Wednesday, March 18, 2009

THE CONFERENCE (Part Three)

Friday morning came very early for me. The conference started at 8:00 a.m. I woke up to a dreary, rainy day. I was so tempted to close the windows, walk across the dark room and crawl right back in bed. But, instead, I got up, turned to PASSION on my Ipod and jumped in the shower. I made it just in time for the first session. Once again, I had difficulty deciding on which conference to choose but I settled on "SISTER, SISTER! DEVELOPING HEALTHY FRIENDSHIPS AS A MINSTER'S WIFE!" This session was led by Leighann McCoy. Her situation is a little bit different because she is married to the Senior Pastor of a fairly large church but she also serves on staff of that same church. So, she is Minister's wife AND a minister there.

She opened the session by asking who in the room found themselves in rooms and churches and parties and fellowships full of people but still felt alone...completely alone? Probably 98 % of the people raised their hands. We then began to discuss/wonder if that question was posed to some of the closest friends at home, would they believe that about their staff wives. Probably not. So, here are my notes from that session.


WHY YOU NEED GIRLFRIENDS
  • There are some things only other women understand.
  • Having friendships with other women takes the pressure off of my husband
  • Girlfriends make great accountability partners. (Romans 14:12)
  • Iron sharpens iron- so girlfriends partner with God to make us more like Christ
WHAT'S NECESSARY FOR HEALTHY FRIENDSHIPS (James 3:1-12)
  • Confidentiality!! (James 3:9-10)
  • Integrity (Philippians 4:8)
  • Laughter
  • Forgiveness
A healthy friendship does not compromise the sacred place you and your husband share! Don't discuss private matters. Don't criticize your husband- even to blow off steam. (You do this with God...not a church member. He is still their pastor!!!) Don't talk about anything that would cause her to think less of him. If in doubt, just don't go there!!

HOW TO CREATE AND GROW HEALTHY FRIENDSHIPS WITH OTHER WOMEN
  • Take the initiative
  • Always return phone calls and emails or get rid of your email account and answering machine!!!
  • Call someone to chat sometimes!
  • Remember special dates of your friends. (anniversaries and birthdays are the obvious ones. What about the anniversary of the death of their child, mother, father, sister, brother.)
A BIBLICAL EXAMPLE OF TRUE FRIENDS (1 Samuel 18:1-4)
  • The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David.
  • Jonathan and David made a covenant.
  • Jonathan loved David as his own soul!
David and Jonathan had four things in common.
  • True Piety- they were zealous in pursuit of God's enemies and utterly and totally convince in the power of God.
  • Humility- The both embraced humility and no agenda with each other. Many times, we find people who want to be our "friend" only to be sure their agenda is passed on to our husband. They use us to get to him.
  • Duty- (didn't write anything down...must of zoned out. HA!)
  • Loyalty- Jonathan protected his friend AND his father. Many times in ministry, you have friends that are close friends until you do something they disagree with. Then, they are the first ones to turn on you and crucify you publicly or to spread dissension within small groups of people. If these people were/are your true friends, they would be loyal to you, not turn on you when they disagree with you, your husband or a decision made in the church.
When you come across two people who have a deep sense of mutual loyalty, piety, humility and duty, you have the potential to see two souls linked together. When people have those noble virtues in common, they have the stuff of which a powerful liaison can be made and friendship that is stronger than death."

The secret to this kind of friendship is not to simply seek out someone who is just like you-- but to have a heart for God and then seek out others who love Him too! You cannot choose who your LOYAL friends will be. You can choose to BE a loyal friend. (Proverbs 18:24)

The stuff of which spiritual life is made is communion and fellowship with Christ and with people who share a heart for God, building up the things we have in common.

You are missing much of God's provision for you if you are isolating yourself from others.


(TOTAL SIDE NOTE as we were ending but I thought it was worth sharing. There was a long story that accompanied this but I'll just give you the final point.)

As a parent, you will find yourself sitting in the bleachers and stands watching your child play sports with church members and friends. Always live your life in those stands with the reality that you are rearing GODLY men or women, not basketball players, soccer players or etc. Your job as a parent is to make sure they are Godly not athletic!!! If they happen to be a stellar athlete who loves God, then awesome. But if your primary goal is a scholarship to college or a spot on that perfect team rather than Godliness for your child then you need to check your heart.

2 comments:

4 J's said...

Good stuff...again!

Anonymous said...

Awesome,for the third time!

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