We are all called to walk together, reach out to one another and lift each other up. Everything around us tells us the contrary. We are told to be independent and self-reliant. We are told to look out for number one and bring others down before they hurt you. We stay so busy with work and family that we have no time for friends and relationship building. Friends and family are more than fun. They are a support network that can walk alongside us when times are tough. Titus 2 reminds us of that.
2 But you must teach what agrees with sound doctrine. 2 Instruct the older men to be sober, sensible, and self-controlled; to be sound in their faith, love, and endurance. 3 In the same way instruct the older women to behave as women should who live a holy life. They must not be slanderers or slaves to wine. They must teach what is good, 4 in order to train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, and to be good housewives who submit themselves to their husbands, so that no one will speak evil of the message that comes from God.
6 In the same way urge the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In all things you yourself must be an example of good behavior. Be sincere and serious in your teaching. (GNB)
This is so much more than elders teaching the younger. I talk a lot about walking this journey (adventure) with Christ also with others. Friends and family can hold us accountable. They can also lift us up when life is hard. They are with us when times are difficult.
I’ve shared the story of my oldest going into heart failure at two weeks old. This all began on a Thursday. As we left the clinic by ambulance all we knew was that our son was really sick. The doctors knew he was dying but didn’t know why. It was late afternoon when we finally had a diagnosis and a plan. If he responded to medication, surgery would be in the morning. We anxiously began calling family, my home church and the church I had recently resigned from. I wanted as many people praying as possible. We were desperate. Family was shocked and began making plans to join Curt and I in the morning. The churches were closed for the evening, so we left messages.
The next morning, grandmas, aunties, and cousins all descended on the small waiting room. Needless to say, Curt and I hadn’t slept much, and the rest of the family was in shock. Then in walked two women from my Bible study at the church I had resigned from. I don’t know how word got to them. They came with magazines and snacks. More than that, they brought hope, strength and support.
Something I always worry about is my presence being an intrusion or a burden. I have missed many opportunities to come alongside friends and walk with them in their pain. I believe the loss was mine and hope there were others in their life who walked with them. God has a way of blessing us when we humbly walk with others. And, there is something fulfilling in being the light of Christ to others when life comes down hard just as these two friends where for me on that tough day.
How about you? Have you missed opportunities? I know I have. It has become a mission of mine to be more intentional with my friends. I don’t even spend adequate time maintaining those relationships let alone being there when life is hard. It is an area of my life I pledge to be more intentional. Will you join me? Leave your pledge below.