2. For understanding
Our third is:
3. For encouragement & accountability
(I do realise all these three reasons are interrelated in a number of ways!)
There are time when we all need to be encouraged (or we need to be the encourager) – to persevere when times are tough. To keep being faithful. To keep trusting in God.
Accountability is a crucial aspect of a support group and should not be ignored. Very few will have the courage to ask the minister’s wife how her personal bible reading is going, whether she is honouring God with her speech, whether she is being godly as she parents her children, what her struggles are and where her sinful tendencies lie. They are probably even less likely to ask the missionary’s wife or their lecturer’s wife!
Yet we need to be asked. Sometimes we long for someone to ask, so that we can be honest. But at the same time, we also choose not to share sometimes don’t we? We don’t open up in our bible study group, because it doesn’t seem completely appropriate. We are very careful who we share with, and to what depth.* The ability to be open and honest with someone, in a way that includes accountability, is a great thing.
Next few posts: Our various support networks
* It’s worth asking the question though – do we hold back appropriately or do we use it as an excuse not to disclose? A friend of mine commented “I do wonder whether this should be challenged, and whether we should try to open up more than we actually do. After all, we are called to share our lives with one another within the body of Christ, and to be an example to one another in how we work through issues of sin. I do wonder whether sometimes we inappropriately use 'being a ministry wife' as a way of getting out of being appropriately open with others...”. I’d love to know what you think!