It had been an aggravating day. My children’s attitudes were draining my patience. In my frustration I was only making matters worse. Then I remembered! I would be meeting with my accountability friends on Monday evening. Hope rising, I made a mental list of the behaviors I would lay before them for prayer and insight. From past experience, I knew they would not judge or criticize me – or my children. They would transparently share their own questions and together we would brainstorm fresh ideas to use in our homes. Best of all, we would cast our cares on the Lord knowing that He cares for us (I Pet. 5:7). Peace and direction would surely follow.
These accountability friends have remained my confidants month after month, year after year, while I parent in the trenches, amidst the bewildering fray of day-to-day family life. Looking back, I can clearly see the benefits of their encouragement, wisdom, and yes, timely correction. I have gained some of my most valuable perspectives by consistently stepping away from my home for a few hours and sitting face-to-face with these like-minded friends. They continue to share fresh, practical ideas that tweak the direction of my life and family.
The Qualities I Love in My Accountability Friends:
- They seek the Lord and love His wisdom; though not perfect by any means, they are characterized by obedience to the Lord.
- They are transparent about their weaknesses.
- They share many of my values and have similar marriage and parenting goals.
- They share advice in humility, but when asked for feedback, they are also willing to boldly say what needs to be said. They phrase suggestions as encouragement.
- They can see my “ugly” without judging, fixing, or manipulating me.
- They keep my confidences; they prove this to me by never gossiping about others in conversations with Their unspoken code is “The absent one is safe with me.”
- They invite me to speak into their lives and treasure my advice.
We all need friends like these. They bring council for the routine days and have our back in the heartache that eventually touches us all.
Our pastor, Craig Groeschel, recently shared an insight that surprised me. He said, “Make a list of your inner circle – your most trusted, core friends. You are the average of the best qualities those friends!” I was greatly encouraged when I realized that sitting with ladies I respect in intimate conversation and prayer has changed me. I am not perfect and neither are they. But averaged together we are more like Jesus than we would have been alone.
Be devoted to one another in love.
Honor one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Rom. 12:10 – 12 NIV