Posts Tagged with “marriage”

Faltering Fellowship

I have experienced a life of rich friendships and sweet fellowships. I have relationships with beloved siblings in Christ all over the United States and in distant countries as well. God has greatly blessed me in this area. But maintaining fellowship can be difficult, and it is not always possible to maintain all fellowships.

I’ve identified three types of “faltering fellowships” in my life. The first is a fellowship damaged due to personality conflict. As sad as it is to admit it, there are some believers I don’t get along with and as long as I’m in the flesh I probably never will. I know I should love them, and maybe I do, but I don’t really like them. There are various reasons but that’s beyond the scope of this post. Needless to say, this is probably the most damaged of the three faltering fellowship but not necessarily the most irreparable.

The second faltering fellowship is due to distance. It’s hard to maintain a strong fellowship over long distances and time. Some of my fellowships that are in this category tend to pick up right where they left off when last we met, but communication between those rare meetings is sparse. I experience this type of faltering fellowship the most, though it is also the least damaged and easiest to repair. It is mainly an issue of determination and discipline in communications.

The third faltering fellowship is due to exclusivity. What I mean by this is that strong relationships with friends of the opposite sex have been diminished in order to respect the exclusivity of my relationship with my wife. I have seen the awful carnage that an inappropriate friendship can wreak on a marriage and I believe with all my heart that exclusivity is needed. This is the most irreparable of the three faltering fellowships because it is necessary, voluntary, and barring some tragedy, permanent.  I hesitate to call this type of relationship damaged. I think that diminished describes it best.

The amazing part of all this is that these pride damaged, long distant, and deliberately dimmed relationships will be fixed one day. There is a brother in [redacted] whose legalism has damaged his relationship with his family, with the body of Christ, and with me. [Redacted], we are both going to be in heaven sometime in the next 60 years or so, and I’m elated with the recognition that our relationship will be not only be repaired, it will be intimate. Praise God!

Those of you my friends, separated by the gulfs of time, space, and propriety, we will soon be in a place where distance, time, and temptation is irrelevant. I can’t tell you how happy I will be to see you there!


Suitable Suitors

Camp BabiesMy wife and I joke about betrothing our daughter Elanor (orange shoes) to our friend’s children. But when I saw this picture I was impacted with a feeling of hope that rather surprised me. I think this is why: When I think about Elanor’s future husband, I think about Job – Kathleen and Rafa’s son, being raised in Mexico as his parents serve the Lord in the squalor and risk of a third world country. I think about Machiah, the red-head in the picture above. His parents are moving to Niger this year in order to spread the gospel to the sprawling masses of Niamey. I think about Marshall, sitting next to Elanor, a boy who is being brought up by a parents who have endured much to conform to the will of their Father. I think about Griffith, born in the decay of Detroit where his parents moved in order to support a faltering assembly. There are many boys like these, and they give me hope for Elanor’s future. We joke about who she will marry but we really have no idea who that man will be. Still, these children remind me that there are God-followers out there, men and women who will do anything to see that their boys grow to love God as their parents do. I hope one day my daughter marries one of them.