Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Spiritual Friendships

Spiritual friendships are not typically something girlfriends have conversations about- unless you are already spiritually connected to one of your closest pals.  The most important relationship to have spiritually is with the Holy Spirit. The second is with your spouse, if you have one. The third with your spiritual mentor and friend.

**allow me to interject a brief amendment to this possibility- I personally believe through study, commandment and faith that I can follow no other path than the one I have listed above, and that as a Christian woman it would be the best path for me. I also understand that not everyone is married, and a lot of women who are married are in a completely different spiritual place than their husbands are. Some women are just realizing in the midst of their spiritual growth that Satan is a very real, strong force that divides husbands and wives for any reason, invades any tiny crack to make it the size of the Grand Canyon. In some cases, the second most important spiritual relationship a girl can have is her mentor and friend, because without them her marriage might not be tolerable on some level. That being said, lets talk about the all important Spiritual Friendship…..

Having a spiritual connection with a friend is a priceless gift. It is definitely one of the many highlights of being a Christian woman. There are many scriptures to support healthy, spiritually based relationships, and they can all be applied to every relationship you have whether it be a friend, husband or your children. Applying these scriptures to your closest Christian friendships opens doors for spiritual growth like you never thought possible.  You know those girls who write books, speak at conferences and continue to inspire us to spend time together and get it together? They are you and I.  They all started out on the same path- looking for Christ and wondering why He wasn’t present in one of the best parts of our lives- our relationships with other women.

Lets take some time to look at a few of these key verses, and discover what it means to get beyond that haircut and handbag chatter that we sometimes just dread because we long for a deeper, more meaningful, more sincere conversation.

Romans 12:6-8

This scripture reflects the very personal nature of what God has to say about our gifts. I want to go a little further with this by saying- lets take the gifts each of us has and combine them- much like we have done for this retreat.  I have a gift to write- the more I write, the more I find I have to write about, and better it gets.  The ladies I meet with on Tuesday night have been a huge part of that process, yet no one else writes. One of them encourages, one prays fervently, one has great discernment. One is that still small voice of reason and one allows me to see a different perspective when needed.  All alone, I would just write and ramble, without direction or conviction, but together with these others and their gifts, we are able to see the meaning of scripture more clearly than ever, and listening to Gods voice for each of our callings.

1Cor 3:7-9
I love this passage because it speaks to something we all can relate to- the need for anonymity. Not everyone needs to hear their name or be publicly praised for the services they provide. Nothing is worse than when you do something nice for someone out of Christ like love, and your name is printed for all to see- as a thank you or praise. It doesn’t matter what part of serving you are involved in- sometimes its just nice to serve and go home. No flowers. No applause. I serve because I am called to serve, not for any other reason. It doesn’t matter if I am the one planting the seed or the one watering it- all of Gods work is important and all of it gets harvested in His time.

1 Timothy 4:6-15
Galatians 1:11-24
Phil 1:3-6

These three scriptures are evidence that we are expected to exercise our faith in our friendships, and our relationships with other Christian men and women.

Prov 12:26

Pausing to pray before speaking to a friend about any issue is a great idea. When I have a friend that needs something, especially if I know she is going to heed my advice and take me seriously, then I had better be talking to the Creator of the Universe before anything comes out of my mouth to try to counsel her. This is where that spiritual friendship gets deep- when you know there is a subject matter that is bigger than you and your friend, and she trusts you with helping console her or find a solution. 

Proverbs 22:11

Having integrity in friendships is a building block toward spiritual friendship. I have an amazing marriage, we don’t keep secrets from one another. However- if a friend needs me to keep her private business private, I make sure my husband understands to pray, but not to ask me to betray that trust. We all need to have people we can trust, and there is nothing worse than getting burned by a Christian friend who has loose lips. It just hurts more.

Proverbs 7:17

Iron sharpens iron. 

John 15:13-15

Sometimes friendships require a bit of sacrifice. These come in the form of taking a late night call, receiving an early morning visit or by being forced to celebrate another birthday with turtle ice cream snickers cake from ritters. The things I do for these girls.

Ecc 4:7-12

After you have spent some time spiritually bonding with your mentor/friend/group…..there is nothing that you cannot overcome together, with Gods will at the forefront. When we pray we pray for His will. When we are devastated, it’s in his will   that we look for understanding together. When we celebrate we praise Him for His will was to bless us and we are very blessed. We cannot be broken.

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