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Stewarding Our Relationships
Companionship is truly a matter of stewardship. Whatever God gives us He is entrusting into our care and expecting us to use for His glory. How we treat our companions will be noticed by the One who sends them (see Heb. 13:17).
We should love our companions, care for them, protect them and help them to grow in the grace of Christ as best we can. We are to pray for them, encourage them, inspire them and challenge them to be what God wants them to be. We are to lead them by example, love them as brothers or sisters in Christ, and serve them as Christ served His disciples.
We are also to submit to them "in the fear of God" (Eph. 5:21, NKJV). If you can think of even one occasion on which you would not be willing to submit to your companion, then you are not ready to have companions.
Another part of our roles should be to affirm God's call on our companions and to do everything we can to ensure their success and obedience to God's assignments. We are not to stand in their way or cancel their God-given vision or tasks.
We are in the perfect position to encourage our companions to pursue God's agenda for their lives and to use their God-given gifts for His service. They may lack self-confidence and need our prompting to venture into ministry. We can identify their potential and help them achieve God's best for their lives.
Making Christ Known Together
God's plans for your companions may not always be the same as your plans for them. It is important to seek God's will together rather than dictating to companions what your will is for their lives.
God does not send companions for your own personal benefit; He sends them because He has something for them to do and to become with you.
It may be that your companions are called to more prominent ministries and tasks than you are called to. It would be wise for you to encourage, bless and support them. When pride and jealousy rear their ugly heads, our usefulness in ministry begins to diminish.
It is important to see our spouses and possibly even our children among our primary companions as they begin to respond to God. It is crucial for a husband and wife to share the visions and dreams God has given them so that they can help each other achieve those dreams together.
The husband does not have the right to cancel the lifelong dreams and ministry visions of the wife simply because he wants her unqualified support for his own ambitions. Peter reminds us that a husband's treatment of his wife could have a direct impact on whether or not God will even hear his prayers (see 1 Pet. 3:7).
God's Agenda for Companions
I recommend spending much time in prayer over your companions and not taking them for granted. If God has sent companions to you, it would be wise to ask Him what He has in mind. Certainly He means to help you in your work, but also, you are to help them in their work.
We need companions to keep us alert and maturing: "As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend" (Prov. 27:17). The presence of a God-given companion is a great stimulus to grow in our relationship with God and to have a fruitful ministry.
Henry Blackaby is an internationally known Bible teacher and speaker. He is the author of several books, including Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God (LifeWay). Tom Blackaby, along with his father, Henry, is co-author of The Man God Uses (Broadman & Holman) and Anointed to Be God's Servants (Nelson).
Adapted from Anointed to Be God's Servants by Henry Blackaby and Tom Blackaby, copyright © 2005. Published by Nelson. Used by permission.
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