We were doing some purging and cleaning this weekend at our home. As I was sorting through stacks of papers in my desk drawer, I ran across some handouts from a marriage study my husband and I led last year (Stay Married for Life by Dan Seaborn). In one of the lessons the author described four levels of friendship and encouraged us to evaluate where we were in our relationship with our spouse. The goal of course being Confidants. Here’s the list:
- Chums — friends whose interests overlap yours in certain areas; you have conversations because they are convenient. You get to know surface details like name, age, education, job, etc. (i.e. like same music, gym membership, kids same age, work in same building).
- Companions — friends who spend time together on semi-regular basis. Not just bumping into each other but you make time for each other, committed to friendship so you plan activities together, conversation aren’t merely facts and friendship is strong enough to share opinions on important issues, not afraid to disagree, don’t disclose everything and moved beyond surface but friendship is still shallow.
- Comrades — friends who want to talk even on an off day, relationship enjoyable but it’s not limited to fun only, typically you’ve walked through meaningful circumstances together, seen the good and bad in each other and still like each other, enjoy being around and can be yourself with them, trust enough to share fears and concerns, beliefs and pursuits, problems and pain, ask for advice and often take it.
- Confidants — friends who know you to the core. More than only details and specifics, they KNOW you! Know your dreams, history, successes, disappointments, sources of joy and grief, strengths and weaknesses. Feel comfortable telling them everything, nothing off limits, seek them out when you need someone to celebrate with or cry with. Their opinions matter, spent enough time with you to recognize your emotions and pinpoint behavior patterns. They understand why you react and behave the way you do. They get you and the closeness of your relationship is the proof.
This got me thinking about other relationships in my life, and who fit where in this list of 4 C’s. Specifically, I began to reflect on my relationship with Jesus. And not just in what I say about my relationship — lip service — but about my daily relationship with the Lord and what I was actually living out! What I truly believe will be lived out and not just talked about! What was being reflected about the depth of my relationship with Jesus —in the choices I made and in my reactions to daily life situations and relationships?
Here’s just a sampling of what I know to be true about God’s thoughts and response towards me as revealed in His Word:
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. —Psalm 139:1-4
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother ‘s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. —Psalm 139:13-16
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience…But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. —Ephesians 2:1-8
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? —Romans 8:31-32
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. —Romans 5:8
So what will my response be? Will I choose to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength? And to love others as an overflow of His life in me? (Matthew 22:37-39) Will I choose to seek Him first above all things? (Matthew 6:33) Will I choose a life of worship, grateful for the life I have in Jesus? (Romans 12:1-2)
What about you? Would your relationship with Jesus be characterized more as a chum, companion, comrade or is He your confidant? I encourage you to begin where you are. Then make a daily choice to cultivate a deeper relationship through prayer and time in God’s Word.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
—1 Chronicles 16:10
©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com