I have met weekly with a friend in a spiritual companionship/accountability relationship for over a decade. It has been a lifeline for both of us. We share everything about our lives, our children, our jobs. We know things about each other that no one else knows as we have practiced the discipline of confession with each other on numerous occasions. We have rafted the Grand Canyon together, cried over and celebrated our children, and have done spiritual formation book studies together.Because of this relationship, my walk as a Christ-follower is stronger. I am also convinced more than ever that a relationship of this nature is something every Christ-follower needs to find and cultivate. We cannot adequately practice our faith in a vacuum and Scripture does not support “Lone Ranger Christianity.” Following Christ in community is the Biblical norm.
Three things I have learned from this relationship are:
Finding a soul friend, spiritual director, accountability partner, spiritual mentor—whatever the term or structure of relationship—is a matter for prayer and intentionality. Some steps you can take may include the following:
However you decide to proceed, “just do it!” In this plugged-in-yet-disconnected-world, we need each other today more than ever to grow into more Christ-likeness.
Do you have someone in your life that can be a “lifeline” for you?
If so, how has that relationship formed and changed you?
Valerie Hess is an author, instructor in the Spring Arbor University’s Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Leadership (MSFL) program, retreat speaker, musician, mother and pastor’s wife. She does a weekly blog for the MSFL program and has written numerous articles, mostly on the themes of spiritual formation through the spiritual disciplines and church music. She has written three books: Habits of a Child’s Heart: Raising Your Kids with the Spiritual Disciplines (co-authored with Dr. Marti Watson Garlett), Spiritual Disciplines Devotional: A Year of Readings and The Life of the Body: Physical Well-Being and Spiritual Formation" (co-authored with Lane M. Arnold). Her husband is an Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Boulder, CO. She has two daughters.