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Fellowship is an interesting term. It is defined as : friendly association, especially with people who share one’s interests. Wikipedia also defined it in relation to the Christian Faith : In Christianity, a term (translated from the Greek koinonia) referring to individual Christians who are in Christian communion with each other.
Fellowship is probably my favorite thing in the world! As an outgoing extroverted person I get a lot of emotional satisfaction from connecting with others, and basically that is all fellowship is…connecting with others.
When I was a single lady it was amazingly easy to to be involved in fellowship. I had almost endless time to devote to building and sustaining quality relationships. I had a large circle of girls who’s friendship was my rock during hard times and who I was fiercely loyal to. The craziest thing about those friendships was that none of them were what you call “no brainers”, we weren’t natural friends, we didn’t like the same things, study the same subjects, come from the same places, our only connections was Jesus. But it turns out that was the greatest connection ever.
Now I am married and I live an hour away from all those girls who made my college years so memorable. As a side thought, to any of you single ladies out there, I wanted to mention that fellowships doesn’t always have to be about some serious biblical truth or some hard situation in your life. In fact the best fellowship happens in the mundane everyday moments; going to the grocery store and jamming out to the radio, making dinner and almost setting the apartment on fire, going skinny dipping at the reservoir on a dare. This is were the rubber meets the road and you really build that foundation for great fellowship. (Sniffle….all this reminiscing is making me emotional).
But again, now I live in different city with different people and am in a completely different phase of life. So I thought I would share some truths God has taught me about fellowship as it relates to being newly married. (I am writing this from the perspective of a wife because….well….I’ve never been a husband. There are still truths men can take away though).
This fact hit me smack in the face one night when The Hubs and I were having a deep discussion and no matter how many different ways I tried to explain my thoughts to him, he wasn’t going to get it. I really needed my girls and so I sat in the car for thirty minutes thinking about whether I should just go to Fort Collins and visit them. Had I still lived in Fort Collins it would have been an easy decision. But as it was, I just decided to call and in fact that was more than enough. It is strange how once you get married (this might be a slight over generalization, but I feel like I have heard this from many newly married couples) you feel like the only people in the world are you and your spouse, and that is all you need. As a women there was a definite point where a light went off and I said “I need to get out of this house and talk to someone else or I am going to go nuts!” So get out there and build into the relationships you might already have, or if you are like me make new ones.
As I mentioned before when I was single there was unlimited time to pour into building relationships with people but once I was married I realized that time had been drastically downsized. While there are still those rubber meets the road times with other women, I spend most of that time with The Hubs, working on our relationship. So when I do get an opportunity to be with other women I need to be really “intentional”, but what does that really mean. I have realized that it simply means for that moment in time, I am really connecting with that woman who I am with, she has my entire focus and heart! I want to master this art form of being really intentional now, because I get the sense that once small human beings enter the picture it gets even harder.
In an effort to increase the quantity of time you are able to spend with people, find ways to fellowship while you accomplish other tasks. Exercise together, go shopping together, work on home improvement projects together. If you are constantly having to add extra things into your life, you’ll find yourself getting burned out and not be able to be intentional about it.
I imagine there are a lot of other good tips out there and these are just some things that God has taught me, but we are all different and have different experiences so this is by no means a complete picture of what fellowship looks like in marriage. What are some things God might have taught you about this subject?
The Peony Project is a community for women who love Jesus, love blogging, and are looking for a common space to share ideas, encourage one another, and make real, honest friendships with one another.
Good times in college, huh? I remember having a “friendship crisis” right after I got married trying to figure out what friendship and fellowship looked like in married life. Thanks for your thoughts friend!
A totally fun time in college, I believe you were around for most of those memories. It’s a hard balancing act, but I think God has really used it to refine me. 🙂
I love and appreciate your thoughts! We do need other women, I definitely get in the “only Zach” mode sometimes. Thanks for everything you shared!
multi-tasking is a great idea–my sister and law and i go to the gym together, and it’s a time when we can connect AND get fit! and i agree that our husbands can’t be our only fellowship; by the same token, i can’t be his only source of community!