Tag Archives: dayspring

Friendships With Someone Other Than Your Spouse

Marriage

“Let’s Have a Talk About Emotional Modesty,” by Holly Girth says don’t get into an emotional affair.

“A few weeks ago a friend of mine were chatting. Her husband is in a leadership role at a church and she shared how women often confide in him in ways that are personal. That led us to a discussion about how easy it is to share your heart with men who are not your husband these days. There are plenty of opportunities to send a Facebook message, email, or open up to a guy friend. Yet here’s the thing: I believe that baring our hearts makes us just as vulnerable as baring our bodies.  If you are married and a man is not your husband, do not share your heart with him. And if you are single, do not share your heart with a married man.”

Emotional and physical affairs are central to the plot of the novel I am writing. It’s easy for an unsuspecting woman or man to get into an emotional affair. As Holly wrote, an unmet need filled by the opposite sex means we need to ask ourselves what need is our husband or wife not filling? In our independent and modern society, its been a topic of conversation. Should we keep friendships with the opposite sex that we had before we married?

A former co-worker was getting lunch at the same place in the mall as I, but we sat at different tables. Even now, I don’t feel comfortable having coffee or tea or putting myself in a situation where it appears like a date. Holly writes that we need to have emotional modesty. In other words, don’t share the treasure of our hearts with the opposite sex. Sharing our hearts should be reserved for our spouses. While I trust myself to have emotional modesty and to share my heart with only one man, I know how things can look and how a man can misconstrue the intent. Friends of the opposite sex are okay if your spouse is also friends with them, and you meet them together, like a double date, to a movie or a restaurant, but never one-on-one.

Holly ends her great article with this quote:

Here’s what I didn’t know when I tied the knot: Marriage takes work, friends. A lot of work. There’s a myth that says, “If you love someone you won’t have to work at it.” But I’ve come to believe the truth sounds more like this, “If you love someone you will work at it.” When you emotionally attach to another man, it lets you avoid that work. And in the moment, that feels pretty good. But it has devastating consequences long-term.

My husband and I share our private thoughts only with each other–the blogs I delete, the thoughts I don’t write about here, and my praise or criticism. All these treasures of my heart belong to him, a man who deserves my loyalty, my love, and my intimacy. Never let anyone come between you and your spouse, even if it is innocent at first. Time spent away from him are moments I can never get back or do over. We only get to live this life once. Make the most of it with your spouse.

Can you relate?

What Your Facial Expression Says

Smile! Welcome Back =]
Smile! Welcome Back =] (Photo credit: blentley)

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10 NIV

They used to tell me during my training at Bank of America, “Smile. They can’t see your expression over the phone, but when you’re smiling it shows through your voice.” I’ve always put that tidbit of wisdom in my mind to retrieve later. It made sense even to twenty-something year old me, and it has stayed with me now at thirty-something. Recently, a comment reminded me that this saying is also true in the spiritual sense.

Today I am guest posting over at (in)Courage. My comments are turned off. Please click here to read the rest of the story and to leave comments.

Endorse Each Other’s Ministry

“Paul and Peter could disagree and still endorse one another in ministry because they both knew the unconditional love of Jesus. An awareness of being fully accepted by Him allowed them to speak the truth in love and challenge one another to faithfulness. A secure foundation in God’s unconditional love and acceptance allows us to trust God and one another. Treating others with unconditional love helps to build trusting relationships with family members, friends, co-workers, and community members. How will your words and actions reflect Christ’s unconditional love to others today.” June 1, Day 153, Lead Like Jesus Devotional

So when I got to work one morning, I discovered this in my email. God uses all sorts of ways to speak to me and this one hit me like a glacier.

Humbled, I turned my eyes upward and said, “Yes, God, I hear you.” It was an immediate answer to prayer and a reminder of the scripture that talks about how easy it is to love a friend, but its not so easy to love an enemy. We can still disagree and love each other because Christ first loved us.

When have you disagreed with a ministry? How did you cope with it?

“Desperate Woman Needs Friends”

A blogger said on Friday, April 27 at incourage’s (IN)RL 2012 that she ought to put out a sign that reads, “Desperate Woman Needs Friends.”

She said this, and I said, “Me, too!” My dog looked at me from her comfortable spot on the floor. She was my only audience–the only one who kept me company on this side of the computer for (in)RL 2012 on a warm, friday afternoon.

Hospitality for the last three years has been my thing–first forming what I call a Friendship Tea where I invited total strangers from church to my house for Fellowship, then it morphed into joining a national group called, Praise and Coffee. Like some things that God didn’t mean for me to take the place of writing, it all faded, and with friendships that drifted I retreated like that blogger retreated.

A little envy crept into my heart as I heard and saw of friendships that met in real life. I was always inviting, but rarely the invitee. I wanted to be the guest, not the host like that blogger said on Friday. I wanted to know what it was like to have girlfriends who prayed, came over, who called (okay, I hate the phone–who text often or emailed) like the Rubber Band Gang I met through Saturday’s conference. They are friends who drop everything for each other, praying in person, and taking phone calls at 6:30 in the morning.

The blogger also said she had to remind herself to keep going, keep inviting, even if the invitation wasn’t returned. In my case, even if yet another maybe flies over the email reminding me that sometimes it feels like some are waiting for something better to come along. It’s one of the reasons I retreated. Out of context, it would seem like that, but without knowing the reasons for the maybes another blogger on Saturday’s (in)RL 2012 reminded us to give grace.

But don’t feel bad about saying no. That’s what they discussed on another video on Saturday. If you say, ‘yes’ to something you could be saying ‘no’ to your family. ‘No’ is healthy. We can’t accept every invitation as much as we’d like, and that’s why I stopped doing women’s ministry.

God called me to write, to pray, and to be a good friend and wife. Meeting with friends will have more serendipity and less of a structure of ministry. It will not require planning. It will not be ministry. In previous posts, I wrote how I hid behind ministry because I feared people and their rejections.

So yes…I can identitify with that blogger who joked about putting a sign in her front yard, “Desperate Woman Seeks Friends.” I never knew that so many women felt the same lonliness I have been feeling. Isolation comes regardless of where you live. A person can feel isolated in a great crowd, in church, in a mall, or in their own subdivision. If we all retreated in defeat, we’d lose the experiences of friendships, even the bad ones that teach us to be better friends.

Have you experienced this? Please explain.

Let us pray for you and connect with each other.

Today at @incourage “This Muddy Road”

My devotion is being featured on (in)courage today.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3 (NIV)

My feet take me places with no destination in mind. The air is crisp and the sky blue. The buildings of downtown jut from the ground into that blue sky, sunlight reflecting off of the windows. People are everywhere—at the square, protesting down the street, playing in the snow, laughing with someone they love, and here I am just walking with no destination in mind. I’m just walking because I have forty-five minutes to waste before I return to work.

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