Today my accountability partner is going to share her thoughts about our weekly reports. A little about our history: We have known each other for almost 10 years, and we started talking more in-depth about marriage and parenting three-ish years ago. Over time we have started sharing more and more personal things until last November, when we finally decided to be completely honest and divulge our inner struggles. We have been giving each other weekly reports for almost eight months. All this to say is that it does take time to develop a relationship to the point where this is possible. Don’t stress if you don’t have this yet. God has been very faithful over the years to provide exactly what I need when I ask.
Here is her side of the story:
When Dana asked if I would share my thoughts about our accountability I was excited at the prospect because it has been such a blessing to me. Proverbs 27:17 says: As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend – and I’m so thankful for that sharpening in my life!
Doing weekly accountability is a way, I believe, to stay on the “course” and “run my race with perseverance” like Hebrews 12:1 talks about:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. –Hebrews 12:1–
After many discussions about marriage and family life that Dana and I had, I realized how easy it was going to be for me to let this busy season with little ones consume me and distract me from serving and loving my husband the way that God calls me to. I’m so blessed to have a laid back, very servant-hearted husband so if he sees me overloaded or even tired the last thing he is going to do is put more on my plate or express his needs and desires. But the problem with that is then I would get lazy and not go the extra mile to make sure he was my priority. I would tell myself “I am still doing a good job, it’s just a crazy busy season and I’m doing the best I can.” I didn’t realize until the last few years just how many excuses I make for myself that then keep me from moving forward and growing.
After a decade of marriage and parenting, my eyes have been opened. After observing the tendencies in my own self and those around me as well, I know that I can’t let my guard down and get lazy in my spiritual life, my marriage or in my parenting. I know that if I do, I will reap a harvest in one way or another – and it will not be a harvest that I like! This verse comes to mind:
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Accountability is not always easy. It can be hard to face the truth about myself, and there are times I’m tempted to leave out the details about my behavior in my report, and there are still insecurities I have to push through. (Being fully “known” can be a vulnerable feeling!) But I have realized that most of the time I am not really able to keep my struggles hidden from those close to me anyway, and the humility it takes to admit to the struggles is then met with God’s grace as I confess my need for His help. Just as it promises in James:
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
I think the biggest blessing in our accountability has been that I’m more aware of my own behavior when I’m in the moment, specifically with my husband and children. I am quicker to stop myself when wanting to give “full vent” to my anger (Proverbs 29:11). I am more aware of what I’m contributing to my marriage and more purposeful about investing in it. I also learn a lot as I listen to Dana process through her struggles and challenges in various situations. It helps me see things in my own life that I didn’t even realize were going on. The enemy uses the same strategies to discourage and disappoint every heart. It is also encouraging that I am not alone in the struggles I face. It is such a blessing to have someone cheering me on as I cheer them on to run our race with endurance!!!! This is not a quick fix – there are certain areas of my life that need a lot more work, and it can be a slow go at times. But I think that is the process God often uses – a slow but steady work to change and humble a heart and mold it for His glory!
In closing, if these accountability posts prick a desire in your heart for this kind of relationship, I would encourage you to ask God to provide the perfect person. You can trust HIM to bring that to you. If you let God choose, He will bring the perfect person for the season you are in and the needs for growth that you have. It is stunning to watch Him provide!!! He is so faithful!
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.
2 Peter 1:3