This journey we call life can be challenging, difficult, and frustrating, and that’s on a good day.

I have been very blessed over the years to have faithful men of God around me, in fellowship, study, and prayer.  These men have come from various churches, backgrounds and ages, but they have all been a blessing in my life.  But today I’m not talking about surrounding ourselves with men and women of Integrity, as important as that is.  I am talking about my third relationship, after my relationship with Christ which comes first, and after my relationship with my family which comes second.  Do you know what it is?  Trust me, if you have it, you know exactly what I am talking about.  If you think the answer is “work” we need to talk again soon.

The third relationship I am talking about is a close and trusted Christian Brother or Sister (Brother for Brother, and Sister for Sister – just so we are clear on this) who knows who you are behind the mask.  This is someone who knows your deepest struggles, and your greatest joys.  He knows when you fall and will help you up.  This person is someone who despite all they know about you, still loves you with the Love of Christ.  In this relationship you are both that “third” for each other. This person also is the first to get in your face when they see you headed where you should not be going, and will say even what you don’t want to hear.

In Christian circles we call this person an accountability person, and they are, but they are more.  I told you at the start that I have been blessed with faithful Godly men in my life, and rejoice over each and everyone of them, to many to name.  In my 50 years of living I have had only one true “Third.”

This man in my life is a man I have known now for more that 15 years.  I have not been an “Iron sharpens Iron – confidant and prayer warrior” with him for all these years, but for many of them.  This is not a relationship that came in an instant, it grew over time, much time. I am doubly blessed that our wives share this relationship as well. (talk about accountability!)

As with all of my GodPonders, this idea is not original.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 17:17
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24
 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

The more I walk through life the more I am convinced that my hearts desire for my boys, and my wife is to find  a “third” relationship in their life and maintain it.   It is also long been my prayer for the youth I have worked with for more than 25 years that they would find one solid Christian friend.

I pray that you find such a friend, and I rejoice in mine.  Thanks Nick!

<>< Craig