The key to any relationship is fellowship. Spiritual, biblical, caring fellowship is the functional, practical core of a robust relationship. Whether you are married or have kids or close friends it is active, animating, consistent fellowship that will keep the relationship alive and focused on God. Our animating center must be a desire to pursue one another in biblical fellowship. When this kind of relational emphasis becomes dormant or non-existent that relationship is in danger of dying or at best becoming a pragmatic agreement between two people who are spiritually distant, while mutually agreeing they must press on and somehow co-exist until their common interests are no longer.
Typically the “common interests” in these diminishing relationships are children. And when the children begin to leave it becomes evident to the pragmatic-partners that living together is no longer necessary and they soon part. Others who do not want the stigma of divorce will choose to live a “silent divorce” in the home. Outwardly they may appear as one, but from every perceptive vantage point they are not. The reason for this is a deadening of their animating center. They do not have spiritual fellowship. In short, God is not ruling their hearts to the point where He is spilling out and into each other’s lives.
What are we do? This is a good question that has a simple but challenging answer. Here’s the thing to do. You must determine to make a plan to engage one another in biblical fellowship.
And part of making a plan with a fellowship-focus is asking each other the right questions. As you think about your soul and the souls of your friends here are some excellent questions to ask. Ask them first of yourself. Be aggressive and honest. Be specific and detailed. Charge forward into the depths of your soul during your quiet time, even if it hurts. Bring your notepad and pen along with you. Make copious notes. Dig deep. Be broad. Don’t come up until you’re done. Go back and dig some more. Keep after yourself. Take your soul to task.
Next? Tell a trusted friend, preferably your spouse if you are married. Then begin to seek out your friends and ask them these questions. Lead them. Serve them. Help them. And may both of you experience the joys of biblical fellowship. May your animating center come alive in God. May you both magnify our great Creator together. Let us choose to build up the body of Christ. And let us begin in our homes.
Here are some good questions to get you started:
- What specifically is God doing in your life?
- What has He taught you this week?
- How are you applying what you are learning? Detailed and with specificity.
- How have you failed in some area of spiritual and practical responsibility?
- How have you succeeded in modeling Jesus Christ to others? Your spouse? Children? Others?
- What are your plans regarding our commission to go out and make disciples?
- How can I help you in this area…apart from the obvious: praying?
- What are your inner struggles?
Now, go and practice…