Years ago I read a book whose title and author I can’t quite recall but his premise was that the Christian community functioning as it should could eradicate the need for counselors and psychotherapists.
While I feel there are times when professional help is definitely needed, WE — as brothers and sisters in Christ and as friends — have an amazing opportunity to open our hearts to each other, be real and in that find the healing that God has for us.
True friendship calls you out of the darkness of personal privacy into the loving candor of mutual concern. It moves you from being a sealed envelope to being an open letter.
I love this quote!
God wants us to be naked and unashamed with our spouses and also with an intimate group of friends with whom we can practice growing in love and being accountable for we are only as sick as our secrets. And satan loves for us to keep those secrets and cower in dark corners alone where his lies easily permeate our minds and lure us to act on them.
And everything gets twisted.
We grow grumpy and discouraged and our enemy edges us closer to the abyss. But God and His glorious might and love rescues us. We are compatriots in the battle waged against traditional marriage.
Made for relationships, we thrive in communities of acceptance and unconditional love where we take off our masks and share our stuff — good and bad. Simply being. When we experience a welcome to be who we are and our warts all showing we shed that shroud of shame that keeps us buried alive.
And we breathe deep the breath of life.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
We are abundantly blessed to have friends and our marriages benefit as we reach out across barriers that bind us to our secret shames and sins and come as little children believing that Daddy will make it all better.
We’re in this boat together.
And storms sometimes raging. But Jesus calls us to come. To walk on the waters rough. To get through a situation fixed on Him with eyes full of faith and the circumstances of the moments being swallowed by grace. When we get to that place of faith where we let go and let God then love transcends the marital mess, transporting us to the heights where heaven kisses earth in the sweetness of the marriage covenant.
Healing hearts and keeping marriages from sinking, defying the odds of divorce stacked against all married men and women.
With no option of failure in our marriage.
Just last week when satan came a crawling, my Michael and I experienced first hand the power and beauty of God our Father as healer of hearts and marriages through the love and friendship we share with several Christian couples.
We were having a bit of distress in our overwhelmingly good marriage — and it is good by God’s grace regardless of the half dozen divorces between us in our pre-Team Kimball life, wounds from childhood and our struggles with selfishness and lovelessness — which was poised to overwhelm us like it tries to overwhelm you in your marriage.
Reaching out to these friends of ours and them reaching back to us drew back the veil and light filtered into darkness and the darkness soon had to go.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
And I was thinking of us, this group of four couples, as the Fellowship of the Marriage Ring. And Jesus makes nine. Companions all of us together fighting evil that lurks and casts shadows seemingly tall when love is small.
So we keep on practicing love, and openness and honesty. One day at a time.
Growing together in our understanding of how great is the Father’s love for each of us and our marriages precious. And in friendship, cultivating acceptance and building unity and going forward together as points of light in the vast darkness, becoming more whole and more holy hand in hand.
Marriages thriving, not merely surviving.
And God smiling…