The ladies in my church were discussing what hinders in-depth relationships with each other. Several reasons were given such as busyness, poor time management, and needing to get to know one another. I agree these are valid concerns, but for me there was one underlying issue - fear of man or rather woman.
I'll share my struggles up to a point but nothing more because they might think I'm not very spiritual. I'll be myself to a certain degree but keep quiet about those things that might cause them to think I'm weird. They seem to have it all together, so no one could possibly relate to what I'm going through.
I don't mean to be presumptuous, so tell me if you are the exception, but I don't think I'm the only one who feels this way. So for any of you who are ready to tear down some walls, here's what I've been preaching to myself:
First of all, they and them need to be laid to rest. As in they are more spiritual, talented, outgoing, attractive, hospitable, [add your favorite adjective here]. It's not them. It's us. We are in this together, sisters, not in competition.
Secondly, what we share in Christ is greater than the multitude of measuring sticks we compare ourselves with. "The tie that binds" is more than a sentimental song with a good cry and a group hug. What binds us was bought with the infinitely precious blood of Jesus.
Thirdly, opening up our lives seems risky, but it's not a risk for God. When He saved us, it's a done deal from beginning to end. When He placed us in the local church, He didn't draw random names out of a hat. We are where we are and with whom we are with by divine appointment. He loves us too much to let us live in solitary confinement.
Lastly, our friendships matter. When new members join our church, they commit to "work towards the purity of the Bride of Christ." This happens through the preaching of the Word on a Sunday morning, but it also happens when the walls start to come down through open hearts and homes. This happens when we love one another in deed and truth along with our words and when we are humble enough to ask for prayer and admit we need the gospel, too.
Is it comfortable being vulnerable? Will our relationships always be perfectly amiable and free from misunderstanding? Is this a quick and easy process? No. But is it worth the time and cost to tear down our walls for the glory of God and the good of the church? Yes and amen.