I’ve prayed for you and I’m excited we get to meet again today!
In case you’ve slept or blinked since we last met, here’s where we left off… Why are relationships sometimes so difficult? Since Satan would love to destroy God’s perfect creation (including relationships), we asked: How do we defend our relationships against enemy attacks?
To answer this, we went straight to God’s Word. After all, staying near God and in His Word positions us to guard against enemy attacks. From Proverbs we identified accountability and spiritual growth as two building blocks of Godly relationships. But how do accountability and spiritual growth help us defend our relationships against enemy attacks? What does it look like to intentionally put these principles into practice?
A simple story.
Jill and Mary met in freshman composition. The two girls bonded over a common love of Jesus and the shared struggle to find time to study. Together they began attending the same church and soon became active in a Bible study group. As the semester wore on Jill fell behind in her assignments, but continued attending Bible study. On the other hand, Mary worked hard to stick to a study schedule and encouraged Jill to join her. Maintaining a study schedule was difficult for Mary and she had hoped studying with Jill would help. Eventually, Jill felt she was too far behind in her classwork. She avoided Mary at Bible study and finally stopped returning her texts. Their friendship was suffering from a huge gap in expectations.
The next semester the two girls found themselves again in the same chemistry class. With renewed purpose, Mary presented a plan to her friend. Armed with a study schedule for both chemistry and Bible study, the girls committed to working together. Jill and Mary not only helped make chemistry less painful for each other but also cultivated their own spiritual growth, building a stronger friendship – God’s way.
What changed in Jill and Mary’s friendship between composition class and chemistry? Expectations. Learning from the difficulties of their first semester, the two girls shifted their expectations of each other and of their friendship. Establishing mutual expectations can be a game-changer for relationships.
Jill and Mary rebuilt their friendship with an intentional plan of accountability and commitment to mutual spiritual growth. Friendships committed to Bible study, prayer, and sharing daily life together, provide a good defense against any plans the enemy has against us.
Join me again in two weeks for more of what the Bible has to teach us about building strong friendships that help us defend against enemy atacks.
How do you view expectations in this way? Have you seen friendships grow due to clear expectations … or fall apart due to a lack of clearly defined expectations? What about family relationships? How can we cultivate healthy expectations within family relationships? *I know this can be a sensitive topic, so please respect everyone’s privacy with any words you share and avoid identifying information.