and often, that includes our spouse and family.) That was never the way God intended it be- we were created to be relational. There are friends in my life that are way more like family (my kids even call them family !)
We need to hold ourselves to a higher level of friendship. We need to allow ourselves to be authentic and vulnerable. I know friends, it is hard. We are all afraid of being hurt – I HAVE been hurt. Gut wrenching, deeply hurt. However, I know that God intends for me to have these kind of relationships.
God has provided me some of these kind of friendships. When I was just 12 years old, God gave me the friendship of a lifetime- and my bestest Tiffany and I have been through all kind of things together. Relationships, marriages, children, loss – the list is longer than I can share. However, our relationships started at youth camp – and continues to this day. I love watching our kids play together. I have another friend, Christa, who just blessed my heart in more ways than I can share – we became a friend at a time when we were both feeling lonely – and even though we only lived in the same town for about 9 months- we have been in each others weddings, traveled to visit each other, and now we share a similar passion for adoption. Then there is Jen- she was actually my hubby’s friend. They went to college together and she married his best friend. I have shared about how my husband was a widow – and she was very close to my hubby’s first wife. Yet, the day I met her, I met a friend for life. We cried over the loss that my now children and husband had faced – and her loss as well. I miss her like crazy when we are apart – and we connect on God’s Word almost daily. Each of these relationships were built on love, prayer, and most importantly, a mutual love for God’s Word – and sharing God’s Word together. These kind of friendships are not just built over shopping or coffee- although we LOVE to do that too! These girls are my family as much as they are my friends.
Most recently, I have made some new friends as well – except these ones, I have never met. They encourage me to be in the word each day. They write with me – they laugh with me – and they cry with me. They have helped raise a huge chunk of our adoption money. They have become sisters as well as friends. Most recently, you have seen them contribute here at Women of Worship – and we have started a new platform where we share about some of life’s biggest and hardest struggles- and how to Shine Authentic Grace into those struggles. If you haven’t had a chance to go check out my newest adventure – you really should. Misty, Bridget and Rosilind have become way more then faces on a computer- they have become some of my dearest friends. I am beyond blessed that God would choose to make our paths cross. I can’t wait for the day that my arms get to go around their sweet necks and we can do “normal” friend stuff.
Yes, I have been blessed with relationships. However, they each take work. To text. To call. To write. You have to be willing to go bast the superficial and get into the real part of life with people. You have to be willing to get hurt- and to heal.
…but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:25 ESV
Do you have these kind of realtionships? I would love to hear about them in the comments.
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Worshiping With My Life,