My friend was lamenting over her struggling marriage and my heart broke as her sobs ebbed and flowed.
Over the years, this friend has become a heart sister, and if there is anyone I would ‘knee-cap’ someone for, it would be her. (Okay, I would never actually ‘knee-cap’ anyone, but I’d definitely wrestle a bear… okay, probably not that either, but you get the idea. I -LOVE -MY- FRIEND)
During our visit, she slowly unpacked each “stone” that has been gathered in her marriage.
[ read my earlier post about Throwing Stones: Wounding Marriages]
The human part of me wanted to “defend” my friend and start polishing this collection of stones with her by joining in on her ramblings and reinforcing her hurts, doubts and fears. I am even inclined to add a few of my own stones to her pile, or possibly launch an attack on her husband in her defense…that is after all, what a good friend does, right?
Isn’t the job description of a “heart sister” a friend who commiserates with you so you don’t wallow in your painful places alone. Heart sisters agree to take up the other sister’s battles as their own, forsaking everything else that would interfere.
Many people might agree with this definition, but what if I told you that by falling into the “trap” of commiseration I would be responsible for helping her discontentment grow?
“So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery.
He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter.…little knowing it would cost him his life.”, (Proverbs 7:21-23, NLT) [some text removed, but you can see the passage in its entirety by following the link]
I could allow my words to echo hers and “flatter the wounds of her heart”. In her already vulnerable state, each flattery could easily lead her down a road that could be costly…it could cost her peace, her marriage, and her family. I could cost her the life she has spent years building!
Too many times, as gals who love our friends, we are quick to join their lamentations and start fanning the flames of hurt and discontentment that are already burning in our sweet sister’s heart. Odds are, we have been around long enough to have plenty of dry tinder to stoke her up good. Out of love, I could justify taking up her war cry of “I hate him!”, but what good will that do? Sure, I dislike that my friend is hurt…again. I cry with her because my heart hurts for her. I want to ‘knee-cap’ her ding-dong of a husband who just doesn’t seem to get it.
But I have a higher responsibility as her heart sister and her sister in faith. I am committed to speak His truth into her life because I love her.
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”, (Ephesians 4:29, NLT)
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”, (Ephesians 4:31-32)
“Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”,(Proverbs 27:6, NLT)
“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.”, (Proverbs 27:9, NLT)
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”, (Proverbs 27:17, NLT)
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