I asked a question at the end of my last post:
Is not trusting others the same as not trusting God?
I can't remember what it's like to not live in a full-time ministry household. Between my dad being a worship pastor and my husband being a youth pastor, I'm a good 20 years into it. So while I don't really have a fair grasp of 'non-ministry life' to compare it to, I would venture to say that making friends is a lot different for pastors' wives than, say, an engineer's wife or an electrician's wife.
When your husband is more or less put on display week in and week out, it affects the way you interact with people. I'm protective of my husband and my family and I want to be sure that the people I'm letting into my life are safe, not seeking an audience or having ulterior motives or agendas for being friends with the pastor and/or his family.
"Just because Jesus heralded relationships does not mean we should cultivate intimacy with every person. Jesus wasn't an idiot. Some people are dangerous; they can't be trusted with the treasure of you." --Jen Hatmaker
Yes, of course I need to trust God, but there are people that it's just not safe to be friends with. I breathed a sigh of relief this week as I realized God was not asking me to blindly step off a cliff.
I've been friends with some unsafe people over the years, but the Lord has revealed to me as I've been on this friendSHIP (See what I did there?I should absolutely go back and delete it, but I'm not going to because it's awesome, and undoubtedly illicited a response of some sort, yes? Probably an audible groan.), that I too have been an unsafe friend to many.
I've been consumed with myself.
I've avoided closeness and connection.
I've been defensive and judgmental.
I've been jealous.
Yuck. Who wants to be friends with that person? Not me.
And then it hit me this morning as I was praying and journaling.
I need to be the kind of friend I want someone to be for me.
It seems so simple, and so...well, duh. It was really an epiphany for me, though. I've spent years on an island, waiting for someone to get in their friendSHIP (See? It works there.) and sail out to get me, wanting to see that they really want me before I'm willing to get in their boat. '
I've been waiting for someone to....work for it??? While I put little to no effort into the relationship until they've proved themselves?!?
That's so arrogant on my part. And while it hasn't been a conscious decision to go about it that way, that's more or less what I've been doing.
No wonder I'm stranded.
True authentic friendships have give and take, and they certainly don't happen overnight. We need friends who will go the distance with us, and that only happens as life happens.
Paul says in Romans 15:5, "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had."
Friendship takes endurance. We are all imperfect people. We have issues. We have baggage.
But by the grace of God we can come together in unity and love and maybe a little bit of sarcasm and a lot of hilarity, and walk this road together.
In the spirit of safety in friendship, let's sing together....
This makes me want to watch The Labyrinth. Or Monty Python and the Holy Grail.